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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My jack Russell papillon mix I have is a big puller and now that I have gotten a second dog it's getting really annoying. I got head halters for my dogs but the jack Russell mix freaks out when I put it on her. Was curious if people have used the no pull harness and if they actually work on small dogs? Always have been kinda sceptical of if they work or not.


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Harnesses for walking are bad news regardless of the kind. Dogs can slip them (and end up in traffic). More importantly, harnesses afford NO CONTROL. When you resort to equipment for a long term fix to a training issue, then you need to do:

Training. Training. Training.
This takes large patience from you (you need to outlast the dog). Reward a loose leash and attention. You have to walk each dog separately to do this. It may mean your walks go no further than the end of your sidewalk. When the dog pulls, you turn 180 degrees and walk the other way. Dog turns and leash is loose you reward with a bit of food. Train focus. Make being with you and paying attention to you the best thing ever.

Pulling is oppositional reflex. Dog pulls, you pull back, dog pulls harder, you pull back harder.. it is a vicious cycle.

An interesting aside. I have a dog that hauls me along when she is tracking (whether I am at the end of a 33 foot tracking line or 3 feet behind her on a training line). She has learned to do this because I taught her this by trying to use leash pressure to slow her down so she pulled BACK and tried to speed up.. we will forever get dinged in points for speed early in the track and it is my fault because the result of pulling to slow her down has been a dog who tracks too fast and hauls me around. It is ingrained and it works, but for the next dog it is not what I want.

So enter dog number two. I do not pull on him (he is going to be large). In fact, I drop the line because my bad habits are hard to break (putting line pressure on the dog causing the dog to pull). When I drop the line he moves methodically down the track and slows down AND is not hectic.. he is focused.

I know you are not tracking. You are just taking the dog(s) for a walk. The principal is the same either way.

Ditch the harness idea. Walk each dog separately. Do not pull back when the pull.. simply switch direction forcing the dog to loosen the line and reward when the dog switches focus to you (because he wants to see where you are going). Rinse. Repeat. over and over and over (outlast the dog).

Your walks will be very short for awhile.
Good luck. I like JRT's. Good dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have zero interest in pulling my dogs back the last time I tried that I got yelled at by someone calling me a dog abuser the last time I walked my dog and was trying to get her to not pull.


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Lupine makes a really straight forward, minimal, front clip harness that works relatively well for dogs who pull and that doesn't restrict movement at all. That's always pretty much where I'd suggest you start.
 

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Clearly not everyone agrees with using a front clip harness, but I have been very satisfied with using one on my 30 lb dog. She has never slipped out of it, and it makes a huge difference on limiting the pulling behaviour. She is a completely different dog on the leash. She does not appear uncomfortable at all in the harness.

I tried the recommended training techniques for a while, but saw zero improvement, so I made the equipment change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Harnesses for walking are bad news regardless of the kind. Dogs can slip them (and end up in traffic). More importantly, harnesses afford NO CONTROL. When you resort to equipment for a long term fix to a training issue, then you need to do:

Training. Training. Training.
This takes large patience from you (you need to outlast the dog). Reward a loose leash and attention. You have to walk each dog separately to do this. It may mean your walks go no further than the end of your sidewalk. When the dog pulls, you turn 180 degrees and walk the other way. Dog turns and leash is loose you reward with a bit of food. Train focus. Make being with you and paying attention to you the best thing ever.

Pulling is oppositional reflex. Dog pulls, you pull back, dog pulls harder, you pull back harder.. it is a vicious cycle.

An interesting aside. I have a dog that hauls me along when she is tracking (whether I am at the end of a 33 foot tracking line or 3 feet behind her on a training line). She has learned to do this because I taught her this by trying to use leash pressure to slow her down so she pulled BACK and tried to speed up.. we will forever get dinged in points for speed early in the track and it is my fault because the result of pulling to slow her down has been a dog who tracks too fast and hauls me around. It is ingrained and it works, but for the next dog it is not what I want.

So enter dog number two. I do not pull on him (he is going to be large). In fact, I drop the line because my bad habits are hard to break (putting line pressure on the dog causing the dog to pull). When I drop the line he moves methodically down the track and slows down AND is not hectic.. he is focused.

I know you are not tracking. You are just taking the dog(s) for a walk. The principal is the same either way.

Ditch the harness idea. Walk each dog separately. Do not pull back when the pull.. simply switch direction forcing the dog to loosen the line and reward when the dog switches focus to you (because he wants to see where you are going). Rinse. Repeat. over and over and over (outlast the dog).

Your walks will be very short for awhile.
Good luck. I like JRT's. Good dogs.
I didn't mean for that response to come off rude or sound like I was being a jerk so if it did I'm sorry. I am just still a little aggravated about someone calling me a dog abuser for trying to get my dogs attention when and when thats the last thing I would ever think of doing to a dog.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Clearly not everyone agrees with using a front clip harness, but I have been very satisfied with using one on my 30 lb dog. She has never slipped out of it, and it makes a huge difference on limiting the pulling behaviour. She is a completely different dog on the leash. She does not appear uncomfortable at all in the harness.

I tried the recommended training techniques for a while, but saw zero improvement, so I made the equipment change.
I have started to try and train them to not pull cause I would like to not have to use them I just. Want something to be able to take both my dogs on a walk easy right now until I can get them to not pull.


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I've got news for people:

Not letting the dog pull is about 75% of training leash behavior, whatever tool or technique you use. You can use treats in the reward zone, a no pull harness, a prong, or leash corrections, but the key is not letting the dog practice the undesirable behavior. The other 25% is making the proper behavior more rewarding than the undesirable one, and how you accomplish that is ALSO pretty irrelevant (to success)
 

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I have started to try and train them to not pull cause I would like to not have to use them I just. Want something to be able to take both my dogs on a walk easy right now until I can get them to not pull.


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The problem is that if you are trying to train them not to pull, but you periodically walk them together and allow them to pull (even with a no-pull harness) you're basically undoing your training. Really the only option here is to work with them individually. Yes that's a lot of work and time consuming, but that's something that needs to be considered before a person gets a second (or third, fourth, etc) dog. You sign up for twice the work, if not more.

As with everything else in life, quick fixes don't usually actually fix anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The problem is that if you are trying to train them not to pull, but you periodically walk them together and allow them to pull (even with a no-pull harness) you're basically undoing your training. Really the only option here is to work with them individually. Yes that's a lot of work and time consuming, but that's something that needs to be considered before a person gets a second (or third, fourth, etc) dog. You sign up for twice the work, if not more.

As with everything else in life, quick fixes don't usually actually fix anything.
Yea I'm going to start making the time to train them right now it's just hard to do anything outside especially with dogs when it has been getting down to 40 blow with the wind chill and working from 5am to 530pm. Going to try and walk them on the leash inside tonight after work to see if they pull like they do outside or not.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've got news for people:

Not letting the dog pull is about 75% of training leash behavior, whatever tool or technique you use. You can use treats in the reward zone, a no pull harness, a prong, or leash corrections, but the key is not letting the dog practice the undesirable behavior. The other 25% is making the proper behavior more rewarding than the undesirable one, and how you accomplish that is ALSO pretty irrelevant (to success)
So I would just reward/ praise them whenever the dog stops pulling and walk backs to me? If I under stand it right?


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So I would just reward/ praise them whenever the dog stops pulling and walk backs to me? If I under stand it right?


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Sort of. This is one of those things, where it's less about teaching a behavior and more about forming a habit. Treat it like housebreaking. Prevent accidents (pulling), reward success (loose leash), and eventually the only option that occurs to the dog is the desired behavior.
 

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And let me add:

Ain't nothing wrong with management, either. If you don't want to teach it, it's more work than it's worth, use a no-pull harness and take the dogs on walks they enjoy anyway.

No one says you have to train everything to some fluent high level - even things like leash walking. They're dogs. You're supposed to and need to enjoy them. if pulling is taking away from enjoyment and it's not a thing you want to train: prevent the pulling and get on with life.

It is OKAY.
 

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Not letting the dog pull is about 75% of training leash behavior, whatever tool or technique you use. You can use treats in the reward zone, a no pull harness, a prong, or leash corrections, but the key is not letting the dog practice the undesirable behavior. The other 25% is making the proper behavior more rewarding than the undesirable one, and how you accomplish that is ALSO pretty irrelevant (to success)
I agree with this. Walking the dogs separately is the best way to train them. Speaking from experience it's extremely difficult to train one dog while the other is leashed right beside them.

If you just want to lessen the pulling and/or can't walk them separately you could try a no-pull harness. I personally haven't used them before, but I do walk my dogs on regular y-style harnesses simply because it gives me better control. They're both 80 lbs so my being able to distribute the weight and pull on their whole body is better than just pulling on their neck. My dogs tend to be pullers too and having the leash clipped on the collar causes my dogs to gasp and wheeze (especially Pepper). Pepper has learned that she can't pull as well on the harness so actually walks better with it on rather than the leash on her collar.

People have different opinions, but just do what works for you and your dogs.
 

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Training teaches a dog what works and what doesn't work. Reward any time the leash is slack. Stop if there is tension. That is the basic principle of loose leash walking training and certain tips (turning, tossing treats, rewarding for position, penalty yards, etc.) can help along the way too.

Tools prevent a dog from exercising the unwanted behavior, or correct unwanted behavior (which I don't recommend in this case). There are tools like the prong collar that make it uncomfortable to pull (which I don't recommend), and tools like certain harnesses and head halters that prevent efficient pulling (which I do recommend for certain dogs). I recommend a "Surefit harness" for the price and simplicity. Clip it on the front/sternum area where the O-ring is. Do not clip it on the back as it still enables pulling. This is the lazy/easy way to get decent-enough walking without compromising you or your dog's shoulders. I have NEVER seen a dog slip out of a well-fitted H-style harness. I have seen this used on hundreds of shelter and owned dogs and I use them myself. The reason why we use this in the shelter is dogs cannot slip out of them and they can be adjusted to fit any body type. I do not recommend: Vest style harnesses, step-in harnesses, easy-walk (3 strap, no pull) harnesses, because I have seen dogs slip out of them and the lack of ability to adjust at every angle makes it harder to fit to every dog.

I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do things. Some people don't want to train and want to be able to walk their dogs with minimal fuss, today. I think a humane and well fitted walking tool is an acceptable shortcut if it means the owners and dogs are both happier and have greater access to fun activities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Training teaches a dog what works and what doesn't work. Reward any time the leash is slack. Stop if there is tension. That is the basic principle of loose leash walking training and certain tips (turning, tossing treats, rewarding for position, penalty yards, etc.) can help along the way too.

Tools prevent a dog from exercising the unwanted behavior, or correct unwanted behavior (which I don't recommend in this case). There are tools like the prong collar that make it uncomfortable to pull (which I don't recommend), and tools like certain harnesses and head halters that prevent efficient pulling (which I do recommend for certain dogs). I recommend a "Surefit harness" for the price and simplicity. Clip it on the front/sternum area where the O-ring is. Do not clip it on the back as it still enables pulling. This is the lazy/easy way to get decent-enough walking without compromising you or your dog's shoulders. I have NEVER seen a dog slip out of a well-fitted H-style harness. I have seen this used on hundreds of shelter and owned dogs and I use them myself. The reason why we use this in the shelter is dogs cannot slip out of them and they can be adjusted to fit any body type. I do not recommend: Vest style harnesses, step-in harnesses, easy-walk (3 strap, no pull) harnesses, because I have seen dogs slip out of them and the lack of ability to adjust at every angle makes it harder to fit to every dog.

I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do things. Some people don't want to train and want to be able to walk their dogs with minimal fuss, today. I think a humane and well fitted walking tool is an acceptable shortcut if it means the owners and dogs are both happier and have greater access to fun activities.
Thank you I am going to start training every day but still use the head halter till the dog had it down so I can still run/walk the dog when I want.


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If you do want a no pull harness rather than the head halter, PetSafes has worked wonders for my 70 lb guy -- and let me say, he has the strength to PULL.

We work on loose leash walking when he is calm and focused on me, but he's also reactive and I promise you: If I tried to walk him without a harness and he reacted, I would most definitely not be the one in control anymore. I physically could not, particularly in the winter on snow/slippery ground, stop him from dragging me where he wanted to go. PetSafes harness clips in the front and pulls him back to me (gently, it isn't as if he just spins around) when he pulls. That + the loose leash walking practice we have done has him generally walking very well, aside from his most excited moments (such as the start of a walk, which is a whole different issue).

Not saying training ISN'T the right idea, but you can safely and effectively use a no pull harness alongside training. I don't know much regarding the other styles, but this one did seem to also help reinforce the idea that he shouldn't be pulling in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you do want a no pull harness rather than the head halter, PetSafes has worked wonders for my 70 lb guy -- and let me say, he has the strength to PULL.

We work on loose leash walking when he is calm and focused on me, but he's also reactive and I promise you: If I tried to walk him without a harness and he reacted, I would most definitely not be the one in control anymore. I physically could not, particularly in the winter on snow/slippery ground, stop him from dragging me where he wanted to go. PetSafes harness clips in the front and pulls him back to me (gently, it isn't as if he just spins around) when he pulls. That + the loose leash walking practice we have done has him generally walking very well, aside from his most excited moments (such as the start of a walk, which is a whole different issue).

Not saying training ISN'T the right idea, but you can safely and effectively use a no pull harness alongside training. I don't know much regarding the other styles, but this one did seem to also help reinforce the idea that he shouldn't be pulling in the first place.
Thanks I will definatly look in to them.


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I got a no pull harness (Chai's choice) after seeing no improvement after about 2 months of changing direction every time the dog pulled, calling her and only moving again when she looked at me... didn't do a thing. Did I mention that she LOVES chasing squirrels?

Got tired of her choking herself so I got her a harness. I have no idea how it would even be possible for her to slip out of it, considering that it's stuck behind her legs too.

For what it's worth, the area we walk on makes a huge difference - there's a couple streets a few blocks away where nobody EVER walks dogs, and she's super chill and never pulls there. But elsewhere, forget it.
 

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I have NEVER seen a dog slip out of a well-fitted H-style harness. I have seen this used on hundreds of shelter and owned dogs and I use them myself. The reason why we use this in the shelter is dogs cannot slip out of them and they can be adjusted to fit any body type. I do not recommend: Vest style harnesses, step-in harnesses, easy-walk (3 strap, no pull) harnesses, because I have seen dogs slip out of them and the lack of ability to adjust at every angle makes it harder to fit to every dog.
My dog is able to escape a step in harness. I was wondering if he could escape a "regular" harness. He's fine with a step in harness when it's on a leash like going to the vet but I had left him on a tie out (supervised in my backyard) and he escaped. The only thing that has worked is a martingale.
Your opinion when it comes to tie out: collar or harness?
(sorry for asking on this thread)
 
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