As a dog owner, not a trainer, I will try about every device that promises to curb some of the behaviors that make it, let’s say, a challenge to walk my dogs. I have two young, full of energy, full blooded sporting dogs that at the moment weight about 130 pounds together. You hook up that much energy and weight up to two leashes you really have some power. Most of the time it is up to me to walk the two alone and any help I can get is most appreciated.
The older of the two does well on the leash as far as pulling goes but she jumps and jumps and jumps and jumps. I found an occasional session with the Halti, head collar, gives me the control over the jumping I need with her. However, the younger of the two is a shorter stockier dog that pulls like a twenty mule team.
The head collar would work for him but I have always like the design of dog harnesses as a leash-collar alternative. He pulls so hard that he chokes himself and just does not understand that the loose leash is the best.
I got one design that is nice and padded around the straps that fit under the front two legs with padding around other pressure points. The design had the o-ring for the leash on the area that is on the back of the dog. The problem with this is he just wants to pull that much more although it does give some control it does not help with the pulling issue.
Another design has the o-ring up front where the chest strap is. There are some different designs on this and this is the type of harness you want to buy. The other type, that hooks in the back, causes the dog to want to pull more similar to working dogs or sled dogs.
I looked at three different designs before deciding. The first was one is called the Holt Control Harness. It has hooks in front and hooks on the back giving the handler lots of control. I used this type of harness for a while and it gave good control but did nothing for the pulling. In all fairness it is not advertised as a device to control pulling simply gain control of the dog.
The next design I looked at was the Sporn Pull Stop harness. This is a well designed harness that has two lengths of webbing that goes under the front two legs and threads back through the back of the collar at an o-ring where they join the lead. The dog pulls, the two loops tighten and pressure is applied to the dogs sternum area which, evidently, they do not like. The loops are padded or with the one I saw in the store has fleece lining.
The final one I researched and eventually decided to buy is the Premier Easy Walk Harness. A couple things about the design of the Premier Harness appealed to me. The first was there are no loops that go up under the front legs, rather there is a strap that goes across the chest in the front below the head and a buckled strap that goes vertically around the chest behind the front two legs. Also there is a Martingale design to the front chest strap that closes and tightens when the dog pulls creating that discomfort that makes them stop or slow. The lead hooking into the front chest strap pulls the dog off to the side if they insist on continuing to pull.
All three of these dog harnesses for training will help you control you dog in one way or another. I used two of them and was seriously on the fence about the third had I not been presented with an either-or choice in the pet store. Use these harnesses as training devices intermingled with regular leash training and it will help you achieve your goal of walking with your dog, without being pulled down the street, a reality.