A lot of people have adopted a dog during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, there is only one household on our entire block that doesn't have a dog. We welcomed our puppy to our home just before the pandemic hit. She was a mutt from the shelter and later we learned through a DNA test that she's a husky-German shepherd mix. She's got a lot of energy and needs to get her walks in. The problem we've had from the start is that she pulls so hard. She gets so excited that she wants to take off like a rocket. Sometimes she has, like that time a deer ran by and she pulled the leash right out my wife's hand. That was a fun day.

Anyway, we started looking for a solution. My wife found online Gentle Leader by Petsafe. The way this works is it's just a small padded harness that goes around the dog's neck and over their nose. It doesn't pull on the dog's throat and it doesn't seem to be that uncomfortable. Our dog of course tried to paw it off for the first couple of times, but now she knows when she puts it on that we are going for a walk. So she actually gets excited when she sees it now.

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Gentle Leader also comes with detailed instructions and a training DVD. I at first laughed when I saw the DVD and said, "Really, we need a training DVD for a leash?" Yep, you do. Because if you think just putting this over their nose is going to work like magic, it doesn't. You need to learn to reward the good behavior and do what you need to do so the dog will walk with you.

I filled one of my pockets with little dog treats and took her for our first solo long walk together yesterday. She pulled a little at first, but the gentle leader did its job and she learned quickly. We had the best walk yet. As soon as she feels it pull, she reacts and slows down. It's been working great. There's no more tugging, yelling, or jerking of the leash. I would definitely recommend you give this a try, but just remember to be patient and follow the training DVD.

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