We’ve tried what seems like every collar/leash/harness out there, even though I know we haven’t. Silas does not take treats outside, so I’ve had to rely on good equipment and consistent use of the stop-walking-until-he-checks-in routine. It’s still very much a work in progress.
Tiny puppy Silas would panic, hit the end of his leash, and pull until he would gag. Very early on I switched to the standard back-clip harness.
In his first obedience class, the instructor looked at him, frantically jumping and pulling, and put him in a SENSE-ation Harness, which is a front-clip.
The front clip harness works on the fact that when the dog pulls on the leash, the force redirects the dog back toward you. Mr. Crazy would flip himself on his head. After he learned not to pull that hard, you could see him pulling himself down the trail at a 45 degree angle, keeping as much tension on the leash as he could.
Eventually he outgrew the front-clip harness. We wanted something that was a little sturdier than the SENSE-ation model, whose only fault is that it relies exclusively on a plastic clip buckle. Working on the assumption that it wasn’t helping him much anyway, we switched back to a back-clip harness. We love this Lupine Model (ours is a nice blue, as seen in yesterday’s photo):
Except the back-clip reminded him of his past life as a sled dog.
I bought him a “fancy” collar for his first birthday, since he was fully grown. (From Karma Collars. Look them up. If you follow them on Facebook, once a month they do a “Free Leash Friday.”) To my surprise, and discovered largely by accident, he walked better on his collar alone than anything else.
BUT. I’m terrified that he’ll pull out of it at a moment of stress. He’s sort of between buckle positions, where one is a little tighter than I like and one is loose enough for escape. I also worry about him in obedience class, where he does pull against it really hard as the other dogs come in.
I think, in the end, we’re going to have to go with some combination. I don’t have a great solution for class–last week I took him on his harness, and not only did he pull more he pulled more for days afterwards. In the park I think I’m going to start clipping his leash to his harness the cheap way (with a carabiner). He’s usually wearing the harness anyway, because it clips into his car restraint. I also love this two-clip back-up leash from Karma Collars, which may go on the Christmas list. (We don’t have kids. Buying presents for the dog is where we get our Christmas fun. He astounded the family last year by knowing how to unwrap his own gifts.)