How To Harness Train Your Dog: 6 Incredible Tips

  • 19/04/2019

Why choose harness over a collar? Because it’s much safer for your pup. It’s also more comfortable from his point of view, considering that it will distribute the weight evenly across his chest, rather than putting pressure on his throat and neck.

The only problem here is that if your dog is a “puller” by which we mean that he likes to pull the leash while walking straight forward, a harness will make it even easier for him. Nothing will hurt him while he’s pushing forward using all his strength.

Sure, this is good from his perspective; from yours, not so much. If he’s pulling like crazy, you’re gonna get tired too soon. The good news is that there is a way to solve this problem. Rather than letting him pull, you need to be the one who’s in charge. And to take control over your walks, it’s time to properly harness train your pup. Here are 6 incredible tips that are guaranteed to help you with this!

1. Make Sure the Harness is the Right Size

Dogs come in different shapes and sizes, so it’s not surprising that the same goes for harnesses as well. There are literally hundreds of different harness models out there, available in different dimensions. It might not be easy, but you need to do your job and find a harness that’s the right size for your pup.

Why this is so important is that a harness that’s too large is going to prevent him from walking properly. And a harness that’s too tight is going to cause him pain. The good news is that most harnesses are designed in order to fit a certain dog breed. So, if you got a small French bulldog, look for best French bulldog harness. If, on the other hand, your pup is big, look for harnesses made for larger breeds like Great Danes, St. Bernards, etc.

2. Think About Buying a No-Pull Harness

Unfortunate, even if the harness is a perfect fit for him, this still doesn’t mean that the problem with pulling the leash is over. Actually, it can only get worse. Because the harness is comfy, nothing is stopping your pup to pull even harder.

This is why you might wanna consider buying a harness with a clip up front. These types of harnesses are called no-pull, which pretty much explains their purpose. How they work is that due to the fact that a dog’s centre of gravity is in the chest, a front-pull harness will make him turn around if he tries to pull forward. The only way for him to go straight forward is by doing it slowly. And that’s exactly what you want him to do!

3. Have Some Treats With You at All Times

Using a no-pull harness is a great hack for making your walks more comfortable and less tiring. But, this doesn’t mean that your pup will start behaving exactly as you want him to behave straight away. During your walks, you’re guaranteed to run into all kinds of distractions. And those distractions can make your pup decide to forget about the walk and run towards them.

You’re the only one who can stop him. And you need to do it firmly, raising your voice while giving the command and pulling back the leash. If you do it each time he goes for something you don’t want him to touch, he’ll eventually learn his lesson. In order to speed up the lesson-learning process, a good method is to have his favourite treats with you at all times. This way, you can reward him when he behaves the right way.

4. Make Sure He’s Fed Before Training

Food is one of the main distractions that make dogs lose their focus during walks. This is why it’s important to feed him before taking him out. This way, the smells of food won’t make him go crazy. But, you need to be careful about your timing.

If you feed him just before a walk, he might throw up during the walk. Our advice is to let him have at least 20 minutes rest after the meal before going for a walk. And of course, don’t forget to give him water to drink as well. This isn’t just because for the sake of harness training, but also for the sake of his physical health.

Harness training can be exhausting, thus increasing the risk of dehydration. This is why it’s important to give him enough water before, but also during the training. What we’re saying is that you got to have a water bottle with you all the time.

5. Practice Harness Walking Indoors

In some cases, there are just too many distractions out there. If your pup can’t control himself when he spots some food or some other dog, a good piece of advice is to harness-train him indoors. You can do it around your home until you see that he’s ready for a new challenge.

And the new challenge is to do it in a park (or a backyard of your house/apartment building) where there aren’t too many other dogs. Once you see that he’s behaving well while walking on a leash, it means that the time has come to take him out for a real walk. And by real, we mean among other people and other dogs.

6. Don’t Give Up

Some dog breeds take longer than others to get harness trained. Another factor that comes into play is the age of your pup as well as your own personal dog-training experience. Still, generally speaking, harness training takes some time. We’re talking weeks or even months, not days.

What this means that you got to prepare yourself mentally for this. Otherwise, you could give up too easily. And that would mean missing out on some great times you could have with your pup. So, don’t give up! Have faith in your four-legged buddy, he won’t disappoint you. He might just need more time than you’ve expected.

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