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What is wrong with a harness?!

November 8th, 2004, 01:12 PM
Please somebody, anybody. PettrainerMeeko says she dissuades students from using a harness. Opinion anyone?

November 8th, 2004, 01:29 PM
"Most PetsMart trainers to will evaluate your dog, and if he's wearing a harness have you try something else. "
I believe this refers to the harness that goes around the chest and legs, not a head halter (Halti or Gentle Leader). Just my opinion, but you're putting a very mild restraint around the strongest part of the dog. If the dog has no training and is prone to pulling, then a harness will not give you any control whatsoever. If your dog heels well, walks well on a loose lead, then you should use whatever you and the dog are most comfortable with. JMO, though, and I'm no trainer, so take if for what it's worth (which ain't much). ;)

November 8th, 2004, 01:48 PM
Hmm. I see. Well, I use a harness. Family tradition really. Thanks for the post.

November 8th, 2004, 01:53 PM
Hey, Dukieboy. If it works for you, then great. :thumbs up I think most trainers don't work with them because 99% of the people who come to puppy classes don't know how to use them properly. A friend of mine has a dog with severe trachea problems. So they have to use a harness or she'll do serious damage to herself. But they never trained her to walk on a leash because she's a very small dog (easier to just pick her up, right? :rolleyes: ). Whenever they're out for a walk, she spends a lot of the time on her hind legs because she's pulling so hard, or weaving from one side of the sidewalk to another. It's actually funny to see them walking with my sister and her dog, because he's so calm and well trained and the little female is a total spaz. :crazy:

November 8th, 2004, 02:23 PM
I just bought something called a holt harness for my medium sized dog BJ, it goes around his chest and under his front legs like the kind you described. He is a real puller on the leash (ironically he is and my little italian greyhound isn't. I never even had to train her she has just always walked that way so i'm really lucky with her). I put this harness on him and all the sudden it was like he was another dog, he completely stopped pulling and just walked at my side. He doesn't pull at all and certainly doesn't walk on two legs because of it. Why arn't they recomended? I'm just curious because this harness worked so well for me. sorry if it's a stupid question.

November 8th, 2004, 02:41 PM
I am not really sure except for the possible reasons suggested in the other post. I like the harness for Duke. Its a good fit. He does his share of pulling when he forgets his manners/training. But a sit command usually works. When we were first training him he pulled A L O T and I couldn't imagine pulling/holding back on his neck. He definately behaves differently with it on. Its like its his work uniform or something (horse/saddle) and he likes wearing it. When he was a little younger and got to rambunctious in the house I would put it on him and it tempered him somehow. The place I am taking him for obedience calls for a collar specifically. I guess I will find out why soon enough.

November 8th, 2004, 02:58 PM
We have always used a harness on Sophie. We have a collar but only put it on when we are carrying her around. I hate the thought of a collar pulling around her neck. She loves the harness and has no problems with it. Mind you she is a small dog and never leaves my side so when we are walking she walks right next to me.

November 8th, 2004, 03:08 PM
I use a harness on 2 of my girls (the other doesn't need a leash). I love it! It keeps their head and face clear, and I don't get dirty looks from people thinking my Goldens have muzzles on!

I am still all for the Gentle Leader, but personally, this harness is working well for us.

At our Petsmart, they start the little pups out with a harness on, so I guess all Petsmarts don't go by the same training techniques.

Heather and her 3 Golden Girls

November 8th, 2004, 09:47 PM
Do what works (so long as it is not violent or harmful), but don't forget to teach. Is your dog learning not to pull? or is he being controled and not pulling. Wouldn't it be great to have him walk by your side because he wants to and knows good manners? I would encourage you to keep up the good work but to also give him the opportunities to make good choices about his behavior, not because he is wearing a device.
For most dog's a flat-wide collar works just fine. The wider the better because it disperses the energy and does not cause discomfort. The neck has seven layers of muscle on the side - where the front of the neck is more sensitive - so try to communicate from the side of the neck not the front.
The problem is too many people just want to control their dogs but not actually teach them. In todays market you are encouraged to buy the latest contraption to control bad behavior - but you are not given the knowledge to learn how to teach correct behavior.

November 9th, 2004, 08:05 AM
Thanks for the post. It isn't a new contraption its just a regular old harness. goes over his head and around his back/belly. He is coming along fine with his heeling. He always walks by my side for the am walk. When he knows he is going somewhere to play thats a different story and I have to sit him quite a bit. He is learning, day by day.

November 9th, 2004, 02:03 PM
i understand what you mean about teaching. the thing is BJ is a hound. catches the sent of something and that is it, you can just forget it, he has no manners. he does really well when there are no squirles, rabbits, moles, armidillos, opossums, cats, people, dogs, ect..(you get my point) just about anything sends him into prey drive. i don't think he would know what to do if he caught something but i really don't want to find out. because whippets have small heads a regular collar just slips right off over his head, especially since his fur is so soft. unfortunetly because of his insticts as soon as he smells or sees prey it's like you just don't exist any longer, you can call him and call him and it's like he's suddenly def. and normally he's such a well behaved dog. That is my reason for the harness, his prey drive is just too strong to control him when he sees or smells something.

November 9th, 2004, 03:51 PM
I agree tenderfoot whatever works the best for your dog. I don't believe that the same training works for every dog. I have had one dog that I used a harness on, my Bloodhound was horrible on a leash, well if you were almost 4 and never been walked on a leash that might be a good reason. Also he was not prey driven but being a scent hound was not allowed off lead even once he was trained so for me the harness was the easiest training method that worked and this way I could put him on a very long lead so he could play in the park with the other dogs. But whatever works the best and is not harmful is the best method nothing is written in stone on training.

November 9th, 2004, 06:59 PM
Just don't give up on the ones that seem overtaken when their drive kicks in. You can still make a difference. We have trained umpteen "driven" dogs and had enormous success with engaging their brains. Hounds & herders can be a challenge, but what great satisfaction to see one make a better choice because mom said so. It almost brings tears to my eyes when I see a dog make a choice out of respect for his human and give up on the squirrel, cat, bike, horse, deer, etc. I am never numbed by watching a dog make a better choice that could potentially save his life. Like - not chase the cat in to the road and get hit.
I am so happy to know that so many people are on this board and opening themselves to others ideas and wanting to do better for their animals.