Don’t fall victim of handling, loose lead walking and recall problems just because of a bad harness! It’s so important to get a harness right, but it can be a minefield when looking for the right harness for your puppy. Here are some tips to help you.
• Don’t go for cheap puppy harnesses – It’s a common mistake made by many owners to go to their local pet supermarket and purchase a cheap puppy harness -you know the one, the mesh vest looking thing. I know I know your puppy is going to grow quickly and you just want a cheapy until you buy the “proper” harness. This approach shoots many new puppy owners in the foot! Which leads me onto the following tips…
• Fitting – Make sure your harness fits well. You don’t want it to rub under the armpits or gape down and your pup trips over it. If the harness is fitting badly it will be uncomfortable for your pup which means they wont have a good experience exploring the world because it equals wearing an uncomfortable harness.
• Step in harness – You have to pick up your dog’s feet to step into these style harnesses. Many pups tolerate rather than enjoy handling of paws and may need to be taught that picking up legs and touching feet is a positive experience. A harness where you have to really man handle your dog when they are feeling unsure can create handling issues further down the line.
• Julius k9 shape harnesses – If this harness is not fitted extremely well, and unfortunately many aren’t then they will restrict movement and your dog’s natural gait, which can create physical problems in the future.
• Over the head – Many pups are worried about a harness going over their head – it can be scary for some pups when we are reaching out with a harness contraption and wrestling it over their head and can create some head shyness.
• Two point of contact – Go for a harness with two points of contact. A clip at the front and a clip on their back. This will help set you up for good loose lead walking (you will still need to train your puppy to walk on a lead though!)
• A Y shaped harness – Y shaped harnesses are less likely to restrict movement for you pup. Do ensure that it is the right size so that it doesn’t rub under the arm pits.
• Fully unclips – I recommend a harness where you don’t have to reach over pups head or lift up their legs, but instead it fully unclips so its easier to get on and off without worrying your pup and is a good experience for them.
We recommend the Tellington T.Touch Harness or the Perfect Fit Harness!
Happy harness shopping!