Easy Walk Harness
The simplest and most effective activity to do with your pet dog is to go for a walk. Being outdoor and getting exercise in the form of a walk or run is essential for a dog. Exercise helps keep your dog physically and mentally healthy. This simple activity can become complicated if your dog tends to pull at the leash when walking. An easy walk harness comes in very handy in situations like these.
Though collars are the most used and most accessible for a lot of dogs, they may not be the right fit for all dogs. When considering a harness, it is essential to pay attention to crucial things like easy walk harness sizing and style. A dog may also need to be given some harness training to get it used the harness. Before committing to one, a perusal of harness reviews can be a good starting point for your research.
Though all harnesses help train a dog to stop pulling when walking on a leash, they are not all the same. Different dogs and different training goals and situations can call for different styles of harnesses.
What is an Easy Walk Harness?
An easy walk harness has straps that go across your dog’s shoulders and secure underneath its body, across the chest. The straps stray behind the front legs. There is a ring to secure the leash. The placement of this ring may vary based on the design of a particular harness. The clip may be at the front of the harness or the back. In some cases, there may be two positions to secure the leash.
The harness and leash placement reduces potential pressure to the dog’s delicate throat when it pulls on a leash. The harness distributes weight more evenly and is a gentler option.
How does an Easy Walk Harness Work?
The design of the harness itself helps keep your dog in the correct position while walking. Minimal effort and pressure are required to keep the dog steady if it pulls or jumps around too much. Once attached, the harness and leash ensure that the dog has to walk by your side. If the dog pulls, the leash doesn’t pull straight back. Instead, it directs the dog to your side.
As a result, you exert less pressure, the dog feels less of a pull and is gently directed in the direction you want it to go. With enough practice and training, the dog will learn to walk without excessive pulling. In comparison, a traditional collar and leash combination means that once the dog pulls, the reactionary pull from you will put direct pressure on the dog’s neck and yank it straight back. This force can damage the delicate trachea and cause injury in larger or more aggressive dogs. Smaller dogs can also get hurt because their bodies are more delicate anyway.
Is the Easy Walk Harness the Right Choice?
The easy walk harness may not be the right choice for all dogs. However, in some cases, it can be a handy tool. If your dog is older or frailer, then a harness is the right choice. In other cases, a dog may be young and healthy but of a more delicate breed. Other examples may be of a dog who needs the training to walk calmly when leashed and around other dogs and people. In all these situations, a harness may be preferred over collars or even head harnesses.
Finding the Right Easy Walk Harness for Your Dog
Before walking into a pet store to buy an easy walk harness, it is good to do some research and understand some key points.
The most important aspect of buying an easy walk harness for your dog is the size. If the harness is too small, it will cause discomfort and eventually do more harm than good. If the harness is too big, a dog may be able to slip out of it easily. An excited or aggressive dog who manages to shake off the harness may be particularly dangerous in a crowded park filled with other dogs and children.
Sizing for easy walk harnesses is calculated based on the chest measurements and the girth of the dog.
Another consideration when buying a harness is the style. There is a variety of styles in the market. The differences vary from material to size of the straps. Thinner straps may be less comfortable for some dogs, while thicker ones may be too bulky from smaller dogs. There are also additional features such as cooling packs to keep a dog’s temperature more even on a scorching day. Whatever the style, it must work for your dog and its particular needs and preferences.
Putting on an Easy Walk Harness correctly
After sizing and style are taken care of, the dog owner must practice putting on the harness correctly. A dog may not be receptive to a harness immediately. You may need to figure out and align all the straps before gently slipping on the harness. Some adjustments will need to be made once the harness is on. While these are being done, it is good to keep some treats to reward the dog and create a positive association for the dog.
Make any gently but quickly to make sure there is minimal discomfort to the dog.
Training your Dog
Whether it is a gentle leader head harness or an easy walk harness, the tool must be supplemented with a solid training plan and strategy. The harness will help a dog move smoothly, but in the end, the aim should be to teach your dog that the best way to walk is with a loose leash. This aim can be reinforced by repeatedly rewarding all good behavior until it becomes a habit for the dog.
If your dog gets agitated or pulls around other dogs and you react by jerking a leash too hard, the dog will associate that pain with other dogs. As a result, your dog may continue to act aggressively and bothered whenever it is around other dogs. A gentler training approach with rewards and positive reinforcement will prevent such an occurrence.
Pros and Cons of an Easy Walk Harness
As with all equipment, there are some pros and cons to consider when using an easy walk harness.
Useful for Training
A harness is an excellent tool to help train a dog that tends to pull or jump on a leash. There is much more control but gently. This control is valuable, especially in a crowded area. Bigger dogs can also be contained with much less effort, making a harness handy for the elderly, children, and those with physical limitations. It is also a useful training tool for puppies who are being leash trained.
No Slipping Off Easily
The harness has several points where it needs to be correctly fitted onto a dog’s body. This correct fit helps to make sure a dog cannot easily paw off a harness.
No Choking Hazard
When a dog pulls on a leash attached to a harness, there is no chance of choking and damaging the neck and trachea. A harness is, therefore, a safe option for training and controlling dogs when on a walk.
Useful for Brachycephalic Breeds
Dog breeds with short noses can be particularly tricky to put a leash or a head halter on. Dogs such as pugs can have pre-existing breathing issues, and a collar can add to their problems by putting excessive pressure on their necks. A harness eliminates this potential threat and provides a comfortable leash system.
Setting up a harness
With some types of easy walk harnesses, the initial setup can be confusing for some people. Multiple adjustment points on a harness make it a good fit for your dog, but figuring these out and putting it on the dog quickly but gently can be a challenge.
Getting used to it
A collar is attached to one point on a dog’s body, and most dogs adjust to this easily. A harness, on the other hand, attaches to several places under the shoulders and chest. A dog may not take to this many straps easily. To prevent a dog from rejecting the harness, reward the dog generously during this time. Take the time to practice with the harness on at home or in a familiar place.
Chaffing and Irritation
Some styles and materials, such as nylon, may rub against the dog’s underbelly and cause rashes. This irritation can be a severe deterrent to harness usage.
Using a harness can help gently train a dog without putting pressure on the dog or its owner. While very useful, the easy walk harness does need to be used with care. Especially noteworthy is the easy walk harness sizing. Remember, use a well-fitted harness as a complimentary resource for your overall training plan for your dog. Frequently reward good behavior, so your dog learns to walk calmly on a loose leash.
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