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Currently, i have a collar on my dog, Zoey. everytime she is behind me and being slow, like sniffing around, i pull her to come along and her collar does not look very comfortable at all. also, when she sees a bunny, she goes crazy and i have to hold her really hard because she is really strong and she is probably choking herself. So my question is, is a harness a better way to go or not?
 

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the ultimate control is training her to heel and leave it. i find that they're only uncomfortable in their collars when ignoring you....she'd still pull with the harness, and you don't want to make it more comfortable for ignoring you...training will work wonders
 

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I agree 100%. I've never used a harness, but my interpretation of them are quick fixes for bigger problems. Sound like your real issue is training not equipment.
 

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A harness is a good solution for dogs with spine or neck problems. No matter what you use, you have to do the training on how to walk nicely. That means teaching the dog WHERE to walk....at your side....slightly ahead...within a 3' circle of you..wherever you want.
 

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I agree that training is the answer, but until the training is in place, a harness is the safer and more comfortable way to go, IMO. If your dog is really reacting, it wouldn't take much to cause tracheal damage. We trained loose leash walking with a harness and it not only gave us more control, we never had to worry about neck damage. I'm sold on them, as you can tell.

Another tip a trainer gave us for situations when the dog is dawdling behind and you want to get going or you just want to keep a steady pace: be more interesting than whatever is distracting your dog. Use treats or other rewards, run - whatever will be rewarding enough to get the dog moving with you. You can cue this and phase out the rewards eventually so that just the cue will get your dog moving. I use this in addition to a heel since I like to let my dog roam and explore on a long lead about half the time we're walking.

My favorite harness is the Easy Walk harnesss since it connects to the leash in front. If your dog pulls, the harness pulls him around to face you again, which is where you want his attention.
 

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I'll be honest, I *LOATHE* harnesses on any dog other than one with neck or trachea injuries unless they are the no-pull kind. I've had I don't know HOW many large dogs who aren't trained pull their owners right up to my dogs (Indy was reactive towards larger dogs)and meanwhile the owner is screaming "HE'S FRIENDLY!" and has NO control.

On the dog in question? I'd recommend a prong collar or even a head halter before any kind of harness. Trachea damage is just not likely in large dogs unless they're on a collar that's too narrow. If you really feel you MUST use a harness, get an EZ walk, or clip the leash on the front of a regular walking harness.
 

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I agree that training is the answer, but until the training is in place, a harness is the safer and more comfortable way to go, IMO. If your dog is really reacting, it wouldn't take much to cause tracheal damage. We trained loose leash walking with a harness and it not only gave us more control, we never had to worry about neck damage. I'm sold on them, as you can tell.
I agree with that 100% when Akira had issues, I felt safer with the harness because I did not like to see him getting stangled when he was trying to run away. Of course we trained him and now we're using a regular collar but in the beginning it was quite helpful.

We still use the harness in the car or when we unleash him or when we go for very long walks in the forest ...
 

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I think for many smaller sized dogs a harness is ideal. I will be using a harness when I get my papillon. Although my family had a black lab and a yellow lab mix and we used collars with them. At first Jewel my black lab would pull me like crazy on walks, but once she learned she did really great. Large dogs really need training! I'll be honest it makes me nervous when others are walking their large dogs and they don't seem to have control over them. I don't really fear dogs but when you are taking a walk you have no idea how other peoples dogs were raised nor their temperment. I was walking my familys beagle Evey the other day, and this family with a large german shepherd mix walked by and he was barking like crazy and it seemed as if he were growling. They had absolutely no control over him. He was jumping like crazy and trying to escape to run over to us. Things like that make me nervous.
 

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Use the collar until your dog is leash trained. She should NOT be sniffing anything or trying to go after critters, dogs, cat, people etc. while she is on a leash. Changing to a harness to make her more comfortable while she is doing something wrong makes no sense. I see people do this all the time too. For some reason they feel sorry for a dog pulling choking itself on a collar. The dog needs to be taught how it's supposed to walk on a leash.

Only time I ever use a harness for my dogs is when we go hike. I do this to make lifting easier when they cant get over something. I'd also rather not choke them to death if they fall into a current of water while we're crossing it.
 

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I agree that training is the ultimate answer, but until then, a no-pull harness is the ticket. (Make sure the leash attachment is on the front of the chest, not the dog's back) And you may never get your dog trained to the point where she won't go after a rabbit, so I have no problem using a no-pull harness for the life of the dog, in that case.

I will always use them for my Shepherds, even though one walks perfectly with a collar, simply because they are so strong and as a breed that people are afraid of anyway, I feel it's my responsibility to have complete control, even if they don't. :)

My other dogs use collars.
 

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I agree that training is the ultimate answer, but until then, a no-pull harness is the ticket. (Make sure the leash attachment is on the front of the chest, not the dog's back) And you may never get your dog trained to the point where she won't go after a rabbit, so I have no problem using a no-pull harness for the life of the dog, in that case.
My other dogs use collars.
Does it have to be the kind with the leash attachment in the front, or could you just use a regular harness and hook the leash to the O-Ring?
 

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Choke chains are another option. That way you stop all the pulling to and fro and instead have a short sharp correction to bring the dog where you want him to be. You definitely want to do something to stop ASAP all the wrestling around with the dog; it won't resolve itself and will probably get worse as the dog mentally gets more and more used to straining at the collar. Pick a training method to teach the dog to 'heal' or 'loose leash walk' and go for it.
 

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I have a harness on Levi. We did get it because she would chase birds and start hacking from the collar and it made my boyfriend nervous. We got her a harness to use while we train her, but it does make training harder. She's doing well training with the harness, but not as well as she did with the collar. Hmmm... we should look into the 'no-pull' harness!

The other reason we got a harness for Levi is because she is mostly pug and we heard they can have throat issues, so we thought it would be best to get her used to using a harness in case her throat ever becomes an issue.
 
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