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Discussion Starter #1
My husband and I are looking for any help that we can get.

We adopted our dog from a shelter about 6 weeks ago. He is a hound/lab mix (40 lbs or so) and is about 18 months old.

Our dog has definitely never been walked on a lead before. We live in a small condo and have to walk him outside in order for him to have any good exercise. We take him on the same path 5 times a day. The path is roughly 1/2 a mile and takes about 15-20 minutes to walk.

We had several sessions with a trainer who said when we walk him and he pulls to pause until he loosens the lead then give the "OK" command and walk again. This has almost become a game to him and he goes back to pulling as soon as we say "OK" (especially when a squirrel is nearby). This is not working after 3 weeks of trying.

Besides the pulling problem our bigger problem is figuring out what type of collar/Halti/harness to use in combination with a lead.

The first two days we tried a neck collar with a nylon lead. He pulled to the point that he would cough for 10 minutes after we took the lead off.

We knew the neck collar was wrong so we next tried a Halti with the nylon lead. This worked for a few days but he quickly figure out the nylon lead was soft enough that he could bite it and it could become a tug toy. We tried high-value treats, his favorite toy, and rawhides to distract him from the nylon lead but once he had it in his mouth we could not get it back from him.

The trainer said to try a chain lead with the Halti so he couldn't put the lead in his mouth and play tug with it. She also said to get him a good tug toy for in the house so his urge to play tug is appeased elsewhere. The Halti/chain lead worked for about a week but the chain lead is VERY heavy. The Halti is like a bridle over his nose and the chain lead pulls it down and I'm sure it is uncomfortable.

Now when we walk him he puts both front paws into the Halti and takes it off his nose. Luckily we have also linked the chain lead to his neck collar so he doesn't run away but he again goes back to pulling and hurting his neck. We've tried stopping when he puts his paws in the Halti and we've tried to continue to walk. It doesn't matter what we try because he finds a way to slip the Halti on EVERY walk.

We also tried to start the walk with the Halti/chain lead and about half-way into the walk we unhook the Halti and put the chain lead on his neck collar. This worked for about 2 minutes then he would pull until he choked again.

We finally tried a nylon harness with the chain lead but once again he discovered the nylon on him and as soon as we step outside he would lie down to try to bite and play with the nylon harness. He does everything he can to slip it and bite it.

My husband and I are completely out of ideas. Is there anything on the market that we can put on him AND use as a lead so we can help train him to walk?

Does anyone have any better tips for training him to walk? Should we try shorter or longer intervals when we pause? We can't remove the distractions when we walk him because they are nature and our neighbors and we don't have alternatives where we live (North-Central NJ).
 

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Another tool to try would be a prong collar, it's better for the dogs neck and it shouldn't cause him to choke or cough. Have you tryed walking with a few high value treats in your hand and giving him one every time he looks at you?
 

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Thanks for the suggestion about the prong collar. I was nervous to try it because it looks so scary but I'm sure we can figure out a way to use it and not hurt the dog.

We have tried high-value treats on our walks for a while now. We have a homemade mix of venison and rice that he LOVES when we work with him in the house. We even use it when we get him to sit while we put the halti/collar/lead on him before we leave the house. But as soon as we get outside he just ignores it. We've tried the "follow me" cues with the food on the ground and to just give him the treats when he pauses to try to reward him but he smells it and pulls away quickly.

We thought maybe we were overfeeding him so we cut back his food by 1/4 cup per feeding but it didn't make a difference.
 

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There are also No Pull Harnesses for a quik fix although I have heard mixed reviews of different types. I personally prefer to get a dog to heel on command rather than relying on the crutch of a training device. You can use the training aid for a while but try your hardest to wean yourselves off of it.

It is certainly better to use a crutch than to have a dog that injures his neck from pulling on a collar.
 

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Unfortunately with the harnesses he can get ahold of at least one part of it in his mouth and chews it apart. I would use a harness to help train if I could find one he couldn't get into his mouth. Or, if there were harness that was made of a material he coudln't destroy so quickly.

We're trying everything we can think of to make sure he doesn't hurt himself and give him the exercise he needs each day.

Hopefully the prong collar with the chain lead will be the right trick for training.
 

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it also sounds like he needs more stimulation than the 5, 20 minute walks down the same street day after day. Is he good with other dogs? you could bring him one or two times a week to run off some energy.
 

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It may come down to technique. The stop and wait until the leash is slack works on many dogs. Other variations of it are to reverse direction or pull him backwards. Which ever you use, the walk must be about teaching him not to pull, not getting somewhere. The solution to a stubborn dog is an owner that is more stubborn.
 
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