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I have a 14-week old Shepherd mix puppy who definitely pulls on his leash when we walk, but that's as to be expected at this age, so that's actually not why I was thinking about getting him a gentle leader.

He's got a bigger problem of eating literally anything loose on the ground; I'm attempting to train him out of it but that's obviously going to take some time. While that's happening, I was thinking about getting a gentle leader attached to a harness just to gently keep his head up. But I obviously don't want to do anything that would hurt him or cause any future problems so I wanted to see if this was a good idea in general -- and if it's not, if it's something with regards to his young age or not?

  • A question on the side: how have you tried training him to not eat everything? A gentle leader is a good tool generally, but if used the wrong way, it can really mess with a dogs' posture, no matter what the age, so I wonder why the training so far failed (beyond: it's a puppy, yep, it's hard to control a puppy! :) ) – Layna Sep 7 '17 at 5:52
  • @Layna Yup thanks! I'm attempting to do this method (youtu.be/wyj96bJX5Z4) but it's definitely not kicked in yet. My pup can do both touch and look at me so far but it hasn't quite translated to outside and walking around without sucking up everything on the ground. Definitely don't want to mess with his posture! But he is certainly a handful out there -- hate constantly pulling his harness back so he stops eating stuff. – Ryan Sep 7 '17 at 20:23
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Yes you can definitely use a gentle leader from a young age, it is encouraged even. The one thing you need to know about these leads are that you MUST NEVER yank on it as you can hurt your dogs neck (whiplash).

Gentle leaders are not meant to prevent dogs from eating things but to train them to walk appropriately.

Puppies explore things with their mouth so it is normal for him to want to eat and chew everything in sight - you will have to monitor him. Depending on the breed, dogs tend to get over that as they age. Be sure to have plenty of chew toys and give lots of exercise to keep his interest - a bored dog is a destructive dog.

  • Thanks! We definitely play a lot inside, and go out right in front of my house. Unfortunately he can't get his final shots for another couple weeks so we're not going far or to the park or anything. But do you think this is a good idea while attempting to train him out of it using the method I commented above? – Ryan Sep 7 '17 at 20:26

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