Harness or chocker chain

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BonnieBoxer

Boxer Buddy
My husband thinks it's best to keep Bonnie on a chocker chain cause people like Cesar Milan and the other dog shows recommend it/use them. He thinks she will learn that when it gets tight not to pull or walk far away from him. Let me tell you she's been on a chocker for 1-2 months now and she still pulls and tries to walk ahead and go to everything/everyone. I on the other hand think a harness is better especially since Bonnie likes to pull and go sniff people when there passing i think it allows you to have better control over the dog.

What does everybody here use and recommend? And if you use a harness from reading in the other thread what one is the best for boxers that you use?
 

BxrMommieNAZ

Boxer Insane
Personally I think both are a bad idea. Harnesses increase pulling as hooking them up to something like that (think mushing dogs) typically brings out something in them to pull and unfortunately you typically have less control over them in that aspect. Choker (which I'm assuming "chocker" is a "choke chain" and just a misspelling? If I am correct, many boxers are content to pull and choke themselves from now until the end of time.

Personally I prefer "head collars" such as the gentle leader over any other device at this point. It's human, doesn't cause pulling, and you do have control over them (think bridle on a horse I guess is the closest analogy). I'm sure others will have input as well, but my personal preferance having used it on a good 4-5 Boxers now (and have tried other devices as well) is the gentle leader.
 

gmacleod

Elusive Moderator
Staff member
I will take the opportunity to remind anyone who may post in this thread that the promotion of choke chains is not allowed on this site (though anyone who read the rules they agreed to when joining already knows that ;)).
 

SILLY6PAK

Boxer Insane
I would never use a choke colar. Too much evidence on damage it can do. I am not a fan of harnesses either but THE FIRST ISN'T EVEN AN OPTION.
 

TwoDogs

Boxer Insane
He thinks she will learn that when it gets tight not to pull or walk far away from him. Let me tell you she's been on a chocker for 1-2 months now and she still pulls and tries to walk ahead and go to everything/everyone.

This is the biggest problem I see with choke chains or choker collars--people not using them as they are meant to be used. It is the well-timed delivery of a correction or "collar pop" that does the "teaching" not a steady pressure. For a choke collar to be an effective training device, the leash has to be loose until the delivery of the correction.

***Note that I am not advocating using a choke collar or administering collar corrections as a way to teach your dog to walk nicely on a leash, merely explaining how the device is meant to be used to apply positive punishment training techniques should you choose to do so.***

Unfortunatly, people think they can put on one of these collars and somehow magically the dog will learn to stop inappropriate behaviors by having it's airway constricted. In reality, the dog still needs to be taught what is the proper behavior, and that is easily done with positive reinforcement methods that won't potentally damage your dog's neck and throat.

I say enroll in an obedience class, or better yet hire a private trainer to come and instruct you how to teach your dog to walk on a loose leash. You don't need to invest a ton of money, sometimes just one or two private lessons with a trainer will give you the skills to work with your dog on your own. In the meantime, I suggest getting a head halter or a front clip harness. The Gentle Leader Headcollar, Halti, or Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness all discourage pullling on the leash. They all work on the premise that "where the head goes, the body must follow" and allow you to maintain control of the direction of your dog's travel.
 
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HeatherLynnG

Super Boxer
We use the Gentle Leader halter on both of our babies and they walk wonderfully. These can be purchased at your local Petsmart (and I think Petco too). Good luck!

Heather & the kids
 

Caney Creek

Boxer Insane
When I met BF, he'd had Creek on a choke collar her entire life. She still pulled 'til she was blue in the face. She no longer wears the choke chain (thanks to me :)); now, both Caney and Creek wear martingale collars. The point of those is not to choke them or to give "corrections" but only to tighten a bit so that they don't slip off. Caney was on a buckle collar though until she was about 8 months old. As for harnesses, they actually give the dog more control and more strength, unless you're talking about a special "no-pull" harness.

The type of collar, no matter how basic or how inhumane it may be, still isn't going to do all the work in training the dog for you. The owner/trainer has to be the one to communicate whether the dog is doing the right thing, and of course the best way to do that is with positive reinforcement, giving praise for correct behavior, and for undesirable behavior, withholding what the dog sees as a reward; NOT physically reprimanding the dog. When I was first leash-training Caney, whenever she pulled we would stop and I'd make her sit before we could continue walking. We didn't do much actual walking in the first weeks of training, but she eventually got the idea without me having to physically "correct" her behavior. She wanted to go farther ahead, but when she pulled, what she got instead was a standstill; pulling actually kept her from reaching her goal. If you continue to walk while the dog pulls, even if you're yanking the heck out of the dog, the dog is still likely to care only about what's in front of him, not noticing the harsh corrections until it's too late and he's been seriously hurt.
 

meyerclan

Boxer Buddy
Halti

Brewski walks ok on a regular collar but he still gets very excited sometimes. I tried a gentle leader. It worked ok for for the first time or two but after that he shut down. He wouldn't go anywhere. I gave up on it. Then he figured out how to escape his collar if he saw a person or dog he wanted to say hi to. Well I went to Care a lot and they had the halti harnesses on sale. I remembered a guy I work with saying it works great for his St Bernard so I figured I would try it. Well it's awesome. The leash clips to the front and back so when he pulls I can conrtol him from the front and he figures out very quickly the only way to get to what he wants is to stay by me. It also makes me happier to know if he does decide to take off it doesn't pull on his head or neck.

It's just my opinion but it works for us and that's the goal right to find what works for you.
 

shadowlk

Boxer Buddy
BonnieBoxer,

I faced this dilemma as well in deciding what method to use for correcting leash pulling. After getting advice from many places and looking through these forums I learned that most people agree that in the long run, positive training is the best route you can take to achieve a desired behavior. This is why choke collars and prong collars are frowned upon (and rightfully so) because they use force and sometimes pain to get the dog to do what you want.

Having said that, I looked into the gentle leader type harnesses and really didn't like the idea of having a leash wrapped around my puppy's muzzle. The next best thing I found was the easy walk harness made by the same company that makes the gentle leader. After reading so many positive reviews about the easy walk I got one myself and I am more than satisfied with the results. What it does is redirects the dog upon pulling so their body turns towards you anytime they attempt to pull ahead. This discourages them from going ahead because they soon find out they end up facing you. So far, it has made walking much more enjoyable for both me and Layla (who doesn't choke herself by pretending shes a sleigh dog).

Anyways I think you should give this one a try and if you see it doesn't get the desired effects (which i'm sure it will), you can return it and try something new. Let us know how it goes =)
 

BonnieBoxer

Boxer Buddy
BonnieBoxer,

I faced this dilemma as well in deciding what method to use for correcting leash pulling. After getting advice from many places and looking through these forums I learned that most people agree that in the long run, positive training is the best route you can take to achieve a desired behavior. This is why choke collars and prong collars are frowned upon (and rightfully so) because they use force and sometimes pain to get the dog to do what you want.

Having said that, I looked into the gentle leader type harnesses and really didn't like the idea of having a leash wrapped around my puppy's muzzle. The next best thing I found was the easy walk harness made by the same company that makes the gentle leader. After reading so many positive reviews about the easy walk I got one myself and I am more than satisfied with the results. What it does is redirects the dog upon pulling so their body turns towards you anytime they attempt to pull ahead. This discourages them from going ahead because they soon find out they end up facing you. So far, it has made walking much more enjoyable for both me and Layla (who doesn't choke herself by pretending shes a sleigh dog).

Anyways I think you should give this one a try and if you see it doesn't get the desired effects (which i'm sure it will), you can return it and try something new. Let us know how it goes =)


Has your boxer had any chaffing or skin irritation? I'm asking cause when Bonnie was younger we had her on a harness and she had alot of skin irritation on her belly.
 
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