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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I'm curious as to how many of you are using a harness. I'd like to try one with Rocky, but I'd like to know how you who have used them like them. Also, what type is best? Thanks!
yvette
 

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Why are you considering a harness? I do like the front hook harnesses like the Sense-ation and Easy Walk. I have Sense-ation harnesses and use them when I'm teaching puppies not to pull, but a regular harness will only encourage pulling, so I wouldn't recommend it.
 

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How old is Rocky? I used a harness only for Karlo when he was a baby til he hit about 4-5 mos. But I trained him when he was a baby with no collar/or leash . It helped his recall and focus to not have a leash/collar on him...when I decided to work w/ a leash he was fine with it. I used a cheap harness from Premier and it grew with him. The sensation harness would be my recommendation for an older pup or dog because it has a front clip so the dog will not pull. I really don't like flat collars for pups if they are choking themselves.
Karlo never pulled when he was young. He was always engaged with me.
But now as a full grown dog, I take him walking on the busy trails and he pulls me because I never put much obedience on heeling for recreational walks(it was more of a way to get out and just have fun). So as a structurally mature dog, I use a prong and a flat, with two lines(prong is on a tab line). When I need the prong I use it, otherwise the flat is fine. I only use a harness for protection work in SchH now( a leather one from bridgeport equipment)
 

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I use harnesses for my non GSDs and I use Lupine. Lupine brand collars and harnesses are guaranteed for life and they stand up to that warranty. I can't use harnesses for my GSDs because of pulling issues so I use a prong on my male. I can control him properly with a prong. My GSD puppy is using a martingale/slip collar for right now and she will also have a prong if need be when she gets older.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great feedback, thanks to all. I was considering a harness on him because they look comfortable! He doesn't pull on his leash very much, he really has gotten a LOT better! I was wondering if it would just encourage him to pull and give him pulling 'leverage' to really pull me if he saw something he couldn't resist. He would like to chase squirrels. I use a martingale collar and a prong collar currently which works well. I just thought that since he is doing so well on them that a harness may be more comfortable, but not if it will encourage him to try to be a sled dog!
 

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the front clip(or no pull) harness redirects the dog back to you if they start pulling, I would get one of those, if you don't want to use a prong.
 

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the front clip(or no pull) harness redirects the dog back to you if they start pulling, I would get one of those, if you don't want to use a prong.

:thumbup:
 

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I like the front clip harnesses. I have a SENSE-ation harness and it's really nice, although I haven't used it for a long time because it did not provide enough control for Bianca's leash reactivity (a trainer recommended a Halti which has helped a lot and seems to calm her.) Now that she's gotten over much of her reactivity I would use it again but since I've taught her to walk better on a loose leash I usually just switch to her regular collar if I'm not using the Halti.
I do like the harness though! If your dog doesn't pull at all you could just use a regular harness instead. I used to use a vest type harness for my terrier.
 

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I just got a front clip harness as well...WOW....what a difference!! He does not pull anymore at all! I was going to start a thread on harnesses but then I found this one :)
 

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It really depends on why you would like to use a harness. I saw from the second post in your thread that he does some pulling and that you are usually using a prong collar or a martingale. If those work for you to control pulling, there really is not much of a reason to change. Whether a dog is more comfortable in a harness or a collar really depends on the dog, the fit of the harness (or collar) and how you are using it.

There are two types of harnesses, ones where the leash clips to the back and ones where the leash clips at the front of the chest.

Harnesses where the leash clips onto the back are not good for controlling pulling because they allow the dog to put his full weight into the harness and pull you. I have two harnesses where the leash clips to the back and I use the one primarily for agitation work and the other is sort of my general purpose harness (it has small pouches on the side).

Harnesses where the leash clips to the front are usually specially designed to turn the dog toward you when he starts forging ahead, so they help control pulling and give you more control. If I had to compare a front-clip harness to a prong, however, I would say that a prong gives you more control and would be more comfortable. (I've had some issues with that type harness rubbing behind the legs, which I am assuming is not particularly comfortable for a dog.)

If your prong and/or martingale work for you, there's no reason not to stick with them. However, if you want to try something different and think it may give you a better result or that your dog may prefer it, there certainly is no reason not to try it, either. Maybe you could borrow a front-clip harness from a friend to try?
 

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If I had to compare a front-clip harness to a prong, however, I would say that a prong gives you more control....
I have never had an issue with a front hook harness rubbing and causing discomfort, but I would agree that it doesn't give you quite as much control as a prong does. But for puppies too young for a prong or a dog that just pulls a little, where you don't really need a lot of control, a front hook harness really fits the bill.

Whatever you use, it should be just a training tool, something to get more rewardable behavior to reinforce polite leash walking skills, so I prefer to use the level of control appropriate to the situation. With Keefer I didn't do nearly enough leash work with him while he was young and small. By the time he was big and strong I realized that I should have worked on loose lease walking a lot more a lot sooner because he could easily pull me off my feet if he tried, and that's when I bought my first prong.

With Halo I was determined to have a dog that walks well on leash, and I set about teaching her from a young age, both on a front hook harness and a flat collar. I use a prong on her for training, but for ordinary leash walks she really doesn't need it.
 
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