newt_nc asked in PetsDogs · 9 years ago

My dog won't let me put a harness on her.?

Ever since I've had my dog (she's 1 1/2 yrs old) I've taken her on walks. I have been putting a harness on her for about 9 months now, and I am tired of her trying to run away and turn her head away from me when trying to put the harness on. I have another dog (he's 8 months) that has no issues at all with the harness, he holds still and lets me put it on him completely. What should I do? Thanks in advance!

6 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You can try to get her used to the harness and use positive reinforcement which will hopefully make her feel neutral about it, making it easy for you to put it on.

    This is what I would do. Sometime when you have a lot of free time in a day, on a weekend or something, start a mini training session. Put the harness on the floor somewhere, then using pieces of dry food (or little bits of cookie bones if you don't use dry food) ask her to sit next to the harness, lay down, give paw... whatever commands she knows and give lots of praise. Staying calm and positive is very key, dogs pick up if you're feeling anxious!

    After a few commands, if she's doing well, try putting the harness over her head. Not even putting it on correctly, just draping it on her and do some more "sit" commands, rewarding with food to calm her down.

    If she gets anxious when you add the harness, just be patient + don't try to force it. Eventually you should be able to put the harness on the correct way. Try having her wear it around the house for a while (an hour'ish) then go for a walk outside.

    It may take days for it to work, but pe patient!

    Source(s): Volunteer for a dog rescue
  • 4 years ago

    What Bluie said is good but, to add on: You should hold the treat in front of her nose, and touch her back where the harness would be. Let her have the treat. Leave her alone for a few minutes. Come back, and simply put the harness on the floor in front of you. Call her over to you, and put the treat on the harness. Let her eat it and walk away. Wait another few minutes. Call her back, and hold the harness in one hand and a tasty treat in the other. Hold the treat firmly while she is nibbling on it. Place the harness on her back at the same time, move slowly. Gently slide her legs through, while she's still distracted. Depending on how scared she is, this may take a couple attempts. If she becomes uninterested in the Milk Bones or whatever, use blocks of cheese or even some lunchmeat.

  • 9 years ago

    Train your dog that when it sees the harness it gets a treat. That way it will associate the harness with something great (the treat). It won't happen over night but slowly it will work. I'd also put it on her and show it to her when you aren't going to leave it on all the time. Sometimes just have it in your hand when you have a treat and ask her to sit. That way she is not going to associate the negative things that she already does with the harness.

  • 9 years ago

    Get rid of the harness and buy a Gentle Leader Halti.. they work much, much better and don't encourage the dog to pull.

    The harness might be too tight, too small, or she may be sore in some place.

    Make her sit down. Stand with her shoulders between your legs. Squeeze so she can't get away. Lift one paw into hole, lift other paw into other hole, raise and buckle. Release.

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  • 9 years ago

    When you manage to get the harness on is it too tight? She might be afraid of it because it's uncomfortable. Try loosening it up and see if that helps.

    Also, try rewarding her with a treat when she does let you put it on.

    If nothing helps, maybe you should get her obedience training, if that's available and affordable.

  • Sunny
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Stop taking the harness off so you don't have to have this dilemma every time...

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