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Dog suddenly aggressive about harness, likely skin related but I don’t know what to do.

499 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Lillith
My dog has a chronic skin condition caused by hypothyroidism and allergies. It has gotten very bad recently with spring and summer and he is currently dealing with MRSP (dog mrsa, basically). He’s on all sorts of meds to try to combat it.

Either due to irritation from his harness rubbing or just those happen to be spots where his rash is cropping up he has rashes on his side and withers. Either or.

For the first time since adopting him two years ago I was putting him in his harness and as I was buckling it he whipped around with a sudden bark and snap at my hand. I didn’t pinch the skin or anything I buckled it as normal. And I think it’s because of his sensitive skin. No other explanation I can think of.

Switched to a collar which he can tolerate but he has slipped his martingale collar twice in the last two weeks and I just don’t feel safe waking him in it as he could easily run into the street and get hit by a car.

I’m not sure what to do. If his skin irritation is the cause then trying to recondition him to the harness seems like it’ll work…until it hurts his skin again. And no harness seems to not touch that area of his body.
Because of his skin issues I’ve just not walked him for a bit and I feel bad.
Should I be waiting until his skin heals to attempt anything? I feel like a terrible dog owner for not walking him. (But frankly he kind of hates walks anyways)
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If the harness is a no-go right now, it's better to stop using it for a while instead of creating more negative associations with it. You could take this opportunity to really work on leash manners so if/when his skin acts up again you can switch to a collar with little difficulty. Training can be just as beneficial as a long walk when you're trying to satisfy your dog's stimulation needs during crappy weather or when medical issues dictate it!
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