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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Reveille’s lead not to be confused with a muzzle

In response to Esther Robards-Forbes’ Feb. 21 News article:
About your article “Reveille returns to duty,” where you state “Also a first for A&M’s mascot is a muzzle, deemed a ‘gentle lead,’ which prevents her from biting and keeps her head straight while she marches …” I have a few comments to make.
First and foremost, a “gentle lead” is not a muzzle in any way, shape or form. It is simply a device, similar to a halter that a horse may wear, that aids in training a dog while on lead. It is used to maintain control of the head and usually requires less force (as opposed to tugging on a lead that is affixed to a traditional collar).
Unfortunately, to the uninformed it may appear as a muzzle simply because of its location. These are not muzzles! Many people have been worried to approach a dog wearing a gentle leader because it appears as such and you aren’t helping the situation!
Second, a gentle leader does absolutely nothing to prevent a dog from biting. Look at the position that it is worn on the nose! A dog wearing a gentle leader is fully capable of opening its mouth and biting whatever it wishes.
Gentle leaders may help an owner gain control of a dog’s head quickly, and pull it away from the situation, but I guarantee you that if I stuck my hand in the face of an aggressive dog wearing a gentle lead, I would be just as likely to lose a finger as I would if it was wearing a traditional collar and lead.
Please try to remember that a gentle leader is merely a training device that does just that and nothing more.
Laura B. Lemke
Class of 2004

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