My dog Donny is your typical corgi: bright, spunky, and energized. Until he sees the Gentle Leader. 


The GL, or his "Face", as we call it, warned that it may take up to 2 weeks for the dog to stop rubbing his face on things and stop struggling to get it off. It's been 6 months. The first week he rubbed all the skin off his nose by dragging his Face through the carpet, and now that we have hardwood floors he rubs it on the bookcase, the bed, our legs, and the cat. Funny, but not funny at the same time. The cat especially hates it. 


In the past month or so, there's a new development. Our stubborn, independent corgi has never liked the Face because it controlled him so effectively--deterring pulling and wild meet-and-greets with strangers--but recently he has apparently decided that the Face is a symbol for the End of the World. He will bury his face under the couch to hide it from reach, will hide in his crate, will bury himself under the bed covers, or all of the above--one right after the other--and wont even come out for chicken or ham. 

This is recent, mind you. He used to sit pretty for the Face application, and wore it without complaint. 


Most importantly, I think the GL is making him depressed. He mopes around the house and acts like nothing matters to him anymore--unless he hears noises outdoors, and then starts barking like he's paranoid--which I think is because he hates going outside now! I blame it on the GL. 


Has anyone else had a problem with depression with the Leader? We've tried every harness, collar, and chain--the Face has been the only thing that works for walks, so I'm reluctant to throw it out without consulting other corgi owners. Any suggestions for collar alternatives?


Notes:There has been no trauma, no dog attacks, no aggression. We use the leader correctly, every time. Donny is highly trained and is great on walks--the only troubles were overly enthusiastic greetings of other people and dogs and pulling, which the GL has stopped. 

Views: 2692


Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I assume the GL is some sort of walking device (not familiar with it). But, just from what I've read on this site and what I am experiencing myself with our first corgi - this is very familiar. What is it with these dogs?? I have the same problem with my corgi pup with the collar and leash. Everything you are describing is something my dog is doing to some degree (or worse) in response to the collar and leash. I tried the "this is absolutely ridiculous approach" and just ignored his behavior and attempted to "walk" him anyway. Now he bites when we try to put on or remove the leash or attempt to hold him by his collar in any way. Our puppy is not a scared, submissive, or traumatized puppy. He is VERY bold, active, and smart. I wish I had advice for you but I'm quite fed up myself (and using these forums to vent is keeping me from handing off this pup to the first taker). I did not want a dog who would need a shrink just to perform the most basic of dog tasks (i.e. going for a walk). I am working very hard to just breathe and move on and I have signed up for the first puppy class available (doesn't start until April 11th). Let me know if you find a key to unlock the corgi madness!
Hi Haley, some of the gentle leader designs can cause unwanted chaffing. Once upon a time we used one on Vienna and her armpits were rubbed and got bloody. Check and look for bumps and scabs in that area.

Same thing happened to Dexter recently with the harness design GL :(

He did ok with the "face" design when we was a pup once he got used to it.

I know these work in some situations but I am not a fan. Consider taking some classes to learn the proper way to use a regular training collar or martingale collar. Used correctly, they are great but most of us (people) need training on how to use them correctly.
i returned it , after a week i hate what i did to my corgi..
I agree with Bev!
I also agree with Bev, I'd look into some obedience classes or a private trainer that would help teach him how to behave with a normal collar on. Personally I'd rather have a dog that pulls on the leash a bit than force him to wear something that is obviously very unpleasant to him. Were you having him wear it around the house? I don't get how he managed to rub the skin off his face if you're just using it for walks.

I am not a fan either.   I have met many dogs who clearly hate them and only one who seemed to like it.  Dogs are very sensitive about body language and I think having something on their faces makes them interact differently or something;  I have seen at least two dogs who are ok with the gentle leader til another dog shows up and then they try to get it off.


I agree I would work on training with a regular collar.  Teaching a "look" command to get Donny to look at your face and hold your attention can reduce the overly enthusiastic greetings.  To be honest on walks I just put up with it to some degree.  It's not like a Corgi weighs 90 pounds or anything.

i got one for Taffy and used it twice. Same depressed reaction. Didn't have the heart to continue using it.
I tried that with my Newfoundland once.  We managed to make it to the end of the driveway.  Outside the door, he lay down, and drug himself to the end of the driveway, scraping his face all the way trying to get it off.  Then he lay there, crying, and wouldn't move.  I didn't have the heart anymore to "punish" him, so I took it off.  Never used it again.  Newfie "1", mom "0".

Sounds like Donny and you have decided it's time to try something else. 

Seems to me, these animals are kinda proud and spirited.  We don't want to crush that.  We must lead, not bully.  A good manager doesn't force a minion to do something onerous, they get them to think it was their own idea to begin with.

And Donny sounds really crushed, if he won't come out even for ham.  A corgi should come out for the Apocalypse if it comes with ham.

How about trying behavioral alternatives, like, put him on a lavishly rewarded Sit to distract from a too-enthusiastic greeting?  You'd have to anticipate the situations.

To deter pulling, have you tried the reversal technique -- where you just head in the opposite direction when the dog pulls? This can go on ad nauseum, you gotta be patient.   This is a puppy, right?

I like our modified Martingales (see collar FAQ); I replaced the chain with smooth nylon cord to save weight and noise (but I think the chain rattling through the ring may be am auditory cue, and this is sacrificed).  Easy on, easy off, over the head, no buckles.  The dogs do not wear them inside.

Gwynnie is not what anybody would call perfectly trained, but we evolved a good modus vivendi:  if she wants to go one way, she'll pull on the leash, enough to tell me what she wants.  If I don't yield, she acquiesces.  Not standard leash-training but it works, we communicate.


Obedience class is my suggested solution as well.  If you go to class, you can learn to get him to behave with a regular collar he would like.  Obedience class would be a large help with any other issues you may be having too.


Rescue Store

Stay Connected


FDA Recall

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Recall

We support...



© 2020   Created by Sam Tsang.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report a boo boo  |  Terms of Service