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Hi everyone, over the past 2 weeks or so Jaanu sometimes pulls at his leash he is wearing a harness, but not a front clip/easy walk harness. Sometimes when he pulls hard, he makes a coughing sound. He does not cough at other times. I am buying a new harness that is front clip, sits lower on his chest, and is less bulky (the pet safe easy walk harness). I will not be taking him on any walks until I get the harness (in 2-4 days). Is there anything else I should do or watch for? I am just scared that he is hurt/injured and you hear about CT in small dogs. Jaanu is a 10 pound mpoo puppy (4 months)
 

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Smart of you to pay attention. Watch out for continuing coughing or wheezing noises.

Now is also a good time to start working on his leash manners. Just because he's a toy doesn't mean it's ok for him to lean into his harness like a plow horse dragging a harrow. The front clip harness will help, but it's good not to be dependent on it.

As you are walking, monitor the slack in the leash. There should always be a dip in the leash. If the leash goes completely straight, Jaanu is pulling too much. Stop walking. Simply stand there. Jaanu will probably continue leaning into the leash, attempting to drag you over to whatever caught his attention. He may even start bouncing up and down in frustration. Continue standing there.

Eventually Jaanu will look over his shoulder with an expression of, "Come on, man, what's the hold up?" That shift in weight and body will give you a little slack in the leash. Also, now his attention is back on you. Reward him by taking a step forward. He will probably go right back to trying to drag you along. Simply stop and wait it out again. . You will feel like an utter fool for the first few sessions. Your next door neighbor may wonder why you are standing 30 feet from your driveway staring down at a frustrated puppy. Be patient. The time you invest now will help you and Jaanu later.
 

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He does not cough at other times. I am buying a new harness that is front clip, sits lower on his chest, and is less bulky (the pet safe easy walk harness). I will not be taking him on any walks until I get the harness (in 2-4 days).
My 8 lbs toy is a puller. I bought this exact same harness for her. She doesn’t cough but she pulls just as much. You can try stopping when he pulls, waiting for slack on the leash and going again when you have it. It helped with mine (she’s 3 and never stopped pulling; my fault I couldn’t correct it sooner).
 

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As cowpony and Dechi mentioned above stopping pulling doesn't "just happen" when a particular tool (harness or other) goes on the dog. You have to train a puppy not to pull and now is the time to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi! Thanks so much for the advice here. I always stop when he pulls. I then say let's go, and I take him in the other direction, or I make him sit and continue on forward once I release him from the sit. He doesn't pull most of the time now. The problem is that sometimes when I stop (as soon as there is no slack in the leash) he will keep on pulling, to the point that he begins coughing. It really scares me, and I am worried that this has already hurt him somehow, even though he seems fine. It seems like it's too dangerous to try leash walking until I have a harness that is nowhere near the neck at all. I will definitely try walking w/o a leash in our fenced backyard, seems like those skills could translate well to on leash. I am just so worried that I have hurt him.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Another way of putting it is that I am scared that by remaining stopped, even as he continues to pull to the point of choking/coughing I am doing him real harm. :(
 

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I had the same experience! I have been teaching my pup leash manners, but there are times he gets excited and pulls on the harness to get to a tree or dog and he would cough after a hard pull. It sounded like the harness was almost giving him the heimlich.
Training helped, but I have also gotten an new harness that sits lower and now if he does forget and pulls to chase a squirrel, he doesn't cough.

This is the one I have now.


Edit: it looks like your new one is the same as my new one. It did solve my problem and haven't noticed any issues since.
 

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All you can do is toss that harness and ensure you're using one from now on that doesn't make contact with his trachea.

Gracie's collapsing trachea was diagnosed with an x-ray, but not until she was much older. I don't think it's a good idea to subject pups to unnecessary radiation. But talk to your vet about your concerns.
 

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Thanks everyone. If you don't mind me asking @PeggyTheParti, what caused Gracie's CT? What were the signs you began to notice?
We'll never know what caused it. Could have been early use of a collar for walks (before I switched to a harness). Could have been related to intubation from emergency surgery. Could have been genetic. Could have been related to her Cushing's disease. Could have been all of the above (or something else entirely).

I don't even remember why we had the x-ray done, but it wasn't specifically for her trachea. She started having a lot of health issues as she got older.
 

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Yeah, I just feel like I screwed up majorly here, but all we can do is move on I suppose. Like the first time I noticed this I should have realized that I needed to switch out the harness. I had been going off of the whole if it hurts or if it is uncomfortable then they will stop. Sign :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
And I see, thanks @PeggyTheParti. I'm sorry that Gracie had to deal with these health issues. She's really lucky that she had you by her side through all of it.
 
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