Can anyone recommend a harness to stop pulling please?

(37 Posts)
Scion286 Tue 30-Jun-20 08:04:35

Really struggling with our 10 month old pup. He’s a spaniel cross, small/medium size. We’ve currently got him on a K9 harness. After many months we’ve finally got him trained to walk nicely on a lead when we’re walking in a residential area.

He had fantastic recall and we were confident to let him off lead in lots of countryside walks. This has completely gone out of the window. I’m down to 1 walk that I’m comfortable letting him off in (basically a secure field/forest area). I’ve put him back on his long line but he’s just awful on it-it gets tangled in the undergrowth, wraps around my legs, he’ll run to the end of it and then you get the sudden jolt when it stops him. It’s just not working,

While we’re trying to get his recall back is there a harness that anyone could suggest please? I’d like to be able to walk him around the park or along the canal but all his heel training gets forgotten when he’s anywhere other than a boring street.

I’ve also been looking at leads with a shock absorber at the end to stop that sudden jolt, I don’t think I’ll have a shoulder left by the end of it. Do they help?

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PalTheGent Tue 30-Jun-20 08:11:18

Shock absorbers will encourage pulling because they give the dog an experience where pulling gets them a bit longer lead.

At 10 months old this is likely just teenage-ness. Patience and repetition are the keys but if you want a good harness then something like the Perfect Fit with a double ended lead (Halti) allows you to clip it to the front and back d-ring and regain some control. The front connection acts like steering but you still have the back connection to take most of the force of the pull so the dog doesn't hurt itself. Front connections alone can cause alignment issues because the dog is pulling off centre.

The 'cure' is mostly just patience and training, though. Sadly.

PalTheGent Tue 30-Jun-20 08:13:38

Ps if he is running to the end of a long lead and jolting then shorten the lead. Even if it means less exercise for him for now.

Somewhere between 18 months and 3 years old he will emerge from adolescence and you can start lengthening the lead again because he'll be more responsive to you again.

Scion286 Tue 30-Jun-20 08:19:33

Many thanks. We were so spoilt in the early months with his great recall that it’s quite disheartening to not be able to enjoy all those lovely walks we used to take him on. All I’d like to do now is walk him on lead somewhere other than around the streets but it’s just a horrible experience!

What you’ve said about the shock absorber makes sense, it won’t actually teach him not to run on lead.

I’ll have a look at the harness you suggested. Thanks very much.

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TowelCurtainBob Tue 30-Jun-20 08:20:47

I watched Graham the dog whisperer on the Problematic Dogs TV show. He kept the dogs on a collar and lead. Controversial, I thought. I switched from a harness to a collar for my older pup (she’s just turned one so a similar age to your dog) and the transformation was astonishing.

I always thought that I would never use a collar and lead as it’s cruel, but her behaviour is definitely better with a collar rather than a harness.

MellowMelly Tue 30-Jun-20 08:23:53

I’ve had resounding success with the Mikki no pull harness. I tried so many other harnesses and this one sorted out the problem immediately the first time I used it.
I can now walk my dog with a normal lead as she has learnt not to pull.

Scion286 Tue 30-Jun-20 08:25:06

Thanks towel, we did try that and it was just dangerous, he locked his legs, reversed and slipped out of it. We tightened it and it made no difference to his pulling, it just felt like he was going to injure himself.

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Scion286 Tue 30-Jun-20 08:25:48

Thanks Mellow, I’ll look into that one too.

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girlsyearapart Tue 30-Jun-20 08:26:40

Halti head collar.
Game changer !

Helenluvsrob Tue 30-Jun-20 08:27:25

Are you me 😂

11 month old is starting to find his recall again as long as I’m most exciting thing around. Eg did perfect dog training fri am then ran off to the undercover cafe area. 😡

He’s ok on the street mostly on a short lead though and reasonable on a 2m lead eg at the weekend we went to a wooded area that was clearly on lead for dogs. We did let him off quietly was we descended a very steep bit though otherwise he would have pulled me down !

ThatBitch Tue 30-Jun-20 08:27:31

I wouldn't use a harness, I would agree with pp that it sounds like teenager years have hit! Back to basics on walks, lots of reinforcement to walk at heel and recall training in the garden and secure field. If you're desperate to get a harness then look for one with a front clip. Use a double end lead with one side clipped to the back and one to the front. Use the end clipped to the back clip mainly and the end clipped to the front to reinforce that you don't want the pulling. Some good videos on YouTube.

heckythump01 Tue 30-Jun-20 08:32:55

Gin4thewin Tue 30-Jun-20 08:35:12

Another one for the halti. MOST harnesses enable the dog to throw their weight forward and makes it easier for them to pull (think huskies pulling a sled)

Floralnomad Tue 30-Jun-20 08:36:14

You cannot safety use a longline / extending lead with either a collar or any type of head collar unless you want to risk maiming your dog . I’d just go back to basics for a bit OP on loose lead walking with perseverance it will improve . We have an Indi dog Houdini harness for our dog and it’s brilliant .

TowelCurtainBob Tue 30-Jun-20 08:37:39

I also have a retractable lead which is brilliant and stops (most of) the tangling.

PollyPolson Tue 30-Jun-20 08:45:27

Perfect fit harness with double ended lead attached to front d ring and the back.

Never ever ever use a long line on a collar

Another one for the halti. MOST harnesses enable the dog to throw their weight forward and makes it easier for them to pull (think huskies pulling a sled) unfortunately this is not correct. there are some harnesses that allow pulling eg cani cross and harness for sleighs or bikes not all harnesses.

PalTheGent Tue 30-Jun-20 08:47:31

We were so spoilt in the early months with his great recall that it’s quite disheartening to not be able to enjoy all those lovely walks we used to take him on.

Indeed it is! Take some heart from the knowledge that almost everyone goes through this exact same thing at this age. Have faith he will grow up and all the early work on recall will come back to him - it's not wasted. Just hidden right now smile

Passportpacked Tue 30-Jun-20 08:49:51

Canny collar worked brilliantly for us.

Beaglewanderer Tue 30-Jun-20 08:56:11

I have recently bought a julius k9 idc harness for my cocker spaniel. I won’t say it’s completely stopped her pulling but it’s certainly helped a lot. Also it’s a smaller shape so cooler for her. <iframe style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//">

tabulahrasa Tue 30-Jun-20 09:44:44

You shouldn’t use a long line on anything but a harness where it clips on at the back, it’s not safe for the dog.

To stop the jolt, tie a couple of knots on the end of the longline and stand on it instead of holding it.

Ylvamoon Tue 30-Jun-20 09:58:18


Dreamersandwishers Tue 30-Jun-20 10:10:54

Another fan of Perfect Fit, especially while training.
While nothing can replace training , until you get to that place, a dog can damage itself and you, with pulling on a collar.

I used harnesses while my labs were young, and they both walk on collars very nicely now, as they got used to the fact that lead on meant by my side.

heatseeker14 Tue 30-Jun-20 19:50:10

We have a Perfect Fit harness with training lead for our 11 month old boy. The last couple of days he has been a total pain. Recall has been very iffy, and he has been pulling to sniff and mark on walks. I had stopped using the front ring on his harness a few weeks ago because he was being so good. Today he pulled in front of me, tripped me up and I stood on either his foot or tail. 😞 I clipped the lead back on the front clip for the rest of the walk. The harness can’t replace training, but it gives much better control over a pulling dog whilst it is being trained.

CarrieMoonbeams Tue 30-Jun-20 19:58:14

Can I suggest a Gentle Leader rather than a Halti if you go down that route? There's one crucial difference I think, in that the GL has a little plastic clip under the chin, which holds the nose loop in place better. I find that the Halti can go up into a dog's eye if they're a stubborn puller. The Medium size GL fits nearly every dog by the way! About £8 or £9 I think.

Combine that with a Halti Training Lead as others have suggested. One end clipped to the collar, the other to the ring on the Gentle Leader.

Scion286 Tue 30-Jun-20 20:19:25

Many thanks, we’ve ordered the perfect fit, halti no pull harness and the double lead. Thought we’d try them both on and see how they fit.

I think we need to change our attitude to walks for the next couple of months and see them as shorter training sessions rather than the relaxed, family, exercise that we’d been enjoying before his recall vanished. I hope we get back to it but I just can’t imagine it happening. I look back at the stress free walks we used to take him on, all off lead and think I must have dreamt them as they seem completely beyond him now!

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