I tell ya, I don't know what it is, but ever since I moved, I'm wanting to yell at dog owners more than I have ever have before. I take Freyja to a park that's just a couple of blocks away from my place, and that park is plagued by people who don't know what the hell they're doing when it comes to walking their dogs.
For Freyja, I use a pinch-collar, mainly because that's what I had handy after Argos passed away. He worked best with that type of collar, and Freyja works well with it, so I keep using it with her. I tried the "gentle lead" collar with him, but that wasn't happening. (However, my dog Willy did much better with the gentle lead, and he was a disaster with the pinch collar. Whatever, it's like I said - there are all types of dogs.) She's a pretty good walker, and for the most part, she stays right by my side. She tends to tug a little when she has to relieve herself, or when we get near the dog park, but usually a quick correction takes care of that problem.
What drives me crazy are people who just slap a leash on their dog's collar only to have their dog drag them along, gasping and heaving the whole way. Even worse, there are those extendable leashes, where they might as well not even have a leash on in the first place. With those types, you usually see the people stopping every five seconds so their dog can sniff something and/or pee for the thousandth time. Who's walking whom here? That's especially frustrating when I'm on a narrow path and they're right in front of me. I don't know whether I should try and pass them or not, as I don't know if their dog will lunge at Freyja when I try it or not. (Luckily, Freyja is eager to get along with pretty much every dog. That was not the case with Argos, who would take it pretty personally if another dog got up in his face.)
Don't get me wrong. If you can simply use your dog's regular collar - or no leash at all - and your dog is walking alongside you, then keep doing that. What's frustrating is that I see the same people all the time. Don't they notice that there are people like me whose dogs AREN'T half-choking to death while on a walk? And perhaps it might have something to do with the fact that I use a collar that doesn't allow her to get that tight around her neck in the first place?
Again, I understand some dogs are harder than others, but when I see some of these dogs, I just KNOW that I could get it to walk properly if I had the chance. In some cases, it's not even a matter of the collar. It's a matter of the person's attitude. I remember when I walked Argos, my neighbor asked me how I got him to walk alongside me. "Because I don't give him a choice!" was my response. Also, there may be some dogs that just aren't good at walking in the first place. One time while I was at the dog park, I was talking to a lady with a German Shorthair. That dog was basically just running up and down the park the whole time. The lady told me that's what she had to do with her dog, as he was an absolute wreck if she tried to walk him - he needed to get his exercise by running, and after their trips to the dog park, he'd be a nice, calm, cooperate dog.
But if your dog is tugging and choking, or you're stopping every five seconds - you're doing it wrong. Time to change your strategy.