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hvtopiwala 05-01-2014 09:12 AM

fear pulling, prong collar doesnt work anymore
hey guys,

little back story - my guy has always suffered from mental issues with fear and we have gone through dozens of trainers and spent thousands and thousands of dollars to help him deal with it but it all ends up the same way, he hates being outdoors unless hes around other dogs or at the dog park.

the problem is when we take him out to pee and poop, he usually is fine but occasionally if a UPS truck drives by, or even a person for that matter, he is bolting straight for the house. he does wear a prong collar, but to be honest, i cant hold him anymore! we had a halti at one point on him for when he pulls this hard, but he ended up with a strained neck because he is so scared, nothing will stop him from getting back inside, even if it means hurting himself. what other harness or collar do you recommend to use to help control him when he pulls, because at this rate, i would have to let go of the leash because i cannot physically hold him (and i do not want to let go of the leash for fear he will get hit by a car or worse).

Lilie 05-01-2014 10:18 AM

What did the trainers tell you to do? What else have you tried besides the halti & prong?

hvtopiwala 05-01-2014 12:03 PM

So the trainers trainers still recommend the halti or a no pull harness that the leash clips in the the front. that too and then he just faces me and starts pushing himself where he wants to go... And it's incredibly difficult to use. I had a trainer live in with me for 2 days to observe his behavior and their opinion was he will never be a "city" dog with so much going on in the surroundings since he was damaged at such a young age and can't even use meds for his mind since he has liver disease. I'm just lost now, I've spent well over 10k in surgeries for him, over 5k in private training and group trainings. He is GREAT inside, best trained dog ever. Outside, it's it's a no go... No treat or tactic will break his focus of getting back inside.

Blanketback 05-01-2014 12:28 PM

When I had dogs in the city that had issues, I used to walk them at very odd hours, to get them used to things in baby steps. It was much more enjoyable and peaceful for us this way. Have you tried that?

Liesje 05-01-2014 03:33 PM

I don't know that I'd use a prong or any sort of self-correcting device (halti, GL, etc) for a dog like this. The last thing you want is he bolts and then gets pinched or yanked funny at the same time. These devices are meant for *training*, not to contain a dog that's in "fight or flight" mode. I would use a martingale style collar or strong harness he can't get out of, these will be safer on him if he bolts and hits the end of the line hard.

Have you considering trying medication for him? For a dog that cannot even go out to pee without hurting himself, I would definitely consider that route.

MaggieRoseLee 05-01-2014 04:00 PM

Merciel 05-01-2014 04:07 PM

I prefer the Freedom Harness over the EasyWalk because it is generally more secure (I've never had a dog slip out of the Freedom Harness, but I've had a couple get loose from the EasyWalk). That said, I've used both with good success for my fearful dog Pongu, who also used to bolt in terror from trucks/people/plastic bags/everything on earth.

I would not use a prong or other aversive device for a fearful dog. It's just going to make things worse by adding pain to the terror that the dog is already experiencing, which is the complete opposite of what you should be trying to accomplish.

MaggieRoseLee 05-01-2014 04:09 PM

hvtopiwala 05-02-2014 11:39 AM

i agree 100% with no using the prong collar on him, as he is definitely feeling like he is getting punished when he is reacting. what do you think of this: Freedom Harness or is that considered punishing for his reactiveness as well?

also, yeah we have tried medication, and he was starting to get better but with his liver shunts the medication was destroying him so we had stopped them immediately which returned his liver count back to normal. i followed the links posted, and i am looking into the Bach Flower remedies as well, as i am willing to try anything to help him.

Liesje 05-02-2014 12:33 PM

Gotcha, I didn't realize he had other health issues.

When I had a fearful dog, I used a Ruffwear harness. It's a bit harder to put on than some harnesses, but there was no WAY she could ever jump, bolt, or back out of that harness and it was well made and comfortable. She was not as bad as your dog sounds, but every once in a while something would spook her so any time we went somewhere completely new or my husband was handling her, she would usually wear this harness. It was not a "corrective" harness or training tool that corrects or pinches the dog, so it won't help with that, but when a dog is having such a fearful reaction I think the dog is too over-threshold for training at that moment anyway, you just need something to keep him safely attached to a leash.

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