Top 5 Harnesses

A common question often comes up – What is the best harness for my dog?
After talking to many people, here are the results:

1. Perfect Fit Harness – Dog Games

PF_with_diagram5

How it works:
– Easy to put on and take off with 3 clips
– Adjustable in 5 places
– Pieces can be replaced
– Calming as it is a snug fit
– Soft and non-rubbing

What people say:

“It comes in three pieces so there no need to buy a complete new one if your dog grows or if one piece gets damaged. The top piece is interchangeable if you like to colour co-ordinate it’s well made, strong, comfortable, snug fitting (no wriggle room for Houdini’s) but best of all for us, our reactive girl no longer has to wear a head halti, we love it.”

“We got a Perfect Fit just a few days ago. It is the best thing we’ve ever bought. Spike is now much more relaxed on his walks and has freedom of movement for his head. For the last couple of years we have used a Gentle Leader headcollar so I was a bit dubious about the change (not to mention the expense) but I wish we had done it long ago now!”

2. Julius K-9 Harnessjulius

How it works:
– Heavy duty buckles
– Reflective edges and chest strap
– Option for attaching sidebags
– Removable velcro labels
– Certified quality
– Breathable, skin friendly lining

 

What people say:

“Ive used it on all my dogs and I love it’s versatility. Most useful is the handle which I’ve used for a number of different reasons. I think it’s quite difficult for a dog to back out of and it’s easy to fit and comfortable too. It also has attachments for good sized saddle bags which come in handy.”

“Purchased it as a Christmas gift for myself and my dog. It fitted perfectly (thanks to the awesome measurement and weight guide), good fit and it look great on my dog 🙂

I am looking forward to working and competing with her in this harness at scent detection!”

2.TTouch Harness – Xtra Dog

ttouch

How it works:
– Non-habitual movements release tension using gentle bodywork and physically balancing groundwork exercises
– Works on the nervous system, helping to improve mental, physical and emotional balance
– It’s ideal for dogs who are nervous of harnesses.
– Two shaped fasteners either side of the neck, and two shaped fasteners either side of the barrel enable you to put the harness on your dog without having to place it over his head or having to lift a leg.

What people say:

“Front connection designed for balancing and ttouch on the xtra dog. With fleece padding too. Only downside is non adjustable neck.”

“Tried various ones at Crufts including the perfect fit but I think my dog is a funny shape so they all pulled under the armpits. The Ttouch harness from xtra dog was the only one that fit great! This is the one that adjusts everywhere (neck, chest, sides).”

3. Zero DC Padded Harness

zerodc

How it works:
– It is made from non-absorbent materials and therefore the frost resistant
– fulfills all the conditions for the distribution of the maximum tensile force
– Does not slip
– Allows free movement of the back
– no contact with the neck of the dog and enables free breathing

What people say:

“I pick the Zero Dc as it is soft and “wide” so there are no thin straps that chafe armpits, fits my fluffy shelties body perfectly and I feel in control ob our walk”

“One of the best features of this harness, particularly for smaller dogs, is the small area of padding which extends beyond the back length of the harness, below the ring for attaching your bungee line clip to. This additional padding means that a metal clip which may normally have bounced on the dogs’ back if the line becomes slack, doesn’t cause any issues for your dog.”

4. Halti Harness

pvi-halti-harness-01

How does it work?
– Steers the dog from his chest rather than by his head
– The HALTI Harness puts owners in control of dogs that don’t like or cannot wear a HALTI Headcollar
– the HALTI does not put painful pressure on the body and is always comfortable
– Ideally used with a double-ended lead to give maximum control
– The back ring above the shoulders acts as a brake while the front lead steers

What people say:

“Completely size adjustable, light weight and simple to fit, can be used with a single ended lead connecting to the front (so it actually targets the problem of pulling) or a double ended lead attached to the front and one to the back. I use the single lead to the front with my ex-pulling samoyed. He walks beautifully in this harness, the ones with rear connecting clips if anything made his pulling even worse.”

“Bought this harness after hearing all the positive reviews I had read. We didn’t really believe it could be that good but have been at the end of our tether with our staffie/bulldog mix so were willing to try anything! It did work instantly and meant I was able to walk the dog having not been able to before because of his relentless pulling. He walked slowly and by my side with this harness coupled with the training lead, however, he doesn’t seem to enjoy it and did get a little aggressive a couple of times (out of frustration at being controlled I think) :(We still use it for street walks though and I would thoroughly recommend it, well worth the money and smart to look at too.”

5. Mekuti Balance Harness

mekuti

How it works:
– Fully adjustable, comfortable and secure
– Promotes even muscle development which can help with recovery from injury or hip dysplasia
– Reduces lead reactivity
– Improves posture which can help with back problems in both dog and handler
– Improve control, direction and speed gently

 

 

What people say:

(taken from the website)

“I received the harness today and took my rottie for a walk just to see what it was like. When I was told about it , I had my reservations about putting a rottie in a harness. I have to say though, that today was the best walk I have ever had with him. He had lunged at other dogs in the past and at 42kgs it’s hard to keep him down. Today we passed other dogs & he really did not bother…. I can’t believe the difference. After Christmas I am going to order another just to keep as spare….I am so impressed….Thank you.”

“I have a Shiba Inu puppy, just 19 weeks at the time of writing.She had got to the stage that when I appeared with a lead she ran away and hid, the reason being she didn’t like the harness and lead/collar combination that she was in because when she pulled it choked her. I didn’t like them either, until I heard about your product, I didn’t know of another way to walk her. I suffer from arthritis and my arms hurt so much that I was beginning to despair.”

“Then my friend gave me the “Battersea Dogs magazine” and my eyes riveted on your advert, as it reminded me of a harness I used to use on my Chow Chow’s, 20 years ago. I was on the internet that day, it came the next. We tried it that same day and it made me cry because she walked WITHOUT PULLING, and without choking. We have not looked back, we are both now very happy, many, many thanks for a wonderful product. “

NOTE: Remember that harnesses are not a replacement or alternative to training and behaviour management. They are an aid to fit in with other interventions. If you need a trainer or behaviourist, please go to www.moderndoggroup.com/directory.

Agility

Daisy is a very active dog and I do struggle sometimes to keep up with her. I wanted to find something that might channel her love of running and her abundant energy. Agility seemed to be the answer. I’d seen it on the TV and I’d been to an agility festival where the dogs and handlers seemed to have a great time. So with slight hesitation, I booked us on to a 6 week beginners agility course.

Now I’m not the fittest of people, and exercise doesn’t come naturally to me. But I wanted to do this for Daisy. I realised just how out of shape I was, and I realised just how fast Daisy was! I was totally out of my depth the first couple of weeks, but as I kept at it, small achievements were worth it. I managed to get Daisy through a tunnel, which I had never been able to do before. I was so proud of her!

There have been times when I have thought to myself that I can’t do it, that I’m not the sort of person that does agility. I have thought that I’m not good enough because I haven’t always given the correct signals to Daisy, which has resulted in her being confused as to what I wanted her to do. However, I have also found that small things mean a lot and that I get so much out of seeing Daisy being focussed and having fun.

I was really conscious of the fact that Daisy barks a lot when she’s on the lead around other dogs. I thought the club were going to kick me out. But they didn’t mind, and said that it just shows she is excited and getting into it. That made me relax and not worry about it. In turn, I think that this has helped Daisy to be more relaxed. Because of her tendency to bark at other dogs, I have to work hard during the hour or so to keep her attention when having a break. She is very easily distracted. Thankfully, she is really food-orientated, so I probably get through a whole bag of treats in one session!

I’m not the most confident person, and I have found that I have had to challenge myself mentally and physically to do agility. But I would say that the more I do it, the more I realise that I don’t have to be perfect, Daisy doesn’t have to get it right all the time, and that it is as much about having fun as anything else. I have really noticed a difference in the way Daisy responds to me since starting to agility. Her focus on me has improved greatly, and I feel the bond between us has got stronger. I am really proud of how much she has worked. It takes a small distraction for her to run off and play, but she chooses to stay with me. Well most of the time anyway!

For any owner that struggles with focussing their dog, or that wants to strengthen that bond, I would really recommend agility. It challenges your dog mentally and physically. It will also challenge you as an owner. But I would say that you will get so much out of it, and your relationship will blossom!

Why I Train Positively

Positive Dog Training is still relatively new even though it has been around for a couple of decades now. People still train their dogs using force, even as little as using choke collars or pulling back on the lead when walking. Unfortunately, this does not teach the dog what to do, it only teaches them to be afraid. Welcome to the world of positive dog training. There are four main parts to positive training:

1. Use positive training

2. Avoid the use of intimidation and physical punishment or fear

3. Understand the misconceptions of dominance theory

4. Learn about the canine experience from the dog’s point of view

So what is positive reinforcement?

Positive reinforcement means rewarding a behaviour you want, which means your dog will offer that behaviour more. When paired with negative punishment (the removal or withholding of something the dog wants like food, attention, toys, or human contact for a short period of time) or using a vocal interrupter to redirect negative behaviour onto a wanted behaviour and to guide a dog into making the right choices, these methods are a foundational element of the core of positive training. Traditional trainers argue that positive training shows a lack of leadership, but the truth is that the most respected and successful leaders are able to affect change without the use of force.

Why doesn’t punishment work?

Science has shown that punitive training methods don’t work long term and may create aggression problems or exacerbate any pre-existing aggression.

What is dominance theory and why isn’t it true?

Dominance theory is based on research into wolves and how they operate in packs. The study showed that wolves would show aggression and violence to protect or claim resources. They would dominate the other wolves and there was a definite alpha dog. However, the research was flawed as these wolves were studied in captivity and weren’t related. All scientific research since has disproved the theory. Your dog knows that you are not a dog, and isn’t trying to dominate you. If they are rushing through the door, it is because they want something beyond the door, not because they are trying to dominate you. There is no pack, and you don’t need to be their pack leader. They need you to be their guide and their friend.

Why do I need to see things from my dog’s point of view?

If you want to build a positive relationship with your dog, then you need to put yourself in your dog’s paws. Learn about the breed of your dog, learn about the makeup of a dog and what they need. Spend time just observing your dog’s body language. Learn to think dog and talk dog.

To find out more, then make sure to go to www.moderndoggroup.com

To find a positive trainer, go to www.moderndoggroup.com/directory