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  #1  
Old 11-11-2019, 09:28 AM
sidewalker sidewalker is offline
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Default Harness or collar?

looking for an opinion.
My dog has a collar and a leash for walks.
However, he is a puller. I usually will wrap the leash around his body and pull the handle end thru which helps alot with the pulling.


He recently had his 2 and 3rd seizure on Sat morning (he had one previously in July and none since until sat)
So now he is on medication. I understand it takes them awhile to adjust to the meds, so right now.......he's one drunk puppy. Quite wobbly.
Normally he is very active and even with the medication he wants to play.
So I wont be taking him to the park for the ball throwing we do usually at least once a day until he adjusts to the medication.
But I was thinking a walk would probably be better for him.
With his so unsteady.....Im wondering about the collar/leash.
Do you think one of those foamy type harnesses would be better maybe stabilize him better?


One problem I think we will run into is his chest is soo deep so finding a fit may be problematic.
We have the braided harness's but he hate those. I thought one of the foamy/soft ones might be better.


Thoughts on this?
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:53 AM
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My dog has such a weird shaped head she can pull out of most collars and she pulls on walks. I use a harness. Nothing fancy, but it does have a bit of padding. It stops all the pulling around her throat (no more aaacckking during walks which is always so lovely) and it actually seems like she pulls less with the harness. That might be my imagination but my hand doesn't hurt so...maybe? She wears a collar all of the time because of her love to wander, but the harness fits right around it. Don't even need to swap them out.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:04 AM
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Def will get one that has the clip at the shoulders, if I can find one to fit him.
He's so barrel chested I think its going to be difficult to find one to fit.
This will be the reason we go together to the store.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by sidewalker View Post
Def will get one that has the clip at the shoulders, if I can find one to fit him.
He's so barrel chested I think its going to be difficult to find one to fit.
This will be the reason we go together to the store.
She is, too. So this one is a little big around the neck at the smallest adjustment. I need to take it to the machine and stitch it, but I've been lazy. Lol
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:27 AM
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well he does have a pretty thick *ruff* around the neck so maybe that will be an advantage. Even tho he started out as a smooth coat, its morphed into something inbetween a rough and a smooth. No fluffy tail or feathers on the legs...but a fluffy *mane* lol.


This is Ricky about a week after we got him. lol. soooo cute
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:45 AM
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Kong makes a great harness that is adjustable at the top and bottom. It has made our walks better.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:51 AM
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Okay, I have worked with a rescue as a foster and as a permanent hospice for older or sick dogs. I have had everything from a litter of wiggly Scottie puppies and their mom to the current geriatric ward (we just went from 4 to three over the last few months) of 15 year olds.

Here's what I know - all of my dogs wear a collar with their name and my name on it just in case, phone number included (have your people call my people on a few of the tags). Most wear harnesses when we are out in public. The foam/mesh harnesses are generally best, so take your dog into PetSmart or PetCo or an independent shop and just try them out until you find one that fits. They are adjustable and they generally have sizes for all types of dogs. Even Officer Donut, the comfort St. Bernard in Westfield, MA, wears a harness, complete with molle attachments for his badge, name, and police patch. His off work harness is different - color,weight, no handle on the back, and at home he is just in a collar - all signals for what is expected of him. So, yeah, harnesses come in a lot of sizes and complexity.

Gentle lead harnesses are the talk f the town with younger, more excitable dogs. A friend in OK uses one on each of her 4 Great Danes when they are out and about. Another friend in NY uses the same type for her cairn puppy, and I mean puppy as he still has his needle sharp puppy teeth. I have not used one of these yet, but everybody who does swears by them.

When Happy was here, we went through every other kind of harness on the Amazon market. Happy was a tank of a Westie who came to me as an emergency after his owners tried to have their vet euthanize him because he was too old and they wanted a puppy. Vet convinced them to sign him over and within 24 hours, he was farting on my bed and being his wonderful self. He was a total tank of a dog, about 13 years old, and a very content old guy. He was also very sure of what he wanted and did not want. Instead of protesting like a regular Westie, he would just do or not do things as he saw fit. One time, he dragged an entire frozen turkey across the floor because that was his - damned turkey weighed more than he did - taught me to put my groceries up immediately and monitor the sacks while I was doing it.

Anyway, Happy was a harness Houdini. Put him in a standard, foam harness and in an hour, he was out of it. It was worse if he was on leash because he would time it just right, stop, and let the damned thing get pulled over his head. Tighten the harness as much as I can and then tried again. He did the same damned thing - took three stops and boom, he was out of it.

Tried a step in harness, and he stepped right out of it.

Tried a no foam all strapping standard harness - total joke.

Leave him in any harness and 15 minutes later, he would have it off and hidden.

Point being, Happy hated harnesses. No, really, the point is that everybody else does well on the harness. Those who are pullers can be corrected without them choking themselves. They are comfy. The only dogs who don,t get a harness from kickoff are those who come in with bad skin conditions as they do not need anything irritating the skin under their arms or around their belly.

But, there is always the chance that your dog will turn into a Happy Houdini. In that case, all you can do is use a collar.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:21 PM
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Gentle lead harnesses are the talk f the town with younger, more excitable dogs. A friend in OK uses one on each of her 4 Great Danes when they are out and about. Another friend in NY uses the same type for her cairn puppy, and I mean puppy as he still has his needle sharp puppy teeth. I have not used one of these yet, but everybody who does swears by them.
I tried it with my Rott/Husky when she was (only) 60lbs and still pulling like crazy. I couldn't imagine her getting bigger and still pulling like that. Crazy girl just laid down on her side and wouldn't move. Sort of like when you put tape on a cat. I mean if one were to put tape on a cat. *ahem* (youtube it) It was ridiculous. Lol Finally got her to walk without ripping my arm off when I started using a lightweight coat. Stupid me-- she loved hiking, wore a pack to carry her bowl, treats and poop bags. So the coat acted like a pack and she settled right down.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:35 AM
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Our labramutt tolerates a gentle leader. I think it's something you almost have to get them started on really young. He's such a puller that 11 years ago, he pulled me hard enough to separate my pelvis (I'm still trying to piece myself back together from that, I think I'm almost there).

I've heard from a lot of people with very strong dogs who pull on leash that the harnass of the type that His_Queen posted worked really well. With the handle on the back, you can use the handle to stabilize the wobblies too (it's also good for geriatric dogs who have difficulty with their hips getting up and down).
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:52 AM
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Im sure I would only keep the harness on during walks, so that part would be ok.
And Im also sure after he figured out that the harness means walks? He'll be fine with it. I just want one comfortable, that fits him.


I do like the handle on the back of that one Queen and saw one yesterday when I went to get his pill packs. I think today I may bring him back and we can try them on.


Funny, Mia about the freezing thing. Ricky did that when we tried the harness's made from the leash material. He would just sit, and not move. Hub will still try it once in a while but I just favor the regular old leash and do that little wrap around thing. Once he's walked a long way he settles down and walks much nicer.

Especially if he's on his way to the park with the chuck it.....he pulls like crazy, and after he's played him self calm....he walks well and not much pulling (unless he see's a person he wants to meet......then he tries to belly crawl to them)


He's not a huge dog but the buggar IS strong. The wrapping around his hips with the leash does help alot, but I think he needs something so I can steady him if he wobbles.


we took two short walks yesterday and he did ok. A bit wobbly and I noticed his nails on the sidewalk. I cant see which leg/foot he's dragging but I sure noticed it. (was not there before this whole horrible episode or the meds) Interesting, he does not do it when he trots...just walks.
And we just clipped his nails too.

I did tell his vet this yesterday when she called to talk about my description of Drunk Puppy. She wants to see him and keep a daily report on how he's doing. (via text)
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:03 AM
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I'll see if I can find a good pic of him now. 4 1/2 yrs later


lol, this is his patient photo from the vet back in I think march or may?
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:06 PM
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My brother came home from his fraternity with Paddy, a half Doberman, half something, who could put his front paws on my shoulders and look down on me, and I am not a small person. Brother got kicked out of school, went to the Army, and we got the dog.

Paddy was raised his first year in that frat. He had a preference for beer and pot and lacked a ton of impulse control. So, I would take him for long walks, wrapping the leash around my waist, looking for squirrels and other critters in hopes that I saw them first so I could throw my weight in the opposite direction when he decided to charge after them. But, I was 17, and it was another excuse to be out of the house (seriously, we would walk 3 miles to a donut shop where I would get coffee and a donut - donut for him, of course) and then 3 miles back and he would still take off after squirrels and bunnies as we were walking into the house.

Enthusiasm is one thing. Enthusiasm with a lot of weight and muscle behind it? Boy oh boy. Oh, and Paddy had just a collar. We tried the choke chains and the like (this was the 80’s) and that was a bust - too worried about him hurting himself because it was not a deterrent in any way.
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:40 AM
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Well I got a nice harness. It tolerated it just fine.
haha, well hub and i took him out for a walk this afternoon and let him sniff his way around.
He did fine until he wanted to stay at this one spot and slipped right out of it.
Im taking this one back and am gonna see if they have a smaller one. (its already on the smallest size for this one)
I DO like it, he does not mind it and it seems to offer a bit more control. Plus he does not pull half as much.




Yourself I get what your saying about looking ahead for stuff they will find interesting. Like a cat. Silly dog wouldnt know what to do with a cat if it stood its ground. I joke that half the time when we used to walk before that I was going for a drag.
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:14 AM
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Got the smaller one and it works well. Dont like the color (lime green) but oh well.
It works lol, thats the main thing.
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:46 PM
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At least you will be able to see him if he gets away from you. The other cool thing about lime green is it stands out to people driving cars. I always tell my beasties that they are on a leash not because I don,t trust them, but because I don,t trust the cars.
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:02 AM
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lol, exactly Yourself.
I thought the same. Its been a bit foggy here in the mornings and we are getting into the yucky part of the year. So lime green? Its ok. haha, it could have been pink.....that was the other option.
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