Invention at Play





Inventors' Stories
Back to Inventors’ Stories




Ruth Foster, Coinventor of the Gentle Leader® Dog Collar
< 1 2 





A mother dog picking up its pup by the neck


A mother dog picking up its pup by the neck



More Photography:


One dog biting the muzzle of another to show its dominance
One dog biting the muzzle of another to show its dominance











Taking Cues from Nature

It took Foster and Anderson a year to develop their collar. By putting the pressure on the big muscles at the back of the dog’s neck rather than the front of its throat, the Gentle Leader®s mimics the pressure a mother dog puts on a pup when she picks it up by the back of its neck. Foster and Anderson say there is some evidence that pressure in that spot relaxes dogs, which makes them easier to handle.

“I thought there must be a better way to restrain dogs by using the least amount of force or pain as possible.”

Their collar also loops around the dog’s snout, putting pressure around the mouth and nose. The pressure is similar to what happens when an adult dog puts its mouth over another dog’s snout to discipline it or show its dominance.

But it’s not a muzzle. When there isn’t pressure on the leash, the dog is free to pant, eat and drink.

While the Gentle Leader® wasn’t the first dog halter to be patented, many argue that it’s simpler to use and is more successful because it was designed with a dog’s natural behavior in mind.

Next: Paul MacCready, Human-Powered Flying Machine Inventor ›





skip navigation

Email Telephone


Telephone

Email this to a friend!
Make a virtual phone call to your friends and help them learn about Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone!

send to friends




National Museum of American History, Behring Center Invention Playhouse Inventors' Stories Does play Matter? Exhibit Info Resources Contact Us Site Map Site Credits Lemelson Center