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Please talk to me about harnesses

(7 Posts)
Grockle Tue 25-Sep-12 15:56:26

We have a border collie x rescue dog who currently goes out with a collar & lead. She's fab but gets nervous around other dogs (has improved greatly since we've had her) and sometimes pulls a bit if she's overexcited but is generally pretty good.

I was wondering if a harness might help her - it would make me feel safer when she gets cross with other dogs (ones who run up to her when she's on the lead and don't take the curled lip as a warning) and tries to snap or run away.

Our dog trainer recommended these: but I know nothing about harnesses & they seem quite expensive.

Rikalaily Tue 25-Sep-12 16:12:43

We use a Dogmatic headcollar with our rescue Boxer/Rottweiler cross. It stops him from pulling and lunging and it's design is very like a bridle so has a calming effect too. It only took a few minutes for him to get used to it and if he tries to pull/lunge it pulls his chin to his chest as you attach the lead under the chin, they learn really quickly that they can't pull. They are more expensive than haltis etc but worth every penny, our boy has outgrown his and we are buying another one because walking him without one is a nightmare.

We've got a padded webbing one with a plastic clasp, they come in leather too but they are very expensive.

YouveCatToBeKittenMe Tue 25-Sep-12 16:24:46

I have one of those Dog Games harnesses and whilst they are very good and easy to put on they really collect the hair and any grass seeds / burrs that are around. I machine wash mine but it doesn't get the hair out, nor has it stopped any of my dogs pulling. In fact in a harness they can get further forward since the lead attaches to the back of the dog rather than the neck. (I actually use my harness on my spaniel for Working Trails tracking now, when they are supposed to pull!)

I also have a border collie, who is not good around other dogs and she walks beautifully on a headcollar. I use a halti, but I also attach it to her collar with the safety strap that is usually supplied with them as she has been known to get out of it.

Grockle Tue 25-Sep-12 16:35:52

Thank you - that's really helpful. I'll look at the head collars too. I did wonder how a harness would stop her pulling!

poobum5 Tue 25-Sep-12 19:52:29

well, I have a harness and head collar for our dog(not used together!)
we have a dog games harness which I have found to be the best fit for our dog, I use that when I go running with our dog (who is a rescue collie cross) she is now not too bad with pulling but when we go somewhere busy I use a canny collar for her (head collar, similar to halti but I prefer it)
we also currently have a rescue foster dog who is totally bonkers! He does a lot of lurching and lunging at other digs as well as general pulling. I tried him on harness but tbh although it stopped him strangling himself pulling against a regular collar it did little to add to my feelings of being in control (and would agree actually that it possibly gave me less control) so now I walk him using a canny collar and feel much more in control to stop him lunging.
I would say though re harness /price etc that the dog games ones were by far the best of the several I tried and have lasted ages.

MothershipG Tue 25-Sep-12 21:46:51

My 3 all have those harnesses and I think that they are excellent. I originally got one for my mini schnauzer as she needed to be on an extendable lead while staying with my MIL and much to my surprise it really decreased her pulling!

I think it maybe because having something around her body seems to have a calming effect on her and also because she associated the lead being clipped to her collar as a time of excitement? Who knows? I agree that it seems counter-intuitive that a harness would reduce pulling but it apparently works for some dogs. smile

Grockle Tue 25-Sep-12 21:49:58

Thank you - I was hoping that the pressure on GrockleDog's body would help her feel more relaxed when out so I'm glad it has that effect for you, Mothership. Poobum, that's really helpful. I think I will take the plunge and order. It can't be any worse than the collar & at least they are washable, if dirt magnets smile

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