Monday, April 10, 2017

Harnessing the Energy for the Win

Bristol actually seems to look forward to walks now that he has a nice harness.

What a difference the right harness has made for walking our dogs. When we signed up for The Puppy Professor classes, our instructor suggested we get a harness. When I pressed for more information, she sent us these tips:

"My colleagues and I recommend to everyone that they eventually invest in a front-clasping, body harness for their dog.  They are much safer than using just a collar, and when the leash is attached to the front ring, they discourage pulling.  Examples are: Freedom Harness, Wonder Walker, Sensible Harness and Easy Walk.  A good fit is essential for this gear to work properly, so make sure you hold onto receipts until you know your harness is a perfect fit." - Maggie Fahner 

Chuck and I went to a local pet specialty store, and purchased the only harness they had that was small enough for our puppies. It was hot pink, which Chuck wasn't particularly crazy about since Sami's signature color happens to be blue, which also happens to be Chuck's favorite color. I figured I would get Bristol a harness online. He wasn't above wearing the pink one for class, though, until his arrived. Bristol looks adorable in anything, even pink.

Unfortunately, the only harness at the store was not a front clasping one, but the salesperson assured us she loved the ones that clipped to the leash at the back. We bought it. And discovered it was not what we wanted. Sami could still pull like crazy with that thing. 

When we hooked up both of the puppies with the front-clasping harnesses, our walking experience went from frustrating to nearly blissful the very first time. 

Notice how the harness pulls Sami's right shoulder back.

Bristol hates to be pulled, and Sami loves to do the pulling. With the front-clasping harness, neither dog has pressure on the neck. When Sami charges ahead, the harness seems to apply pressure to her chest and shoulder, and she eases up to avoid being pulled back by the harness. Bristol rarely balks at walking any more, and only pauses to check things out, and resumes walking with a gentle tug and a "Let's go!" 

My goal: a loose leash. YEAH!

If you have trouble with your dog during walks, and you don't have a harness, you might want to check it out. I've been very happy with the one I bought, which happens to be from Rabbit Goo. It is sturdy, and was one of the more economical options. (Translation: It is good and cheap.)

Harnessing our puppies has made all the difference in my enjoying our daily walks. The harnesses were one of our best investments for them, so far.


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