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Discussion Starter #1
I currently use a harness on my 1 year old boy most times when we are outside. He's gotten a lot better with not pulling with continued training, but will still pull sometimes when he wants to meet a dog, goose, food that someone dropped on the street, when he wants to sniff something, etc. and etc And he's a teenager (1 yr old), so has a little rebellious streak...plus he's strong! (mastiff mix)

My goal is to be able to ditch the harness and walk him again on a regular collar by his 2 yr birthday. That's one year from now...so still lots of training ahead. I'm thinking he'll be calmer and less interested in dogs and other stuff by then.

What are your experiences? Has anybody else ever had these goals?
 

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if you change to a different "tool" you still ahve to teach him anew, so it depends in when you start training him with the collar.
You can use the harness and the collar parallel, to get him used wearing it.
perhaps click your leash in both collar and harness so he get's used to the fell of having a leash on his collar.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
if you change to a different "tool" you still ahve to teach him anew, so it depends in when you start training him with the collar.
You can use the harness and the collar parallel, to get him used wearing it.
perhaps click your leash in both collar and harness so he get's used to the fell of having a leash on his collar.
Thank you. Didn't think of it before, but it does make sense that I would have to train with the collar for a while first.
 

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I use a harness no matter what the age because I think its better to have the pressure off the neck. It is also a safer choice because you are less likely to loose your dog because they slip the collar and keep running.
 

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Now that my boy walks well on the leash, I switch out between collar and harness and it doesn't make a difference, though my preference is to walk him with a collar. I found I didn't need to re-teach LLW, when he got it, he got it, whatever the method I used to secure him to the lead. Now his attraction to me outweighs the pulls of the environment, this I truly believe is the key to good LLW and stopping what is labeled "reactivity". An example, yesterday I was walking him along the main street in our town where there are several restaurants/coffee shops where people sit outside when a small dog sitting with its owner and a couple of other dogs decided to display his Napoleon complex and bark like crazy at Oscar. Oscar stopped, glanced at me, and continued walking, a woman even came running out onto the street to say she had never seen anything like it before* and what a sweet dog he is! I can assure you even a year ago, I would have had a 200 lb monster pulling me to get to that little dog (not in an aggressive way, but to make "contact").

(I notice you are in Denver, I am in Lafayette - hi neighbor!)

* I think she meant such a little dog barking so aggressively at such a big dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I use a harness no matter what the age because I think its better to have the pressure off the neck. It is also a safer choice because you are less likely to loose your dog because they slip the collar and keep running.
That is true, the harness is safer...I probably will not ditch it entirely then.
 

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@Gnostic Dog Hi neighbour! That is terrific for Oscar. It's wonderful to see your dog progess in certain situations. Just curious...how old is he now?

Curiously, my boy Bunsen does not react to dogs barking at him if we're walking on a busy city street. He's got other triggers, one of them being a social ham. He can walk really well, and ignore people if they don't look at him, but once a person looks at him and talks in a high pitched excited voice and says something like: "OOOOOOoooooohh...you are such a cute puppy!!!" (he usually attracts attention...I blame it on his floppy ears, lol), it sends him over the edge. And before I can get Bunsen in a sit position, my 100 pd dog quickly pulls his way to meet that person, I'm struggling to get control of him again, and that person rewards him by petting him. Aaaaaaaaaargh.

I'm hoping he will be desensitized to stuff like this soon. Getting pets and attention from strangers must start to be less exciting at some point in his life, right? He still has a lot of puppy traits (but I do know that larger breeds mature slower)
 

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@Turtle11, oh boy do I understand the consequences of people attention! They definitely get more than they bargained for from my boy!!!!!

Things have gotten much better, though, for example, the woman from the cafe yesterday even petted him on the head and he didn't try and barge his way under her legs which used to be his MO. Oscar will be 6 in July and he still acts like a gigantic puppy, and he is very happy to get pets and attention from strangers.

Don't hold your breath for Bunsen becoming less puppy-like anytime soon.
 
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