Dog pulling - no pull harness pros and cons?

(17 Posts)
MissShapesMissStakes Thu 03-Jan-19 14:42:07

My miniature poodle is now 7 months. He pulls like crazy most of the time.

I’ve read lots of different methods to teach lead walking. Mostly I’ve stuck to if he’s pulling really hard stop until he slackens the lead, and lots of rewards and praise if he isn’t pulling.

That’s all fine and works on the walks when I actually have the time and focus to do that. As long as he thinks I have food in my hand he’s putty in my hands.

I can do a walk a day with the focus on lead walking. We are outside a lot as a family but my younger dd has a number of issues which means I can focus on the dog and lead walking at those times. The minute my attention is away from him and my hand is empty of food, he’s back to mad dashing in either direction, pulling to the point of me hearing his claws scraping the ground etc.

Someone ages ago gave me a no pull harness. I’ve not used it as the dog trainer said she didn’t agree with them. I never thought to ask why.

I’ve just tried it for a little walk and it really did stop him pulling. As soon as he went to pull and the lead tightened slightly he came back to walk next to me. It didn’t appear to hurt and all stayed quite loose. But he did look a bit disappointed!

Do no pull harnesses actually hurt or cause any issues? Is it something to use when I don’t have the focus on him to stop him dragging me round but still have a walk on his normal harness to work on lead walking? Or will the no pull get him out of the habit of pulling?

Have any of you any experience with it? Or know of anywhere I can look on the internet which can give me the pros and cons. I really don’t want to ruin his walks, but being dragged around can’t be fun for him as well as me!

OP’s posts: |
allwalkedout Thu 03-Jan-19 14:44:34

Wanting to know the same. Sorry no help just place marking.

tabulahrasa Thu 03-Jan-19 16:05:25

Depends what you mean by a no pull harness tbh, if you mean it tightens when they pull then yep they hurt, that’s exactly the point of them, that’s what they’re designed to do.

MissShapesMissStakes Thu 03-Jan-19 16:17:29

It looks like this.
And yes I know it tightens and that is the point. It’s just that it doesn’t seem to pull really tight at all and is very padded.
And compared to him pulling so incredibly hard on his harness so he ends up coughing I wasn’t sure which one wins on the discomfort scale.
Any other suggestions would be appreciated. I love my dog and want to do the best for him. But only ever walking him when I can fully focus on his lead training isn’t practical. If I need to just keep on how we are I will just have to let him pull. Also worried he will become obese if he will only every behave for treats! smile

OP’s posts: |
tabulahrasa Thu 03-Jan-19 16:28:50

If you’re ok with the level of pain it causes then that’s kind of up to you really, I prefer not to use aversive methods or tools - as well as the whole are they cruel debate, they just don’t work as well longterm.

If you’re after a quick fix then a front fastening harness might work - but ultimately nothing except training will really fix it as dogs will just adapt to tools if they want to pull.

Kiko pup has some good videos on loose lead walking...

And if you’re worried about how much food you’re using in training, take a similar amount out of meals.

MissShapesMissStakes Thu 03-Jan-19 16:46:12

Thanks I will have a look at kiko pup.

Can’t be fun pulling so much. Good job he’s only little. He’s definitely a ‘what’s in it for me’ pup.

He will often walk really nicely, get his reward and then immediately try to bolt after whatever has taken his eye (lead, dog, person, lamp post, car...).

OP’s posts: |
Nesssie Thu 03-Jan-19 16:59:39

That sort of harness should be fine. They don't squeeze any sensitive bits and have a limit to how tight it will get (unlike a choke chain)
You might find that after a while of using it and stopping the habit of pulling, he can go back to a normal harness anyway.


Bunnybigears Thu 03-Jan-19 17:04:53

We use that harness on my Romanian rescue dog as it is pretty escape proof and he can get spooked and back out of collars or other harnesses. It does bugger all to stop him pulling though.

MissShapesMissStakes Thu 03-Jan-19 17:23:22

Thanks for your replies.

I have had a pull of it and looked at how it tightens and where on his body and can’t see a place that gets much of a pinch as it seems to distribute and just tighten slightly all over. But then it immediately stopped him putting any kind of strain on the lead and he didn’t look pleased.

OP’s posts: |
greendale17 Thu 03-Jan-19 17:25:42

I have heard that Julius K9 harnesses are good for a pulling dog

Whoseranium Thu 03-Jan-19 18:08:08

I just want to echo everything tabulahrasa has said.

Harnesses like those are designed to cause pain/discomfort which is greater than the reward (or perceived reward) the dog gets for pulling, that's the whole premise behind how they work. That one in particular doesn't pinch but the straps which go under the dog's armpits (legpits?) are thin precisely so that they are very uncomfortable when the dog pulls.

Another difficulty when using aversive training tools or methods (as well as it not being as effective as force free methods) is that you run the risk of the dog making the wrong association. If there are particular things you dog pulls towards, like people or other dogs, then he might end up associating the discomfort from the harness with those things rather than the act of pulling and react to them accordingly. He might associate it with having any harness on or even walks altogether.

Kikopup is definitely worth a look. She's got a whole playlist of videos which are all about pulling including one covering dogs who immediately speed off once they've got a treat.

I agree that if you want something to use which is going to make it hard for him to pull then a well fitting harness with a front attachment point for the lead would be a far better choice.

Ultimately you've got an adolescent dog of a pretty active breed and it's going to take time and patience to get him reliably walking nicely on lead.

spot102 Thu 03-Jan-19 18:08:45

Another option is a Halti head collar type. Very effective at stopping pulling in a dog determined to pull!! Personally would go with a harness first and escalate to Halti, I'm not convinced they don't contribute to neck injuries (as in I think they might) but for an inveterate puller, they do at least reduce the pulling to a manageable level. Very useful if you are trying to coordinate dogs, kids and/or pushchairs!

OrangeSamphire Thu 03-Jan-19 18:12:31

Perfect Fit harness with a double ended lead sorts out pulling in a pain free way.

MissShapesMissStakes Thu 03-Jan-19 19:28:31

He actually wears a Perfect fit harness. So I will look into the double ended lead thank you.

Would you recommend him ALWAYS wearing the double ended lead or is it still worth me doing the daily walk alone too with a single lead just to practice that too?

Once we have paid for Christmas I will get the trainer to come back for a 1-1 session with us and focus on recall and lead walking.

He’s such a lovely friendly dog that all he wants to do is make friends with all people and dogs!

He’s so well behaved and pucks everything else up so quickly. Apart from lead walking and recall when people are around 🙄

OP’s posts: |
Asdf12345 Fri 04-Jan-19 06:35:21

I have always found a slip lead turned into a figure of eight with the second loop going over the snout does the trick.

BiteyShark Fri 04-Jan-19 07:31:45

A slip lead on the nose in the figure of eight works for mine in that he no longer pulls but he hates it so much he drags his face along the floor trying to dislodge it or stops walking and spends all the time pawing at his face sad.

It's so frustrating but you just need to find something that works for you and your dog. I use a double lead with a perfect fit harness and try and do the stop start method. Stops a lot of it for me but not the lunging.

Kirsteninakilt Fri 04-Jan-19 07:41:23

I have this one it has made such a big difference to my Patterdale he is not perfect all the time but 85% of the time is. When he pulls it just holds him back but enough to dissuade him from doing it does not cause pinching or pain.

hope the link works

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