Posted : 9/6/2009 9:54:51 AM
Have you tried training to teach good loose-leash walking? You mentioned the down/stays and stopping when he pulls - have you tried a "magnet" type method, rewarding for the dog staying close to you? I know often we go straight to "mechanical" fixes like new leashes, collars, etc. when sometimes just a little bit of training might make a big difference. (Clearly this is not always the case, but it never hurts to try the training first!)
Here are a couple of good resources:
Since your dog is very big and energetic, some of the training methods might not be possible for you (for example, you can't really "be a tree" if the animal can pull you over!), but you can still experiment and see if any of these training tips might work for you.They might also help supplement if you do decide to try a different type of harness, or muzzle, or whatnot.
Are there any training classes in your area? A good trainer might be able to help, too, especially if your dog doesn't behave well around distractions.