How is an easy walk harness correctly attached?

How do I put a harness on my dog? The answer is here – detailed step-by-step instructions

как одеть шлейку на собаку

Even the kindest and most caring owner sometimes finds it difficult to cope with his pet. Especially relevant is the question – how to put a harness on a dog? After all, the pet is too mobile, stubborn, and sometimes just afraid of an unfamiliar object. Here you will find all the answers to many questions that relate to these accessories – what they are, how to choose the best one, how to choose the right size for your pet, what is better – a harness or a collar.

What is a harness

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A harness is a device consisting of straps, metal rings and clasps that is used to control your dog’s behavior. A leash is additionally attached to it.

The straps are arranged to wrap around the dog’s chest, sometimes the croup. The main strap runs between the animal’s front legs and is attached to the chest strap and bypass strap. The buckle is located in the withers area. There are also two rings for the leash, which is fastened with a special carabiner.

The most important thing is that the dog’s neck remains free. Therefore, first of all, the harness is put on a dog whose neck is damaged in some way – there was an operation, there are tumors or wounds.

Sometimes it is easier for the owner of the pet to cope with his dog with the help of the harness. After all, some pets manage to wriggle out of the collar and thus free themselves from the owner’s control.

Harnesses are worn by service dogs who have been trained to rescue people. Sled dogs need this accessory. During sports and strength training for the development of muscles and various necessary skills pets also wear them.

Harness or collar?

A collar is a very handy accessory because it makes it easy to control a dog, especially a large breed. It is much easier to correct behavior by tugging lightly on the leash when it is attached only to the dog’s neck. Any movement of the leash in this situation is much better felt by the dog.

шлейка или ошейник

When a dog is harnessed, the load on the owner’s arm is much greater. Because in this case, the animal acts with its whole body, pulling the person behind it with much more force. In addition, the pet does not feel the leash’s movement as much, so it will react worse to the owner’s attempts to calm it down.

The harness causes the dog to keep its neck parallel to the ground. In some breeds, such as Jack Russell Terriers, this causes an irregular position of the neck, unevenly distributing the load on the dog’s body as a whole. This can lead to spinal problems in the future.

нагрузка на поводок

Some dogs have elbows on their front legs that are not tight against the body. Wearing a harness in this situation will aggravate the situation even more. This can lead to incorrect positioning of the paws, respectively, there will be problems with the exterior, gait. And in the future to some diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

The collar also has its disadvantages. A dog’s neck is his most vulnerable place. Any discomfort in this place is perceived by the animal as a threat to life. Accordingly, the reaction to a strong tug on the leash attached to the collar can be very aggressive.

It has been observed that most spinal disorders in dogs are the result of constant collar wear. Severe tugging on the leash can also lead to vision and hearing problems. The nervous system suffers as well, since pressure in the throat area is a serious stressor.

So, the best thing is to alternate between wearing a harness and a collar in different situations. It all depends on the breed, the size of the dog, its character and the owner’s abilities.

As for different dog breeds, there are nuances. For example, breeds with short necks, such as French bulldogs and Pekingese, would prefer to wear a harness.

For small breeds such as Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Spitzes, Toy Terriers and Bolognese, a harness is also a better choice. Because these little ones have a rather delicate bone system, a thin neck, which is very easy to damage.

Large breeds such as the Labrador or German Shepherd will be well accustomed to wearing both a harness and a leash.

The main thing is to train your dog to be disciplined, especially outdoors. This applies to both large and small breeds. Because, knowing the command “near”, the dog will never provoke a traumatic situation for himself and the people around him.

Types and types of straps

Depending on their purpose, harnesses come in the following types:

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The walking harness is a common accessory that is used, sometimes daily, when going outdoors with the dog. Its lock is located in the area of the dog’s withers, as well as the rings for attaching the leash. Such a harness can be purchased at any pet store or even sewed yourself. They come in different sizes, both for very small dogs and puppies, as well as large breeds.

шлейка в виде жилетки

A vest harness is used for small dogs. It is fastened on the front or on the sides. On the back at the withers a ring for attaching a leash is sewn on a strong synthetic ribbon. These vests are made for the cold season of durable and warm material with a lining. They protect your dog’s lungs from colds. Summer harness vests are made of mesh material, so that air can easily pass through. Such an accessory is especially convenient for pets of small breeds, as the soft material does not squeeze the chest and armpit area, does not rub the skin.

 

 

медицинская шлейка для травмированных собак медицинская шлейка для травмированных собак

Medical – specifically designed for animals that have been injured. It is essentially a vest that covers most of the dog’s torso. The attachment is located closer to the hind legs in order to change the load on the paws. In addition, the vest covers the body tightly, supporting the injured muscles securely, locking them in a comfortable position. This way, even if the dog jerks, it won’t feel much pain and there’s no risk of re-injury.

шлейка с дополнительным грузом

Harness with additional weight – it is used for training, strengthening the muscles of the animal in preparation for competitions. Sometimes it is necessary for recovery after injuries and operations, especially of the musculoskeletal system. They come in two types:

  1. A regular one – a special belt with a ring on the end is attached to it. A chain with a weight is fastened to it. Most often an old car tire is used as a weighting agent.
  2. Half-jacket – this configuration provides pockets on the sides, in which to place weights – pebbles or small bags of sand.

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Towing, sled harness – is used for dog sledding, sports competitions, as ammunition for guide dogs, for moving various loads. The main feature is the increased strength of the materials from which this harness is made. It is equally important that it was comfortable for the dog, not pressing, not restricting movement. That’s why sled harnesses are often made to order, to take into account individual features of each animal in the harness. Sled harnesses may be used only for the breeds that are designed for this purpose – Huskies, Samoyeds and Malamutes. These are hardy animals, genetically prepared for this kind of activity.

выставочная шлейка

Exhibition – similar to the walking, but here we take into account not only the comfort for the dog and his owner, but also the design style. They are finished with different kinds of fittings, they are matched to the color of the dog’s coat to emphasize the beauty of the breed. However, some careless owners, for whom the main thing is not their pet, but the coveted show awards, resort to unacceptable measures. They take a harness of their pet one size smaller than necessary. Supposedly this way it is possible to correct the behavior unnoticed by the judges during the qualifying examinations. This is fraught with injury to the dog and more stress. This will not make the animal’s behavior any better. In addition, the judges are very familiar with such tricks. Therefore, if the harness is inappropriate, the judge will remove the dog from the competition.

шлейка со светодиодами - светится в темноте

Designer – all sorts of decorations, complete with glowing and flashing LEDs. Sometimes such “beauty” can be harmful. The dog will not feel calm and comfortable in such ammunition. An exception – a special situation when you have to walk the pet in the dark and in the absence of street lighting, near the highway, woods, etc. Then a luminous harness can help the owner not to lose his pet. Such an accessory should be worn only on the condition that the dog is not stressed by it.

Choosing the right harness

What do you need to know to choose the right harness for your dog? After all, comfort and durability are required. How to choose this accessory by size? At what age can a puppy wear a harness? How to choose the ammunition for a small dog or, conversely, a large dog? What features should be paid attention to when buying, so that this item will last a long time, not to get dirty and not torn, not to break the lock? Here are the answers to such important questions.

At what age

A puppy has a rather fragile bone system, his muscles are not fully formed, he is growing and changing. Therefore, any improper load can cause irreparable damage. The limbs and chest will not form correctly.

Therefore, it is best to harness a small breed dog for the first time at 6 months of age. For larger breeds, this age is 8 to 10 months. This will require consultation with an expert to choose the right harness.

шлейка для щенка должна быть легкой и удобной

For puppies, there are special harnesses made of soft, flexible materials, thin straps. They have fewer metal parts, are lightweight and at the same time durable.

How to size

The size is very important, because a tight harness can provoke various diseases and paw deformities. If the harness is too loose, it will be difficult to hold your pet, as he can easily “twist” himself out of it.

The wrong size will cause the chest strap to be too close to the armpit. And this is a serious discomfort for the pet. The dog will try to avoid it by twisting his elbows. If you wear such a problematic harness constantly, then incorrect paw position and gait are guaranteed. This is especially important for animals that are planned to be taken to exhibitions.

Therefore, it is necessary to choose a harness, first taking the basic measurements of your dog:

  1. Neck circumference – measure circumferentially with a centimeter where you would normally put the collar;
  2. Chest circumference – measure circumferentially behind the elbows in front of the paws, just beyond the armpits. To the resulting figure for a loose fit, if your doggie is small, add one centimeter. In case your pet is big and solid, two centimeters are added. The resulting figure is the desired index.
  3. Length of the back – it should be measured by putting a centimeter to the back of the animal. We will be interested in length readings from the withers down to the base of the tail.
  4. The weight of the pet is one of the important indicators.

Write down all the numbers and go to the pet store or online store. Each manufacturer of clothing and accessories for dogs puts out their own standard sizes for their products. There is no one size standard, as there is for people. The fact is that even within the same breed, the basic measures of dogs vary quite seriously. However, having the indicators of your dog in hand, you can always choose the optimal size of the harness.

In general, however, sizes are classified between XS (the smallest up to 1 kg) to 2-7 XL (the largest up to 40-60 kg).

Each harness has the ability to adjust the volume with special hardware. The straps can be tightened or loosened, which is very convenient.

For a small dog

Small breeds such as Chihuahuas, Toy Terriers, Yorkies, dwarf dachshunds, Spitzes, Bolonts and other babies fit mini harnesses with thin silky, but strong enough straps. Such accessories are almost no different in their configuration from those designed for large dogs. They are just smaller, in brighter colors and made of gentler materials.

Nevertheless, such harness will be strong, the dog will not jump out of it. In addition to harnesses, and especially vests for small breeds can sew a special handle on the back. This is done so that in a dangerous situation it was easy to pick up the pet in his arms or, say, to carry him through a too large puddle.

For the big dog

Large animals need accessories that can withstand serious loads – a lot of weight and the force of tugging. So here we can recommend a model made of leather. Metal parts in this case should also be strong, molded. Here you cannot save money and buy something simple. Because the power of an animal can even bend the metal parts and tear the straps. As a result, at an inopportune or dangerous moment, the leash will fly off the dog, the harness will disintegrate. The consequences will be unpredictable.

шлейка для собаки крупной породы

For large animals with a calm disposition, models of the same design as those for small dogs will do. If the animal is aggressive or a service animal, a stronger model is needed, consisting of two circular straps covering the chest and croup, connected to each other at the bottom between the legs and along the back with separate straps.

The leash is also attached to the withers.

Quality, number of clasps and straps

When choosing an accessory, you should pay attention first of all to the fittings. Plastic clasps are suitable for a dog of small weight. For large and well-fed individuals, you need exceptionally strong hardware, preferably metal. Be sure to check the hardware for durability, make sure the rings are cast, one-piece, made of steel. качественная шлейка для овчарки

The more clasps and fasteners, the stronger the harness. All parts should fit well together, be easy to snap into place and not unbuckle when tugged. All straps should be adjustable in length.

An important point – all straps must be stitched, not glued together!

When trying on, check how the straps are positioned, whether they press or rub, whether they interfere with the dog’s movement, whether they cut into the armpits.

Material

The cheapest harnesses are made of canvas. It’s not a bad material, but it wears quickly and takes too long to dry when wet.

Leather always looks beautiful, even if it is artificial. However, in extreme situations, this material wears out quickly. In water the leather stretches, in the cold or heat it quickly cracks. So accessories made of this material are preferable for exhibitions and various kinds of shows, city walks in good weather. Take into account the fact that dogs love to chew leather straps.

The universal material is nylon, kapron. It hardly ever gets wet and can always be cleaned. It doesn’t burst, doesn’t become rough with time, and holds its shape well. The seams on nylon are always strong and tear extremely rarely. In general, the material can withstand tremendous stresses for years.

The only disadvantage of artificial materials – in an animal prone to skin allergic reactions, unwanted manifestations are possible. However, this happens in isolated cases.

How to put a harness on a dog – step by step instructions

There are several proven ways, here are detailed instructions:

The usual harness. Method 1.

This method is more suitable for a large dog.

  • Prepare the harness in advance, examine which way it should be put on, understand its construction. Try it out to see if the locks and the lock work well.
  • Gently secure your dog by squatting down a little and wrapping your legs and knees around his torso closer to his hind legs. If your dog is too active, you can even lie down lightly on his back.
  • Hold the harness in your right hand, as if embracing the dog in the chest area.
  • Grab the animal’s left front paw with your left hand and easily, without tension, try to lift it off the floor and bend it at the elbow.
  • Quickly slide your paw through the opening on the left between the two circular straps and one transverse strap running across the chest.
  • Pull the harness higher to your chest and intercept it with your left hand.
  • Repeat for the right paw. Take the dog’s right paw with your right hand, lift it above the floor, bending it at the elbow.
  • Slide your paw through the other hole between the circular straps and the cross strap designed for the right paw.
  • Pull the harness higher and snap the lock on the withers.
  • Check the straps on the harness to see if they twisted during putting on. Tighten or loosen the straps with the clamps so your dog is comfortable. See if the lock is securely fastened.
  • Fasten the leash to the rings on the withers. You are ready to go for a walk!

 

The usual harness. Method 2.

This method is more suitable for a small-sized dog.

  • Inspect and prepare the harness – whether the straps are not twisted, whether the lock fastens well.
  • Put the harness on the floor and spread the harness out completely. You can see all of the harness in front of you – which one will cover the dog’s chest, which one the croup. And the cross strap, which will be placed between the front paws.
  • Bring your dog to the harness lying on the floor. If the dog is small, just hold him in your arms.
  • Now your task is to put your dog’s front paws in the corresponding holes of the harness lying on the floor.
  • If you have the pet in your arms – no problem, it can easily be done.
  • If your pet is standing on the floor next to the harness, hold his left paw with your left hand and his right paw with your right hand. Lift one of the paws and make your pet step straight into the corresponding hole in the harness. Then repeat the same procedure with the other paw.
  • Quickly grasp the harness with both hands and pull it up, snap the lock.
  • Check all straps, their tension, locks, reliability of the lock. You can fasten the leash to the rings on the withers.

 

Harness with two holes for the body and head, sled

This kind of accessory is a little more difficult to put on.

  • Check the harness, all straps and fasteners.
  • Stand or better yet, sit behind your dog, with your feet holding his body near his hind legs.
  • Put the dog’s head through the chest hole.
  • Straighten the straps so that the paw holes are comfortably positioned.
  • Take your dog’s right front paw, lift it above the floor, bend it at the elbow, and put it through the appropriate hole.
  • Run the connecting strap under the left paw and buckle the harness on the side.
  • Check if the lock is holding well, and fasten the leash to the rings.

This video shows in detail how to put different types of harnesses on large and small dogs. The video is in English, but it is very well understood without words:

Harness vest

If the vest fastens on the back, then methods 1 and 2 will do.

In the case where the vest strap fastens on the chest, then proceed as follows:

  1. Fix the body of the dog with his feet.
  2. We throw the vest over her back.
  3. We take one of the front paws, lift it above the floor, bend it at the elbow, and slip it into the corresponding hole in the vest.
  4. Do the same with the other paw.
  5. Quickly fasten the harness vest without letting the dog go. Fasten the leash to the ring on the back.

What to do if the pet resists?

Sometimes the dog, especially the first time, does not want to put the harness on. He twists and turns and whines…

She’s just afraid of an unfamiliar object – let her sniff the new accessory. Show that it’s okay, take the accessory in your hand and rub it on your dog’s head, neck and back, then give it another sniff.

When the dog calms down, reinforce the achieved success with a treat, praise him.

Now you can try to put on the new clothes. To do this, divert the pet’s attention to the treat. If the dog is afraid to poke his head into the strap, then unfold the palm with the treat behind the appropriate hole. The dog will poke his head where it is required.

In the case when you can’t fix the dog in any way, turn his attention to a treat, give him a sniff and raise your hand up a little. While the dog calms down – quickly act with the other hand, slipping one of the paws into the hole of the harness. Then give the dog the treat, and while he chews it, calmly put the accessory on him and snap the lock.

Have a nice walk!

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