Duke is a puller: now what?

Duke, as much as I hate to say it, isn’t always the best at the whole walking on a leash thing. Most of the time, he’s decent. But when there’s a squirrel to chase or he hasn’t been outside for a good chunk of the day, he pulls so hard it can make my shoulder hurt!


I’m sorry I’m not always good on a leash – there’s just so many squirrels to chase and things to smell though!

We’ve tried “crazy walking” (where you turn around and walk the opposite direction when the dog pulls, so that you are now in front) and just stopping walks when Duke pulls. However, neither of us have the patience to keep up with these.

The real problem is that his pulling is causing him to rub his neck raw. This was the line for us, so we ventured off to PetSmart to pick up a different kind of collar.

Here are all the options we considered:

  • Rolled leather collar – We read online this might help the neck rubbing, but the guy at PetSmart said it would make it worse.
  • Prong collar – The manager at PetSmart pushed this one hard & demonstrated it on Duke in the store. It got him to stop pulling, but regardless of our thoughts on prong collars, we didn’t like how it presented Duke to those around us as threatening and potentially harmful. Prong collars, in my opinion, give off that stereotype to many people. Duke is so sweet – he could cuddle with a baby so we vetoed this.
  • Double wide collar – The other guy at PetSmart (they started debating this in front of us in the store!) argued against prong collars and for a double wide collar. His theory was that more surface area would prevent his neck from being so raw. The problem here is that double wide collars didn’t come small enough for Duke. He had some mesh options, but they only came in lime green and hot pink & those aren’t Duke’s colors.

Our next, and only other, idea is a Martingale collar. I’m not sure how it would help with the neck rubbing, but hopefully stopping some pulling will lead to a furry neck again.

We’re currently trying to decide if we should get a Martingale collar & use a regular leash or get a Martingale leash that goes over his neck? But then I think we would we still need a regular collar for his tags and licenses.

Have you ever tried a Martingale collar?
Do you think we should go with a leash & Martingale combo or separate pieces? 


4 thoughts on “Duke is a puller: now what?

    • It’s still on the list of possibilities, but we were told that it wouldn’t help his neck. I’d be interested in trying one but I’m hesitant about whether or not it’d stop his pulling- might be worth a try!

  1. Each of our dogs was a puller at some point; right now our youngest is a puller. We don’t use collars on our dogs, we prefer harnesses so I used a no pull harness on each of them to curb the need to pull and it worked. Blue and Rigo still pull if a rabbit comes out of no where on our walk, but I can get them back on track now.

    • I’ll really have to look into a no pull harness. I would love to have Duke in a place where you have Blue and Rigo, maybe the harness will help us get there!

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