For those who are having difficulty just taking your dog for a simple walk, sometimes using tools makes it more enjoyable. I generally don’t use a choke chain or pinch collar for both are “correction” equipment and I don’t believe in correcting a dog when it doesn’t know what you want from it. I begin teaching the dog with the treat lure technique and then introduce changing directions, making turns into the dog. Some dogs can still remain too strong for their owners and as I get older, these dogs can even be too much for me to handle.
I usually will begin with the Freedom No-Pull Harness or Easy Walk Harness because it allows the owner to begin walking the dog without having to take a period of time acclimating the dog to the equipment. The Freedom No-Pull Harness and Easy Walk are not a regular harness. Most harnesses that clip on the back are used for pulling (sled dogs, search and rescue dogs). It is harder to hold a dog when it is throwing its whole body into the harness and leash. With the Easy Walk, the leash is clipped in the front of the dog’s chest, which when you follow the directions will help to stop pulling by 80%. The Freedom No-Pull Harness offers a two clipped leash which clips to the front as well as on the back.
The Gentle Leader
I use this product more often when the dog is extremely strong or has issues with other dogs/people (over-excitement, aggressive tendencies). Think of the Gentle Leader as a halter on a dog similar to a halter on a horse. When you control the head you can control the body. The Gentle Leader is adjustable so it tends not to slide off the dog’s nose as easily as other similar products. The downside of using the Gentle Leader is that you have to take the time to train the dog to be comfortable with this equipment. Using treats on the walk, rewarding when the dog is walking nice, is the best way to train the dog to accept the Gentle Leader. Always using on walks also teaches the dog that the Gentle Leader is associated with fun.
As with any piece of equipment, you still have to take the time to teach them how to walk on a leash next to you. These tools are to help make it easier for you to train your dog to walk at your side without dragging you down the street. After a reasonable amount of time training (every day for about 5 months) you can begin to wean them off the equipment.
Enjoy your walk!