The Art of Dressing Your Pooch: How to Put on a Dog Harness

Dog owners go to great lengths to ensure their furry companions are comfortable, from cozy beds to adorable Christmas jumpers. But when it comes to walking them, a dog harness is the simplest way to make sure they’re at ease. Many dog owners, in fact, prefer using a harness over a collar. Harnesses not only provide security and prevent slipping but also protect a dog’s neck and make their walk more enjoyable.

There are two main types of dog harnesses: the standard kind that goes over the head and the step-in variety. Although the process of putting them on differs, all dog harnesses, whether for small or large dogs, share similar steps. While seasoned dog owners may find this task a breeze, it can be surprisingly complex for newcomers.

The Art of Putting on a Dog Harness

Before getting into the mechanics of putting on a harness, it is essential to familiarize your dog with it. If they haven’t used a harness before, introduce them to it slowly. Let them sniff and inspect it, allowing them to become comfortable with this new accessory. Even if your dog has worn a harness before, it’s still worth showing them any new ones, so they understand what’s going on.

Next, ensure your dog is calm and composed before attempting to strap on the harness. Trying to dress an excitable and wiggly pooch is a near-impossible task. Take the time to calm them down, using commands such as “sit” or simply waiting patiently. It’s crucial not to do anything that might excite them further.

Further reading:  The Art of Leash Training: Unleashing the Potential of Your Dog

Once your dog is relaxed, you’re ready to put on the harness. The process differs depending on whether it’s an over-the-head or a step-in harness. Here’s how to go about each:

Overhead Harness

Overhead harnesses are the most common type, consisting of a loop around the ribs and another smaller loop around the neck.

  1. Put it Over the Dog’s Head: Slip the smaller neck hole, which has side straps attached, over your dog’s head. Ensure that the harness is the right way round, with the interior facing your dog’s skin. Slide it down so that the neck straps sit closer to your dog’s shoulders.
  2. Put the First Leg Through: With the harness around your dog’s body, guide its left leg through the first leg hole. Let its paw rest on the ground.
  3. Buckle the Strap on the Back: Take the remaining strap from underneath and loop it around your dog’s other leg, creating another leg loop. Connect this strap to the buckle on the back, ensuring it clicks securely.

Step-in Harness

Step-in harnesses differ from overhead ones in that they form triangles around a dog’s legs.

  1. Prepare the Harness: Lay the harness unbuckled, with the exterior facing the floor, so you can clearly see the two triangles.
  2. Step Into the Harness: Have your dog stand over the harness and place each leg in one of the triangles, doing one leg at a time. There is usually no need to worry about a specific side for each leg.
  3. Connect the Buckles: Pull the two ends of the harness up over your dog’s body, so the loops settle at the top of their legs and against their belly. Buckle the clips together, ensuring they click securely. Check to see if there are any additional buckles that need to be connected.
Further reading:  Mastering the Art of Putting on a Dog Leash

After putting on the harness, it’s important to adjust the fit. Just like with a collar, you may need to fine-tune the straps to ensure a snug yet comfortable fit. Leave enough room for two fingers underneath the straps as a general rule.

Finally, be sure to reward your dog each time you put their harness on, especially if they’re still getting used to it. Positive reinforcement helps them associate the harness with something pleasant and enjoyable.

Attaching a Leash to a Harness

Attaching a leash to a harness is a simple process. You don’t need the best dog leash for a secure attachment or good control.

First, locate the leash clip on the harness. Usually, it is found on the dog’s back. However, some harnesses, such as no-pull varieties, may have the attachment point on the front or even have two clips on both the front and back, giving you options.

To attach the leash, open the clasp and secure it over the D-ring. Give it a little tug to ensure a firm connection that won’t snap when your dog pulls.

Choosing the Right Harness for Your Dog

When it comes to selecting a harness, there are various styles to choose from. The best one for your dog depends on their specific needs. While the differences between overhead and step-in harnesses may be obvious, the location of the leash attachment is a critical factor to consider.

  • Front-Clip Harness: With the leash attachment positioned at the center of the dog’s chest, front-clip harnesses give you more control over a pulling dog. When your dog strains on the leash, it redirects their attention back to you. However, be mindful that the leash may become tangled in your dog’s legs and require untangling.

  • Back-Clip Harness: The most common type, back-clip harnesses have D-rings on the dog’s back between their shoulder blades. These are more suitable for dogs who are already leash-trained and don’t pull. Back-clip harnesses are more comfortable and less likely to get tangled, but they won’t discourage a young and enthusiastic dog from pulling.

  • Dual-Clip Harness: With clips on both the front and the back, these harnesses offer versatility. You can use the front clip for training purposes, redirecting your dog’s pulling behavior. As your dog learns to walk properly, you can transition to using the back clip. Alternatively, if your dog requires extra control, attaching a lead to both clips allows you to guide them effectively.

Further reading:  A Unique Solution: Pool Noodle Collar for Dogs

In Conclusion

Putting on a dog harness may seem like a straightforward task, but it can sometimes be a bit fiddly. Don’t be embarrassed if you need a moment to figure it out. It’s better to take your time and ensure your dog’s safety than rush and put them at risk. The good news is that with practice, it becomes second nature, and you’ll be able to do it in seconds. Once you’ve mastered the art of putting on a dog harness, it will feel like second nature.

Remember, proper fit and adjustments are crucial to ensure your dog’s harness is secure, protective, and comfortable. Rewarding your dog each time their harness goes on helps them associate it with positive experiences, making their daily walks an absolute delight.

Now, it’s time to put theory into practice and unleash the joy of walking your four-legged friend with confidence!

Sources: Karen’s Kollars