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We have a standard flat nylon leash (3/4" wide) and it's plenty strong enough but if Riley pulls (and man can she PULL!) it really hurts our hands.  Most of the time she walks nicely but when she does pull strongly it leaves me with a rope burn/bruise.

What kind of leashes have a better grip?  Leather? Cotton/climbing rope?

I was thinking maybe leather since horse reins are usually pretty easy to grip.  

I also keep forgetting to bring distraction treats which isn't helping the situation.  I am trying to teach her to stop pulling towards stuff like other dogs and people walking across the street.  

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Just FYI, the martingales didn't have any effect on my dogs. They don't seem to care if they strangle themselves. I know some people have had really good luck with the gentle leader head harness. I have one. I didn't do enough training to get Maggie to accept it. But from what I've seen people get really good control with them. 

I know it's controversial, but I've had really good luck with limited use of the prong collar. I don't give corrections with it. They correct themselves when they start to pull and then they don't strange themselves until they choke. I don't mean it to be a forever thing. It's just a tool while they learn that walks are so much more fun if they're not pulling my arm off and strangling themselves until they gag.

Riley might be one of those dogs who doesn't care now that you mention it...she is often tethered to furniture and will sleep so that the leash is taut and putting pressure on her neck.  She could just sleep closer to her tether point but she seems to prefer it that way lol.

A gentle leader might be a better thing to try.

The martingale collar doesn;t stop Jasper from pulling, but it does keep him from making gagging noises when he does pull, lol. It's much much easier on their throats because of the way it tightens around the neck rather than pulling away from the neck. 

A teacup yorkie puppy was trying to visit us at the park last night.. it was pulling with all its tiny might and was barely flexing mom's fingers.  I was a tad jealous as Riley was nearly yanking DH off his feet lol.  That's what we get for getting a dog partly bred for pulling stuff I guess!

Yes, very big difference between Jasper's pulling and JD's pulling. :) 

Any idea on effectiveness of halti vs gentle leader or are they basically the same thing?

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B004XNLCUM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?s...

I love a martingale. They definately have to to be fitted properly with measurements at 3 points on the dog and then put on properly. They can not back out of or escape them. If its placed high on the throat, behind the ears and adjusted so that the rings do not touch when fully tightened they are effective. A lot less risk of damage to the throat then slip chains or prongs too. And..... sighthound folks make some GORGEOUS custom martingales ;-) 

Maybe go custom and get a wider collar. These are butter soft leather inside, heavy duty rings with ribbon sewn on the outside. I know Riley has really long hair though. I just hate the removal of a traditional martingale vs. the quick release for creating. My dogs all go naked at home. Never leave a dog in a martingale unattended. 

Yeah Riley is never crated with a collar on for more than 20 minutes or so (if I'm tending to baby so I can't watch her).  Here's a question though... when my arm is at my side Riley's head is higher than my hand so would that cause the collar to be in the wrong position when she pulled (because it would probably slip lower on her neck)?

I don't know about causing the collar to be in the wrong position, but your arm should be bent and your hand about the level of your navel when walking any dog...large or small.

What's the reason for that, optimal control?  That's where I hold my hand whenever I expect her to pull (or she is pulling) but if she isn't I often let it drop down to my side.

Well, that's just the traditional correct position for walking a dog in heel. Dog on your left side, leash in your right hand (assuming you're right handed), right elbow bent and hand at your navel. I learned it day one when I took my first dog to training class back in 1977, lol. But as it turns out, it's also the best body position for your joints, physiologically, if the dog does pull. 

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