An opinion on the harness

All of our dogs are registered as Miniature Australian Shepherds with the Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of America MASCA

It seems that now days there has been an increase of pet owners who rush out to buy a harness at the first thought of a bringing puppy into their home. I'm not sure how the trend started or why this increase, but I have my opinion and you may not like it. Get ready....

 

Harnesses are NOT for puppies! That's right. Point blank. Over the years it always seems that the owners with issues of their dog pulling on a leash are the ones that put the dog in a harness from day one. Now hear me out. I'm not suggesting that harnesses are evil. What I am suggesting is there is extreme value on your puppy being leash broke before graduating into a harness. A harness puts pressure on the chest. A dogs natural instinct is then to pull. So why would you want to teach your puppy to pull against your leash? A simple kennel leash, some basic obedience, and a lot of patience will teach your puppy NEVER to pull. Yep! Never! 

 

I recommend a kennel leash. It is not attached to the collar but it's a leash and collar in one. If you aren't sure what I am referring to, please ask. There is also a right way and a wrong way to put on a kennel leash. Video to come.

 

It's also important that you teach your puppy to sit every time you stop walking. Gently lifting up on the leash until the exact moment that little wiggle butt hits the ground is the easiest to teach this concept. You can simultaneously say the word "sit." 

 

Practice a fast walk and transition into a slow walk. Stop and ask for a sit. The idea is that puppy stays at your side on a loose leash and matches his speed to yours. 

 

Once you get some basic obedience under your belt and puppy walks well on a loose leash and doesn't pull, then I have no doubts you will transition smoothly into a harness if you choose to do so. That is going to be 4-8 months out. Until that time, keep up the good work with your basic dog training. 

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