All you dog lovers out there, if you are wondering how to take your boisterous dog for a walk, without using a collar, then you should probably start using a dog harness. A harness helps you achieve better control over your dog. In addition to this, your beloved dog will be safe from the neck injuries caused by a choke collar.
A harness is easily available in the market. There are so many different types of dog harnesses, that you will surely get confused! You can go for the strong leather harnesses, or bright fancy harnesses, but remember one thing, the harness is not for you, it is for your dog, so keep your dog's comfort in mind while buying a harness. You should consider the girth of your dog, when you choose a harness, else you will end up buying a harness for a Yorkshire Terrier, when you have a Labrador Retriever at home. I recommend you to take your dog when you shop for a harness. If that is not possible, then you should tell the storekeeper the breed of your dog, and ask him for his suggestions.
Now, that you have got the harness, you can put it on your dog. If your dog is calm and quiet, you will not have trouble while putting the harness on, but if your dog is rambunctious, then you might have a tough time getting your dog into the harness. Here are the instructions that you should follow:
Understand the Harness
Before you attempt to put the harness on your dog, you should observe and understand the mechanism of the harness. See the positioning of the buckle(s), and the location of the metal ring for the leash. You will notice the areas from where you can adjust the size of the harness.
Get Your Dog Ready
Dogs can be very moody (you obviously know that!), if they do not feel like standing still, they won't! So, it is very important that you get your dog ready before you try to put the harness. See that your dog is calm, and is completely attentive. Show him the harness, let him get used to its presence, else he might be startled when you try to harness him.
Harness Your Dog
To simplify this for you, I have divided the section into three parts:
Get into Position
If your dog is calm, then you can harness him from the front, as he would not tend to move back while you put on the harness. If your dog is knockabout, then you should stand, and hold your dog between your legs (do not hurt him by pressing too tight!), this restricts his movements.
Put the Harness
Unfasten the buckle, and put the circular portion for the harness over your dog's head, such that the ring for the leash is towards his back. Now, you will find a strap of the harness near your dog's belly, this strap has a loop. Take the strap that is going to meet the buckle, and put it through the loop of the strap near the belly. Now, fasten the buckle.
Adjust the Harness
Make sure that the harness is not too loose, else your dog will simply jump out of it. If the harness it too tight, you might hurt your dog. As I had mentioned earlier, the comfort of your dog is very important. Adjust the harness, so that it fits snugly.
Your dog might not get used to the harness immediately, give him some time to get accustomed to it. My instructions refer to a basic harness, there might be minor changes in the fastening process for complex harnesses. Regularly check for any damages to the harness, and if you find any, repair it. Using a harness will surely make it easier for you to train your dog, just see that you are not too tough on him.