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Collar / Harness question

1115 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  JenniferJames
What would be your suggestion on a collar or harness for my dog? Quick background - though I tend to ramble:

Colt is about 50-55 lbs, and very strong. I don't know if he is DA having taken him from a shelter, but I treat it as he is because I don't know. He reacts VERY strongly to other dogs barking at him, rabbits, squirrels, birds, etc. Neighbors have a lot of smaller, yippy dogs that bark like crazy through their windows and fences and Colt never barks or growls, but he pulls SO hard (and mouth chatters) that he can drag my 275 lb boyfriend like it's nothing. Colt may just want to play, but my feeling is that he would be aggressive - so I don't let him near anything. It's my responsibility to keep him out of trouble, right? :thumbsup:

He currently wears a martingale collar with his tags unless he is being walked, and then I change to a prong collar. It doesn't seem to slow his pull much, but it's better than him choking himself until he hurts his throat on a regular choke chain. We are working very hard on his walking obedience and when he starts pulling I stop and we don't walk again until he is calm again (makes for very long walks when the neighbors dogs have NO manners at all).

Would using a harness just give him more power in his pull? Our vet suggested using one of those muzzle/head collars, but there is no way it will work with him - I know him too well. I worry that he is going to damage his neck & throat pulling the way he does.

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Honestly, if the prong collar is fitted correctly, he shouldn't be pulling as much, but I can say from experience that it doesn't even phase some dogs. I wouldn't recommend a harness, unless you're going to reinforce his pulling by training him to pull for weight pull competition or at least to work on drag weights. Go to the Training Section and read up in there about Obedience Training, specifically the "Heel" command and walking on leash. You'll find some valuable information there. You might try looking for a trainer who has experience with Bully Breeds, and maybe sign up for a class, or one on one training and see how he does with that.
Actually you should try giving a head collar a try. I use one on my boy, he is almost 4 months and probably about 40lbs. In using a head collar you have control of where they go. My pup used to pull non stop, so I got the head collar. He doesn't pull anymore and walks with me. The head collar is designed to put pressure on the bridge of the nose and back of the head. When they pull they feel pressure which makes them not want to pull. If you have control of his head you control were his feet go. Its the same method for horses you control there head and not there neck other wise they would mow you down. With the head collar he can still pant, eat, drink, bark, etc. He would also have less strength to pull you, it's easier to pull you with their neck and chest. Sure he might make a big fuss over it being on his head but they get used to it and it really does work. It's worth a shot. I'm pleased with my results with it. :)
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It sounds like the Colt is a strong and energetic dog that needs a secure collar or harness to keep him safe and under control while out and about. While a martingale collar can be helpful for some dogs, it may not be the best option for a Colt if he pulls hard.

A harness can be a good alternative for dogs that pull on a leash because it distributes pressure evenly across the dog's chest rather than pulling on the neck. However, not all harnesses are the same, and some may give your puppy more pulling power. Look for a harness with a front attachment point, as this will help to curb your dog's behavior by directing him to the side when he pulls.

Another option to consider is a no-pull harness that has leash attachments on the front and back, such as the Freedom No-Pull Harness. This type of harness provides better control and helps prevent pulling without putting excessive pressure on the colt's neck.

It is also important to continue to work on obedience training and leash training, as this will help improve the dog's behavior and reduce the number of pulls over time. Consistency and patience are key in training a strong dog like Colt, and it may take some time before you start to see progress.
I can also suggest considering a smart dog bark control collar. But only if you don't mind such collars.

Finally, if you are concerned about Colt's behavior around other dogs, it may be worth consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist who can work with you and Colt to address any aggression or reactivity issues he may be having.
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