The dog walk…..depending on many factors this can be something that you look forward to, or something you dread. For your dog, it’s likely the best part about his or her day. When we walk dogs in Elmhurst, IL and the surrounding suburbs, we get excited! This is because we know how to make a dog walk a fun and safe experience, and it starts with the proper harness.
It’s no secret that a dog’s excitement for exploration can cause the canine to tug and pull during his or her walk. A dog tugging, pulling and potentially trespassing will then cause the owner to redirect the dog’s attention by pulling back. This is where tension occurs. This tension can occur on the dogs neck and throat, causing him or her to gasp for air. In addition, tension builds between the dog and the owner. The dog’s instincts have taken owner and he wants to explore, but the owner pulling back on the leash creates a game of tug-o-war that ultimately leads to an unpleasant experience for both. That’s why Cassie Cares always recommends using a dog harness if one is available when taking your dog for their walk.
The correct dog harness acts as a compromise for you and your dog. The owner receives more control of the dog and can redirect the dog’s path and attention without causing stress on the dog’s neck. This allows the owner to let the dog explore during the walk, and allows the owner more control to help the dog avoid forbidden areas or unwanted pieces of food on the sidewalk. It’s important to give your dog a bit of freedom during their walk. They need to use their nose to explore the world around them, which will provide enrichment. It’s equally important to know that a dog may take their freedom a bit too far and they will need their attention refocused. With the correct harness, you can refocus their attention without potentially harming their throat and neck area.
Easy Walk® Harness
The Easy Walk® harness is a very common dog harness and will gently discourage your dog from pulling on the leash. The harness clips to the front of the chest, and when your dog attempts to pull, the harness will force their body to turn which stops pulling before it happens. The harness allows for easy fitting adjustments and there's no choking or gagging involved when your redirect your dog’s attention. Just quickly snap the buckles on the belly and you’re ready for comfortable exploration.
The Easy Walk® harness is best for medium to large dogs and for dogs that need frequent walks because it’s easy to take on and off quickly and without hassle. For more information on this harness click here.
Gentle Leader® Harness
The Gentle Leader® is designed to reduce leash pulling and other unwanted dog behaviors. It has a unique design and fits around your dog’s nose so your dog’s attention can be quickly redirected if he is lunging or jumping at a nearby pedestrian. The Gentle Leader® provides immediate, gentle control during walks by redirecting the head and body without putting pressure on your dog’s throat.
This harness will only work on dogs with protruding snouts, so if you own a Pug this is probably not the best choice for you. In addition, if during your walks you find your dog is jumping and lunging at people or other dogs, this harness will allow for betting training and is effective for teaching your dog to heel. Your dog will take a little time to get used to this harness, but the results are life changing and will result in more productive and enjoyable walks.
Here’s a helpful instructional video that shows you how to put on a Gentle Leader®
When using a Step-In or Step-Through harness make sure to locate the single buckle first. That buckle signifies the top of the harness and the part that will end up on the dog’s back after the harness is correctly put on your dog. Lay the harness on the ground, help your dog step into each hole of the harness and clip the buckle on his or her back. Make sure that the harness isn’t skin tight and there is a little bit of space between the harness and the dog. This harness is best for dogs who are not huge pullers but would still benefit from a sturdy harness.
This harness is another common everyday walker harness and works for dogs of all shapes and sizes, just make sure to measure your dog’s stomach and neck before you make a final purchase.
Here’s a great video which takes you through each step of putting on this type of harness.
With proper research and correct measurements, you can find the harness that works best for you and your dog. This way a walk can be a more enjoyable experience all around and the perfect compromise of comfort and exploration. At Cassie Cares Pet Sitting, we have experience using all three of these harnesses and are comfortable using them when taking your dog for a walk. If you’re interested in speaking with us about walking your furry family member in Elmhurst, IL or one of the nearby suburbs, please fill-out the form below to setup a free consultation.