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Gentle Leader - breathing issues

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  • Gentle Leader - breathing issues

    I've got two medium-sized (40 lbs) sight hound-type mixes who don't usually have any breathing difficulties. They've both been wearing Gentle Leaders when walking or jogging with me for the past several months. I'm quite sure I've fitted the GL's properly, and in general the dogs seem perfectly happy wearing them - can open their mouths as much as usual, sniff things, breathe fine, etc. However, I notice that when they've exerted a lot, such as when we've been for a jog on a warm day, their breathing gets louder and sounds more labored, almost like honking. As soon as I take the GL off, while they would still be panting and breathing heavily, the honking stops. Has anyone had a similar experience, or have any idea what might be causing this, and whether it means the GL is inhibiting the dogs' breathing in general?

  • #2
    Are they still pulling while it's on? I personally don't like the head halter style leashes. If the dog is still pulling while they're on, the leash forces their head to the side in an unnatural position. I can see how that could inhibit their breathing also.


    • #3
      Occasionally they still pull while wearing the gentle leader, and then their heads do go into that uncomfortable-looking sideawys position. However, I don't think that's what's causing the labored breathing, because it happens most often when they haven't been pulling - when we've been running. When they run with me, they usually are pretty focused and keep pace with me, without straining to go ahead or fall behind. What are the things you don't like about the head collars?


      • #4
        The only problem I have with them is what I stated before. I've seen dogs run to the end of those things only to have their head whipped back and to the side in a very dangerous looking position. I can just see how a dog could get hurt like that. If your dogs are very reliable on it and don't pull it's probably an ok thing. But if that's the case you should begin weaning them off of it anyway.


        • #5
          I think it is because your dogs are trying to sweat - as you know, I am sure, they do this from their tongue. It isn't enough for the dog to be able to just open his mouth, to truly be able to sweat properly he needs to hang his tongue down and out the side and he needs to be able to pull in the maximum amount of air.
          I would say that these leaders/halters are fine for WALKING your dog, but I would never suggest using them when jogging with your pet or having him exert himself. They won't allow for proper sweting on for your guys.


          • #6

            I have tried the GL with our English Mastiff and I did not like it at all nor did she. I think that it rode too high on her face and cut into her nose. She had trouble breathing with it too. We ended up buying a prong collar and she loves it. It doesn't hurt them like you would think I have put it on just too see. It's a lot better than just a plain choke collar it provides equal pressure instead of just on the throat.
            I am new to this group and would love to talk to other dog lovers.


            • #7
              I have a 8 year old Jack Russell named Zenith that does that! We don't know what it is becasue she dosen't pull when she is on her walks she mostly sits in the stroller, but it will happen when she is sleeping, and not being very active, anyone have any ideas?