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harness or martingdale?

1625 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  sully
Hey guys, I've been searching the archives and I still can't decide what's best for my situation.  Oggie is 16 weeks now, and although I still think he's too young for daily walks, I use the leash on him whenever he's outside.  Right now I just have a typical adjustable nylon collar (8" to 12") and it's been ok but a few problems:

1) While he's mostly well behaved it can be very tough to control him if he either decides to run or refuses to move.  He's a puller.....especially if there are other dogs around, or if he just feels like doing a burn.  He will pull so hard he chokes himself.  I know he will hurt his trachea if this keeps up.  It's hard to correct him with the leash to make him go the direction I want because I am afraid I am hurting him.  Once he gets walking he's usually ok though.

2)  He constantly bites on the leash whenever it comes near his mouth.  He then tries to engage in almost a tug-a-war with me.  I tell him "no bite" and remove the leash which works temporarily but it's almost too tempting for him.  One day he's going to tear right through it.  It's very thin because he's still very small and so is the leash.

So people have been telling me a harness would be the way to go.  I've read about the Gentle Leader and Sensation harnesses on here and they sound pretty good as long as I can get one in his small size.  But I've also realized a lot of people here have the Martingdale collars, and just from reading about them it appears they don't injure the trachea either.  So now I'm not sure which I should get and where I should get them.  

Any help would be great...all these collars are getting expensive and I don't want to waste money!  Thanks!
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Think of the Clydesdale's that pull the carriages.  They wear harnesses to allow them to pull.  If you are having a problem with a dog that is pulling, do you really want to make it easier?  Use a simple training collar or martingale and make sure it stays just behind the ears and below his chin and you will have absolute control without causing harm.  I thought gentle leader until I was corrected by my trainer on how to use and keep the training collar in place.  At this point, all these new collars and harnesses look like money making gimmics that prey on the uneducated (included me before I sought out expert help).

As for the leash, you can spray it down with bitter apple/orange/whatever and Oggie will probably not want to chew on it anymore.  After a while, you won't have to spray it down before every walk.
We had the same issue with Beckham, I know he damaged his trachea because he used to pull so hard and choke himself.  We got him a harness and that has been absolutely great!  Now that he's gotten a lot bigger/stronger we are looking into a Martingale collar from Shaka and will probably start the switch between the two.   If you can get Oggie into puppy class and obedience class the trainer will usually help you acclimate him to a Martingale collar and also train him not to pull, but maybe get him a cheap harness for now?  Walmart has them for under $8.
i totally agree with him^^^^^^(DAN) lol

btw...puppy is gorgeous !..he will catch his groove with the leash and walking..martingale is a great idea!!
we use a harness with maverick. he is oggie's age and it give us a lot of control without him choking himself. we have always used it on him just because my boyfriend prefers them on smaller dogs. As he grows older and his pulling ability grows we will probably switch to a martingale collar. Right now he isnt in puppy classes and i am looking for one to put him in so that a trainer can help me switch him over and know how to use the collar properly.

Good luck with whatever choice you make.
We just started using the gentle leader on Fredo. He doesn't really pull at all when he has that on. Plus, it works in preventing dominance by the pressure it creates on the muzzle.
I have no experience with harness so I won't try and address that issue.
make sure it stays just behind the ears and below his chin
That's all there is to learning how to use a training collar.  Hard part is keeping up with it sliding down to the shoulders giving your pup a stronger pull.  You just have to adjust it every once in a while.  
The way I was taught to put it on was to hold it up and make a P with the training collar and rotate it 90 degrees clockwise.  That is how it should look when you are FACING your dog.  Put it on exactly like that and move to your dog's right side and the attachment loop is now off to the right of the neck.  This allows the collar to release when you stop placing tension on the leash.

This is the proper direction, but the collar is all the way down on his shoulders where it shouldn't be.  I'm not training him when I taking pics but if I was walking him or training, the collar would be as high on his neck as I can get it.  There are probably better resources out there somewhere.

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I would love to get one of the martingale collars from Shaka. They are so cute (btw I think i'm collar crazy...i buy a new one like every other week) but I guess I just don't understand how it doesn't pull on their throat. Fredo chokes himself with collars. Can anyone tell me how it works?
Thanks everyone for the advice.  Guess I'll try the martingale first and see how it goes.  I'm going to look around this weekend for one, and if I can't find one I'll just order online. I'll let ya know how it goes.  Thanks again
Hey it's me again.....hate to be a pain but I'm having some problems.  I went out and found a martingale collar at a local training store, the brand is Lupine but clearly states it's a martingale on the tag.  It has the extra loop that is supposed to help with not choking.  Well I measured Oggie's neck and he's just under 12 inches, I got a collar that is adjustable from 10 to 14 inches so it should be fine.  I tried to tighten it so it was tight on his neck and behind the ears.  I think the problem is that it constantly slides down the neck, so once he needs to be restrained, it chokes him down on the neck.  I could possibly make it tighter but I am afraid of making it too tight.  He actually met another boxer puppy yesterday and was so excited, he choked himself so much that he gagged and puked his lunch.  The rest of the day he made the occassional gag noise.  I felt awful, like I really hurt him.  Am I using the collar wrong or did I just get the wrong thing?
Thanks Kate!  That really does help.  According to that, I had the collar on too tight.  I'll have to re-adjust.
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