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Harness recommendations please

(17 Posts)
bubble2bubble Tue 19-Mar-13 13:09:12

I got a harness for Monstor pup - really good looking Ezydog one which he managed to eat I think because it was too big and he was able to twist it round to chew. My mistake.
Then got the next size down which seemed a really good fit but in the 10 minutes it took us to go to the park by car this morning he has managed to chew through one of the straps again.
What am I doing wrong ? Is it the sizing that's important or is there some thing more puppy proof out there?

He can walk with a collar but because he's kind of huge I like having the harness as well

mycatoscar Tue 19-Mar-13 13:43:25

What's your reason for the harness?

I've just got my mad, pulling, ever growing collie x lab a harness which has completely eliminated her pulling and lunging. It's the Gencon all in one clip to lead on amazon. Fits all sizes unless you've got a massive dog like a Great Dane and fits snugly round their head and nose to encourage then to walk to heel. It's my new favourite thing grin

Other people have recommended haltis too.

chickchickchickenkeeper Tue 19-Mar-13 13:50:53

Haltis are only going to mask the problem, while pulling your dog in unnatural shapes by its head.
You would be FAR better off, esp with a big dog, spending money on a good trainer who will teach you the skills you need to walk him safely on a flat collar/lead then throwing money at quick fixes.....

mycatoscar Tue 19-Mar-13 14:09:37


Having read your post maybe you can help? Me and dog have finished puppy classes and whilst she walks perfectly on the lead in class, it's out on walks we can't control her. Which is why we got the gencon as a stop gap.

We are doing everything the trainer said to in terms if lead training but after nearly 4 months of refusing to walk if she pulls and turning and walking the other way, she still pulls. We are consistent, she gets 2 walks a day plus practice indoors and in the garden. All reward based and very positive.

I'm at a loss as to how to get her walked without me or dh or dog getting hurt.

bubble2bubble Tue 19-Mar-13 14:31:54

He actually walks very well on the lead, it's just that he can be a bit over friendly with people we meet and I felt a bit more in control with the harness in case I needed to pull him back quickly from jumping at someone.
He's a 6/7 month old lab x Very Big Dog with a lot of bounce btw

chickchickchickenkeeper Tue 19-Mar-13 14:38:08

If the stop and turn isn't working, you need another method.

My class get taught to walk using two hands on a lead method. I will see if I can explain it well enough smile

You need your dog on your left side. Have your right hand (with the lead looped round your wrist) on your belly, and your left hand on your left leg with the lead under it : like this but you want your left hand lower down so it holds the lead closer to you
(this is harder to explain, but you almost want to weave the lead in your fingers, so if you lift your hand, you shorter the lead automatically, but its not essential!)
In the left hand, you can hide a titbit under it to keep your dog in the right place, which you can eventually drop, or keep on a walk for a surprise smile

With that position, your dog has as much or little lead as you give her. You set off with the lead fairly loose next to you, and tighten it up as you need to - using the command you want - for my dogs its "With Me" - as you tighten it up, the dog comes into the right place, and you can reward her smile If your dog still insists on surging forward, you can spin in place ("close close close close" in my house) then reward. Because you have the lead in two places, there is less slack in the lead, so the dog doesn't have lead to pull forward on to. You can tighten it up by raising the hand on your belly to your bra (!) and/or bringing the hand on your leg up, without yanking or wrenching.

To start with, you'll feel all fingers/thumbs and lead, but if you can picture what I mean, it soon makes sense.

Its easiest if you first do this as a completely separate exercise to a walk, and if you walk in a large clockwise circle. Once the dog is walking nicely like this, you can then start to go anti-clockwise (this'll teach her to watch where you're walking, as anti-clockwise will have you walking into her a little bit) and then I'd work on going straight.
The good thing with this is you can slowly make the lead longer over time so the dog can walk further in front of you without pulling, so you aren't restricted to direct beside you forever.

This is just one method though, and it may be easier to find another trainer locally smile

chickchickchickenkeeper Tue 19-Mar-13 14:44:01

Bubble, for that I'd say its going to be much easier to work on instant down and/or sit.

Easiest way for that is you literally turn it into a game. You need to decide on a release word (in my house, its "Ok" - until I say it, you remain in the position you were told to be in - sit/down/stay!) and then you just have fun smile Wind him up a bit, and give the command - the second his butt hits the floor, treat and good boy!

So you'd be looking at something along the lines of [in silly voice to wind him up] "Who's a silly puppy, bounce bounce are you ready, silly silly silly" [firm voice] "SIT" <treat> "good boy, ok" (and you could then stroke him if you will be happy for people to do it) and repeat a few times, slowly over time making the OK happen a bit longer, and then go to other places, in front of other people etc. You want to wind him up for it, so he learns that no matter how excited and silly you are being, Sit and down are non negotiable and therefore will happen when you say them the instant you say them. An instant down can save lives.

mycatoscar Tue 19-Mar-13 14:44:13

Thanks chick, that's really good advice and we were shown to do that in puppy classes. I will continue to do that as training, maybe for a bit on our evening walk when she is tireder as she already does it perfectly in a hall or garden. We were star pupils in the end at classes but then on walks she turns into a loony jumpy pulley thing grin.

I'd only intended the harness for a short time as my dog walker was concerned about the pulling but I must admit it would be easy to just carry on using it as the quick and easy option, so I must put the effort in on the training. She's only 6 months after all, we have a lot of walks left lol!

mycatoscar Tue 19-Mar-13 14:45:08

Sorry for hijack bubble wink

chickchickchickenkeeper Tue 19-Mar-13 14:46:11

There are other methods but this is what I'd do. I am by no means perfect smile

mungotracy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:46:38

Train the dog properly and have him on a collar. Haltis tend to undermine obedience by using force....

chickchickchickenkeeper Tue 19-Mar-13 14:49:28

Walks are very exciting, so its easy to forget your manners as a baby grin you just need to be firm and focussed. As she's just a baby, I'd only keep the training short, and I'd be tempted to use the release word after stints of nice heelwork to let her be a bit naughty and silly so you set her up to do well and aren't just on her case the entire walk - I know that sounds counter productive but if your only firm she'll get bored, and you can make the silly bits much shorter over time (and off lead) smile

mycatoscar Tue 19-Mar-13 14:55:14

Thanks chick. A baby she may be but at 15kg already I felt I had to do something to protect my shoulder joints for the time being grin I will be putting your ideas into action. She's currently snoring like a piglet next to me so will be up for a walk later smile

Bubble your dog sounds gorgeous, and a pickle like mine. They just live other dogs don't they!

Floralnomad Tue 19-Mar-13 15:33:09

My dog has a Doxlock harness , its the only type that he can't seem to escape from and is the easiest to put on .I use a harness as my dog had kennel cough very badly as a pup ( Battersea strain) and I don't walk him on a collar because if he does pull even slightly it causes a tracheal spasm due to his throat being affected by the kennel cough. If your dog is big you can get saddlebag type things that go on the Doxlock so if you're out on a family picnic he can carry his own!

bubble2bubble Tue 19-Mar-13 16:15:46

Chick I know you are right blush , think I've just had too many " so sorry Monster pup has covered you in mud" moments. Will throw another Ezydog £15 in the bin and start again....

Floral the dds would love the idea of loading up Monster pup with a picnic, that has to be a possibilty

Mycats -no hijack at all - I have used a combination of stop & turn along with chick's method which is what our puppy class taught. It did take me probably 5 or 6 days of hard work but MonsterPup really does walk like a little star on the lead and now I can reward good walking with some off lead running which is fab. He doesn't get that 23kg of Hello!! I want to be your friend so I am going to jump on you!! can be a bit scary what is wrong with people

Floralnomad Tue 19-Mar-13 16:43:45

Doxlock aren't cheap but well worth the money and do wash well

mrslaughan Tue 19-Mar-13 17:07:20

15kg is nothing ! Our 8month old is 50kg..... We use a dogmatic sometimes when I am walking him in exciting situations.
But the 2 things I have done which have helped, is 1/ have a trainer come and do one on one sessions with us. Trainer said that dogs very quickly learn what is expected in puppy classes - but don't necessarily translate it outside. We still go to puppy classes for socialization.
2/ we only got our monster pup 1 month ago so have only just started letting him off lead - this freedom has made him better on the lead.

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