Best Control for a Strong Puller

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Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby Claire » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:46 am

The GL snoop loop just isn't working for Gunny. I've tried the leash hooked to the GL and the collar (like I've always done on my dogs) and then just on the GL.
I can't even walk him around our yard, so I shudder to think of the pulling that would happen on a walk thru the neighborhood.

So I was thinking of trying the Easy Walk Harness by GL. Only problem people who use it tell me about is if the dog pulls off to the side, the front loop shifts on the chest and control is lost.
I'm wondering if hooking the leash to that loop and running it under Gunny's arm pit would help keep the loop centered on his chest.

Mind you, I haven't even gotten to a store to take a look at this harness, so I'm only talking off the top of my head here.

What are your suggestions for THE BEST no-pull device for a strong Weim?

Yes, I know I may have to get a dog trainer involved. But I need an interim idea for the here and now.

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby whiteboxerboy » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:14 am

I like the Sense-ation harness (front attach) best & have had REALLY nice results with it. The front loop does move freely but I've never 'list control' b/c of it. I've seen Weims walked on front attach harnesses and the human looked to have good control.

There are a few different brands but I'd think the front attach is a good answer for you & Gunny. That and a trainer, like you said. First you should bake up some treats, though! LOL

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby whiteboxerboy » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:14 am

I like the Sense-ation harness (front attach) best & have had REALLY nice results with it. The front loop does move freely but I've never 'list control' b/c of it. I've seen Weims walked on front attach harnesses and the human looked to have good control.

There are a few different brands but I'd think the front attach is a good answer for you & Gunny. That and a trainer, like you said. First you should bake up some treats, though! LOL

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby connie » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:42 am

Weiss Walkie.
http://www.weisswalkie.com/

My new Hooligan, Banjo, is a puller -- actually he's a bopper, he bops here and there to sniff this and that, and it's like having a 40-pound kernel of popcorn on the leash. I don't want him to collar-pull because he's got that head tilt. I ordered a Weiss Walkie and I LOVE it. So does Banjo!

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby UpwardDog » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:12 am

This Freedom Harness gets great reviews from some of my trainer buddies. They were flying off the rack at clicker expo http://wiggleswagswhiskers.com/

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby emmas_mom » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:38 am

Several years ago, I used one at a shelter that looked and operated VERY similar to the Weiss walkie but also looped around the front of the chest (I think the dog 'stepped' into it). I can't remember the name of it, but it was the BEST no-pull one ever! I wonder if it was an earlier version of the Weiss - that name does ring a bell.

One thing I do know is that the only way I can walk dogs that pull is with a leash that is attached to my waist, regardless of whether I have them in a head-halter, a front-clip halter, a vest halter, or a martingale. I currently use the Premier waist leash (with the treat bag attached) which is great, but I've used others equally successfully. Can't find a link for the Premier, but here's one for Beyond Control Leash: http://www.rcpets.com/rcpets/index.php/ ... ory/id/BCL

And while I was searching for the Premier, I came across this design, which is kind of a back-pack type leash - interesting concept: http://www.thealphapac.com/
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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby Claire » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:03 pm

Wow -- I'm going to look at all your suggestions which are all new to me! Thanks so much!

Since I wrote my plea for help, I was talking to a friend on the phone. I told her I was going to try one more solution. I had used this for Sophie but didn't have a long enough leash so I quit.
I went in the back yard with Gunny wearing the leash attached to his collar in the back of his neck. I ran the leash down the spine and wrapped it around his torso in front of his hind legs.
I kept the leash loose at first. He pulled. Then I did a quick jerk/release and guess what?......he stopped pulling! I couldn't believe my eyes, so I let the leash go loose again, he pulled again, I jerked again, and he stopped again!

Granted, this is a most unusual LOOK to leash walking a dog! Seeing a leash coming up from the body at the rear end is an eye popper! LOL And if the wrapping slips too far backward, it might pop an "appendage" on my boy dog! But I do know a company that makes a super long leash with hooks on both ends and a couple of loops. A multi-functional leash that a friend swears by.

So between all your suggestions and this long leash, I am certain I will come up with something that will work for Gunny. THANK YOU!!!!!!!

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby connie » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:18 pm

Claire, that's what the Weiss Walkie is -- it's the same configuration you're using, but it's got a ring to thread the leash back through so it doesn't slip around. It actually goes around the ribcage, farther forward than you've got it, but it's the same 'wrap' technique. The inventor didn't create anything new, she just added the ring and packaged it.

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby Moemer » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:22 pm

My suggestion is the Freedom when it comes to front-clip harnesses - that's what I retail because I hate the other ones on the market. I was at a seminar this weekend run by the go-to rehab specialist in Toronto and she was saying how many shoulder problems she'd seen in young dogs due to the Sensation and Easy-Walk harnesses. They are made to fit directly over the point of the shoulder so there's a lot of pressure on the joint. Freedom harnesses don't sit right on the joint, the strap sits on an angle from the chest to the withers. The back loop has a martingale - what I like is that it prevents backing out of the harness (like those stupid step in harness or buddy belts... impossible to keep on a dog who wants it off!) but what I don't like is that I think it's too big and compresses the barrel too much. I'd be happier with a shorter loop.

In terms of head collars I'd go with the halti. It fits lower on the muzzle than the GL so you have more "leverage". Just important that it fits properly, it's usually fit too large and slips around and pops off easily. I don't often recommend them becuase so many dogs hate them and most people don't want to put the owrk into DS/CC so the dog is happy about wearing it.

BUT the only ting that will teach a dog to stop pulling is training. Silky Leash is an excellent complimentary method to train along side the normal red light/green light + R+ of slack in the leash. It focuses on teaching 'give to pressure', like how a horse gives to rein pressure, and then the leash pressure tself becomes a tactile cue to cease pulling. Well trained it's an amazing tool and it can also be trained at any time, not just on walks. Here's a great article by Grisha Stewart that includes a link to the SL training: http://ahimsadogtraining.com/blog/leash-walking/ (Last summer Grisha said she was planning to come out with a harness of her own... not sure what happened with that!)

I'm a big advocate of having the management tool on the dog (harness/head collar) and if a person aspires to walk on the collar they can clip the leash to the collar for 10min (or whatever their attention span is) on a walk to train, then when they're not training it goes back on the harness/head collar. That way they aren't undoing their own training through inconsistency. That said, I'm also an advocate of keeping a dog permanently in a harness. Less risk of injury than walking on a collar, good management, does no harm, etc. Both my dogs are on harnesses all the time. I walk with both leashes in one hand and if they go opposite directions they can't choke each other! I've found that opposition reflex is triggered more easily on a collar than in a harness.

I would classify the looped leash in the same category as a choke or a lupi. It's really uncomfortable to have that pressure, particularly in a sensitive area, so the pulling stops for the time being (lots of dogs figure out how to tense their muscles to lean into it, or punishment callous). I would say it's an ok temporary fix if you're being pulled over, I've looped a leash under a leg before when dog walking and a halti disappeared, but it's not a solution to pulling and it's certainly not comfortable for the dog. I'd actually be quite worried about damaging the dog's penis/baculum if the leash is around the dog's waist, particularly with jerks on the leash or if he lunges.
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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby UpwardDog » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:46 pm

I'm a huge fan of the silky leash method as are my dogs. A big ol' yeah that to everything Emily said.
If you go to the site to look at the Freedom harnesses, make sure you look at the collars--soo pretty.

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby Moemer » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:50 pm

I should also note that their double ended leash system is stupid. If you want two points of attachment buy a euro lead or smoochy pooch or something, but don't buy the package from the site. waste of money.
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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby RobinS » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:19 pm

Sense-ation and Halti are my two favs, but hard to find in stores. Sizing can be funky, so if you find a place that has them so you can try on , that's best. Halti head harness is better than a Gentle Leader for sure. Perhaps teaching him to heel first will fix the issue of loose leash walking.

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby RobinS » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:26 pm

Claire, do you treat him for automatic check in when on leash? I was just thinking, if he has never been leash walked, the has to figure out that there is a person at the other end of the leash. Teaching him to heel may be your best bet, the more I think about it.
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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby Claire » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:20 pm

Again, I thank ALL of you for your links and suggestions for training. I am going to start to work on training immediately.
As for the physical device?
I believe I am going with the Freedom Harness. Although their website listed 3 in NJ near enough to me, as luck would have it, the one really close no longer carried it.
The next closest only carries the collars. So Monday I will trek a way to a training center that has the Large which I believe I will need. Gunny's size is just an inch under the largest of the Large size and an inch over the smallest of the Xtra Large size. But the facility things Large will be the best size, and if not, they will order the next size for me. I like the idea that I will be able to have it fitted AND see it in action by people who use it.

Here's why I came to the decision. First of all, I am not a young person and I cannot imagine a leash tied around my waist with a strong puller on the other end. I split my heel when Frieda pulled suddenly and I can't take a chance on being pulled down with Gunny. I've already heard from people who have the Easy Walk and arent' that successful with it, and hearing about potential shoulder problems for the dog for that and the Sensation just added to my negative impression. The Weiss Walkie looked like a potential. I think it would be comfortable for Gunny and it used the same technique I had some success with by wrapping the leash around him.

But when I looked at the Freedom Harness, it seemed the best to me. It used the front loop idea of the Easy Walk and the pressure behind the legs of the Weiss. I like the fact that it uses a Martingale-type tension around the body which might work out to be THE place where Gunny responds, but it also has the front loop. So I can use both when first starting to walk with Gunny, then progress to just using the front or the top loop. I've also been thinking about a way to secure him in the car, and I THINK II can use a European leash with this harness and secure it to tie-downs in my wagon.

So I'm pretty sure between the harness and the training, Gunny & I will be on our way to wonderful adventures on all sorts of paths! Again, I thank all of you. You are the BEST!

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby UpwardDog » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:48 pm

Part of the trouble too is that any dog taller than a cocker spaniel has a trot faster that our walk . The only way they can maintain a trot is if we jog/run (prancing elevated performance heeling is the exception but they can't do that for long or enjoy a walk while doing it) .
If they are at a walking gait it's usually slower than ours. The will adopt an unnatural gait called pacing if they are forced to walk right at our side for very far. If they pace over long enough periods of time they can end up with pain and spinal problems. Here's a video that shows the differences http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7AkrsLd ... A&index=18

It's a tough situation for dogs when they are forced to adopt an unnatural and uncomfortable gait because we force them to be right at our side in "heel" without no understanding of the fact that we have totally incompatible stride lengths.
If we slow down our walk with a med-lg dog we might be able to walk with their walking gait. I don't know that many young dogs who are super keen to have a slow walk though!

Here's a WDJ article about pacing http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues ... 405-1.html

So anyhoo I think it's important to consider the dog's needs and gait and the reason why it can be hard to walk together not just what can we use on the dog to impose our preferred pace on them.

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby Claire » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:25 am

Well, I went to pick up one harness and wound up with another. This was at a training center with dogs barking in another area and LOTS of scents to distract Gunny so he was a bouncy one. I guess that was good for my purpose.

First he was fitted with the Freedom Harness -- it seemed very cumbersome. The no-pull action is achieved by using the front loop, but with my leash attached I still didn't feel he was responding as I had hoped to see. They sold the double Freedom leash, so I took the opportunity to try that although I knew I wouldn't buy it. It was horrible to use. I found myself holding the split portion with my left hand to keep the two leashes together. And the part of the harness that I thought I would love (the Martingale top) added absolutely no more control to stop the pulling. The employee said that loop is not to be used for walking --- but for agility -- ?? So I was not impressed.

I made a comment about the Easy Walk Harness and she said they sell Sense-ation, so we tried that one on Gunny. It was much less bulky and seemed to be better suited to a Weimaraner's build. As soon as I walked him, he responded. So I knew this was the one for us.

The only negative that I can see right now is due to the way he needed it adjusted, the snap isn't under his chest but closer to his armpit area. And the webbing isn't padded like the Freedom. But I think I can rig up something to prevent rubbing. I'm thinking of Moleskin or sewing a tube of soft fleece to slip over the strapping.

I see in the instructions that even they recommend using the leash attached to the front loop and the collar loop in a high-reactive environment. That's going to take some loosening to achieve, since the harness loop is not close to the collar! Somebody should invent a short connector for these purposes! Hmmmm....thinking cap.

Just wanted to tell you how we made out.

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby UpwardDog » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:31 am

I have seen front harnesses attached to collars with a carabeener (sp?) though he's probably too big for that. You could have two snap clips (leash clips) attached with a piece of nylon lead material.

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby Moemer » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:30 am

If you pull the harness up to attach to the collar the ability to stop the pulling will be greatly reduced because the pressure will be on the dog's neck instead of across the chest. Store owners recommend that because dogs can pull out of the sensation and that will stop them from pulling out as easily. I'm not sure why the freedom would be bulky, was it the right size? The medium size has a 1" and a 3/4" width - I prefer the 3/4" - anything bigger is 1". If the strap between their legs are too long it will twist around and not be very effective.
I'd recommend either a halter fuzzy (for a horse halter) and put that on the girth strap, or sewing a tube of fleece. That would be more effective than moleskin I think. You can connect the harness and collar with a clip and bit of material like Heather said above.
Glad you found something that works!
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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby whiteboxerboy » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:02 pm

I made a comment about the Easy Walk Harness and she said they sell Sense-ation, so we tried that one on Gunny. It was much less bulky and seemed to be better suited to a Weimaraner's build. As soon as I walked him, he responded. So I knew this was the one for us.

The only negative that I can see right now is due to the way he needed it adjusted, the snap isn't under his chest but closer to his armpit area. And the webbing isn't padded like the Freedom. But I think I can rig up something to prevent rubbing. I'm thinking of Moleskin or sewing a tube of soft fleece to slip over the strapping.

I see in the instructions that even they recommend using the leash attached to the front loop and the collar loop in a high-reactive environment. That's going to take some loosening to achieve, since the harness loop is not close to the collar! Somebody should invent a short connector for these purposes! Hmmmm....thinking cap.

Just wanted to tell you how we made out.
the buckle thing is almost in Gringo's armpit as well. i don't think it bothers him but it def bothers me b/c it seems like it must be uncomfortable.

i put moleskin over the seams b/c otherwise they rub off his coat in those spots.

in regards to connecting the front loop & collar to the leash -- i can do that by loosening his collar just a little bit, the front loop isn't that far from his collar at all. i'm glad you like the harness for the most part & that it'll work for Gunny. they've made all the difference with every hardcore puller i've used it on. they are SO weird to try and fit properly, though. that's the downside to them for sure. this reminds me i need to get Gringo's re-adjusted, it doesn't look right on him at all right now. i think he grew taller. again. :lol:

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby Claire » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:33 pm

Gunny's size chest put him in the large size Freedom harness. The 1" strap with the buckle on each side and the piece across his chest was definitely cumbersome looking.
He's in a Med-Large Sense-ation and it seems to fit under his armpits better. Weims are so deep chested but not broad, so all the buckles and loops and straps can be overwhelming. lol

Last nite I tried Moleskin and it is working beautifully. As luck would have it, the length of the pad of Moleskin is perfect for each section of the underneath strapping!
I cut 3 strips and then even made a little piece to fit under the buckle. It's just as soft as the Freedom's velvet with the added benefit of my being able to remove and refresh it as needed.

As for connecting the collar to it, I tried it last nite without loosening the collar and the harness pulled up way too much. I would have to loosen the collar more than I feel comfy with doing, plus I'd be constantly loosening for a walk and tightening when we got home. Too much trouble. I got the idea, as you guys pointed out, that I could use two latches with a nylon lead material. Or I could cut and sew an old collar using the buckle part. I didn't know what a carabiner was till I looked it up! So THAT's what they are called! hahahaha. They make jumbo 6" ones. Have to measure the distance on Gunny. Might be a quicker solution.

Great minds -- Thanks, again!

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby Moemer » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:11 pm

Another option if you want it right on the collar is to buy an over-sized martingale and clip to the martingale loop and the harness. Then just take the collar off when you get home from a walk.
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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby Calypso » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:36 pm

Is a leash with a clip on both ends not a good option for you for this type of walking? I can't remember.

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Re: Best Control for a Strong Puller

Postby Claire » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:39 am

I have a long key ring that looks like a carabiner and I tried that yesterday as the collar/harness connector. It's the perfect length at 3.5" and much smaller than I expected to need. Would be perfect to use except it's bone shaped and it doesn't lay flat enough. But at least I know the length of the carabiner to get!

I think a couple clipped leash would be awkward for me to hold, since I really don't want any of the control to be at his collar.


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