Thursday, September 20, 2012

Waiting for Andy's New Harness


Andy's been a puller from the get go and when we first adopted him it was apparent the ol' leash and collar wasn't going to cut it. It's a combination of poor training on our part, bad manners on his part, and that darn hound nose of his. Once he catches whiff of a scent trail there's no turning back! We started Andy off with a gentle leader, a collar that looped around his muzzle and fit around his head. In theory it was supposed to combat pulling, lunging, and jumping. In reality it did no such thing and rubbed his muzzle raw to boot.

For the last 2 months Andy's been wearing a body harness he inherited from Maxwell. I think it was the cheapest one we could find at a local big box pet supply store. While it does give us better control over him than the Gentle Leader overall, its design is flawed. The adjustable straps are always coming loose (it's made of nylon but has a shiny, almost silky, finish if that makes any sense, and allows for more slide), the strap that goes around his torso frequently detaches from the rest of the harness, and the middle section (where the leash clips) migrates from side to side when we're walking. 

After doing some research I decided to buy a Premier Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness on amazon.com for $14.63 (the same item sells at Petco for $29.99). Like traditional body harnesses the Easy Walk is designed to gently discourage leash pulling while preventing traditional collar/leash coughing or choking. The primary difference with the Easy Walk harness is that the leash clips to the front of the harness as opposed to the back. According to the product description, "The unique front-chest attachment stops pulling by tightening gently but firmly across his chest and shoulder blades. The pressure steers him to the side and redirects his attention towards you." This harness has good reviews for the most part and I hope it works to keep Andy's unrestrained enthusiasm in check. Will let you know how it goes!

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