September 19, 2016
The wonderful Academy for Dog Trainers, and my Alma Mater, is at it again! This time it’s #HarnessTheLove, a week long social media campaign to highlight and promote the use of no-pull harnesses. Hope you’ll join in the fun, take away some useful tidbits, and share the knowledge.
Of course the Inquisitive Canine is participating! As a certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, I’m all about force-free training, pawsitive reinforcement, and the use of aversive-free equipment – specifically harnesses that allow for both front-clip and back-clip leash attachment. This special campaign is all about highlighting the use of these types of harnesses, while focusing on educating people what to do, rather than shaming or finger-pointing for choosing other types of equipment.
Why do I love harnesses? First, they take pressure off your dog’s neck and distribute it across a larger body area, unlike traditional collars, making it more comfortable for your dog. And a comfortable dog is in position to learn better and often more readily. Harnesses also give you a vantage point in communicating with your inquisitive canine, as it is easier to feel movement, any tension, and energy through the leash.
Let’s take a look at loose leash walking, meaning your dog is walking in a relaxed state on a leash while being allowed to explore and sniff within the length of the leash with no pulling, tugging, or lunging. Sound too good to be true? Well, a harness helps makes this possible. Think about the traditional collar and leash from a dog’s perspective. Many dogs experience sharp pains in their neck, feelings of being choked, not being able to breathe, and what can be perceived as feelings of stress and frustration. There’s no reason for that with such a wide variety of harnesses available.
As a matter of fact, I’m so on-board with harness use that I’ve even started my own dog product company called TransPaw Gear™, LLC and am in the process of launching the official TransPaw Gear™ dog harness! A dog-friendly, user-friendly, multi-purpose harness that puts the FUN in FUNctional! Want more info? Check out our TransPaw Gear™ dog harness webpage – And, if you’re so inclined, “Like” us on Facebook!
But, this post, and the #HarnessTheLove campaign isn’t about self-promotion, it is about educating the community on the importance of using force-free methods and equipment with their inquisitive canines! I’ve always said that dog collars are like wallets: they should be used to carry identification and complement an outfit – or fur. So, what products should you use?
There seems to be a wide variety to choose from. And, I know the importance of shopping around and making an informed decision. With the many options, it’s best to look for features that work best for you. your inquisitive canine, budget, and resources available. In addition to our very own TransPaw Gear™ dog harness, a few others that I’ve had some hands-on, and paws-on, experience with include:
The Freedom No-Pull Dog Harness which has front and back clips to discourage pulling. It also has a velvet lining on the strap to prevent chafing behind the legs. Recommended by trainers and inquisitive canines alike.
- The Tru-Fit Smart Harness has five adjustment points for a great fit plus a chest D-ring. Dogs are assured comfort and protection with its front chest pieces. A great everyday walking harness
- Softtouch Concepts, Inc. Front-Connection™ harnesses offer a number of sizes, colors, and prices, without the use of restrictive designs. One of Poncho’s favorite.
My personal and professional opinion is dogs would most likely rather run around naked than wear any type of collar or harness. But, to adapt to our human world, they’ll put up with our requests for sporting an article of clothing – or two. The least we can do is help make them comfortable.
So, tell me, how do you and your inquisitive canine #HarnessTheLove? Please share your #HarnessTheLove story. It’s easy on Facebook, Instagram, your own blog, and with friends at the dog park!
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Wanna join the conversation? Just head to the comment section below. Care to share pics and videos of your inquisitive canine? We invite you to post on our Facebook page.