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What type of collar?

Though good on leash, learning to heal, no pulling, we loose control when someone approaches him. He is 10 months old, weighing about 80 pounds. He wears a leather collar but I am thinking I need to add another collar for more control. He has a long coat but I am going to trim the hair around his neck today.

Advice will be appreciated.

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Front attachment harness fit snugly (I like the Freedom Harness personally) or Gentle Leader/Halti. Not a fan of prong collars – but some larger dogs with thicker necks do well with them. They can really pull in collars, and especially in harnesses with back attachments!


Also, look into counter conditioning. I know I sound like a broken record recommending the wonderful Patricia McConnell, but she has a great book that explains the CC protocol in detail – it’s called Feisty Fido. I have recommended it hundreds of times and it works great if you’re consistent. :wink:


I get the most control with a properly placed slip lead, but it has to be thinner. I can walk my neighbors huge lab that has zero manners, literally none, across my property at a perfect heel with it.

I use a gentle leader with my beagle cause sometimes I have to lift the nose up off the ground but make sure you use a back up collar, I’ve had it come apart more than once when he scratches or catches it on something.

The Patrica McConnell stuff is excellent. I’ll second the recommendation as it’s easily consumable and doable by normal people like me.


I use a generic Halti-type leader on my 60-pound boy who gets very excited when we leave our rural property to go to the vet and it works perfectly to keep him under control. There’s no pulling when you have control of his nose/head.

I’m always worried about it slipping off his nose in an emergency, though (not that it ever has), so I attach the Halti to his regular collar so I still have a last-ditch connection if needed.


I love (with a specific dog) the Tory Leather Martingale Correction Collar $43.99 - sizes 16” - 26” - Mary’s Tack & Feed out of California. Ages nicely,very effective and no chance of slipping out of - on page three SKU 1283 - modeled by a wire-haired Jack Russell - but works great on larger dogs (60#). NO chain parts just leather ~ check it out ~

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A properly fitted prong collar works wonders.
Make sure you know how to use it correctly & are continuing to train appropriate/expected behaviors.
Don’t just rely on (any) tool to take place of training.

I personally feel harnesses & head collars/halti do more harm than good, especially on a rambunctious dog.



And head collars are extremely effective if used correctly - it is NEVER used to yank the dog’s head. I call them “training wheels” since most dogs do not need them forever, it teaches them how to walk politely without pulling, and can easily be phased out once they are consistent. The other advantage is if you place the backstrap high and tight behind the ears, it touches two acupressure points that have a calming effect on the majority of dogs.

I have used them on my Whippets when they were teenagers, obviously they have very delicate necks; I would never misuse such a tool – but they were a training aid, and really not needed once the dogs were trained. Not every dog is a good candidate for a prong collar. :wink:

Getting and expecting eye contact check ins and redirecting the dog with reward is very effective as well - you want to engage the dog on walks, not let the dog “walk” you. That said, sniff time is important as well – but should be earned by check ins; look into the Premack principle – another great training tool.

Another vote for counter conditioning. I have a rescued Chihuahua cross, who, like typical chihuahuas, will turn into Cujo at just about anything within sight. She’s always walked with a harness and because she’s scared of a clicker, I just click my tongue as her signal. Now when she spots anything worrying to her, she gives me a look, gets a click/treat. We’re not up to letting people get close yet (mostly because people don’t listen to what they should be doing and insist on approaching her, bent over and looking at her).

Your dog can easily be taught to sit patiently when someone is approaching, and then at some point receive a treat or pet as a reward from the person. Teaching a quick U-turn to get his attention back to you is great as well. I call it the “Oops!” move; someone else calls it “Oh sh*t a bear!”

Another good book is Click to Calm.


Thank you everyone, will certainly look into the counter conditioning. We are not allowed to use choke chain or prong in our “doggie school” and so far he has been excellent there even with another dog running loose however at home it is a different story. Also we live a very secluded life so a visitor is quite exciting to him.

A gentle leader worked really well with my last dog but I have had difficulty getting it on this one. He has a very thick and fuzzy coat and it is tricky securing the snap. Will try again while we are in his dog run where we play ball.

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Best of luck to you! It sounds like you are on the right track, and just remember that consistency is key.

It’s a good idea to practice short walks in various rooms of the house with the equipment while carrying treats to reward – you can use a clicker (and YES! Load the click and yes! while having the dog sit in front of you - click and say yes! simultaneously – then immediately treat.)

That way you are loading the “yes!”, so even if/when you don’t have the clicker, the dog can get immediate feedback for eye contact check-ins and for keeping the leash loose. Immediate feedback for desirable behaviors shapes those behaviors, and will result in the dog offering the behaviors more and more frequently

Keep sessions short so the dog is left wanting more, pay with cheese or similar high value treats, and work in non-distracting environments at first – change it up WRT locations. Dogs don’t generalize well, so it’s good to practice everywhere so that when you are faced with distractions, the dog has learned those default behaviors.

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Great suggestions here. Getting back to the collar question, depending on how much more control you need a rolled leather collar might be enough “sharper” to keep his attention, if what you currently have is like my 1" flat leather collars. Good luck!

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Something I found is my young dog is much better with exciting leash walking if I attach the leash to me, rather than hold it. I truly don’t know why–maybe it’s just a more consistent feel for her, or she needs to pay more attention to me if I’m not telegraphing down the leash with my hands?–but it’s a really significant difference.

Might be something to play around with? Try it at home first of course!

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