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So my Brittany puppy, Jedi is going on 4 months old and I have begun the process of trying to take him for walks.
I have been working on engagement with me in the house and in the backyard and he has been doing well with that. When I practice loose leash walking in the house and backyard, he is engaged and pays attention to me. He will even walk around me to get my attention, but when we leave the controlled distraction of the backyard, it‘s like I don’t exist. He seems to flip a switch and starts to pull and ignores me no matter how many times I stop and try to get him to re-engage with me. I have tried changing directions, stopping and waiting for him to loosen the pull, I have even taken a step toward him to loosen the leash when he sits. I don’t proceed until he looks at me but there are times where he doesn’t even know I’m alive. He is a VERY food motivated puppy, but even when we’re out on a very short walk down the block, he could care less about treats (which, for him, is so out of character).
I have watched several videos on heeling and loose leash walking and have worked on the foundational elements like the engagement and loose leash walking, but like I said, outside of the backyard, its like he forgets all of what we have worked on prior to doing this.
I am currently using a harness on him because when I used just the collar he would almost choke himself out and he also had some minor damage to his esophagus when he was younger so I am leery of going back to just a collar. I have read a lot of posts and articles on different harnesses and collars to use, but to be honest, I get easily overwhelmed with all of the information out there. I am also hesitant to get a no pull harness because I have heard they can do more damage than good to a young dog’s body structure.
Is there a collar or harness I could try that would get him to stop pulling so much when we walk? Am I just moving too fast with this process? Any help or sugge would be appreciated.
Thanks!
 

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Dogs don't generalize well. In the living room isn't in the kitchen, inside the house isn't out in the back yard, and in the back yard isn't out in the big wide world.

Start in increments. Go out on the front porch, and just sit there and let him look at and sniff everything he can reach while on his leash. If he checks in with you, give him a treat and let him go back to looking and sniffing. It's probably going to take several sessions before he decides that "eh, okay, seen it, what now?", and want to interact more with you. Once you get to that point, move off the porch and to the sidewalk. Do the same thing, let him look and sniff until he can start thinking again. Teaching loose leash walking can be a real challenge sometimes.

There is also another method of teaching loose leash walking that doesn't require as much attention on you from the dog. This is a paid resource, a self study set of three webinars Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - EW100: Reducing Overarousal and Reactivity via the Circle Method of Leash Walking
 
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