In classes, I feel like I am always telling people not to "marry" themselves to any one training tool. While you may love your dog's behavior when you walk him on a head halter now, that doesn't mean that this will necessarily be the magic tool for pleasant walks for the rest of the dog's life. Conversely, if you need to use a choke chain or a pinch collar to gain control, that's okay too. It's likely you won't have to use it forever either. Pet owners need to be flexible and open to trying to new things. Throwing up your hands and declaring that your dog will "never walk nicely on a leash" doesn't help anything, least of all your relationship with your dog. Instead, try something new. If you have been using a front hook harness, why not try a Thunderleash or a head halter instead?
And for that barking dog. Why is your dog barking? If this is nuisance barking, that's one thing. But maybe there is something there. First you have to identify WHY your dog is barking, then apply a consequence. Yelling at the dog isn't going to work. Now, you are barking too! Instead, find out why the dog is barking and respond accordingly. Nuisance barking? Redirect and if that doesn't work a time out. Barking at the neighbors, squirrels, trucks going by? Acknowledge their vigilance, ask for the quiet, and then redirect. If barking persists, it's time out time.
Oftentimes, when you look at the situation from your dog's point of view, the solution becomes much more obvious. We all need to let go of preconceived notions of how dogs *should* behave and think about how the dog in front of us *does* behave. Reward the good stuff, stop emphasizing all the bad stuff, and take a new approach to find the solution that works for you and your dog.
As always, if you need help strategizing, I am here for you.
Ozzie and Desi hard at work for a cookie they don't usually get!