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Though the prong collar seems to be the go to tool for many members of this forum, it is not the only choice. Considering also that there are members from areas where the prong collar is banned or who are strongly opposed to using it, I thought I would start a thread to discuss other options that have also worked for them. I'll start out with 2 choices.

The first is the front ring harness. My Sting was a big gsd 126 lbs. 30" tall who outweighed me . He was a lunger and for such a big gsd was very quick. He would be walking nicely until he heard or saw something to chase - one big lunge and the leash was pulled from my hands. What worked with Sting was a front ring harness. I used the Walk in Sync harness.
The Whole Dog Journal article gives an explanation and review of front ring harnesses:
https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/is...7_21622-1.html

The second is the head halter. My Baron at only 53 lbs. could out pull a husky. He pulled his way through a martingale collar, then a choke chain , and a front ring harness. But he could not pull his way through the Perfect Pace Head Halter. The Perfect Pace attaches from the back of the neck. It was orginally called the Infinity Lead. This article is a review:
https://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/12/03/a-head-harness-you-wont-hate/
And this is the Perfect Pace website:
About the Perfect Pace Products

These article give an explanation of head halters:
How to Use a Head Halter on Your Dog : The Humane Society of the United States
https://bestfriends.org/resources/dog-head-halters
 
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Alternate for what piece of the training? Loose leash walking?



First, studies are now showing the harnesses and head halters are harming the dog because they can't move naturally. So are those a good choice? I would read the studies first.



The best choice for a harness is a Y harness that allows the dogs front to move naturally. But even so, harnesses were designed for dogs to pull in to so that could be problematic.



You can teach your dog to not pull by teaching the dog position you want and teach them to release to the pressure of the leash. That takes a flat collar, a clicker and a pocket full of treats. If mine starts pulling, I just start swinging my arm. Not as a correction but as this annoying thing that makes him look at me like "What the WHAT, LADY?!" And he releases to the pressure. It's that simple.



Teach them to interact with you and not the universe with engagement games. Teach them Leave It for things that make them want to chase.


All tools will fall short if the position, interaction and control aren't there.
 

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Sensation and Easy Walk harnesses did not limit Beau’s pulling once he was ~10 months old. He just figured out some weird lunges to pull anyway, pulling me over or pulling the leash out of my hands. So I am not likely to try another harness to work on pulling.

I haven’t tried a head halter.
 

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Tried a front ring harness and had no luck. The harness simply slipped around. It was too sloppy for good clear communication. I let my dogs pull when they have a harness on. If I must stop them while they are in a harness all I can do is give them a check, and maybe move them sideways. I can't give them good directional information.

With a head harness it is still uses aversion. If you don't go the way the handler wants, it hurts your dog's head and snout. It just doesn't look as bad as a prong collar. If I lived where I could not use a prong collar on my big-boy I'd have to spend a great deal of time going nowhere until he got it 100 percent in his head that moving forward means zero pulling.
 

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Gentle leader or front clip harness can be a god send for certain dogs!!! My first dog really benefited from the gentle leader, and he enjoyed it. As soon as you picked it up he would quickly shove his nose in the hole lol. For Gandalf I really like our flat leather collar, or a martingale. I've used a prong on him as well in the past but I've noticed he does perfect on the flat collar. Don't think I'll be using a prong anymore with him, there's no point! He never pulls me anymore ?. Do I dare say hes maturing? I'll bring the prong if we are running through the city however just for safety until he's a little bit older.
 

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In our Walk and Heel positions, Beau walks pretty well now (no pulling 90% of the time, even with distractions) on martingale or prong. He will arrest his hunting/chasing/stalking moves in response to a firm Leave It, verbal only usually enough for that. It is any length on the leash for Sniff, his free word, and other dogs (mostly challenging him) that can cause pulling or lunging. Not all the time, but it still happens. If I see the other dog first, a loud No, Leave It and a minor leash pop works to forestall that lunging/barking. It usually stops the other dog, too, so maybe that’s why it works. If I don’t see the other dog first, Leave It and a leash pop will work well enough on the prong even once Beau is reacting, but not so well on the martingale.

Thanks, Jax08, I’ll work more often on engagement during Walk and Heel, that will help with the last 10% there I’m sure. He never stops looking at me when I carry a ball or tug as we walk. He doesn’t find treats as interesting as the environment, though, even before breakfast.
 

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Thanks, Jax08, I’ll work more often on engagement during Walk and Heel, that will help with the last 10% there I’m sure. He never stops looking at me when I carry a ball or tug as we walk. He doesn’t find treats as interesting as the environment, though, even before breakfast.

Put the ball in your pocket. Pull it out and play with him periodically when he's in the position you want him to be in. If he pulls, get him back in position, take a few steps with him being correct and reward him with the ball.


If we are just out walking, I want my dog to enjoy the environment. He can sniff and look. He just can't take me down doing it. ;)






Just a general observation: Everyone seems to be focused on the correction tool and nobody is focused on teaching the action and the reward. 100% of my training in IPO is teaching, shaping, luring and rewarding. Once the dog knows the command, only then does a correction come in. Only then is a correction fair to the dog. So why do people training a pet START with the correction??????



A front clip harness is still a correction. If they pull, they get pulled to the side. A head halter is a correction. If they pull, their head gets pulled down into an uncomfortable position. A slip/choke collar? Well self explanatory. A prong? An e-collar?



WHY doesn't anyone start with training the behavior they want???
 

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I agree that you have to teach the behavior first. The problem comes with impulsive dogs who haven't learned self control. I can be engaging but I will never be as interesting as the dumb bunny that sits in the middle of the street. Also, sometimes during the learning phase I just need to get somewhere. I don't have all the patience or time in the world. I have an indoor work space and my dogs would pull me through the yard to get to it. It could have taken me too much time and too much frustration on everyone's part to constantly stop, start and circle around just getting to the door. So I used compulsion to get to the door. Once inside they did their work beautifully! It took awhile for them to understand that the same behavior that paid off in our indoor work space was the same behavior I expected getting to the work space. In the yard I can now do things completely off leash that I will not / should not do out on the street. That is where the choice of collars, harness, etc comes into the story.
 

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It has been shown that front clip harness can change the way the bone grows on the shoulder, literally put a dent in it when you use it long term (have seen it myself) and on growing dogs, most people get them and don't even use them to train, just as a band aid and long term solution to just throw it on the dog to stop pulling.

many of the head collars all claim to put pressure just on the back of the neck or just on the nose. there was a study done that put pressure sensors on many parts of the dog, (back of neck/head, down the spine and on the nose I believe) and use the head harness/halti and it was shown that the pressure goes through the nose, neck, and down the spine which used long term (which many pet owners do, like the front clip just use it to bandaid the problem and use long term) which can contribute to issues later in life.

These can for sure be good training options for many people, when used as short term training tools, unfortunately the majority of people using them just throw them on the dog, (usually fitted wrong which just makes everything worse) prongs can, and are, used incorrectly as well but so many people dont understand how the other "nicer" pulling alternatives can also be used incorrectly and cause long term harm

also these are really alternatives of prong collar use for pulling, what about the other uses of prongs?

The best way to stop pulling, which is what those are mainly for, is position training, train the dog where you want it to be, no amount of prong, front clip, halti or treats as band aid fixes will compare to the proper training
Dogs are all individuals and I don't think anyone should rule out any type of tool to be able to find the best one each individual dog connects with the best. as long as it is a short term training tool, fitted correctly, used correctly etc..
 

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I agree with Jax08, car2ner, and Suzy25. And probably others, too, just can’t remember who. In Beau’s case, our case, he was trained as a puppy in loose-leash walking, using shaping and rewards, begun by his breeder on a harness and continued by me. The cue was Walk, which then meant walk however you like as long as the leash is loose. He did fine until maybe 10 months, when he figured out he was stronger than I was. Then, nothing I tried worked to rein him in off the property, including those no-pull harnesses, from the minute we left the house.

I finally went to several different trainers for help with the pulling, and they all recommended the prong as the solution. One trainer showed me how to fit the collar properly and make corrections with it safely. None of them told me it was a temporary training tool for correction only while training the desired behavior. The message I got was that the collar was my solution, problem solved, and more than one trainer used it to teach him a new behavior, not just to correct impulsive or willful misbehavior. No sense that the collar was a short-term fix, that the goal was training a dog so well that we wouldn’t need a prong. So that’s how I got there. I can’t speak for them.

This forum has really helped me think about training in a different way again. I think we should be able to wean off the prong eventually, as I learn how to work with him more effectively in other ways. Very happy to think so.
 

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For areas where the prong is banned: what is the legal definition of a "prong"? If it is the prong as we all know this collar, there maybe legal loopholes, like the Good Dog Collar or the Keeper Collar. What are the ramifications if they catch you using a prong? Can someone copy the legal ordinance of this?
 

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I used a harness and it created a terrible pulling problem when others walked the dog. We ended up using a prong as a result. Looking back I wish I had never used a harness. I hate head collars. My older dog wrenched her neck fighting one, after I had trained her to use it with help. They are much more dangerous than a prong. My take on dogs is if you want loose leashed walking, teach them off leash as puppies and never ever let them pull on a leash when they finally use one. Don’t allow them to react to other dogs. If your dog is well trained before a problem happens, you won’t need a training collar at all.
 

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I agree with Jax08, car2ner, and Suzy25. And probably others, too, just can’t remember who. In Beau’s case, our case, he was trained as a puppy in loose-leash walking, using shaping and rewards, begun by his breeder on a harness and continued by me. The cue was Walk, which then meant walk however you like as long as the leash is loose. He did fine until maybe 10 months, when he figured out he was stronger than I was. Then, nothing I tried worked to rein him in off the property, including those no-pull harnesses, from the minute we left the house.

I finally went to several different trainers for help with the pulling, and they all recommended the prong as the solution. One trainer showed me how to fit the collar properly and make corrections with it safely. None of them told me it was a temporary training tool for correction only while training the desired behavior. The message I got was that the collar was my solution, problem solved, and more than one trainer used it to teach him a new behavior, not just to correct impulsive or willful misbehavior. No sense that the collar was a short-term fix, that the goal was training a dog so well that we wouldn’t need a prong. So that’s how I got there. I can’t speak for them.

This forum has really helped me think about training in a different way again. I think we should be able to wean off the prong eventually, as I learn how to work with him more effectively in other ways. Very happy to think so.

Our trainer uses the prong on our dog no more than 20 min per week, and we have three or for classes of more than 1 hour each. He insists our dog should not use the prong more, or we will get the bad idea of putting all of our trust in a collar instead of us (my sister and I, both under 53 kg). I think our trainer has some old fashioned ideas that I would not share, but regarding the prong use, I think it is better advise than the one you got. Yet, when my sister and I try to walk our puppy in a park or something, I believe it would be better to use something that is not his regular collar, I think it might harm him, because of the pulling.



We have discussed about getting a prong, we ordered a martingale but has been lost in the mail for a while, might order another from a different place.... Is there any suggestion?
 

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I used a harness and it created a terrible pulling problem when others walked the dog. We ended up using a prong as a result. Looking back I wish I had never used a harness. I hate head collars. My older dog wrenched her neck fighting one, after I had trained her to use it with help. They are much more dangerous than a prong. My take on dogs is if you want loose leashed walking, teach them off leash as puppies and never ever let them pull on a leash when they finally use one. Don’t allow them to react to other dogs. If your dog is well trained before a problem happens, you won’t need a training collar at all.
Interesting take. I was forced to put Gandalf on a leash right away when he was a puppy since we lived in a tiny apartment at the time until he was about 8 months old or so, and we had no yard. We were working mostly with a positive only trainer who required us to only use a harness or gentle leader. Gandalf wasn't a fan of the head collar so we used the harness.. I didn't do anything really special in terms of teaching him to heel besides the turn around technique. He NEVER pulls, and he is 18 months old now. I'm lazy so I usually walk him with my pinky finger. Wish there weren't stupid leash laws around here or I would just take it off. The prong had its place and time, he had a short butt head phase where he ignored my commands and was a jerk on the leash but that lasted only a couple weeks. I can't really attribute the correction in behavior to the prong, I feel like he more or less just grew up. Think he would have turned out the same no matter what tool I used. Pretty much all of the issues he had he matured and grew out of them. We have always practiced NILIF. My first shepherd who we trained with the head collar graduated from it after being a puppy and was also very easy to walk on the leash afterwards. He never "fought" the gentle leader or had neck trouble, he just walked like a normal dog lol.

My working line was a different story... We started with a prong and he died with a prong. He pulled on that prong no matter what. I gave hard corrections, never nagging as that's what my trainers told me to do. Guess it was his working line mentality but most the time he "pushed through it" . I regret putting him on a prong, it was the wrong tool for a dog with a high pain tolerance, I caused him unnecessary grief. What I needed was more consistency, people walked him who were not consistent so he learned to get away with things. It was confusing for him.

Training triumphs all tools.
Maybe one day prong collars will be outdated like chokes once we have learned better ways to communicate with our dogs?
 

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You should be able to find a Martingale in a pet store. I got one when I fostered a short haired breed and took it back. It did nothing for dogs that chased wheels.
 

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You should be able to find a Martingale in a pet store. I got one when I fostered a short haired breed and took it back. It did nothing for dogs that chased wheels.
Why do you need a tool to stop chasing wheels? That sounds like a training problem. Gandalf tried chasing cars when he was little like 14 wks old, we taught a leave it command and practiced a lot of "its your choice" in general to help with his impulse control. These sample skills came in handy when squirrels would dart in front of us or bunnies. As he complied we rewarded with a tasty treat and he no longer even looks at cars. Really simple quick and easy fix... and best of all it was pain free for both of us!
 

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Why do you need a tool to stop chasing wheels? That sounds like a training problem. Gandalf tried chasing cars when he was little like 14 wks old, we taught a leave it command and practiced a lot of "its your choice" in general to help with his impulse control. These sample skills came in handy when squirrels would dart in front of us or bunnies. As he complied we rewarded with a tasty treat and he no longer even looks at cars. Really simple quick and easy fix... and best of all it was pain free for both of us!
The dog was not a GSD. It was a very difficult breed to train. I’d prefer not to mention the breed on the forum, but the dog was extremely strong an not responsive to any typical methods.
 

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Why do you need a tool to stop chasing wheels? That sounds like a training problem. Gandalf tried chasing cars when he was little like 14 wks old, we taught a leave it command and practiced a lot of "its your choice" in general to help with his impulse control. These sample skills came in handy when squirrels would dart in front of us or bunnies. As he complied we rewarded with a tasty treat and he no longer even looks at cars. Really simple quick and easy fix... and best of all it was pain free for both of us!
Everything you put on a dog is a tool, even a flat collar. Every dog is different. Just because it was easy with Gandolf, it doesn't mean this goes for every dog.
 

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absolutely. I never needed or even thought about a Prong collar until my big boy reached 6 months old and could already assert his will by yanking my arm. I have to admit, though, that it can give a false sense of security. My boy can pull through the discomfort if he feels he must. Personally I wish we could walk leash-less but that simply isn't safe around here. I'm glad he has a big yard to play naked in.

That head harness mentioned in the OP is not a new idea. People have used that idea with regular leashes in emergency situations. I still prefer not to put discomfort on the snout. I really wouldn't want to be led around by the face. Also, what if the dog ever needed muzzle training? Would the discomfort of learning to walk on a head halter make that difficult? Also, my dogs wear goggles when we are out on our bass boat. Can't do that with a head halter. I've seen happy dogs with head halters on them, but honestly, they still work the old fashioned way. If you don't stay where I want you to stay you won't like it. Stay near me and the nasty pressure is released. Negative Punishment quadrant. Same with the no-pull harness. I'm glad the product is out there. Some dogs may have neck issues and nudging the body around or putting pressure under the front legs has to be the alternative. I just feel is give lousy communication to the dog other than, stay close.
 
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