Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gentle leader...not so gentle

Lately Sawyer has been taking me for walks which explains the sore elbow I've been experiencing in the past week.  At 60 lbs, he is a very strong boy.  So, on our trainers recommendation, we are in the process of getting him adjusted to a gentle leader which will deter him from pulling.

NOT an easy task for either one of us.  First comes the exhaustive five-minute struggle to adjust the snout harness, while he insists on biting me (it's a game, right?!),  then the collar must be buckled snuggly while he furiously attempts to remove the snout harness with his paws which took me, like FOREVER to attach!   WHEW!  Mission accomplished.....well, not quite.  Now he has given up the struggle and decides to flop to the floor.  Refuses to move, refuses to look at me and becomes a total dead weight - the dead-dog pose.   Arggghhh!

After a few more minutes of prodding, coercing and bribing (with sweat dripping down my brow, I might add), I finally get him up and out on the front porch.  By now, he is NOT a happy camper, NOR am I.

He manages to walk a few yards, only to throw himself to the ground (sometimes in a summersault fashion) and attempts to remove the harness yet again.  His favorite place to throw a tantrum these days, is in a leaf pile by the curb side, however, any place will do:  neighbours lawn, gardens beds and even the middle of the road.  What should amount to a 10 minutes walk, now translates to 30 minutes!   He sure enjoys the end of his journey.  FINALLY, freedom to romp in the backyard without the gentle leader.   A happy ending to our less-than-pleasant walk...till next time!

(pawing his harness)

(playing peek-a-boo in leaves)

(dead-dog pose....he's not budging!)


  1. Hi,

    I just started our standard poodle on the gentle leader this week (was searching for experiences online and found you). He bucked like a wild bronco the first walk. But we're on day 3 now and he just gave it a few swipes with the paw. And the pulling has ended. I could walk him with my pinky. That's the best part!


  2. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Alex. It's encouraging to hear that it only gets easier with time. Must say that this morning's walk was much more successful. However, he still pouts once the gentle leader is on but nothing like a treat to snap him out of his funk!