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Harness Issues

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by mad max, Oct 27, 2012.


  1. mad max

    mad max PetForums Junior

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    Hi my 12 week boston terrier pup is petrified of his harness, I put it on him a week ago and he was'nt bothered about it at all, so i put the lead on and let it drag along behind him, well he totally freaked out... he thought the lead was chasing him and was flying about the house to get away, by the time id caught him he was shacking and very stressed :(. So now he hates it! whenever i put it on him he wont move he just sits and shacks, he wont even look at me. Ive been trying it on him for short periods but i have him on my knee most of the time trying to calm him down, but im worried by me doing this he'll think there must be something wrong and end up making the problem worse. Any ideas would be grateful guys. :confused:
     
  2. totallypets

    totallypets PetForums Senior

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    The way I train to accept a muzzle is as follows...

    Sit on the floor with muzzle behind you and dog in front. Bring muzzle into sight and say 'muzzle' in a really happy excited voice and give the dog a treat. Reapeat at least 2 or 3 times before bringing the muzzle out and touching it to the side of the dogs face each time saying 'muzzle' in a happy way (you feel a bit of a twit but it works!). With each repetition you are happy/xcited and the dog gets a treat, they learn to associate the muzzle with good things - you being happy and them getting a treat and praise/fuss. Keep each session short, maybe only 2 minutes, but if you can do 4 or 5 a day mores the better. I then build to putting the muzzle over their nose without being fastened, to being fastened and then removed immediately, to being fastened and building up the time before praise/treat.

    I would put some time into doing the same but with the harness and obviously not attaching a lead to drag along as this is the thing that worried your pup in the first place.

    I have only heard of 1 dog who didn't accept in his case a lead with this method, but he is extremely sensitive and did accept it in the end but it had to be attached in a different room.
     
  3. Amy-manycats

    Amy-manycats PetForums Senior

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    Is he too stressed that if you put it on him and then gave himhis dinner he couldn't eat. If not that would help create a positive association with it.

    Perhaps try letting him eat with the harness next to his bowl first before you put it on him.
     
  4. mad max

    mad max PetForums Junior

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    He wont eat or look at anything apart from the floor :(
     
  5. mad max

    mad max PetForums Junior

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    I'll just have to try and show him its fun for a couple of minutes a few times a day, just hope he gets used to it as i want to get him out next weekend
     
  6. Patterdale_lover

    Patterdale_lover PetForums VIP

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    Such a young dog shouldnt be wearing a harness it can damage their chest.
     
  7. Phoolf

    Phoolf PetForums VIP

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    Surely that depends on the type of harness you choose?
     
  8. mad max

    mad max PetForums Junior

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    It was my vet who suggested to train/walk him with a harness with him having a flat face and his nasal openings are narrow. Im sure if it was going to have any affect on his chest the vet would have mentioned it.
     
  9. Wiz201

    Wiz201 PetForums VIP

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    I don't know how walking him on a collar could seriously affect his breathing unless he pulled all the time. I've seen Victoria Stillwell use a slip lead on a small dog that didn't like his owner coming to put the lead on him as it was a less threatening way to him and she could then gain control before putting a normal lead on.
     
  10. Phoolf

    Phoolf PetForums VIP

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    I agree. I don't see any problems with a well designed harness being used on a young pup. I do see problems with flat collars being used on very small, not yet trained dogs with small airways. My parents cav had a neck problem due to a flat collar for instance.
     
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