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15 February 2005 @ 11:58 am
Harness or Collar  
Several suggestions to help Griffin in walking on a leash (lunat16's post) was to try a harness. I am also having problems with walking Kermit (she pulls very hard trying to "see and meet" everyone). I have thought a lot about getting her a harness due to the trouble BT's have with breathing - but I have never used anything but a collar. (I also admit perhaps I may be selfish in that I carry Kermit around and pet her a lot and wonder if the harness will get in the way. I have also heard harnesses can rub and irritate their skin). Anyways, my question is for those of you who use harnesses or choose not to, what are the pros and cons and which brand do you use?
I am feeling: confusedconfused
Sara Raesarakenobi on February 15th, 2005 09:06 am (UTC)
well, we always thought harnesses weren't comfortable, but Lucy had one when she was little we took it off when the walks were over, but if we were just taking her out she got on a leash with her regular collar:)
Ravenvoiceravenvoice on February 15th, 2005 09:14 am (UTC)
Sky hasn't used anything but an anti-pull type harness thingy... which is basically a bunch of ropes... used to use a choke chian but his neck is too muscular for that to work
Jenspecialmonkey on February 15th, 2005 09:23 am (UTC)
my boyfriend's bt wears a harness for most of the day (unless he's home by himself for an extended period or when we're going to bed at night), and he doesn't mind it a bit. As long as you get the right size, it shouldn't irritate her skin.
trexphile on February 15th, 2005 09:25 am (UTC)
Reply with pictures! ;)
We put Daisy in a halter because she's a hard puller too. We're probably bad owners because we don't try to stop her from pulling, but that's because she's never outside unleashed, and it's the closest to freedom she gets. So we let her run and just try to keep up. She's small enough that, if we have to, we pick her up if we get tired out ;)

I didn't want to keep Daisy in a halter all the time so I got her one that was easy to get on and off. It's made by Tuff, and it's called "Easy Size" or something. I never found a picture online so I took pictures of Daisy's.

Here's the halter (kinda blurry, sorry) unfastened. The left loop slips over her head and the straps buckle around her chest...

Like so.

Here's Daisy in it. In this picture, the harness has slipped sideways because she was pulling against the leash while we were riding in the car. Slippage isn't really a problem while she's walking because the leash stays above her while she's walking. Slippage doesn't really affect anything anyway, though -- the halter works just fine sideways ;)

It takes about five seconds to get Daisy snapped into this. There is a little more stress on the neck with this halter than there probably is with conventional setups, but it's down lower closer to the chest, if any. You can also do that whole pick-her-up-by-the-halter thing in an emergency too, which is something you can't do with a collar at all. Plus there's no. way. this thing is gonna slip off like a collar will.

Anyway, that's my input :)
laradrumzlaradrumz on February 15th, 2005 10:09 am (UTC)
Re: Reply with pictures! ;)
I also use that kind of harness, and I think its great. Jack also thinks its more comfortable...i believe anyway. He pulls much less on it than with his collar.

Tip for pulling: I have a dog training video where the first step to training your dog is getting him to walk on a leash:
Step One: Find a large enough area, 15'X 15' should be good.
Step Two: Walk in a box formation and stop for about 10 seconds at each corner before making your turn.
Step Three: DO NOT pay attention to your dog. This reinforces that your dog should pay attention to you, not the other way around. (ie: not even a glance in the direction of your dog, even when they aren't doing the correct thing.)

I watched this guy do this for about 15 mins with a dog who refused to walk on a leash in the the end that dog was SO attentive to his walker...I was convinced. I haven't tried it with Jack yet, but I just thought I would mention it. Let me know if this works for any of you. The results are suppose to be a dog who watches where you go instead of you telling your dog to follow you. Seems interesting anyway.
Angela: harley newangelacm on February 15th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Reply with pictures! ;)
Excellent idea! Thanks for sharing that tip I will have to try it! I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, and now that you mention it when I walk Harley I do constantly look down at her. Maybe this will help to get her to pay more attention. Thanks!
garagara_a_gogo: pepo-pepogaragara_a_gogo on February 15th, 2005 09:36 am (UTC)
I used a step-in harness for Gertie when we walk on the leash only.
The rest of the day, she wears a regular collar. They type of harness I use is similar to ones on this page:

Oh...this is the one I use, an RC Pets Step In Harness:

All other one's we tried were ill-fitting (Gertie is 'tall' for
being so small, etc.) and somewhat of a hassle to get on her cause shes such a wiggler ;) This one is very easy to get on and off.

Gertie is good on the leash, but she is a puller, and she sometimes ends up 'choking' herself a little if her collar is leashed. We've never had a problem with the harness, and she's stopped pulling. good luck!
Mariangym17mar on February 15th, 2005 09:46 am (UTC)
I got a harness because my Misty pulled a lot and was making these hacking meet everyone.
I only put it on to go out but if you keep it on all day...bostons tend to have a silky chest...the skin gets red.
In the winter..I put them over a sweater so that it doesn't hurt.
But if you get the right size should have no problems.

I actually brought my Misty to the pet store and sat in the aisle with a couple of harnesses trying them on...I looked psychotic!
autumn_esugarbear7 on February 15th, 2005 10:26 am (UTC)
I actually got Dixie's harness at Walmart, so it was fairly cheap. It adjusts by a toggle, so it fits just right, it also has sheeps skin on the straps that go under her arms so it doesn't rub- like a few other people said, she only wears it when we are out walking. She seems to like it- she'll sit on her back feet and raise her front paws up so I can slip it over her paws and head.
Jenn: Just call me Momastridlynn on February 15th, 2005 11:41 am (UTC)
she pulls very hard trying to "see and meet" everyone

I have Charlie "sit" if we're about to pass another dog or people he wants to see. It works wonderfully.
Kristenewitskristen on February 15th, 2005 11:44 am (UTC)
I use a collar when taking my Basil outside to potty (the house we're living in right now does not have a fenced in yard :(), but a step-in harness when walking or going out, because he goes crazy too. The step-in kind is SO easy to put on. Sit it on the ground, stick his paws in the holes, then pull it up over his back and snap closed!

If you're really trying to teach her/them NOT to pull, I don't think that a harness is the best thing to use, however I use a harness only because of the breeds breathing issues. On other breeds I've had, we've never heard a harness when teaching to walk and not pull on a leash. If you're walking them on a collar, the idea is that eventually they're going to get tired of choking themselves nad learn to behave. Where as with a harness they are more comfortable and get no discomfort out of pulling (other than maybe a little irritation to their silky chest/tummies).

With Basil I'm just going to keep using the harness, and try to walk him often, even if it's a very short walk. Keep telling him to heel and pull him back, praising him when he walks close to my side in a good heel. After a while of doing this on our street without many distractions, I may start to practice in public where there may be PEOPLE! And see if he doesn't go crazy trying to get to them.

Also, someone recommended a Gentle Leader to me, I don't have a picture or website, but if you go to the harness aisle in a petstore you should be able to find them. They have a peice that goes over their snoot and will push their nose down when they pull, making it unpleasant to pull and hopefully stopping them from doing so. That is also on my list to try, I've heard they work, they just look funny!
Lori: dreamyiconslunat16 on February 15th, 2005 01:00 pm (UTC)
Well the shelter I volunteered for swears by the gentle leaders, and they really do seem to help. However, with smushy faced breeds like ours, it's hard to get a gentle leader to fit nevermind not interfere with their breathing. I think for dogs like shepherds, labs, etc. they are great and really help with pulling issues. I don't want to try that on Griffin though.
Kristenewitskristen on February 15th, 2005 01:07 pm (UTC)
That's kind of my opinion on them also. I'd like to try, but I don't want to interfere with his breathing. Darn the cute smushy faces! :) Although, maybe if you only used it on slow paced walks when it's cool out, you might be able to get away with it just for a little while until they learn not to pull? Hmm.
Angela: harley newangelacm on February 15th, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
I choose not to. Although Harley tugs like crazy when she sees someone or some other pooch she wants to run up to, I know it is just going to take some time to get her leash trained. She is still in a bit of a housebreaking process, she doesn't intentionally go inside but she does have accidents if I don't get her outside fast enough. The collar is more comfortable for her to wear all the time (except when she goes to bed). That way all I need to do when she runs to the door is click her leash on and go! I couldn't imagine leaving her in a harness all day, and I would have no choice because it would take way too long to put it on her every time she needs to go out.