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My real name is Mercy
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Discussion Starter #1
Many of you will not be surprised to learn that Max, my 7.5 month old, still pulls on the leash. No matter what we tried, he continued to pull when wearing his regular collar.

At the suggestion of our trainer, we got him a Gentle Leader Head-Collar. It worked and solved the pulling problem immediately, but he HATES it. The trainer said he'd get used to it, but it's been months now and he continues to struggle against it each time we use it. Each time we walk him with it and he finds an opportunity, he's scrubbing his face on the ground and/or trying to pull it off his face with his front paws. (BTW, it's not "too" tight, it's fitted snugly, but there's enough room for me to place two fingers under it.)

So, I purchased the GL Walking Harness. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble getting it fitted properly on him. Anyone have any tips on working with this bugger? Although I have the girth straps tightened per the instructions, the "chest strap" still gaps and therefore isn't very effective at directing him anywhere. Again, no surprise, he's still pulling! Aaagggghhhh!

I'm just looking for tips, if anyone else has had a similar problem. He's only 7.5 months old, so I'm wondering if it's possible it's just too large for him in the chest area at this point. I'm kind of expecting his chest to fill out a bit when puberty kicks in, but I'm not sure. He's my first GR, and first male, period.

Thanks all!
-Trids
 

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What size harness did you get? Sam and Dill both wear a size Large, which is perfect on Dillon but the chest strap is a bit too big for Sam. They do sell "half" sizes online, and I think a M/L would be perfect for Sam as far as sizing, but he does fine with the size L as far as curbing his pulling so I just haven't had a need to buy the slightly smaller size for him.

Does he still pull as much as with the leash attached to his regular collar? I was lucky in that the harness really did take away Sam's desire to pull immediately.
 

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My real name is Mercy
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Discussion Starter #3
I got a large because when it listed the chest girth, Max's measured just right. A med. seemed like it would already be too small or would, within a couple weeks. I didn't see any half-sizes where I shopped (shoot!). So, next I tried walking him with just the regular collar again, now that he's older. No luck. He still pulls on it like his primary goal in life is to move ME from Point A to Point B. I'll say this, I've got a strong boy! :bowl: BTW, I also purchased & tried a car harness (because of his roaming while riding in the car). It has a leash connector on the back of it, but he pulls with that one even harder! (No strain on his throat.) Yikes!
Thanks Marlene!
 

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Try putting it on upside down so the colored strap is across the back instead of the belly. We had the same problem with Brady's, and I read somewhere that with some deep chested dogs, they fit better upside down. So we did that with his and it fits great. You'll have to play with all of the adjustments, but you should be able to get the chest strap snug when the others are correct. I was also told that to fit this properly the part that goes around his belly has to be pretty snug...only one finger width fits underneath when they're sitting. Let me know if that works for you.
 

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I've only ever seen the half sizes online, never in stores. You can usually find them pretty cheap (much cheaper than at Petco or something!) online.
 

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The one you have may be too big. When I first bought the three for my dogs, I had to get Jasmine the X-Large because she was overweight and has a big barrel chest. Now it's too big. Jasper is in a Large, but could probably go down to a medium, except he doesn't pull, so I really don't need to change his.
 

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Try putting it on upside down so the colored strap is across the back instead of the belly. We had the same problem with Brady's, and I read somewhere that with some deep chested dogs, they fit better upside down. quote]

this is how our lab wears hers.
 

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Sierra still pulls some in her harness, I had the same trouble with the front gap. I re-adjusted just this last weekend and it's better. I shifted the straps by tightening the back strap and loosening the belly strap then I was able to get the chest strap in a better location. Seems to have helped Sierra anyway. She still pulls but seems to be a little more off balance when she does, I think that might help curb the pulling.

I also made my own version of the "Walk Your Dog With Love" harness. I'm hoping to try it again tomorrow morning and test the difference of any between the two style of harnesses.
Karen
 

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Either try it upside down, or do it normally, but take your leash clip and clip it first through the harness strap and then reach up and also clip it to the D-ring on the regular collar. When you're dong, the leash clip will be attached to the D rings on BOTH the harness AND the collar.
 

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Either try it upside down, or do it normally, but take your leash clip and clip it first through the harness strap and then reach up and also clip it to the D-ring on the regular collar. When you're dong, the leash clip will be attached to the D rings on BOTH the harness AND the collar.
That is what I do with Jasmine's because it was rubbing her. But now I am going to try turning it upside down. Thanks for the tips guys!
 

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Sierra still pulls some in her harness, I had the same trouble with the front gap. I re-adjusted just this last weekend and it's better. I shifted the straps by tightening the back strap and loosening the belly strap then I was able to get the chest strap in a better location. Seems to have helped Sierra anyway. She still pulls but seems to be a little more off balance when she does, I think that might help curb the pulling.

I also made my own version of the "Walk Your Dog With Love" harness. I'm hoping to try it again tomorrow morning and test the difference of any between the two style of harnesses.
Karen
I have the "Walk Your Dog With Love" harness and can't believe the difference! Duke doesn't pull and you barely have to hold onto the leash, he's that gentle! The minute you put his leash on his regular collar, he'll pull your arm out of the socket! I can't say enough about this!

We tried the Gentle Leader, but he spends his time trying to get it off his snout instead. We're now trying to use the Gentle Leader as a bark deterent instead (I know, probably not the best, but it seems to be working).
 

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It might be wise to treat this as a training issue, rather than as an equipment issue. Dogs aren't at their happiest when they're pulling, and no matter what your equipment, it can create dangerous situations.They do it because they don't fully understand their expectations and because we haven't built in them the habit of giving us their attention and a loose leash.

Of the equipment mentioned so far, the halter is the best match for helping your dog learn to look to you for guidance. It's not the best deterrent for pulling, and it's not a great lifelong solution, but it is a great piece of equipment to transition you from a non-listening puller to a loose-leash gentleman, because it helps turn the dog's head back to you when he does pull, and that gives you an opportunity to get his attention back and to foster the kind of leash behavior you want.

Is there a good training center near you? Ours has a problem behaviors class that deals directly with leash pullers. Basic obedience and CGC classes also often deal with this problem.
 

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My real name is Mercy
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Everyone!

Thanks everyone, for all the suggestions. I'll be trying them to see which one works the best for Max. I certainly never would have thought to try it upside down!

I'll have to look up the Walk Your Dog with Love harness, I'm curious to see what's different about it.

BTW TippyKayak, he did graduate from basic obedience class and had some leash pulling issues, (which is how we ended up with the GL head collar). When I use it, he walks quite nicely, I just hate to see him so distressed when he's wearing it. He scratches repeatedly at his face, trying to remove it and therefore is very distracted and not enjoying his walks. No fun for any of us.

Thank again everyone, great ideas!
-Trids
 

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BTW TippyKayak, he did graduate from basic obedience class and had some leash pulling issues, (which is how we ended up with the GL head collar). When I use it, he walks quite nicely, I just hate to see him so distressed when he's wearing it. He scratches repeatedly at his face, trying to remove it and therefore is very distracted and not enjoying his walks. No fun for any of us.
Well, that's my point, I guess. I wouldn't want to use a halter indefinitely either, but I also wouldn't want to end up with a harness I had to put on and take off every time we went for a walk.

The solution is to find equipment that's safe and humane and allows you control for safety temporarily, while you work on the problem behaviorally. I firmly believe that most, if not all, dogs can be taught to walk with a loose leash on a flat collar.
 

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My real name is Mercy
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Discussion Starter #15
Agreed. I don't want to have to use either harness permanently, I just want to be able to keep him safe and teach him to walk nicely with only his regular collar. Obviously, I'm not getting through to him to walk gently and not pull my arm out of it's socket when using the regular collar. ; ) The trainer had the same problem. He's incredibly gentle with me most of the time, but this is an issue for us.
Thanks again!
-Trids
 

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See, I have no problem putting on and taking off their harnesses. It's no different than putting their collars on for a walk, since my dogs don't wear collars in the house. It takes as little time to put the harness on as it does to put a collar on.

It is totally different when you are walking one, or even two dogs. I walk all three of mine and my lab (who has her CGC, so obviously knows how to walk on a loose lead) is still a puller when she doesn't have her harness on. Has been for her entire 8 1/2 years. She wants to make sure she is in the lead (of the other dogs). My walks are for exercise, not for training. We also don't stop and sniff everything along the way. The harness is ideal for walking all three of them.

If I take them out one on one with me and not one of the other dogs, none of them pull. Not that my goldens pull anyways. But when I have all three out, I want to be able to control them if an issue comes up, like a loose dog or a goose walking up the path in front of us.

So I guess what I am saying, in my long winded way, is that some of us use the harness as a walking tool. It is not a crutch or something that we want to eventually "get away from".
 

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My real name is Mercy
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Discussion Starter #17
I walk my two dogs together most of the time, so yes, the harnesses are helpful then.

I don't 'mind' using the harnesses, it's not much trouble putting them on and taking them off. However, I don't want to 'need' the harness. It would be nice if I could use just his collar sometimes and not have to have the harness on him in order to get him to walk nicely on the leash.

I realize that I need to teach him what it is I'm asking of him, I'm just not getting through to him! Obviously, I've still got a lot of work to do! :wave:
-Trids
 

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So I guess what I am saying, in my long winded way, is that some of us use the harness as a walking tool. It is not a crutch or something that we want to eventually "get away from".
Sorry - I was thinking more of halters and the need for extra control when I said it was something to get away from. I definitely wasn't clear, though. A harness is a perfectly good permanent solution, and it's actually safer than a buckle collar in an emergency since it's less likely to hurt the neck and you can grab onto it to haul a dog to safety much more easily.

Our dogs wear collars almost all of the time and are rarely on leash, so a harness would be a pain for our system.
 

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Either try it upside down, or do it normally, but take your leash clip and clip it first through the harness strap and then reach up and also clip it to the D-ring on the regular collar. When you're dong, the leash clip will be attached to the D rings on BOTH the harness AND the collar.
This is what we had to do for a while with Sienna (Sensible harness)- one time she didn't want to go (interesting dog she wanted to greet LOL) and she sat and wouldn't budge. I pulled the lead, the front of the harness went up over her head and she got loose! Scared the heck out of me!

Now it seems to fit her better, but she doesn't seem to like it. She would do great with the Prong collar, but she still pulled a bit and eventually the hair in that area would be rubbed short. So we started using the harness again- strangely she runs when she sees us getting it out and sometimes stands there looking awkward after we first put it on her. A little tug to get her moving and she's fine. It's weird, it seems to fit okay- so I'm not sure what it is.
 

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My real name is Mercy
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Discussion Starter #20
I'm having SUCH a hard time picturing this! I guess because I'm not at home and don't have the harness in my hands. :doh: I just can't get this straight in my head how to hook the leash to both the harness strap AND the collar. Oh boy, guess I'll have to try it when I get home.

Thanks for the tip!
-Trids
 
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