Thunder Leash = Thunder Fail

This summer I’ve rededicated myself to training my nearly 3-year old Rottweiler, Cora, (who has developed a fear-agression with unknown people and dogs. Great, just great.), as well as my brother’s 3-year old Boxer, Tucker (who just needs his hiney whipped into general training shape).

Cora is a perfect angel in the house for me. She can sit, lay down, stay for extended periods of time, come, and do some specialty tricks. Her greatest challenge is paying attention to me when some stimulus arouses her — like someone running on the road, a bunny in the yard, the next door neighbor kid playing nearby, etc.

Tucker is a calm, gentle fellow who jumps when excited, pulls on the leash, doesn’t follow commands consistently, and pees in the house when he wants to be spiteful.

Part of my training regime has been to walk both dogs separately every day. Since Tucker has been pulling, I purchased the ThunderLeash, which claims to eliminate dog pulling fast. The leash wraps around the dog’s chest, and as the dog pulls, the leash squeezes its chest until breathing becomes difficult and the dog is motivated to stop pulling. This sounds great, and the commercial looked like it did a better job than Tucker’s current chest-squeezing harness — heck, the website even features a Boxer! I got it in the mail yesterday and was so pumped to try it out today. I adjusted the leash for his body width and to my utter surprise — as soon as we started walking the leash turned from a chest harness to a belt around Tucker’s skinny waist. Apparently, due to his extremely athletic proportions, the leash will not stay around his barrel-chest, and instead slides to his skinny-minnie waist. After fixing it four times on our walk, I gave up. I had less control over him than with his harness, and the width of the leash was actually more difficult for my small hands to hold than the professional leather leash I currently own.

Overall, I think this product could be beneficial to someone who has a dog with a less-curvy figure, but if your dog has a big chest and small waist like both the dogs I’m currently training, I would think twice before investing in this product.

Personally, my favorite walking tool is the face collar/gentle leader. Cora walks like a dream with it (as a trainer told me about 7 years ago, “Where the head goes, the body goes.”). I would use one with Tucker too if Tucker didn’t freak out so much about it being on his face.

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