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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know my 11 week old is only a baby, but he's already become a powerful baby. When he's excited, or scared when I walk him, he pulls so hard on the leash that he chokes himself.

Is it a good or bad idea to purchase a body harness for him? I don't want him to get hurt by pulling on his collar, but I also don't want it to become a bad habit where he becomes too powerful with his pull and ends up yanking me around. Last resort idea is a choke collar, but I feel that he's still too young for that option. What are your thoughts??
 

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IMO, definitely too young for a choke collar.

I would buy a front clipping harness and start working really hard on teaching loose teach walking.
 

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I used a harness when Diesel was that age but please please be careful. Diesel figured out how to pull himself out of it but luckily we had been working on recall and he never leaves my side. We now use a martingale but there are some much better harness's you can get that should help that but I don't recommend the regular nylon harness. I also think the harness we used made Diesels pulling worse cause I just bought one from Petco so buy a nice one that helps with pulling. It will pay off in the end.

On the choke collar, yes he is too young for that or a prong.
 

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EZ-Walk didn't work for Delta, but admittedly she was already full-sized and pulled like a freight train when I got her.

Can you start training a loose leash walk now? Just make sure you burn some of that puppy energy off before you start!

I like this article's approach here:
ClickerSolutions Training Articles -- Loose Leash Walking: The Total Picture

I wish I'd read it before I started as I kinda undermined myself by teaching "wait" before teaching a loose leash walk... which wrecked the "Be A Tree" method for us. :/
I still use a modified "be a tree" method where I stop and the walk doesn't continue until she loops around me to return to heel position, which works but not as thoroughly as I'd like.
 

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Sense-ation Harness works well for Audrey. It is front clipping and the strap that goes under the chest is softer than the rest of the straps, making it a better harness than the Easy Walk.

Work on getting your pup to focus on your right hand (with a treat) and later on your face and you will have him walking nicely. Takes time.
 

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A front hook harness (rather than a traditional harness with the hook on the back) can really give you a lot more control as you teach loose leash walking. Note that a harness won't teach the dog to walk nicely - you still have to do that! - but it will help keep you from being pulled all over the place.

My favorite front control harness is this one: No Pull Training Harness - Patented Design - Wiggles Wags & Whiskers. I've tried a lot of different harnesses and this one gave me the best results. I have one for each of my dogs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
EZ-Walk didn't work for Delta, but admittedly she was already full-sized and pulled like a freight train when I got her.

Can you start training a loose leash walk now? Just make sure you burn some of that puppy energy off before you start!

I like this article's approach here:
ClickerSolutions Training Articles -- Loose Leash Walking: The Total Picture

I wish I'd read it before I started as I kinda undermined myself by teaching "wait" before teaching a loose leash walk... which wrecked the "Be A Tree" method for us. :/
I still use a modified "be a tree" method where I stop and the walk doesn't continue until she loops around me to return to heel position, which works but not as thoroughly as I'd like.
Thanks for the link, REALLY helpful article! Duke broke out of his collar twice today during our lunch-time walk. Thankfully his reaction was to sit there with this, "Mommy, what just happened" look instead of taking off.

I'm gonna look around Petco today and buy something stronger (obviously the one he has is already too weak), and start the training techniques listed from that link. Thanks!
 

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11 weeks is still very puppy. I wouldn't be to discouraged by the fact heis not walking perfectly. I would just be patient and learn some good loose walking methods.

If your dog pulls, STOP, get your dogs attention, and walk in the opposite direction. It will look kind of funny to people to see you do this, but it work, and teaches your dog to focus on you (Alpha) and not the environment. It's important your dog learns he will not get anywhere when pulling. You may only get three feet, may be more. The important thing is to reward you dog when he listens and comes to you. It takes so much time and patience ( I am so bad at that part) to teach your puppy to learn to walk with a lead. Also, jogging lightly MAY help. It distracts your dog from their surrounding and focus's their attention on you. Jog in short burst. Take lots of treats and reward your dog when he comes. Try to make him sit when your stop and also (I found this is key) take little mini break to help your puppy keep his attention on you. So trainers only train for about 5 minute burst for this very reason. Also leave your lead on your puppy even in the house just to get him used to the weight of it. I just a little small training lead and it was on my puppy as soon as I got him.

My doberman is just over 12 weeks now. I take him to all sorts of different environments as I live in the city and there are many distractions in the city. It is a huge difference to take your dog to a park vs the city sidewalk. So maybe go out to the country to start. I know I started in the city and after weeks he is just now starting to get the hang of it. My biggest challenge is getting my dog to ignore people and other dogs passing by.
 
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