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Dog Training Harness: Ultimate Guide

Dog Training Harness: Ultimate Guide
9 min read

There is nothing better than taking your dog on a walk and spending some quality time with your gorgeous four-legged child. However, if they’re still untrained, then this peaceful outing could quickly turn into a tug of war. This is where this dog training harness post comes to the rescue.

Don’t let your outdoors quality time spent with your dog turn into a tedious chore that has the potential to become dangerous. Stick around to learn about the different types of dog harnesses and get some important tips as well.

Dog Training Harness- What is it and its history

What is a dog harness?

It is a vest-like tool composed of straps that loop around the dog’s torso. Once upon a time, they were first created to attach some sort of weight to the dogs so they would pull on it and move it.

Now, they’re mostly used as restraining equipment for untrained companion animals.

Why use it?

A dog harness isn’t just an equipment used to enforce control, it is also a great safety measure.

A leash attached to a harness significantly reduces choking and neck injuries. Attaching a leash to the collar means it will tug over your dog’s neck.

However, attaching the leash to the harness takes the pressure off your dog’s neck and distributes it between their shoulders.

The history of dog harnesses

Dog collars existed since Ancient Egypt, but who was the first to harness a dog?

Dog Training Harness: Ultimate Guide

This is a tough question to answer. We have archeological evidence of dog harnessing dating back to one thousand BC from the Canadian Thule sites and historical evidence from the Arabian literature from the tenth century on sled usage.

In the thirteenth century, Marco Polo, the Italian writer, and explorer mentioned in his writing that he saw dog sleds in a Siberia. Even the fourteenth-century Chinese poetry included dog sleds.

Dog Training Harness – How to take measurements

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a dog harness. I mean, think of how diverse dog breeds are!

How could a harness that is a perfect fit for an adult German Shepherd, who belongs to the medium to large breed profile, flawlessly fit a petite Shih Tzu?

That’s why it’s important you measure your dog properly before you go and purchase the harness that is going to fit them best. Going to the store prepared with all of the measurements written down will make your shopping experience so much easier.

Why?

Because the Pet Store owner or whoever is working there will be able to assist and guide you. The goal is to get the perfect harness for your precious dog.

Measurement taking steps

Let’s start with measuring the chest area. You’re going to measure around the widest points of the chest area with measuring tape. Write down the number you get on a piece of paper.

It’s always better to add a couple of inches to the total you get. We don’t want the harness to be too tight; we want our dogs to feel comfortable while walking and running in it.

It will also save you some money if your dog gains a bit of weight in the near future.

Next, you will measure the circumference of their neck. Now, not all harnesses have an opening for the neck, but it is good to know the measurement if you’re still not sure which harness you’re going to get.

Finally, you will have to measure your dog’s weight. If you’ve recently taken your dog to the vet, then you might already know their weight. If you don’t remember it, then don’t worry. You won’t have to find a magical way to get your dog on the scale.

All you have to do is pick up your dog, step on the scale, read the scale, and step down.

Next, you’ll put your four-legged child down, and step up on the scale alone to weight yourself. To get your dog’s weight, simply subtract your weight from the total weight you got when both of you were standing on the scale.

Your dog’s weight is not a very important detail when it comes to harness shopping.

However, this will help the shop worker assist you in finding the perfect harness for your dog. The weight will give the worker a basic understanding of the potential pulling power your dog could have and take this into consideration.

If you’re looking for a fancy looking harness, I highly recommend you check our Gentleman’s Deluxe Tuxedo For A Dog Harness & Leash. Your dog would look so adorable in it. Maybe them looking cute in it would be a good motivation for you to survive the training period.

Dog Training Harness: Ultimate Guide

Dog Training Harness – The three different types

There are many different types of harnesses, but today I am going to focus on the the three different types of no pull harnesses for dogs.

Dog Training Harness: Back Clip Harness

The first one I am going to discuss is the back clip harness. This is the harness that fits around the front of your dog and also around their chests.

The leash gets clipped to the harness’ top part, which is located almost halfway along your pooch’s back.

The back clip harness will aid in reducing your dog’s pulling. However, what makes this harness truly shine is its protective nature.

It significantly reduces neck injury incidents that could often happen if the leash was clipped to the dog’s collar.

Dog Training Harness: Chest Clip Harness

The second type of harness we’re going to discuss today is the chest clip harness. This harness is very similar to the back clip one except for one thing.

This thing is that it is better at controlling and preventing the pulling action. Whenever your dog pulls, they get redirected to face you a bit.

Dog Training Harness: Back & chest-clip harness

Finally but not least, let’s talk about the back and chest clip harness because it’s like the best of both worlds.

This is the perfect harness for dogs who are extremely hard to control because of their excessive energy and compulsive tendencies to bolt at any point in time.

In the back and chest clip harness, the leash is attached to two different clips on the harness.

This acts as double restrainment, making it a good option for people who are not strong enough to guide their dogs to safety.

Dog Training Harness – The perfect fit

Because your dog is going to be already a bit uncomfortable at first when they start wearing a harness, you want to make sure that the material of the harness is good.

A good material will make your dog feel comfortable, and will be durable, so don’t just go for the cheaper alternative.

You would also want to make sure that no pinch points are forming when your dog is wearing the harness. You can always adjust the harness a little bit, so make sure that your dog is comfortable and not in pain.

A nice quick test to do with these adjustable straps is inserting two fingers under any strap while your dog is wearing the harness.

If your two fingers fit, that congratulations on finding the perfect fit.

If you make the straps too tight, the dog will feel constrained and uncomfortable. They will also end up with chaffed armpits, leaving the areas behind your dog’s front legs sore and bloody.

On the other hand, if you make the harness too loose, you are going to lose a bit of the control. Also, the harness will weaver about, which could be very distracting and annoying to the dog.

Dog Training Harness – How to prevent pulling

As we discussed before, one of the most important reasons to harness train your dog is to reduce the pulling.

Now, like any other form of training, the process starts with you. If you’re in a mindful state of mind, and you use positive reinforcement and attention redirection, you’ll make your life so much easier.

Here is what you should do whenever your dog starts pulling when you’re taking them on a walk.

Whenever your dog pulls, stop walking and call their name.

When they face you, reward them with some treats. Always take a bag of treats when you’re harness training your dog, and use a positive trigger phrase such as “Good boy” or Good girl.”

By implementing attention redirection and positive reinforcement, you’re sending a message to your dog that pulling is bad and avoiding that gets them rewards.

Dog Training Harness – How to put a harness on a dog

Before you start reading this section, I highly recommend you read my Top 5 Puppy Training Tips You Should Know blog post first.

A popular type of harnesses is the step-in harness. You will have the harness laying on the floor, and then you guide your dog to step into it.

There’s going to be fastening buckle on either side as well as two large spaces. You’ll start with putting your dog’s feet into those large spaces. Give your dog a treat for stepping in, then proceed to lift up the harness from both sides at the same time.

Bring both ends of the harness over the sides, where they will meet in the middle. This is where you snap the buckle in conjunction.

You might have two rings from both straps which you can then hold together and clip the lead around them.

Do a check up

Like we previously mentioned, we don’t want the straps to be too tight, but we don’t want them to be too loose either.

Do a last check up to ensure that the front strap is beneath the throat and that the other straps go up to towards and around each shoulder.

This is will give your dog a full range of motion. Finally, you’re ready to go for your walk.

It might sound a bit intimidating to put your dog into the harness but hopefully, you now feel more comfortable doing it after reading this.

The most important things to keep in mind is to know that things might go wrong. When I say things might go wrong, I don’t mean it is always going to be a bad thing.

You might end up laughing or giving up for the day. Just keep that in mind, cause eventually, you’ll be able to do it.

That’s it for today’s ultimate guide on how to harness train your four legged furry companion. Which type of harness do you use? Do you have any specific question redgarding this topic? If so, then please feel free to leave them in the comments down below.

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