HABITUATING THE DOG TO THE GENTLE LEADER® HEADCOLLAR
- Pre-fit the neck strap.
- Using your two index fingers gently massage the bridge of the dog’s nose. Praise the dog with a soft, soothing voice and periodically reward the dog with a food tidbit. This will help the dog to accustom the sense of something on its nose.
- Place the nose loop loosely over the dog’s nose and immediately reward it with a food tidbit and verbal praise. Let the dog drop its head allowing the nose strap to fall off. Repeat this exercise at least a dozen times or until the dog is comfortable with the nose strap on its nose.
- Place the nose loop on the dog and snap shut the neck buckle. Reward the dog with a food tidbit and verbal praise. Remove the headcollar and repeat this exercise several tim
- Place the headcollar and reward the dog.
- With lead in hand immediately and rapidly walk five or six steps while encouraging the dog to follow using happy tones and patting your leg. Reward good responses.
- Stop and gently pull the lead upwards and backwards causing the dog’s head to move in the same direction and forcing the dog to sit. Reward the sit.
- Repeat the above until you and the dog are able to perform this exercise easily and consistently.
Do not introduce commands until you are confident that you and the dog can walk comfortably together and that the dog will easily sit when you stop. You can then introduce commands immediately prior to starting (heel, walk, etc.) and when you stop (sit, halt, etc)
DOG’S REACTIONS TO HEADCOLLARS
About half of all dogs will accept a headcollar without any adverse reaction. Other dogs may react to the feeling of something strange on their nose by exhibiting behaviors ranging from freezing and refusing to move, to attempting to paw or rub off the nose strap to even bucking to free itself from the nose strap. If your dog exhibits any of these behaviors more time should be spent habituating the dog to the headcollar.