My daughter has a 51/2 month old lab boxer mix. She is terrible on the leash. She is 50 pounds, but pulls like a 80 pound dog. They bought her a choker chain, I told her not to use it...we took the dogs for a walk yesterday and she pulled so hard we had to stop and sit because she was gasping and her tongue was purple. I am really afraid she is going to hurt herself. She is great off leash...we walk in the cemetery and she does great off leash, she walks a few feet ahead, but always comes when she is called. Her recall is better than my 2 year old labs.
Any suggestions for collars or harnesses? She is enrolling in obedience classes as soon as she saves some money up, but a better collar is needed for now.
Correctly used, a choke chain is a humane, useful training tool. I like to start with a flat buckle collar, then go to a nylon slip collar, then choke chain, until I get a response. The pup I have now gets trained in a flat collar, but we'll be showing in a choke chain (too hard to get the tags off the flat collar :P).
That said - you'll find pros and cons for everything. At the end of the day, anything can work, but they're only tools in the hand of the trainer. You/your daughter have to learn how to use them. What solves obedience problems is the owner learning how to train the dog.
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Most people really don't know how to use a choke collar - and the result you are seeing with your dog is what you usually get.
I'd try an easy walk harness or a prong collar in addition to training to walk properly on a leash.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
I use a prong collar with my 1 year old lab. I must add that I did a lot of research and learned how to use it properly before leashing her with it. I find it very helpful. She no longer even attempts to pull when she knows that she is wearing it. I felt inhumane using it the first time (despite researching it before use) but soon realized that it was more inhumane to have her pull and choke herself. She is slowly graduating out of it and is doing much better as she gets older.
I suggest Gentle Leader's "Easy Walk" torso harness. Takes some readjusting to get a proper fit but it works very well. (Don't get either GL's or any other's head collar/harness. Too many dogs HATE it and stop walking completely trying to get it off.)
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Go with a prong and get some instruction from a pro trainer on proper use of a choke chain for your next dog.
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The dog needs to understand its place on leash first. Does it know heel position? Does it know its name if your daughter needs to get her attention? If not, why should any puppy really behave on a leash???? (it's probably not a real "natural" concept to them).
I start in the yard, with food treats in my left hand, take a few steps and treat. Change directions, keeping dog at heel w/ luring. Treat/good dog! A few more steps and halt (tell dog to sit)-- treat. Play the attention game-- say dog's name and when she looks, treat... lots of praise to let her know when she's doing great, maybe and "uh-eh" when she's out of place, etc. Make it clear.
This is why puppy kindergarten is SO wonderful. It's lots easier to do all this foundation work when they are babies rather than when they are 2/3 grown. I just got in from doing a bit of yard obed w/ my 5 mo old pup. She's really not been on leash that much, nor has she needed to be, but whether I use a flat collar, a choke chain or a prong (which I tend to use once they really do understand heel position), it shouldn't matter. Teach the position she should be in and the rest is a matter of preference. I've never found the need for a halti, gentle leader, martingale, or any of the fancier ones.
Last edited by windycanyon; 09-09-2010 at 06:36 PM.