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Need advice for training halter...

Purpledomino
June 4th, 2007, 04:27 PM
My Minpin Emmy is a confirmed puller. I personally have never had a dog so wired for pulling, and my efforts with obedience and hours and hours of healing practice have been in vain. She is much worst at the beginning of a walk, when she is fresh and eager to go...not even six pounds of dog pulling for all she's worth, I would describe her walk as more of a scurry.

I do have brief moments with her when she is actually paying attention to me, but they are fleeting. I have been using a martingale collar, but I am worried about her small neck, so I would like to finally throw in the towel and try a training harness or gentle leader. I had bought one that was supposed to fit over her muzzle, but that was a waste because she just flipped it off.

I wonder if anyone here has had any luck with a training halter such as the Sporn training halter, or the Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness. She is very tiny...anyone have experience with a little puller? Thanks for any help in advance!:o

Hunter's_owner
June 4th, 2007, 08:08 PM
I have a Halti and I find it is one of the best purchases I have ever made:thumbs up

Hunter rubs his face when it is on, he would rather not wear it of course....but it is worth it for him, if it means going for a walk:)

mummummum
June 4th, 2007, 08:38 PM
I used to use a Gentle Leader with my grrrrl's and found them quite effective but there again my grrrl's have good-sized shnozzz's. Before the Gentle Leader's we used generic harnesses with little effect. I've met people on the street who swear by Newtrix (another type of head halter but configured differently than a Halti or GL).

angeldogs
June 5th, 2007, 01:40 AM
I have the halti,newtrix and gentle leader.i don't use the gentle leader.My girl will pull.so i walk just fast enough that she can only stay beside me.The people behind me use the gentle leader no pull harness and like it but they have a much bigger dog.

Smiley14
June 5th, 2007, 02:53 AM
I think I own them all. :laughing: It's been like this quest for me to find the perfect halter or harness, so I've spent more money than I care to admit! :o I have the gentle leader halter, the new gentle leader harness, the halti, the sporn, the newtrix, the Easy Way, the generic ones at Petsmart, the car seat belt style, and the buddy belt. The buddy belt alone cost me over $100 and unfortunately, the style isn't very good for Petey. Anyway, I think what it comes down to is that they're all good harnesses and have their advantages and disadvantages. Some work better than others, depending on your dogs body type and issues.
For Petey, the original gentle leader halter and the sporn work WONDERFULLY. The only reason I tried the buddy belt was because it looked so much more stylish. Then I tried the new gentle leader harness, thinking it would look nicer too, but hated it. The thing kept slipping off him and he could get out of it no problem. He could also get out of the other harnesses no problem too. I could never get the fit right with those styles for whatever reason, and neither could my trainer. But have had great results with the two that I mentioned. I use the GL for normal every day walks and pet store and vet visits and use the sporn for longer trips since the padding makes him able to wear it all day long for hours on end without any problems. I use that one for all day hikes or camping trips or any trips lasting longer than a few hours.

But I know of other people who tried them, hated them, and found good success with one of the other styles.

My sister uses one by Puppia on her Minpin. It's worked best for her with that body shape and is one that hers can't slip out of:

http://www.puppiaworld.com/


I hate to say it, but I think it really is a guessing game for what works best for your dog!

Purpledomino
June 6th, 2007, 08:07 AM
Thank-you for all the helpful replies! Wow Smiley, you surely were the one to talk to, I think you may have tried them all and then some. :) I think I am going to opt for the halter style rather than the nose fitted gadget. Walking a dog with the attention span of a knat is difficult enough, don't want to add something on her face that I KNOW is going to distract her more from me. I also think a halti-type leader would be awkward with a dog of her stature.

I did try something my sister said her breeder does with pullers. With a regular collar and leash, attach the leash to collar, then bring down dogs back and loop around belly. This annoyed her initially, but definately curbed the pulling and she paid attention to me, because she didn't like the feeling of the leash around her belly when it tightened slightly. It was kind of hit and miss though, and I was worried about her little belly...so I'll hopefully go to town today and look at some non-pulling halters. Thanks again. :D

** Looked at the Puppia website, although the halters are gorgeous, I don't think they are the non-pulling type. They would be perfect if they were though....Emmy would be stylin! :queen:

Smiley14
June 8th, 2007, 12:52 AM
Oh, I just remembered one other link for you. This harness is similar to the puppia, but is made for pulling. I haven't tried it myself, but I know some people that swear by this one for their little dogs. I wish I knew more about it, but here you go just in case!

http://www.fullfx.com/fxstore/ezydog2/index.cfm?page=search&subId=113

Purpledomino
June 8th, 2007, 08:12 AM
Smiley.....the EzyDog halter on the link you posted is not specifically made for pullers. I just bought one a couple weeks ago, and it's got an attachment for a seatbelt, thus the reason I got it. I love the fit of it, and it is a lifesaver in the truck because she has to sit in one spot as well as it keeps her safer. I did go into town yesterday to look at non-pulling gadgets, and only really found haltis at the pet supplies store. (small town :rolleyes: ) I did get to Walmart and bought a harness that is suppose to stop pulling, but after trying it on her, concluded that it's too big and awkward. Good thing Walmart takes back stuff. :thumbs up

Maybe next week I'll have to take the drive to the big city and take a look at a big box pet supply store to see what they have. I'd order something online, but I'm conserned about fit since nothing seems to fit that I've tried.

I really wish that I could fix this pulling thing with just obedience. Her heal is hilarious... she will sit immediately when I stop (every time!) , but when I go...its back to scurry. Even one small step, and she sits and looks at me. Between the sits....crazy pulling. I can't say how many hours I've practiced. I just want to walk her on a loose leash and have fun! :yell:

Thanks for the help! :)

jessi76
June 8th, 2007, 08:42 AM
this may sound completely whacked, but bear w/ me... it did work for me.... I taught my dog to walk nicely on leash without using a leash. yup, sounds crazy - but my trainer actually suggested it, and it did help. Obviously, this is only to be done in a secure, fenced area, or inside.

everytime the dog is next to you (in a heel position) REWARD. I used clicker training w/ my dog, so each time he was next to me he'd get a click & treat.

I did this in my yard (fenced). I walked a path - with many twists and turns, never going the same way - no "routine". this way my dog HAD to pay attention to me to determine which way I was going next. each time he was next to me, click & treat. it was up to HIM to catch up to ME and stay WITH ME. (my dog caught on quick to this)

once we got the basics down - and he was next to me more often than not, I started to re-introduce the leash.

just another method to try if you feel like it.

btw, for a harness, I really love the Black Dog Head Harness. I have the Training Halter, for those times when my dog is very overwhelmed and distracted, yet needs to walk politely and calmly.

http://www.blackdog.net.au/halters.php

Smiley14
June 8th, 2007, 08:59 AM
Smiley.....the EzyDog halter on the link you posted is not specifically made for pullers. I just bought one a couple weeks ago, and it's got an attachment for a seatbelt, thus the reason I got it. I love the fit of it, and it is a lifesaver in the truck because she has to sit in one spot as well as it keeps her safer. I did go into town yesterday to look at non-pulling gadgets, and only really found haltis at the pet supplies store. (small town :rolleyes: ) I did get to Walmart and bought a harness that is suppose to stop pulling, but after trying it on her, concluded that it's too big and awkward. Good thing Walmart takes back stuff. :thumbs up

Maybe next week I'll have to take the drive to the big city and take a look at a big box pet supply store to see what they have. I'd order something online, but I'm conserned about fit since nothing seems to fit that I've tried.

I really wish that I could fix this pulling thing with just obedience. Her heal is hilarious... she will sit immediately when I stop (every time!) , but when I go...its back to scurry. Even one small step, and she sits and looks at me. Between the sits....crazy pulling. I can't say how many hours I've practiced. I just want to walk her on a loose leash and have fun! :yell:

Thanks for the help! :)

Ah, good to know! I was wondering about that one since I've heard good things about it, but have never tried it myself. Thanks for the feedback on it!

Good luck in your search!!!!!!

Purpledomino
June 8th, 2007, 12:59 PM
Actually Jessi that idea doesn't sound whacked at all....it makes perfect sense. I haven't tried clicker training myself yet, but I am familiar with the method. I know what she is doing is leaning into the pressure of the collar/halter etc..... and if I remove that option and reward for a good heel position I "should" be able to reintroduce the leash. I will have to try this in my home though, as we are in the country, and the fencing is to keep horses in....not gopher-sized dogs!

The test is going to be to keep her attention though. She has no focus at all so I better get some good treats! ;)

jessi76
June 8th, 2007, 01:16 PM
The trick is to not "lure" or "bribe" the dog. use the treat to reward the heel position, not keep or get the dog's attention. if the dog ignores you, use your voice & body language to get her attention... i.e. Let's go!.... watch me!... (walk at a faster pace helps too) etc...

use the click to mark the correct behavior and a SMALL treat to reward it. My dog really loved being rewarded w/ Liver Biscotti, yes, it sounds "fancy" but it's not really. I buy it at a local store, hundreds of treats in one bag. the treats are SMALL - just the right size for a quick reward. (comes in wheat free too!)

http://www.liverbiscotti.com/

Purpledomino
June 8th, 2007, 01:31 PM
Sounds good. This is going to be my new mission.... going to get me a clicker and some liver biscotti :thumbs up I am also doing some ground work with my 2 year old equine, and I've wanted to try clicker training with my horses as well. I've heard it works very well with them. I may have to leave out the liver biscotti for them though.......:D


......too many animals to train, and my husband still wants a clean house. ;)

PetFriendly
June 9th, 2007, 01:39 PM
Hi There

Not sure if you've made your purchases yet, but I have small guy and the Gentle Leader Harness thing isn't very good for dogs with short legs, the leash gets tangled way too much.

I have a CanineFriendly VestHarness that doesn't aggravate Charley's trachea if he forgets his manners and runs to the end of his leash. It makes a good seat belt too, and the smallest size of it should fit your dog.

The very smallest gentle leader head collar should fit your little dog, it fits our little yorkie. Typically, if its sliding off the muzzle, its because the neck part isn't tight enough.

And just to make sure, you aren't using a flexi leash or anything, right? Those confuse the dog way too much, one minute they have 15 ft of leash, the next they only have 4 feet, etc. I like 5 foot leashes for regular walking with our two little ones.