Best Harness for a strong pulling dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Best Harness for a strong pulling dog

I have an 11 month old 91 pound male who is strong as an ox. He is a great dog with a great temperament; he has learned the basic commands of sit, stay, down, back, and minds like a show dog in the house. However when taking him for a walk he will pull you down if you are not careful and I am a big man. I was curious as to what type and brand of harnesses anyone would recommend. I am really not a big fan of the choke collars or prong collars. I have researched the soft-touch sensation harness and the easy walker. I am leaning toward trying the sensation brand but I would appreciate any feedback or other recommendations of another brand or method that has helped with someone else's GSD with similar issues.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 09:15 AM
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You may want to read this article on harnesses.

The No-Pull Debate - Whole Dog Journal Article

I am a woman in my 50s and am not going to sacrifice my rotator cuffs or risk falling down to a dog. No issue here with a prong.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 09:19 AM
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I have the sensations brand and my female is big like your male, and reactive. The clips on that harness aren't very strong, I always feared the clips would break. It also chafed under her front legs. I resorted to using a prong with a back up flat collar. I ran a tab on the prong and only used it when necessary so she would get use to walking on a flat.

Because of her reactivity, I tried not to use the prong for corrections because that ramped her up more. I bought the sensation, hoping it would help, but training is what works, not the equipment used.

There are video's of "loose leash walking" training, I'd train your dog not to pull.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 11:07 AM
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Harnesses teach a dog to pull. The worst thing you can do for a pulling dog is slap a harness on him.

There is some speculation that the "Easy Walk" and other front-clip harnesses are causing structural problems in dogs. I have several clients who use them and I have to say, one of the dogs has very strange structure and posture. I don't know if it's from the harness or not, but he wears it all the time.

The key to getting a dog not to pull is training. A prong collar is a training tool and I have seen it work wonders for pulling dogs. It's like power steering. Once the dog understands that pulling on leash is not acceptable, and you give him a more pleasant option, he will learn quickly. You don't have to yank, crank or pop--it is a self-teaching tool, so IMO it is much less harsh than a choke collar or harness.

You could also try a headcollar, it works for some dogs on the same principle that a halter works on a horse--once you have control of the head, the body should follow. Again, you don't need to yank, crank or pull and in fact you can cause injury to a dog if you do.

The best thing you can possibly do is consult with a professional trainer so that you can try out all these methods and see what works best for your dog.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 11:20 AM
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I tried the wonder walker harness (About the Wonder Walker? Body Halter© | Wonder Walker Body Halter) and it helped greatly to teach him to walk without pulling and generally has made him more biddable. I have used it for two weeks now (indoors and outdoors) and am weaning him off so I basically will walk him on his regular buckle collar. I will use this harness for more difficult situations for a while. It is a teaching tool, not to be used permanently to avoid structural problems.
This harness does not teach him to pull. I think the ones, where the leash attached to the back, do (sled dogs).
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 09:25 PM
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The Walk In Sync Walk In Sync - The Easiest and Most Humane Way to Walk and Train Your Dog - Home - developed by Colorado trainer Alicia Evans. The harness is comfortable for my Sting who is 130 lbs., and the training method worked out very well for him.

Sting Chance von Gaard AKC GSD 2/8/2006
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 09:37 PM
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We use a freedom harness with Grim, and a thunder leash with Skadi.

Skadi, AKA Lady Wolfington, GSD 4.6.12
Grim, AKA Bones , GSD 7.7.13

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 02:23 PM
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I really like the lupine no pull harness as it doesn't interfere with the shoulders.

Of course no tool beats out lots of training!
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