It’s always good to have an opinion!

As somebody who also hates harnesses on a dog this got lots of sage nods as it was read. What do you think though?

One of my biggest Pet Peeves that has made its way from the AR movement, even into our show scene. Ok first…. for those of you that think these harnesses are more kind then any type of choke or nylon choke, you’re wrong. But, I guess it’s easier, right? God forbid we train our dogs to walk nicely on a lead with us. God forbid, we take them to a class if you need help. God forbid you spend extra time with your dog you wanted or had to have so badly. They are not kinder or gentle, they are horrible and awkward. Or how about those on a harness? Omg, what was a harness designed to do? Pull!!! Every time I see a dog dragging its owner down a street on a harness I shake my head. Train your dog, it’s not hard….take a class if you need help. Or how about those Halty leads? How would you like led around by your nose? Of course it gives you control, that’s how they lead a 1000 LB Bull, by its nose. For god’s sake, take a puppy class, teach your dog to walk with you, engaged and focus. Oh also, those wide buckle collars (perfect on some breeds, Sighthounds) but RR, etc? Not!!!! You have no control and you think you’re being kind to your dogs throat, no you’re teaching them it’s ok to pull, hang on the collar… instead teach them to walk nicely with you. The choke release type collar when used properly is effective and humane. Learn how to use it!
I’ve even seen these at shows recently on RR and Irish Wolfhounds…and I’ve seen the long term bad side effects on how it has ruined dogs movement and front assembly permanently.
I always encourage my puppy pet people to take a class or 2 of puppy kindergarten. I tell them that the time spent now pays off in spades later….hopefully you got that dog or puppy because you wanted a companion right? Well them make them one, teach, train and spend time with them , to make them that dog you admire of your friends. Those dogs that you see that seem like such great perfect dogs….yes they were made through time, dedication and tons of socialization.
Whew! Ok, I’ll step down off that soap box.
This one really gets me going as you can see.


7 thoughts on “It’s always good to have an opinion!

  1. My dogs are trained to walk on a loose leash with a harness. I use a non restrictive harness recommended by a vet who works with canine rehab. The type of harness is imporant. God forbid someone teach the dog TO loose leash walk with a harness. God forbid we use a lesser aversive method to train a dog.

    • Kelli, you are good at what you do but what about the hundreds, if not thousands, that have dogs on harness that just pull, pull, pull and are under no control whatsoever? It takes time to properly lead train a dog and many don’t seem to have time or inclination so just “stick it on a harness” because somebody says it’s better.


      • “but what about the hundreds, if not thousands, that have dogs on harness that just pull, pull, pull and are under no control whatsoever? It takes time to properly lead train a dog and many don’t seem to have time or inclination so just “stick it on a harness” because somebody says it’s better.”

        The exact same thing can be said for chokes and prongs. I’ve seen dogs treated for asphyxia on chokes and punctures from prongs, let alone the ones I see daily pulling their people down the street, gagging all the way. Putting training philosophy aside, no tool can teach a dog not to pull. Only training can do that. The question is what kind of steps do you take until a dog is trained (which, as you said, doesn’t have to take a long time, regardless of method).

        Also, there are many different styles of front-clip harnesses these days. I never recommend the kind pictured here.

      • What about the hundreds of thousands of dogs on collars pulling their owners around??? 70% or so of these dogs will have pathological issues meaning body damage because of the collar. A well fitting harness can actually reduce pulling because it takes oppositional reflex out of the equation. It is no harder to teach a dog on a harness or a collar to loose leash walk it’s just safer for the dog if you do it on a harness.

      • Every dog needs training. A flat collar, prong, choke, harness is just a tool. It’s not an excuse not to train. Anyone who slaps a harness on a dog without training is trying to take a short cut and shortcuts rarely work in life and in dog training. When we agree to take a dog into our lives we have a duty to train them, feed and vet them. Every owner has a duty to train their dog or frankly they don’t deserve one. There are a multitude of ways and trainers to help folks too. No tool trains the dog–that is just “quick fix.” Dog pull to get where they want and it’s highly effective. Dogs also do what is reinforcing to them. Dogs learn quickly that pulling gets them where they want to go and they can also learn not pull. No matter what equipment one wants to use equipment doesn’t replace training. I get it though teaching loose leash walking is hard work. I don’t see trainers just slapping on equipment though. To be brutally honest I see owners every day who don’t want to take the time to train the dog. They want it to be easy or a magical wand that fixes it and we know that isn’t going to work. Owners can only get results when they practice and train. Dogs are just like humans–a work in progress,every interaction with a dog is a training experience even if we don’t make it one that dog is learning something.

  2. ALL dogs should be taught how to walk on the leash without pulling, but unfortunately most owners just don’t have the time or the knowledge on how to do so. But it is better for the dog to be pulling on a harness rather than on a plain collar, choker or pinch collar, which can damage the dog’s throat. And yes, there are badly fitting harness too which does restrict the dog’s movement. Personally I prefer the Perfect Fit Harness, it much better than those harnesses that goes across the dog’s chest, like the one illustrated in the blog above.

  3. Interesting that the most comments for a while are about the use of harnesses. One thing we’re all agreed on though is whatever you decide the time should be taken and it should be done properly


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