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Discussion Starter #1
My dog, Sheba, seems to have a very sensitive trachea. Walking with a leash and collar is impossible because any straining at the collar leads to hoarse coughing fits. I have also tried a Sporn no pull harness, which works sometimes-better than a leash and collar. However, she still pulls at that sometimes, again producing a coughing fit. I don't know if she's just naturally sensitive or someone snapped her too hard and too often with a choker. I got her from the shelter as an adult, so I don't have any history to go by. I have been thinking about a Halti or Gentle Leader head collar. She sort of has a short muzzle, though. How effective have any of you found a head collar to be? I know there is an adjustment period. 109.jpg I have attached her profile picture so you can see her muzzle. Any advice would be appreciated. She does not have much experience on a leash due to her trachea. She's highly strung also.
Thanks
 

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you might want to try the easy walk harness. it wont take the time to desense. to, and it works extremely well. i understand how it is with a dog that is very sensitive on the throat. i just rescued a stray whos owner, when contacted, told me he didnt want her anymore. anywho i noticed any little pressure on her neck made her sound like she was having trouble breathing, and she was a bad puller on leash. i guessed she had been on a choke collar, but it was only an assumption. the guy dropped off all her belongings to me, can you guess what he was using on her???? uh huh... just what i thought!
 

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I second the idea of using the easy walk harness instead.

Dogs tend to hate it much less than the head harness and it's also safer.
 

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Her muzzle is fine. I used mine on my foster boxer who has less muzzle and it worked for him. I mainly used one while teaching my husky to not pull. It was very effective, but the product itself will NOT stop the dog from pulling. It's a tool to use while teaching your dog to walk nicely. If the dog is consistently pulling while wearing it they can damage their neck. Some dogs freak out about wearing them so yes there might be some adjustment. What helped mine was I put it on then pumped treats into her for a solid minute, then took it off and we were done. Do that a few times throughout the first day to create a positive association. When I put it on her for walks we go immediately after I put it on, I don't have her stand around waiting, giving her a chance to paw at it or rub her face on the floor. She's good with it now so I can leave it on while we're in the car, but at first I didn't because I didn't want her trying to take it off.

Dogs can still pull with it on, it's just much easier to control them. Don't let there be much slack in the leash, as if the dog lunges forward 6 ft the leash will catch and yank their head around which can cause serious pain and permanent damage. Along the same lines, don't give leash pops as it pulls the dog by the muzzle, twisting their neck, causing pain and damage. I really am a fan of them as it makes controlling the dog much easier. You just need to be careful of how you use it and be aware of the risks.

If you aren't interesting in teaching your dog to not pull, then use a harness. No tool will teach your dog. You have to. The tools just help.
 

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I much MUCH prefer the Black Dog Training Collar, and the Newtrix Head Collar to the GL or the Halti. The Newtrix especially for pullers. I used one for my deaf foster Border Collie, who pulled like an idiot. it completely solved his pulling, with no extra training, and it doesn't damage necks, as it pulls directly behind the head, not from under the chin.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's not that I am not interested in teaching her not to pull, it's that it's hard to try any training at all because she's a bit wild and her neck is so sensitive. I think she got zero training before I adopted her. She was turned in as a stray to our local shelter, and a family called to claim her, but then they never bothered to come and get her. She was sick for awhile at the shelter, too, but I don't know if it had any lasting effect on her trachea.
 

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Yeah, I get that. I was the same with my foster, I knew I'd only have him for a month, so I wasn't concerned with training him. The newtrix is soft, and seems to be more comfortable for them. The Halti and GL are uncomfortable for them, as the webbing is sharp on the edge and it pulls their heads around. The Black dog has no sharp edges and is made with soft cotton, though it does pull their heads around (I use it for my aggressive dog), and the Newtrix has fleece on the nose band, and it doesn't pull their heads around, nor will it ever injure their necks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not sure whether to term Sheba aggressive or not. She is very dominance oriented. She has to be the top dog. Not too much of a battle between her and my other terrier mix. CoCo is pretty submissive, except when there is a highly coveted treat involved. Yesterday I had to throw a blanket on them to break up a fight over rawhide knots (which have now been removed from the premises because they created a highly volatile situation). Other treats don't seem to cause that reaction. Tonight, my uncle brought over his dog-another female (intact, whereas mine are spayed). She is a Shih Tzu/Jack Russel mix, and hasn't been around other dogs. I had to gate mine off from her for awhile. I decided to leash Sheba with the harness to introduce her. Not a good idea. She pulled and lunged severely and coughed on and off for quite awhile. After a cooling off period I was able to let them all get together. They were pretty good, except that the my uncles's dog wasn't sure how to react to Sheba. Now I'm going to have a new problem in the house-he brought her over so we could help de-flea her while his house was being fleabombed. She was loaded. I will probably be sweeping and spraying for a good while.
 

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dont use either of those collars, they wont do what you are looking for. the martingale style to them will apply pressure on the neck and this is what youre looking to avoid.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looking at all the links, the easy walk harness might suit my needs, as long as it doesn't hit her neck. I didn't think the one I was using currently would hit her neck but it does, if she lunges hard enough. It isn't the Sporn, though. I thought it was, but it's not. I'm not sure what brand it is. Which collars are you referring to, GreatDaneMom? I do want to avoid pressure on the neck, but I fear she will freak out too much with a head halter.
 

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dont use either of those collars, they wont do what you are looking for. the martingale style to them will apply pressure on the neck and this is what youre looking to avoid.
If you're talking about the 2 I posted, I'm not talking about the Black Dog Infin8, I'm talking about the Black Dog Training Collar. The Infin8 wont work, you're right. The Newtrix puts no pressure on the front of the neck at all. There is a martingale style on the back of the head, but it works against the muzzle, not the front of the neck, infact, there's absolutely nothing touching the front of the neck at all.
 

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If you're talking about the 2 I posted, I'm not talking about the Black Dog Infin8, I'm talking about the Black Dog Training Collar. The Infin8 wont work, you're right. The Newtrix puts no pressure on the front of the neck at all. There is a martingale style on the back of the head, but it works against the muzzle, not the front of the neck, infact, there's absolutely nothing touching the front of the neck at all.
actually, the training collar, there is a flaw there. with the way its designed is like a pully system, when the pressure is applied to the bridge of the nose its also lifting up the front of the collar. there is no two ways around that, the cord is connected to the collar, up through the nose band and down to the leash.

and with the newtrix, the martingale is on the back of the neck. you can not say that it doesnt put any pressure on the neck thats not possible. yes it may work against the muzzle, but also the neck.

the gentle leader also applies pressure to the neck, but its the back of the neck behind the ears. all of these products do it, its just the way it is.

a harness is really the way to go to avoid any pressure on the neck, i think the easy walk harness will work wonders for you.
 

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Well, the pulley pulls up and forward on the neck part, so I dont think it puts pressure on the throat, at all. Certainly no more than the GL, which is a horribly uncomfortable design. And the newtrix, fit properly, goes nowhere near the neck.
 

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I've watched a very pully lab choke himself on an easy walk harness. Just need to make sure it stays further down on the chest, and be sure to readjust if the dog has been pulling because it does tend to ride up some. We haven't had that issue with the easy walk and my doxie mix, but he has odd anatomy.
 

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Some ideas;

google the silky leash youtube video.
work on stimulus control type training
counter condition for dog reactivity
learn how to teach your dog to great other politely (tight leash always put tension into the greeting)

your dog is adorable! Looks Schnauzer-y. My schnauzer girl would pull in a GL. She is very high drive. I eventually figured out that the GL was just a gadget and I really needed to train my dog to not pull, not to rely on a gadget to prevent her from pulling. So I got the clicker and treat bacg back out and trained the AutoWatch and worked in a flat collar for a long time. now I walk her in an easy walk harness. If you can wear your dogs energy down BEFORE you walk (or attach the leash) then you will have better results on leash. A tired dog is a good dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks. I posted her in another thread asking for guesses as to her mix. She does look like she has alot of schnauzer in her. Possible cairn also. She is very high energy/drive. I don't live in a neighborhood where walking on a leash is feasible (I live in a sort of rural area-not really country, but I don't live in a subdivision with sidewalks), so she will probably never be very good at it. Hopefully I can get her to a point where I can take her on leash to a pet store, vet, work, etc. She's not actually too bad until she sees something that sets her off. What is the AutoWatch?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have found that in general, excitement triggers excitement in her. If I get really excited around her or use a high pitched voice she gets wound up fast. She can probably jump vertically in the air up to my head when I'm standing straight (I'm 5'2") She literally "loses her mind" sometimes, running at breakneck speed back and forth through the house like a crazy dog. Talking to her calmly in a soothing voice while I pet her calms her down pretty quickly though. I got one very nutty dog from the shelter. LOL. I love her though. She's unique.
 
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