Why I Use Harnesses

It is pretty com­mon to see me using a har­ness to work with my, or my client dogs.  Har­nesses are frowned upon in some dog-training cir­cles but in my expe­ri­ence har­nesses, like any other train­ing tool, is just a means to achieve an end: a dog that walks nicely on leash.  And har­nesses hap­pen to be a com­fort­able cool-looking alter­na­tive to a flat col­lar that receives neck ten­sion and does not wear or pull on a dog’s neck and air­way.  Plus har­nesses have oodles of options: han­dles, back­packs, mul­ti­ple options for where to con­nect a leash, and extra sup­port for times when dogs need a lit­tle lift.

I use harnesses…

  • For brache­cepahlic breeds like Pugs, Bull­dogs, and Shih tzus, or just any breed that has air­way con­stric­tion issues.
  • For small or del­i­cate breeds that can’t sup­port a rough leash yank.
  • For long-term or active wear like hik­ing, bik­ing, or jogging.
  • For dogs that resist neck tension.
  • For activ­i­ties that encour­age pulling like track­ing, cani­cross, or toy training.

But mainly I love har­nesses because I can use them to calm, focus, and con­trol strong dogs that pull, lunge, or spin on leash.  This goes espe­cially for reac­tive dogs and dou­bly so for dogs that are so reac­tive or worked-up that they can’t take treats.  These dogs are not in a mind­set to learn and I know that no progress will be made until I can get them in a bet­ter place men­tally and emotionally.

But how do I do that you ask?

I use Ttouch bal­ance talk­ing with a double-ended leash.  This is my go-to tool for dogs that bark or lunge when outside.

Bal­ance walk­ing has a bit of a learn­ing curve but it is well worth it, espe­cially for some­one like me who has to work with strong reac­tive dogs on a daily basis.  When we need to pull things together right quick, this is my tool of choice.

If you are debat­ing using a har­ness vs a col­lar vs some other piece of equip­ment I would encour­age you to…

  • Down­load my free equip­ment guide using the link below to see all of your options and the pros and cons of each.
  • Keep in mind that no piece of train­ing equip­ment is a magic fix.  In the end it is the train­ing that gets things done, the tools are just here to help accom­plish that.
  • Try a har­ness out on your dog.  There are many dif­fer­ent options and styles to choose from (like lit­er­ally thou­sands).  You might find that you’re more com­fort­able or have bet­ter suc­cess with one tool over another.  If you don’t like it, keep the receipt and return it (or worst-case be out 20 bucks).

Thanks and Happy Training!


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