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Dog Harness: Discover How to Get Your Pooch Used to It

·6 mins
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Invoxia Petcare blog
Invoxia Petcare blog

When it comes to walking our four-legged companion, comfort and safety are paramount. Many dog owners today turn to an essential accessory: the dog harness.

A practical alternative to the traditional collar, the harness offers a more pleasant and secure walking experience for your dog. But how do you get them used to this new equipment and what should you know before getting started? This article guides you step by step so that your dog enthusiastically adopts its harness.

black and white dog wearing a harness

Why Choose a Harness for Your Dog?
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The first question many owners ask is: why opt for a harness rather than a simple collar? The answer lies in the multiple benefits that the harness offers both for the health and comfort of your pet. Unlike the collar, which puts pressure on the dog’s neck when it pulls, the harness distributes this force more evenly across the chest, thus reducing the risk of injuries to the trachea or cervical vertebrae.

Moreover, harnesses provide better control over energetic dogs or those that are learning to walk on a leash. This makes walks less stressful for both the dog and the owner, contributing to a better relationship between them.

Dog Harness: What Are the Options and How to Choose the Right One?
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Choosing the right harness for your dog can greatly improve their comfort and safety during walks. Here are some types of harnesses and our tips for selecting the most suitable one:

  • Vest harnesses: this type of harness is ideal for dogs with sensitive skin or those who require extra comfort. They offer good pressure distribution and are often soft and padded.

  • Clip harnesses: these harnesses are easy to put on and take off, making them perfect for dogs who do not like having objects passed over their head.

  • Sport harnesses: these are designed for intense activities like running or hiking. They are sturdy and often feature additional functionalities like reflective attachments or pockets.

  • No-pull harnesses: these dog harnesses are recommended if your dog tends to pull a lot on the leash during walks. With attachments placed at the chest level, their design discourages the dog from pulling by exerting gentle pressure.

  • Car safety harnesses: specially designed for co-pilot dogs, this is a must-have when you often take the car with your dog. They help prevent injuries in case of sudden braking or an accident.

french bulldog held on a leash with a harness

To choose the right harness for your dog, you will need to consider several things. First, take into account the size, breed, and behavior of your dog. There are many models, so make sure the harness fits well.

Ensure that the harness is properly adjusted: a harness that is too tight can cause discomfort, while one that is too loose can allow your dog to escape. Trying on before buying is always recommended to ensure a perfect fit.

And don’t forget: the quality of the materials is also very important! To ensure your dog’s comfort and the durability of your harness, prefer durable fabrics with reinforced seams and a soft, breathable lining.

How to Get Your Dog Used to a Harness
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Getting your dog used to wearing a harness may require patience. You will need to follow several steps to integrate the harness smoothly.

✅ Step 1: Gradual Introduction of the Harness
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Start by leaving the harness near the dog, where they can smell it, see it, and get used to it at their own pace.

✅ Step 2: Associate the Harness with Positive Experiences
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Each time your dog touches or shows interest in the harness, reward them with treats or petting. This creates a positive association between the harness and things your dog likes.

✅ Step 3: Try the Harness for Short Periods
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Gently put the harness on your dog for short periods while staying at home. Start with a few minutes and gradually increase the duration.

✅ Step 4: Distract Your Dog While Wearing the Harness
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While the dog is wearing the harness, engage them in their favorite games or give them simple tasks to divert their attention from the fact that they are wearing something new. This helps to normalize wearing the harness.

✅ Step 5: Take Short Walks with the Harness
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Start with short walks around the house or in a calm environment where your dog feels safe. This allows them to adjust to the harness in a reassuring setting, while associating the harness with the activity of walking.

✅ Step 6: Monitor and Adjust the Harness as Needed
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Make sure the harness is properly adjusted, neither too tight nor too loose and regularly check for any potential friction points.

✅ Step 7: Gradually Increase the Duration and Variety of Walks
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Once your dog seems comfortable with the harness during short walks, start to introduce them to more diverse and dynamic places. This can include parks, busier streets, or new walking grounds.

dog with a harness receiving a treat

Throughout the process, it is crucial to remain patient and continuously encourage your dog with rewards and positive reinforcement. Each dog is different, and some may take longer to adjust to their new harness.

Minitailz: How to Use It with a Dog Harness?
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More and more of you are adopting a harness for your dog. If you have chosen a model with thin straps, good news: you can definitely attach Minitailz. You will then be able to track your dog’s position and their walking time! For this, make sure that the GPS tracker is placed as high as possible to optimize tracking.

When you return home, don’t forget to replace your dog’s harness with its collar. Indeed, it is intended for walking only and is not suitable for continuous use. Once the collar is back on and Minitailz attached, you will be able to follow all the data you need to ensure their well-being: their health, activity level, and movements.

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The Downsides of the Dog Harness
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The harness is a good way to ensure your dog’s comfort during walks. But like many dog accessories, it has its downsides. Here are some common challenges and suggestions for solving them:

  • Fit Issues:

    • Too tight: A harness that is too tight can cause discomfort and even injuries. Make sure you can fit two fingers between the harness and your dog’s skin.

    • Too loose: A harness that slips can allow your dog to escape or get injured. Regularly check the fit, especially if your dog has lost or gained weight.

  • Signs of Discomfort to Watch For:

    • Excessive scratching: If your dog scratches more than usual, it means the harness may be irritating their skin.

    • Change in gait: A change in how they walk can indicate that the harness is bothering your dog.

  • Tips for Properly Adjusting the Harness:

    • Consult tutorials: Many manufacturers offer videos or guides to help you properly adjust their harnesses.

    • Seek help during the first adjustment: A professional or experienced seller can help you adjust the harness correctly the first time.

dog on a walk with its owner equipped with a harness

By following these tips, you and your dog can enjoy many comfortable and safe walks. And remember: patience is the key to giving your dog time to get used to their harness!

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