Thursday, August 18, 2011

PRODUCT REVIEW: Gentle Leader Martingale

I think I've mentioned Kitsune's distaste for the Gentle Leader head halter before.  "Distaste" is a mild word, actually.  He loathes it.  I've never seen a dog freak out the way Kitsune freaks out with a head collar on.  He simply refuses to reconcile with it, and if you happen to leave it in a spot where he can see it, he will try to steal it and then chew it into little bits.  It is worth mentioning at this point that Kitsune is not a destructive dog.  He never chews anything but his own toys, and even those toys that are meant to be chewed last him a long time.  He has never chewed up any of his leashes or neck collars, so the fact that he destroys Gentle Leaders is significant in illustrating just how much he detests the things.  The Gentle Leader head collar we currently own is number 3.  I kept buying them because they do work when a dog will consent to wear them, and I labored under the mistaken belief that given enough time with one, he would eventually relent.  Silly, silly human.

About a month ago while I was at work, I was taking a harness off of a dog and noticed it was a Gentle Leader brand.  Well.  News to me.  Turns out, Gentle Leader is making new "Easy Walk" harnesses with the  leash ring squarely in the middle of the chest.  Same premise as the head collar, it still thwarts the forward motion of pulling, but easier for some dogs (like Kitsune) to accept.

I immediately went to the pet store I used to work for and looked for them.  They didn't have them, but PetSmart down the street from my house did.

I dithered and couldn't make up my mind to buy one until yesterday.  Then I finally did it.  Today, having nothing better to do, I put it on Kitsune.

We had one initial Shiba Scream as he was trying to bolt down the stairs and realized he couldn't bolt anymore.

After that, he walked calmly with the harness on.  He would not, however, poop in it.  He looked like he really wanted to poop, but each time I thought for sure he was going to, he changed his mind about it.  I'm sure that will come with time.

I left it on him when we got back in the house, so he can get used to the feel of it.  Hopefully the next time we head outside, he'll do a number two.

All in all, we are much pleased with the Gentle Leader Easy Walk harness.

This never would have happened in a head collar.

Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness:  Shiba Seal of Approval.


  1. we have the premier easy walk harness, and i find the fasteners in front loosen too much on walks.

    our trainer said the gentle leader version is better and stays tighter.

    thanks for the review!

  2. I haven't noticed the Gentle Leader Easy Walk loosening at all on mine, so I agree with your trainer!