Teaching your dog how to walk politely on his leash is a lot easier and safer if you use some basic tools.
One danger for dogs who pull is the possibility of a collapsed trachea if they pull too much. Using a harness avoids that danger while also giving you more control. There are many kinds harnesses and it’s important that you find the right kind for you and your dog. Always remember that you don’t want to rely on anything that would cause your dog pain.
Front and Back-Attachment Body Harnesses
There are many kinds of body harnesses. Harnesses where the leash attaches in the front (also known as front-attachment harnesses) are one of my favorites. They offer great control and can be easier for your dog to accept than head collars (also known as head halters). There are also harnesses where the leash attaches to the top on your dog’s back. Unfortunately, with back-attachment harnesses your dog could still drag you down the street. This doesn’t happen with front-attachment harnesses. If you hook a leash to the front of a harness, the effect when your dog pulls is similar to the head halters. When the dog tries to pull forward, he is gently turned to face you. Front harnesses do a great job of redirecting the dog. Although there are many brands, I like the Freedom Harness, XtraDog, and the fleece-lined PerfectFit from the UK.
- There are different types of harnesses.
- Harnesses can help you teach your dog to walk politely on his leash.
- Harnesses can also avoid potential dangers.
Front harnesses are my favorite management option. Most dogs take little or no time to get used to them and they’re effective at reducing pulling. Front-attachment harnesses can also allow for real-world mistakes. My rule is that when the leash is attached to the back of these harnesses, the dog may pull. However, when the leash is attached to the front of the harness or the collar, no pulling is allowed. One drawback to a front-attachment harness is that body harnesses offer less control than the head halters.
This is an emergency method only. Let’s say you are on a normal stroll. You thought you’d be in a training mood but suddenly, your teen-aged Fido is just too irritating to deal. To make matters worse, you left the Gentle Leader at home. Take your leash and loop the handle end under your dog’s midriff. Now you have two places to grab the leash — one on either side of the dog. Gather both of them up in one hand and you’ll have more control than you had before. There are lots of ways to make your leash into a harness – experiment! Just remember to check that your dog can still move comfortably – you don’t want to injure your dog!