Oh absolutely! That is why I use a harness and NEVER walk a dog with just the collar unless they are trained and I KNOW they will not pull. (I use the Lupine Pet roman harness and the Petsafe 3-in-1, she's never pulled out). And I definitely think there should be rules in place, and they should be enforced, not doing that is cruel. And so if what the dog's finding "unpleasant" is that I gently enforce my rules, then so be it. But since dog's don't really understand
our weird human world with our weird human rules, I think causing them pain for disobeying them in rather unfair. I think gentle corrections and showing them what to do instead is much kinder. But believe me, I am not
saying that using a flat collar is kinder than using a martingale. But using a harness is, because the neck is a delicate area. Pressure around the neck is not
a good thing. The harness distributes the pressure over a larger and less delicate area. But it all depends on how you use it. a harsh jerk on a harness is much worse than a gentle tug on a flat collar, which is worse than no pressure on a prong collar. A properly used martingale really isn't that bad. But in a situation like this with a fearful dog, it may require a gentler approach. In any situation, I'd still prefer a harness to a collar of any kind. "Corrections" shouldn't involve discomfort to their neck.
And yes, I agree, in regards to your last statement