• suki is not a fan of the gentle leader. she drops her butt to the ground for me to drag her, or nose to the ground to try and get it off, or grudgingly walks step by step with back legs firmly planted between each step. i don't get why she hates it so much, though.

    without it, she pulls a little on the leash, but she's only twelve pounds. as she grows, i don't want her to be in the habit of pulling. we've gone on three walks with the GL, but she still hates it. usually a total of about half a block is nice and peaceful and walking correctly. the rest of the time is just fighting. is she ever going to give in and just deal with it?

  • I've been about 90% successful with mine for the last 6 months. Jack hated it in the beginning, wiggling his way out of it constantly. For us, it was a matter of lots of patience and persistence (as everything is with basenjis!) He still pulls out of it if he's startled or really distracted by something, but for the most part, he just deals with it. It has made our walks much more pleasant and frankly, much safer for him. I do have to say that when he's not in the GL, he still pulls, so he really hasn't learned NOT to pull, but he just doesn't do it with the GL. My biggest issue has been people always thinking its a muzzle – as if basenjis even remotely resemble vicious attack dogs - ha! Good luck!

  • i gave up on it with suki. she would literally sit her butt down and let you drag her down the sidewalk. i've now gone with a martingale. she still pulls a bit, but not too much.

  • if it is a pulling problem, there is a body harness that hooks in the front and prevents the dog from pulling. i don't know the brand name off the top of my head, but i could probably find it.

    OTOH if you really want to make a go of the head halter, what i did with our lab was to put it on the dog right before I fed her. and took it off right when she finished. around the third day, that dog was really happy to see that head harness come out. At THAT time start leaving it on a little longer and try a short walk with lots of treats.

  • I use Gentle Leaders on both Jigsaw and Indy. Jigsaw especially as a pup was reluctant to get used to it - took weeks of balking before she resigned herself. Indy was better but still wants it off IMMEDIATELY when we get home and rubs and rubs till I remove it. Gentle Leaders are definitely the most secure halter for a basenji when it comes to keeping them on. (I have at least 4 different types, and the GL is the only one that is escape-proof as long as it's fitted correctly.)
    I also have the anti-pull harness - called EZ Walk. It's ok but not great. Have found especially on Indy it rubs the hair off the front of his shoulders. I sewed padding around those straps which helps. I use the harnesses in warmer weather mostly because I've found that both of them will panic and gag rather than pant with a GL on.

  • Did a trainer fit it for you or did you fit it yourself? Proper fit is essential!!! Also, lots of treats. 😉

    Gentle Leader also makes the Easy Walk harness. I added blaze orange fleece to the O-rings at the shoulders to keep it from rubbing. Fit is important for it too, but not nearly so much as the head halter.

    ANY collar/halter/harness will result in the dog pulling IF you let them. The key is consistency (watch the GL DVD several times if you have to). Never keep moving while the leash has ANY tension on it. That just rewards the dog for pulling. Always stop and get the dog's attention to loosen the lead before moving on. Most owners have dogs who pull because they continue to pull on their dogs!

    As for people remarking on it being a muzzle, tell them that it works like a horse halter. You wouldn't dare walk a horse with just a collar; with some dogs you just need the extra help to get physics on your side!

  • Personally I dont think a gentle leader is the best option for a sight hound - included obviously Basenji.
    Taking control of the walk - being in charge and calm will lead your basenji to follow you.
    Takes more time perhaps but in the end better because your basenji can have his head to look as they all like to do..but still keep an eye on you his leader.

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