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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have so many questions, I'm sure you've heard them all before too, but I am very new at this whole I have to go home to feed the dog thing.
Winston is always scratching at his neck. Lately I have noticed that the skin on his throat is kind of red. I am not 100 percent sure it's from his collar, but the last 24 hours he has only worn it to go outside. He doesn't seem to scratch as much but his skin is still kind of red. Could he be allergic to it? Or maybe a combination of the heat and the collar?
Also, he pulls hard, REAL HARD in the opposite direction alot when we go for walks. I so worried about him choking himself, if I am going to try a new collar anyway, I'd like some feedback on types and styles. I have heard so many mixed reviews on harness, collar, Martingale? etc. Most of these come from books or non-dog owners, so I want to hear it from someone who actually has used any of these.
 

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What kind of collar are you using now? I have Chloe naked in the house and wearing a harness when we go out.

Some training will help teaching Winston walking nicely without pulling, but in any case, I think a harness is the safest for Beagles. They do tend to choke themselves and they are very very prone to back/spine problems so a harness takes a lot of the pressure off of their neck.

Many people also use martingales, but I like the harness the best (with training!!! for heel).
 

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Personally, my dogs don't wear collars at all when they are at home - we only ever put a collar on for walks. I am very worried about collar safety, too, I know a fair few people whose dogs have accidentally choked themselves with their collars when home alone


My favourite training tool for walks is a martingale collar - its softer on a dogs neck than a check chain (although I have used them too) and allows you to give corrections unlike a harness. I'm not a fan of haltis/head collars, so I would never recommend them.

The best thing for pulling on the lead is training - never allow the pulling to be rewarded (eg by not allowing the dog to go in the direction it pulls) and by rewarding a loose lead walking. What helped us was changing direction as soon as the dog pulled on the lead, so that it was never allowed to go in the direction it wanted to pull (if that makes sense) and giving her BIG rewards for walking on a loose lead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just have a nylon puppy collar. I bought it knowing it'd probably have to be replaced several times until he's grown. We had a pretty successful walk last night until just before we got home, he manages to turn and grab the leash. He always does this too, so I am wondering if it's just a dislike for the leash, or him saying na-na-na-na-na-na. Maybe I'm walking him wrong? He often looks at me like how about we do it MY way and something tells me that could lead to disaster.
 

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I would buy a martingale collar and do this:

Start walking and the minute the leash gets tight (him pulling), give a little tug and start walking the other direction. Keep doing it and be persistant. He will get the message pretty quickly. It took me 3 days with Chloe. she still pulls sometimes when she's excited, but I just stop walking and it results in a hault with the leash, she suddenly remembers and comes to me, looks at me and then I give her permission to keep moving forward.

A lot of practice is needed with our Beagles, but they are so smart, they get it!
 

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I just use a standard buckle collar for Oreo as he doesn't pull much.

But at the shelter where I volunteer, they have martingale collars for all the dogs. For some of the super heavy pullers, they use a harness. Chloe's Mommy's suggestion about stop/reverse direction for walking (also called loose-leash training) is a good one. I do that with some of the shelter dogs (who are always super excited because they don't get out much) and it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your advice. I have decided to try a martingale first. I'd call Winston a super heavy puller (for his size). I hope it works better to change direction because sometimes he pulls until his front legs are off the ground, because I am trying to pull the other way.
 

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My dogs all wear collars - unless the collars get removed by one of their bed partners. Angel always chews collars off of Bella - and Joe has de-collared his brother and mother several times. I like Lupines because they have a lifetime guarantee - even if chewed. Lupine does make a martingale collar. When walking the dogs I prefer a step in harness - easier to put on - and if they pull (and they all pull) they can't choke themselves. For dogs I've had in the past I used choke collars, but don't use on the beagles, tho I do have some of the soft cotton choke-style collars - but no chains. As I said for walking I prefer the harnesses for them.
 

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In the past we've used Halti's or Gentle Leaders. I really liked them a lot for aggressive pullers. It's kind of like a halter for a horse. You can see a description at the following website: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=875 and also here: http://www.premier.com/View.aspx?page=dogs/products/collars/gentleleader/description

Personally I prefer the halti because it has an extra safety clip to attach to the collar in case they somehow manage to slip out of it (which Daisy has done). Although, you still have to work with them if you want to be able to eventually stop using the Halti.

All that said, I have had a bad experience with the gentle leader. When the dog is walking or pulling forward, they can open their mouths to pant, drink, etc. However if they pull backwards or if you pull up you can close their mouths. I suppose this is to help prevent unwanted barking, etc. Normally that isn't a problem. Anyway, the story. We used a gentle leader on our female lab when I still lived at home with my parents. One evening I was out walking with my father and I had Lexi on her gentle leader. A neighbor down the street was out with 4 or 5 dogs off leash, all but one was a small breed. It was late and we couldn't see the larger one very well (I think it was a boxer mix). Anyway, the neighbor called out that the dogs were friendly and because we couldn't see the dogs very well, we took his word for it. When the larger dog came up to Lexi he immediately attacked her. She's a very non-aggressive dog anyways, but when she tried to pull back to get away from him, the gentle leader closed her mouth. It all happened so fast that we didn't know how to react. She was getting attacked and the owner (turns out the man's son owned the dog) just stood there for what seemed like an eternity! Needless to say, Lexi was never able to fight back to protect herself and FINALLY the man came over and pulled his dog off. His dog was fine but lexi ended up with stitches in her neck and back. After that I always walked with my stun gun.

Anyway, the gentle leaders really help with pulling but you just have to be careful. You can also look into the gentle leader easy walk harness, though I have no experience with it: http://www.petsolutions.com/default.aspx?ItemId=59006770&EID=SZ59006770&SID=SHZIL
 

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Crazy Daisy, haltis/gentle leaders are ok if used carefully like you suggested but don't forget that the skeletal shape of a horse is very different to a dog, as are the location of the nerves in the face. The pressure applied to the face of the dog when wearing a head halter can be quite painful and stressful to the dog, this is not often evident to the person walking the dog.

However I imagine some dogs are more sensitive to haltis than others. Like you said, as long as people do training along with using a halti with the goal that they won't always need the head collar its ok as a starting off point (not a tool I would ever use though - I get too worried about neck damage).
 
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