How did you teach your Doberman to not pull on a leash? Any particular methods did you use?
At 8 weeks, we started loose leash walking. I would stop cold every time Vegas pulled the leash tight, and start instantly when she gave me slack and made eye contact. I found that it worked better if I waited until she came back to the heel position against my leg, because it was much less abstract, I could mark the exact second she touched my leg by walking again. She picked that up in one afternoon. Then I clicked and treated for every step she stayed in the heel position, then every two steps, then five, etc. until we also had a perfect heel. I also clicked and treated when she made eye contact for a full second, then two, etc. She now will usually heel even when not asked, and I will slip her treats for it occasionally.
At what age did you start to see any improvements? How often do they need reminders?
She was 4 months when I switched up my method, and I saw improvements in one day. We still need reminders every time there is a big distraction
What type of collar and leash do you use? (prong, harness, flexi, etc)
Regular nylon collar or martingale
What distractions are the hardest to overcome?
Argh, children! She loves them. Every time she has a way over-excited reaction (she jumps on her hind legs like a kangaroo) we flat out walk away for a good 30 seconds before we try again. She almost always gets it right the second time, but I expect this to get better with age. She is only 8 mo after all
Are there any particular situations that you find more difficult to walk in than others? (Large crowds, parks, other dogs around)
Walking up to the dog park! We have to make several passes each time, and we go every day!