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Thread: Collar Vs Harness

  1. #1
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    Default Collar Vs Harness

    I've never used a harness before - can someone tell me if it would be be a good (or better) option for Bella? As she's so little and she pulls so hard on the lead I'm worried she's going to hurt herself. (BTW - I've said so often that she's little, so here's exactly how little she is! She's 20cm at the shoulder and is a touch under 3kgs)

    I've tried stopping when she pulls (she looks round at me like I'm nuts!) and I imagine we'll be learning how to "heel" in class soon. In the meantime however, is the harness something I should be considering?

  2. #2
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    Towards the end of Terry's life, we got a harness. I would recommend it. It makes the walk far more enjoyable for you and the pup. They can't hurt themselves.

    If nothing else, I'd think Bella would have a fragile little neck, so yes I suggest a harness.

  3. #3

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    You could consider it. I personally don't see any problems with traditional Y front harneses except from my experiences if your dog's a puller he will pull into one more than a flat collar alone.

    Have you looked into the various no pull harnesses? There a few different kinds.

    I trained my dog Star on a sporn halter harness with command as a pup, best training device i have ever had to teach loose lead walking. 2-3 weeks is all I used it for.

    www.sporn.com - Sporn Halter

  4. #4
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    I like this thing

    Dog Harness, Dog Training Supplies | Sense-ible and Sense-ation Dog Harness

    Particularily look for a front attach point on a harness (not including things like the Sporn), front attach points make pulling very difficult for your dog because her own force rotates her back towards you around the front pivot point. However a rear attach point is how sled dogs are attached to sleds - so you can imagine that won't stop pulling at all but even encourage it. Rear attach is fine for the car harness but no good for walks.

    Anything that doesn't squeeze the neck or provide an attachment point high on the neck is good in that with a pulling or lunging dog there is much less likely to be whip lash or high up spinal damage.

  5. #5
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    My Bella Used to pull hard onthe lead - for such a little dog you would think she wasnt that strong.I think it's the Shih Tzu in her. What I did, was put her in a harness, and whenever she pulled, I locked my hands at my belly button and walked the other way. She would hit the end of the lead, and feel the pull. She learnt pretty quick that pulling meant not getting where she wanted to go.

  6. #6

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    Hiya,

    I replied to a similar thread not long ago so please forgive me if I'm repeating myself:

    If you have a dog that pulls, a harness is probably the worst thing to use. I like to think of horses to explain this- for a horse to pull a big heavy cart, it wears a harness. This is because a harness distributes the weight across the horse's most muscled and strongest area- it's chest. Now think of how people control horses. Very few (except for the best Natural Horsemen) would lead or ride a horse around with just a rope around the base of its neck. Again, this is because this is a very strong area therefore, you don't have much control. Horses wear halters or bridles on their faces to give the handler control. The face is used as it is easy to maneuver and adjusting the placement of the head then determines which way the horse moves (Ie the horse cannot have its head turned to the hard left while cantering in a circle to the right). In other words, a dog harness is facilitating the dog to better pull YOU!!

    A regular collar is fine for a well trained dog, but a halti or choke chain type collar that is placed high on the neck, just behind the ears allows the greatest control for the owner. Most importantly though, is the way you walk your dog. With a halti or choke chain if you are not being responsible, you can really do the dog some damage. There should NEVER be constant pressure on the lead (Ie the dog pulling) because the constant pressure on it's neck or nose will only encourage it to pull harder against you, and the harder you resist, the harder he will pull. If this is the case, it will never associate the pressure on its nose or neck as a cue to SLOW DOWN!! The only time you can allow pressure to come into the lead is when you are correcting the dog. The dog's head should not go past an invisible horizontal line from your thigh across. Everytime the dog takes a step across this line, you should correct it with a quick jerk on the lead, (you can accompany this with a voice cue if you'd like so eventually your dog will respond to the voice cue only). The dog should never drag you towards a nice smelling tree, or make you stop and wait. You should always be the leader, and the dog the follower. In the first 10 minutes of your next walk, you should be able to get your dog walking by your side with no tension at all in the lead, except for a few corrections here and there if he gets a step in front. Then just be consistent and in no time you have cured your pulling problem and don't need to worry about collars cutting into him! If you've got a chance, look up Ceasar Milan on Youtube, he uses these techniques which great success and probably explains it a bit better than I do!!

    Good Luck!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dog's best friend View Post
    Hiya,

    I replied to a similar thread not long ago so please forgive me if I'm repeating myself:

    If you have a dog that pulls, a harness is probably the worst thing to use. I like to think of horses to explain this- for a horse to pull a big heavy cart, it wears a harness. This is because a harness distributes the weight across the horse's most muscled and strongest area- it's chest. Now think of how people control horses. Very few (except for the best Natural Horsemen) would lead or ride a horse around with just a rope around the base of its neck. Again, this is because this is a very strong area therefore, you don't have much control. Horses wear halters or bridles on their faces to give the handler control. The face is used as it is easy to maneuver and adjusting the placement of the head then determines which way the horse moves (Ie the horse cannot have its head turned to the hard left while cantering in a circle to the right). In other words, a dog harness is facilitating the dog to better pull YOU!!

    A regular collar is fine for a well trained dog, but a halti or choke chain type collar that is placed high on the neck, just behind the ears allows the greatest control for the owner. Most importantly though, is the way you walk your dog. With a halti or choke chain if you are not being responsible, you can really do the dog some damage. There should NEVER be constant pressure on the lead (Ie the dog pulling) because the constant pressure on it's neck or nose will only encourage it to pull harder against you, and the harder you resist, the harder he will pull. If this is the case, it will never associate the pressure on its nose or neck as a cue to SLOW DOWN!! The only time you can allow pressure to come into the lead is when you are correcting the dog. The dog's head should not go past an invisible horizontal line from your thigh across. Everytime the dog takes a step across this line, you should correct it with a quick jerk on the lead, (you can accompany this with a voice cue if you'd like so eventually your dog will respond to the voice cue only). The dog should never drag you towards a nice smelling tree, or make you stop and wait. You should always be the leader, and the dog the follower. In the first 10 minutes of your next walk, you should be able to get your dog walking by your side with no tension at all in the lead, except for a few corrections here and there if he gets a step in front. Then just be consistent and in no time you have cured your pulling problem and don't need to worry about collars cutting into him! If you've got a chance, look up Ceasar Milan on Youtube, he uses these techniques which great success and probably explains it a bit better than I do!!

    Good Luck!!
    Thanks for your advice, but I don't think a halti or choke chain is really suitable for Bella - I've never used them before and don't think I'd like to experiment with them on a dog who's neck is so small I can almost fit my hand around it. The reason I'm considering the harness is so she can learn to walk beside me (by stop/starting, learning to heel at school, etc etc) without the chance of me hurting her, and then she can go back to her normal collar eventually. Bella pulls until she almost chokes herself and as Maltese's (even though she is a x) are a high risk breed for collapsed tracheas, her pulling has to be stopped using ways that reduce the risk of damage to her.

    I have several of Cesar's books and dvds. We do take a lot of things he says on-board but whilst I think he's wonderful and has a very special way with dogs there are also some of his techniques I would not use on my own 2, especially without the supervision and guidance of someone far more experience than I.

  8. #8

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    This topic has been discussed a lot & it always gets a lot of passionate responses. I'm a big fan of joining 2 leads together to make one really long one & flopping it over the dogs chest. It's just enough of a distraction that the dog stops pulling & heels in the right position. An owner of Great Danes showed me how to do this when Tara was completely out of order & NOTHING had worked.

    I've got some pics somewhere if you can't picture the concept. I've recommended this method to other people & they've been rapped with the result & how quickly it's worked.

  9. #9
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    Thanks GSD, I might give that a try! I'll just have to watch she doesn't trip over it lol!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie & Bella's mum View Post
    Thanks GSD, I might give that a try! I'll just have to watch she doesn't trip over it lol!
    I'm sure you'll get the hang of it.

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