Pet owners should walk their dogs everyday in order for them to get exercise, improve their health etc. Pet owners have a choice between using a harness or a collar for a dog that is not fully trained to listen to commands and walk beside their owners.
Collars and harnesses each have their pros and cons but using a harness seems to be the better choice for walking their dogs when compared to collars. However, with anything that dogs end up wearing it can take time for a dog to get used to a harness but the pros of using a harness can outweigh the cons.
Why Use a Harness
The main difference between a harness and a collar is that a harness is able to go across the backs and chests of the dogs and it has large areas for their legs to fit through. This was design in a way as to distribute weight across the dog’s chest and back so that not everything is limited to one small area such as the neck like a collar.
This is helpful for smaller dogs since they are more likely to get injured due to pulling on leashes. A harness is able to reduce strain on dogs’ necks and backs.
There are other advantages to using a harness instead of a leash. A harness is able to give owners more control over their dogs. In terms of large dogs, the owner can feel less tension on their arms and backs. It is a lot harder for dogs to escape from a harness, therefore, the chances of them ending up on a missing dog website is heavily reduced.
The harness can be great for dogs who struggle to stand up after they lie down or sit down due to old age or medical issues since it can gently help them to stand up with causing pain or tension on their bodies. This is because there can be a handle on the back to dogs stand up as well as to be able for owners to easily and safely move the dogs over certain items such as holes or ditches.
However, the major advantage of using a harness is that it decreases the chance of the dog pulling the owner. Many dogs tend to pull the owner while going on a walk and this can be due to training inexperience as well as a dog getting excited causing them to want to run off.
A harness can be able to redirect the dog without hurting them and there is no reward for them when they pull. A collar can give the dog a sense of progress/ reward when they pull since they are still moving forward but a harness is able to redirect them so the process of pulling does not do anything for them.
This can make them learn to pull less since nothing happens when they do pull.
Items for Training
There are a few things one would need in order to have successful harness training and those are treats and the correct type of harness for the size of the dog, whether it is a large dog or a small one. Treats are able to help dog owners teach their dog how to behave in relation to the harness as well as that the harness is not anything to fear or worry about.
Treats are used as rewards and a dog will see how helpful and good wearing a harness will be for them. When an owner chooses a good harness it is important to find one that is able to fit the dog well without causing irritation, being too loose or too tight. Many harnesses can come with a name and address tag.
Steps to Take for Harness Training
There aremany easy-to-do stepsthat any owner can follow for the best outcome.It is a good idea to do the training slowly and cover all the possible aspects of it in order to make the dog comfortable as well as feel safe while they wear and walk with a harness on them.
Step 1: Introduce them to the harness
- Find a small, safe and controlled space
- Place the harness in this space- this can make the dog aware that a harness exists
- Allow them to smell, play and possible bit the harness a tiny bit
- Put the harness in the hand and let the dognotice and react to it
- Give them treats throughout the process every time they show a positive connection to the harness
Step 2: Touch
- Gently let the harness touch the dog’s fur on their back- if they back away for the feeling of the harness then comfort them by petting and talking to them to tell them that the harness is nothing for them to worry about since it is not a treat- try again
Step 3: Try on
- Try to put the harness on from the front legs of the dog- if they start to move away or back away then drop the harness in front of them, wait for a bit, gently touch their legs with the harness and try again
- Try until the dog lets the harness come on them without them moving away
- Make sure that the harness clips and that it is comfortable on them with enough space for it not be tight nor loose on their bodies
- For puppies, treats can be used to distract them from biting the harness until they understand that biting it is not needed
Step 4: Leash
- Tap the leash on the hook without attaching it
- Hook the leash on and keep it loose
A harness is the better option when compared to collars since they cause less strain on the dogs as well as give owners a higher chance of control them while taking the dog for a walk. Harness training can take a lot of time and steps but it can be good once the dog is used to it.
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