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Discussion Starter #1
How many of you use harnesses, Gentle Leaders or training/prong collars on your younger labs?
 

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While many people use them, I'm afraid of causing throat damage with a prong collar so I've never used one.

I strongly disrecommend using a head halter such as the Gentle Leader or other brands for 2 reasons.

#1 -- most dogs HATE the over the snout strap and a few detest it so much that they continually paw at it, trying to get it off; walking is impossible in the face of such activity. A few dogs accept it without protests. My Puff was in between: she didn't like it but we reached an understanding that I'd leave it loose enough so I could slip it off her muzzle as long as she behaved but I'd slip it back on if she needed more control. That's the way we mainly used it.

#2 -- Despite mainly using the GL head halter that way, within a few months the color of Puff' fur under where the over-the-muzzle strap went began aging, turning white. (See siggy pix below)

We stopped using it and went to Gentle Leader's "Easy Walk" harness. MUCH better, MUCH more tolerable. Its only problem is it will take some trial and error adjusting and readjusting over a week or so before you get it to the best possible fit.


 

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I used a prong for about two weeks. I trained Rider off of it quickly. Rookie never needed one.

Please remember they are TRAINING collars...not fixes for pulling dogs. A dog should be able to walk nicely on a leash without a training collar if properly trained.
 

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I have used a choke, pinch, micro pinch, flat buckle, regular harness and E-collar. I trained obedience first with a choke then pinch and then micro pinch. Once I started training field with an E-collar I started training everything with an E-collar. Tracking still requires a harness. Obedience and agility trials and AKC events I use a choke. Walks in general I use a choke (its the easiest to pt on and off). anytime we are in a field we use an E-collar. At home Amber just goes naked.
She is trained to heel on a loose leash so there is no pulling. I hate dogs that pull on lead! except for tracking ..lol
 

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I have used a choke, pinch, micro pinch, flat buckle, regular harness and E-collar. I trained obedience first with a choke then pinch and then micro pinch. Once I started training field with an E-collar I started training everything with an E-collar. Tracking still requires a harness. Obedience and agility trials and AKC events I use a choke. Walks in general I use a choke (its the easiest to pt on and off). anytime we are in a field we use an E-collar. At home Amber just goes naked.
She is trained to heel on a loose leash so there is no pulling. I hate dogs that pull on lead! except for tracking ..lol
Training this way, is so old fashioned .. And most of the dogschool forbid those training tools ;)
 

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I use the easy walk on our 9 mo. old. It made an unbelievable difference in our walks.

Our little one (3.5mo) was fitted with a medium easy walk, it's still alittle big for her. Couple weeks and she should be grown into it.

They are an awesome tool to teach our girls to walk nice. We do understand that we will eventually work them out of it.

Our untimate goal is to have them walk together on a doubler thing.

We know this will require ALOT of practice and patience.

Bottom line: We are all getting our excercise without our arms getting longer ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, I've never heard of the easy walk! I've been out of the puppy stage for 11 years. Mo went naked most of the time except on walks and he just wore his leather, then.

Does the easy walk help prevent them from jumping, too? Can I find them at any dog store? I'd rather NOT use a prong, but he is so *((^&#[email protected]@@@!! hyper that a walk without it is impossible and I refuse to be drug down the street!
 

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Wow, I've never heard of the easy walk! I've been out of the puppy stage for 11 years. Mo went naked most of the time except on walks and he just wore his leather, then.

Does the easy walk help prevent them from jumping, too? Can I find them at any dog store?
The Premier (brand) "Easy Walk" harness is available at Petco, Petsmart, Amazon, and many other places; it comes in 5 sizes and in many colors. You have to measure your dog's girth just behind the front legs and get one that can be adjusted to the proper size.

Re: preventing jumping -- they wouldn't by themselves. If you took a cane or walking stick so you could hold a section of the leash near the dog to the ground, that might keep him from jumping.

 

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I haven't used one on a young dog. I used the halti and harness for Ernie as a training tool when I adopted him as he was too strong. I rpefer to train so they walk nicely beside me. Ernie is still unpredicatable so anywhere new I use one of them until he settles.

Gems owners sent her with a halti, but it didn't work. She pulled, so I use the lead.
 

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Easy Walks are the way to go. I work full time at a shelter and we use them on all of our strong pulling dogs as we have a number of volunteer walkers, some being more frail than others. We also use them for their "behavior evaulations" which include dog to dog introductions with both a male and female dog. In which case, all of the dogs are fitted with an EZwalk and introduced seperately. We have prevented a number of dog agression bite case situations with these harnesses as you have a bit more control over their direction. I swear by them...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the great info. I may have to invest in one of them. I have other issues that I could just cry about. I'll post those in another thread :(
 

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Sara, thank you so much for contributing on this and confirming the experiences of many other people & me. You, in your present position, have experience with an infinite number of breeds, mixed breeds, and Heinz 57s.

I'm relieved to know that my impression is similar to your experience with many, many other dogs and people.

ETA: Amazon has by far the best prices I've seen. BUT be sure to measure your dog's girth to get the right size from whatever provider you choose. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...t-supplies&field-keywords=Easy+Walk&x=15&y=24

 

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Bob, it is an honor to be back.. I have missed this place. :)
I look forward to sharing what I know and learning what I don't.

On the subject of ezWalks... Just yesterday I was in Facebook communication with someone interested in adopting one of my shelter dogs. A greyhound. They already have a German short haired pointer and the greyhound they were looking at is very picky with dog friends.. They were insistant so I suggested a dog introduction, just to see how our shelter dog would react to their dog. (Knowing in advance it would most likely not work... but anything is worth a shot when it comes to saving lives..)

Today, as I lead them to the large room where this said introduction was to take place, I could not help but chuckle as the young man was being dragged down the hallway by their 70# dog.. I asked how old he was and the said they guessed about 8. They have had him 6 years and rescued him from a shelter as an unclaimed stray. I laughed and said, "So... what you're saying is that for 6 YEARS he's been pulling you down the street like this??" To which they laughed, nodded and admitted that it was very hard to walk him...

I went over how the introduction would work (keeping opposite sides of the room at first, constant movement and to stay one step ahead of the game...) and went to get our greyhound. Long story short, the intro was unsuccessful, as our greyhound would rather be a loner. Fine by me, bummer for these people who wanted her. I asked them to remain in the room while I put the greyhound back and returned in quick order to offer a suggestion.

"Can I try something with your dog? Do you mind?" I asked as I walked over to the cupboard that we keep our EZwalks in...
I pulled out a red one to compliment his chocolate brown coloring and asked if they had ever seen one of them. They hadn't.. (I had not put one on our greyhound as I knew it would take longer to fit it than it would to show them that she was not a fan of other dogs..)

I explained what it was and talked them through how it went on, how to adjust and how it worked, then clipped their leash on the harness buckle. "Go ahead... See how he walks on that...."

Their reaction was nothing short of amazement. His eyes bulged and her jaw dropped as they each took turns walking with him around the room. Within seconds they were sold on the idea and asked where they could get one. He nearly jumped for joy when I said that they could have that very one, or I could get a different color if they would like.. They chose the red and thanked me a hundred times as they walked thru the lobby watching their dog in awe and grinning ear to ear. I learned later that as they were paying at the counter the raved to the office ladies about his new harness, and how they wish they had known of it sooner. They asked that I be given commission on this sale, or a giant raise. lol :)
 
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