Harness help

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Harness help

Post by DBug on Wed Oct 19 2016, 14:25

Hi Everyone

I'm looking for some help with recommendations for a harness for Beau, my girl staff, who has grown a little too much and doesn't currently fit in her usual harness. She is a master at escaping them, so I'm hoping someone can help direct me to a good, fully adjustable, Houdini proof harness?

We've tried the over the head and do up around the tummy harness (x2) we've also tried a 'leg in each hole' harness that clips up over the back/nape of the neck. I've been looking at some Ruffwear ones on Pet Planet, as my Pets at Home/Vets etc all seem to sell pretty much the same stuff. Currently we have safety lines to attach her collar to her harness in case she tries to escape (as a back up). When she sometimes escape them its usually because I'm going one way, she wants to go another, and being the stubborn madam she is, won't compromise!

Any guidance or suggestions would be gratefully received. Thank you
Nicky star
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Re: Harness help

Post by LizP on Wed Oct 19 2016, 16:11

To be honest, I'd be looking a this a different way. Why does she want to escape? What training can you do so that she doesn't want to escape?

Is it a habit? It is only when she sees something super exciting? Is it because she's not comfortable in a harness? Or what? There will be a reason, and knowing that will be the starting point of how to resolve this.

What do you think is behind this?


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Re: Harness help

Post by DBug on Wed Oct 19 2016, 16:52

Thanks for the reply.

Why does she want to escape? She doesn't want to escape per say, she just manages to back out of her harness as she gets stubborn and wants to go a different way to me.

What training can you do so that she doesn't want to escape?
She's deaf, so if she doesn't look at me I can't instruct her otherwise.

Is it a habit?
Not really, just becomes an occasional risk. In 3 years she has only gotten out of her harness once which was when we first got her and she was underweight. She's come close once or twice.

It is only when she sees something super exciting? No she doesn't get that excited on her walks unless there's food around.
Is it because she's not comfortable in a harness? She seems fairly comfortable in a harness, but I haven't found a really good fitting one yet.
Sometimes she doesn't like the clips or plastic buckles.

What do you think is behind this? I think its the fact she is stubborn and decides to go another way without looking at me. I am COAPE qualified, and she has a good amount of training, and can operate fully on hand signals (when she is, of course, looking at you.) Sometimes she will be insistent on going in another direction regardless of me issuing her signals, such as vibration through the lead, tap her with a finger on her shoulder or back to get her attention and direct her another way.
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Re: Harness help

Post by DBug on Wed Oct 19 2016, 16:55

I should have also said she was previously a stray so is keen to do as she wishes at times - I think she got used to doing what she wanted. When she first arrived she would jump up at parked cars, something I had to dissuade her from quickly. She has no road sense which is also why I'm keen to find her a more secure harness. I don't want her disappearing under a car. I'm starting to think she's cross english bull because of her stubbornness.
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Re: Harness help

Post by -Ian- on Wed Oct 19 2016, 17:12

I know exactly what you're experiencing on a couple of fronts. As you know my Flo is deaf too so giving audible commands is really difficult, in fact, getter her attention can be flippin difficult but she is super good 99% of the time (apart from wanting to cross the road where she wants to cross) Rolling Eyes

So yes a harness that is difficult to get out of is crucial and we, like you went through many. Problem is I can only offer you what we did and not the supplier. We happened quiet by chance upon one of those French market days in the local town centre and there was a lady selling leads n collars n harnesses etc. Looking at them I notice the "D" ring was set back to almost the middle of where the back would be. This would mean that the flap that the "D" ring is attached to simply folds back and would not allowed w sufficient pulling to get the harness off.

Problem was we didn't have Flo with us but the lady said she would be there the following day. We arrived with Flo and the harness was fully adjusted to fit and she has NEVER been able to get out of it. I also think she finds it more comfortable as its padded leather and it had the bonus that she reduced her pulling whilst on lead to virtually zero. I firmly believe that it's where the "D" ring is located.

Hope this helps give you something to at least Google for.

Would be interested to know how you get on with Beau being deaf too Smile


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Re: Harness help

Post by LizP on Wed Oct 19 2016, 20:31

Ok, that's a clearer picture and I can see your problem.

This might be teaching my grandmother to suck eggs...

I don't know what you've tried before, but I think I'd be working on her learning to associate a pull on her harness with something super amazingly yummy, or play or something. I would also work on you keeping a level of tension on the lead that doesn't give her a full release, so she's not getting exactly what she wants, but that doesn't increase as she pulls back so that she's not getting enough leverage to get out of the harness. It's a trick I learned working with horses who pull back when tied up (and some can even pull the side off a stable).

Also, have you tried using going her way as a reward for first having done a few steps your way? What a dog wants to do can be a huge reward. I would give her a short spell in her direction the moment she stops pulling and takes just one step towards you, even a tiny one. You can then build that up to a big step, two, several, etc.

Combining these two, you should (or hopefully could) end up with a means of saying pulling back doesn't work but coming towards me does.

Stubborness is an interesting question. It's often a result of a stand-off when you eventually sigh and say 'oh for goodness sakes, alright then!'. What the dog learns is that if they are stubborn enough, they'll get their way. It can be a long haul, but 'out-stubborning' is often the only way to do it.

Which of course means you do need a good harness, which is what you asked in the first place! I like the Mekuti, I've used it on several dogs and it never seems to twist round, it's fully adjustable, and I've never had a dog get out of it (but I've never had your problem!), or heard of one getting out of it. They're not cheap but they do offer a full refund within 30 days.

http://www.mekuti.co.uk/harness_shop.htm



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Re: Harness help

Post by Dukes Momma on Wed Oct 19 2016, 20:48

I use the ruffwear one for Duke and he can't get out of it
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Re: Harness help

Post by dizzy on Thu Oct 20 2016, 12:00

I use the Julius k9 harness for Dodge. I find it fits well and gives me good control when he decides he wants to go the opposite way to me! Plus the handle on the back is great for removing him quickly from situations that I don't want him to be in!


Last edited by dizzy on Thu Oct 20 2016, 12:17; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)
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Re: Harness help

Post by Mia05 on Thu Oct 20 2016, 21:54

no experience but if you need to be secure have a collar as a back up incase an escape out of the harness Smile

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Re: Harness help

Post by dizzy on Fri Oct 21 2016, 07:31

A double ended lead is a good idea, as you can attach one end to the harness and the other to the collar. I like the halti training lead, it's very versatile.
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Re: Harness help

Post by LizP on Fri Oct 21 2016, 07:47

dizzy wrote:A double ended lead is a good idea, as you can attach one end to the harness and the other to the collar. I  like the  halti training lead, it's very versatile.

Yes, it's a good combination.


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Re: Harness help

Post by Haizum74 on Fri Oct 21 2016, 12:25

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Re: Harness help

Post by DBug on Thu Oct 27 2016, 15:09

Thank you everyone for your hints and tips. She does have her collar attached to her harness with a safety connector that I have made. I have opted for a ruffwear 3 belt harness for her, for no other reason that I can't risk loosing her out of one. It also has the connecting point down the back which should be useful.

Thank you also for the training tips. Training Beau when we're out is never easy as she isn't toy orientated outside the house. We do use high end treats for her, but now her weight has grown and we're on the vets naughty step Smile

I have been putting extra effort into distracting her with carrot (luckily she likes her veg) when we reach the points where she tries to go a different way to me. I make a point of her not making the decision of where we're going Big Grin
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Re: Harness help

Post by Mia05 on Thu Oct 27 2016, 18:05

ah bless her Love Struck Love Struck

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