Thank you all for offering your advice on leash training a while back. Finnigan is doing much better with the leash. He will pick it up in his mouth once in a while but when we tell him to drop it he usually will. Since he has received his last set of shots, we're starting to take him more places and his issue now is pulling. When we are out on a walk he will pull so much he'll begin to cough. He started puppy classes yesterday and the instructor said she thinks all dogs should be in a harness because it gives more control. While I think this would help to keep him from choking himself and possibly causing damage to his esophagus, I have heard from other trainers that a harness makes a dog pull more because they can pull with their whole body rather than just the neck, plus, if you need to turn them away from a distraction you cannot redirect the head. I don't know what is best, especially for a puppy of 4 1/2 months. Standard collar, HaltiCollar, Martingale collar, Harness etc., any opinions on what works best?

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Comment by Alice on January 13, 2009 at 1:33am
We did buy a harness because even if we don't end up liking it, we figured it will make our trainer happy and we can use it to secure him in the car. We've only used it twice so far on walks so I'm not sure what I think about it yet. As he gets a little bit bigger I think we will try the Martingale collar.
Comment by Geri & Sidney on January 12, 2009 at 2:42pm
We use the martingale too, and it works well for Sidney!
Comment by Corgibyassociation on January 12, 2009 at 2:14pm
I know JuLo on the site recommended the martingale, it's kind of like a choke. I don't know which I'll get either. I may bet both and use one for training and the other for car rides. But for the moment, cheap is good cause Freya is growing so much.
Comment by Sam on January 7, 2009 at 7:18pm
I instructed at our local dog club for quite a few years. I quickly learned that anyone that "demands" one specific collar/harness. To me I felt it best to evaluate the handler/dog combination before I made any recommendations. Some people are too heavy handed for many training devices. Other people need extra help if they have lumbering large pups. Certain breeds do have a tendency to a collapsing trachea and extra care should be taken not to use a collar but a harness. Remember too that your reason for going is to help him learn how to walk properly on lead. Pulling is typical for a youngster exploring his world. The instructor should teach you techniques to help him stay close. Treats work great to help keep their attentions. Good luck
Comment by Wendt Worth Corgi's on January 7, 2009 at 6:40pm
I've used them as well and gives a more straight direction pull where the choker is more of a angled pull. Any type of training aid or equipment is only as abusive as how one uses it. Equipment isn't the cure all but an aid in what we are seeking. What one device works on a dog it might do so well on another. I like to individualize situations and see what is getting the best results and not always the quickest.

Like Bonnie can try it to work w/your trainers program but not every program is for every individual either. Try it and if its not working or going well then find another w/the same views you have. But don't judge a book by its cover.
Comment by Alice on January 7, 2009 at 6:30pm
It looks like the harness is losing so far! I’ve never been a fan of harnesses myself which is why I want more opinions before buying one. I love the sledding comment! That's how I feel as well. :) Not having used a harness on him though, I could be wrong. Maybe I should do as Bonnie mentioned and get one just to use in the class to appease the trainer.

Right now when he pulls, we usually make him sit and calm down so the tension in the leash goes away and then continue to walk again. This works about half the time. If he's in a very energetic state he will begin pulling again instantly which is no good. I'll have to try going the other direction. I have seen that method used on "It's Me or the Dog" but for some reason haven't tried it.

Is the Martingale collar ok for a puppy? I considered that or the HaltiCollar but wasn't sure if his age mattered.
Comment by Wendt Worth Corgi's on January 7, 2009 at 6:16pm
I completely agree w/Bonny and love the directional change routine. I don't like constant tension on a lead since this only teaches them to lean on it..its a give take type of lesson. I've never used a Harness so I can not properly comment but its a device I feel that isn't worth the money unless your team sledding. I like my straight collars and chokers.
Comment by Geri & Sidney on January 7, 2009 at 5:21pm
I suggest the Martingale collar. It works well with Sidney!
That thing about them pulling more on a harness is true, at least in our experience.
I'm glad to hear Finnegan is doing better! Woo hoo!
Comment by Bonny on January 7, 2009 at 4:33pm
There are lots of easy, humane ways to get you dog to stop pulling on the leash, and my favorite is the one where you simply immediately change direction (180 deg. away from your dog) whenever the dog steps out in front of you. When they hit the end of the leash, they get a corrective tug, and must go the other way with you. I was taught this using a 6' loose leash--thumb through the end loop, other hand holding up slack so that the leash can slip through. The important thing is to keep your arms down and relaxed, but firmly in place, and let the leash do the work...don't add any jerk to it. At first, you go around in circles, turning every few steps, but after a few sessions the dog usually picks up pretty quickly that they must stay with you in order to follow you. I found this technique to work better than the basic across-the-body leash correction (as demonstrated by Cesar) for my dogs. Also, the quick correction prevents constant tension on the dog's neck, and because you are only walking and not adding any power to it, you won't be pulling hard enough to cause any injury. I should note that I also used a chain training collar.

I'm sure others will have alternative methods to share.

As for the harness, sometimes it works well to trust the trainer and go along with them in order to successfully complete their class (you might discover her methods really good in the end), but I personally have never seen a dog in a harness that wasn't also pulling. That's just my unprofessional opinion.

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