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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is Beaumont.
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He's a very recent shelter rescue with extremely minimal training, which is fine, I know how to train a dog - but he's a big, strong handful of a dog that has absolutely no understanding of walking on a leash. Right now I'm using his collar to control his head/neck and a harness to control his body with a leash on each, with the view of transitioning him to only a collar when he's gotten better at walking. This is a dog that has NO IDEA - he's not being rude, he genuinely doesn't understand - so I really don't want to use a stronger tool, but he needs something he absolutely cannot slip out of.

I'm coming from greyhounds and have extensive experience using martingale collars, but I'm interested in other tools I might use. He CAN slip a harness, he's come bloody close. He has slipped a collar multiple times with the rescue. They placed him with us based on our experience with dogs that may not necessarily have had much/any training, so I'm not really seeking techniques at this point, just options for collars, harnesses, and maybe head halters - anything that might be easier for him to understand and harder for him to slip out of.
 

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For harnesses, I'd strongly suggest a model with a belly strap, like the Webmaster Ruffwear. These make slipping a harness significantly harder, especially in dogs who have defined chests, so it's virtually impossible to have the belly strap slip up over the chest. The Webmaster also has the bonus of having a handle on the back, which some people find useful for extra control when you need the dog to stay close to you, eg holding him in place as other people/dogs pass by. I have a friend who's also very satisfied with their Rabbitgoo harness, and this brand also has a three-strap style option. If he has a narrow waist with a big chest, there's also harnesses like the Spooky Dog that are designed to be escape-proof options for sighthounds and similarly built dogs.

Many people also add a safety strap that attaches the harness to the collar for their escape artist dogs, so in the case where one piece of equipment fails the other acts as a fail safe.
 

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I second the idea of the strap connecting harness and collar, the rescue uses those when they take the rescue dogs to their expos, and they've prevented a bad situation multiple times.
Could he use a slightly wider collar? Those are often harder to slip out of.
 
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Second the Ruffwear rec - my poodle is a Houdini and he has yet to figure out how to get out of his. It's also really sturdy. Properly fitted they're also one of the few brands I've found that's cut right to not inhibit a free gait, but obviously that depends on the individual model matched up to the individual shape of the dog.
 

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Also, this might be a crackhead suggestion, but I personally have had better luck teaching my dogs to walk nicely beside me OFF LEASH (in an enclosed area, obviously) before adding the leash, rather trying to teach them not to pull. Pulling seems instinctual when on a tether so teaching the command without the leash, then adding the leash once it's learned, has been more efficient for me personally.
 

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Also, this might be a crackhead suggestion, but I personally have had better luck teaching my dogs to walk nicely beside me OFF LEASH (in an enclosed area, obviously) before adding the leash, rather trying to teach them not to pull. Pulling seems instinctual when on a tether so teaching the command without the leash, then adding the leash once it's learned, has been more efficient for me personally.
Something to be said for this. With a leash the dog pulls, we pull back, they pull harder. Oppositional reflex is very real with dogs, and that cycle of pulling just escalates.

I would start with an enclosed area, one collar he cannot slip and have him drag the leash. Object is to reward for focus (first) and then reward every time he is walking next to you. Build the behavior, avoid the conflict.

You can lure for a bit. We do this teaching puppies focused heeling (which, while not your goal, can help at the start).

When the dog learns it is rewarding to stay next to you when you walk (use s cue) THEN pick up the leash. Your job is to never let if become taught.

Time and patience should win this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
He's getting a TON better already, but his recall might as well be nonexistent (he comes when he's called if he feels like it, but will completely ignore you if he doesn't) and he almost slipped his harness when we tried him on a long line.. we're doing some recall work this afternoon in a large fenced area (so completely loose but fenced in..) and will see how that goes. He NEEDS to run but he's too rough with other dogs for a fenced dog park even if we had one in my town.

If I knew he was just being a jerk about it I'd probably ecollar train him and be done with it but I think he just genuinely doesn't understand that he has to ALWAYS come when he's called.

We're looking at our 2" martingales that we bought for the greyhounds to see if any of those are big enough for him, because he already has a 2" standard flat collar and can slip that.
 

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A lot of dogs also need a strong bond with their handler before they really seem to 'get' recall. Awesome food or toy rewards can help (depending on what motivates him), but you'll really see a difference as his relationship with you develops and he starts to associate being with/around you with good things in general.
 
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