How to Put on a Gentle Leader

Head collars are especially handy for large, exuberant dogs.
Head collars are especially handy for large, exuberant dogs. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Canine head collars, such as the Gentle Leader, do not resemble a traditional collar or a harness. The head collar needs to be adjusted to your dog's neck size to fit correctly and only needs more adjustments if your dog is still growing. Head collars allow you and your dog to walk next to each other without his pulling you down the road at a quick pace.

Head Collar Benefits

Head collars, such as the Gentle Leader, have many benefits for both the owner and the dog, especially when training a young or large dog to walk on a leash.

  • Corrects leash pulling by a dog
  • Teaching tool for a dog to heel
  • Easy to fit and put on
  • Removes pressure on throat
  • No muzzle needed to redirect a dog
  • Available in nine colors and fives sizes for a perfect fit

Gentle Leader Adjustments

Adjust the size of the larger neck strap before placing the Gentle Leader on your dog. Press in on both sides of the plastic buckle to release it. Hold each half of the buckle in one hand with the smaller nose loop hanging downward to make a letter T.

Place the neck strap on your dog at the base of his skull. The front center should lie just above his Adam's apple on his throat. Press the two sides of the buckle together.

Slide the neck strap adjuster to make the neck strap snug on your dog so that you can insert one finger between it and his neck. Unbuckle the neck strap and remove the Gentle Leader.

Putting on a Gentle Leader

Slide the adjustable clamp on the nose ring all the way down the strap to meet the metal control ring for the leash. Hold the Gentle Leader with one hand on each side while grasping both the nose and neck strap in each hand. It will form a circle within a larger circle with the control ring hanging downward.

Place the nose loop on your dog's snout and the neck strap on his neck and buckle it. Slide the adjustable clamp on the nose ring upward to your dog's skin so that one finger fits between it and his skin.

Reposition the nose loop if necessary so it is in front of your dog's eyes and behind the corners of his mouth.

Training Tips

Some dogs may find the Gentle Leader a little strange to wear at first and will not want it on the nose. Hold a dog treat in one hand in the center of the nose loop and let your dog reach through it as you put it on him and he is eating the treat. You may have to train him several times with positive reinforcement in this manner to get him acclimated to it.

When your dog tries to pull on the leash, the Gentle Leader turns him toward you so he can't run to the end or pull you.

Practice using the Gentle Leader with a loose leash on walks with your furry friend for a pleasurable walk with your canine companion.

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