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The Best and Worst $17 I Ever Spent…


I haven’t been running lately, not because my doctor told me to stop, but because I feel weird about jogging down the road while my poor kid gets jostled like a smoothie in a blender.

My overactive dog likes running. He does NOT like walking. To prove it, he pulls relentlessly at his leash to show his annoyance that I’m now moving at the speed of a sea turtle. I let him get away with his antics for a few days until my sore hands could take it no more. I tried ‘delicately’ tugging back, stopping when he pulled, and outright begging him to stop but nothing helped.

I went to the pet store and purchased a $17 collar that promised to stop all tugging. I did exactly as instructed in the directions. I let him sniff it, gave him treats, let him wear it with no leash, gave him treats, put on a leash with no pressure, gave him treats, and grabbed the leash ready for a good pain free walk.

Given the fact that the $17 came out of our grocery budget and we’d be eating ramen for 2 days, I had fairly high expectations.


He planted all four paws firmly on the concrete, completely unwilling to move. ‘Oh. So mature Hutch!’ I yell. I dragged him about 3 feet or so until he suddenly started walking. ‘ I win!’ I thought… until I looked back in time to see him throw himself on the neighbor’s lawn, roll over onto his back, and whine loudly as if I had kicked him.

The neighbor, of course, picks this opportune time to walk outside and wave hello. ‘Congrats on the baby’ he says over my howling dog, who now has his paw caught in his collar. ‘Thanks!’ I say, trying to ignore the fact that my dog is giving a better death act than most Oscar winners. I pause. ‘Um. I promise I’ll be a better parent than pet owner’ I say loudly as my dog walked over to my neighbor’s feet to throw himself at them… still howling. ‘Uh huh’ the neighbor says doubtfully.

I quickly pick up my wayward dog, STILL howling, and walk down the street before suffering further embarrassment.

It was a slow hour long process with lots of whining – mostly mine – but I think we finally figured out how to walk in peace.

Now, off to figure out how to make my husband not throw a similar tantrum in the neighbor’s yard when he hears we’re having Ramen for two days.


  • Reply dcs |

    Dump the cooking water, stir in a can of condensed cheese soup, the flavor packet thing, and a shot of Worcestershire sauce or wine vinegar. Voila! Cheesy Noodle Surprise.

    Tell him you saw it on food network. Make sure you hide the Ramen wrapper.

  • Reply Lizzie |

    I remember when I finally had to go to the choker/pinch collar for our dog (it was recommended by the dog school instructor). At first I thought it was so “in-humane” until we were walking peacefully through the neighborhood after a few tries.

    It’s a lot like training your own children, some simple (though sometimes challenging) steps to guide them in a healthy direction seems like a pain at first, but the payoff is worth it!

  • Reply Mischelle |

    As soon as he starts the pulling, turn around and walk the other way, dragging him if need be.It throws them off balance because they suddenly realize that you are directing the walk and that unless they stay with you, they’re in trouble. When he catches up with you,praise him, turn back around and proceed. You may have to do this over and over for a while, but it really worked with our Border who was dead set on pulling my shoulder out of socket!Good luck.

  • Reply Adam D |

    I’ve been through this. I thought the HALTI and Gentle Leader collars worked really well on my boxer. But the downside is that you had to take them off every time.

    My wife found a device called a mesh harness that goes over his chest and under his legs. When he pulls, the harness lifts his front legs up and makes him stop. It works like a dream and I can leave it on all the time. This is the product: http://www.petco.com/product/109839/Yuppie-Puppy-Non-Pull-Black-Mesh-Harness.aspx

    Side note: most pet stores will take an item like this back if it doesn’t work well for you. Maybe worth a shot.

  • Reply Elithea |

    Funny story! Just thought I’d mention that I’ve heard that the baby will feel the running more like rocking than jostling. I think if your doc is ok with it you should keep on running.

So, what do you think ?