This article will look at how to train a dog to wear a harness. If you’ve got a new dog or puppy and you’re contemplating how to train your puppy to wear a harness outdoors, this article will help you get started.
Walking your dog is fun, exciting, and healthy for you both.
However, the challenge you may face is that it’s not always easy to get dogs to obey your hand gestures to guide movement while walking, so it’s important to know how to teach your dog to be comfortable in a harness before commencing on walks.
Hiring a professional trainer is an option, but it can get expensive. A quick and easy route will be for you to do the training yourself, and that’s what we shall be touching on in this article.
Why You Need A Harness
As a dog owner, you’ll first have to decide which is ideal to use, collar, harness, or both. Each of these has its uses, advantages, and disadvantages. Most people generally prefer using harnesses to collars.
A harness is the best option for you to use when walking outdoors as it assists you in controlling your dog’s movement without putting a strain on your pet’s neck.
Here are several additional reasons why you would need a harness for your dog.
Harnesses Help With Stubborn Dogs
Harnesses are ideal for all dogs but are even better for training dogs that are very stubborn or aggressive. It’s more difficult for a dog to wriggle out of a harness than a collar. With a harness and leash, you’ll be able to control your dog better when outdoors.
Harnesses To Help In Training Your Puppy
Furthermore, harnesses are useful in puppy training. With a harness, a puppy will better learn to walk on a lead as he won’t get tangled in the least and develop any injury.
Less Strain On Your Pet’s Neck
Unlike collars, harnesses do not apply much strain on your pets’ neck when you’re pulling. Hence, your dog will be more comfortable and fine, wearing it for longer periods.
How To Train Your Dog To Wear A Harness
Here are steps on how to train your puppy to wear a harness. These steps will work for all dogs of various ages such as puppies, adult dogs, and more.
1. Get Your Dog Used To Touch
If your dog bites when putting on a harness or you see your dog scratching at harness, this could be because your dog is touch-sensitive. It may be because you don’t pet or play with your dog enough around that area, so your dog gets uncomfortable with something settling on his coat.
Ensure your dog is touched frequently, especially around the area you plan to wear the harness. Whenever your pet does something good, carry and pet him by rubbing your hands on his coat and head. Giving him treats while doing so is also ideal.
If you keep at this, he’ll become very used to physical contact, and the feel of a harness on his coat won’t be strange on his coat.
2. Get The Best Dog Harness
There are various types of harnesses, including nylon, no pull, soft mesh, heavy-duty, leather dog harness, and more. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to get one that’s best for your dog.
According to NBC, your dog size and breed will determine the best type of harness to use. It’s best to consult your vet for advice on the best harness to buy for your dog.
However, it’s ideal to get a well-padded and lightweight harness, so it doesn’t cause any discomfort or feel heavy on your pet back.
3. Familiarize Your Dog With The Harness
Your dog needs to get familiar with the harness for him to accept wearing it. Being comfortable with the harness before you attempt to wear it will make your dog understand that the harness is harmless and isn’t a threat.
Here are steps to try to make your dog familiar with the harness;
Keep the harness where your dog can see it and let him watch it for a while. Bring the harness closer to it and place treats on it for your dog to take from it.
You can then place the harness on him but without fastening it. Just allow it to sit on your dogs’ back and keep giving him treats to keep him relaxed.
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4. Wear The Harness
After your dog has gotten used to seeing and touching the harness, you can then wear it on him. To succeed, you have to be as gentle as possible hence it’s best to do it slowly.
As you try to fasten the buckles, please keep your pet busy with treats and touch him too to keep him calm. If he resists and starts fighting off the harness, quit wearing it and take it off.
Repeat the process of getting your pet familiar with the harness. It could take a while to achieve this, so you’ll need to be patient.
See this video on how to get a dog to wear a harness easily.
5. Don’t Rush Outdoors
Once you’ve succeeded in getting your pet to wear the harness, don’t rush outside immediately for a walk. In fact, the first few times you put your pet on a harness, you shouldn’t take it on any walk.
This is more important if you have a timid dog. Let your dog walk around the house with the harness on where he’ll feel safe. Let him play with the harness on.
After a couple of sessions, if you see that he’s comfortable going about and not bothered that there’s something on him, you can then take it outdoors.
When you know how to train a dog to wear a harness, you make life easier for yourself and your pet. I have listed some top tips on how to go about that in this article which you should take advantage of, such as getting your dog to be familiar with your touch first, getting good quality and comfortable harness that is appropriate for your dog’s size and breed, getting your dog used to the harness first at home without going out, tips on how to wear the harness the right way and when to take your dog out finally.
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