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Monday, August 14, 2017

Luna and the Easy Walk Harness

Luna and the Easy Walk Harness

Having been a dog owner for many years, and having a couple at home already, when I brought Luna the husky home I already knew that one of the most important things that I was going to work on with her was walking nicely on a leash.  
san antonio, texas
She was so little!!
I had decided to umbilical train her which was very easy because I work from home and was able to be there all day to use that training method -read more on that here- so I figured that leash training would be very simple.  
In our back yard for the most part when I would take her out on the leash she would do alright, she would want to leap back to the door after a positive potty moment though and I would have to stop, tell her no, and treat to correct that. However because of this type of moment of pulling with her I was not able to let the kids walk her out in the yard because I didn't want her to pull them along. 

san antonio, texas
Enjoying a spot of shade!
When I would walk her around the block, which I did not do until after she had all of her shots including rabies and lepto which is important for keeping her safe in case she drinks nasty wild water and other yucky things, I found that I was spending a lot of time stopping and correcting her.  Over a the last couple of months, whether I used her regular harness or her collar, she would continue to pull, although the amount decreased until I could manage to regularly walk her with only two or three corrections on a 15 minute stretch. 
I was recently feeling that even this is too much though and I don't trust my kids to be able to walk her as she now almost outweighs them and they really, really want to be able to contribute as much as I do to caring for Luna. In an effort to improve her walking even more I started looking for ways to eliminate as much pulling as possible and came across this Easy Walk Harness.  I did order mine off Amazon, but it is available at most pet stores too.  It is important when ordering that you measure your dog to ensure that you get the right fit because for the harness to work correctly, it needs to fit correctly.

san antonio, texas
Trying out the new harness!
 For Luna I got a medium, if she outgrows it I am sure I can find another doggy around here to use it! :) It took me a few minutes to get the harness sized correctly but the package came with thorough instructions that included photos, so it was easy to determine the correct way to put it on. After I hooked it onto her we took our morning walk around the block, I had Emileen (my daughter) tape about half of the walk to see how Luna did on it. 
To be quite honest, I am someone who likes to let Luna stop and smell the roses so to speak when we are out, so she does stop quite a bit to sniff around as we walk and that is OK with me.  The thing that amazed me, and it is pretty clear in the video too, is that not only was she not pulling, she wasn't even going full tension on the leash for the most part. 
I was even able to let each of the kids take a turn and felt confident that she wasn't going to take off with a wicked case of the zoomies! 

Granted this is a video of the first time we used the Easy Walk Harness, it is hard to say at this moment how well it will work over time but I can always update as we decide the long term quality of the harness system.  
I would for sure recommend trying this harness out with your puller, it is pretty easy to use and my arms feel much less yanked on! 

Fun features about this harness include easy to snap buckles, in fact, after sizing it the only buckle I mess with is the one on her side, it pulls on and off super smoothly. It is easy to re-size too. I also really like the dual color arrangement, it makes it pretty simple to get the harness going the right direction with the gray and pink colors. 

Important things to note when it comes to leash training your dog: 
Be patient: Whether you use this Easy Walk Harness or another method, your dog is not going to be a 100% perfect walker all of the time.  With encouragement and consistency though, they can be a great walker most of the time.

Be positive: When it comes to training, most dogs - like people, love to get positive feedback. An upbeat voice, a delightful treat, a nice rub all contribute to a better training environment for pup.

Be Consistent: It is extremely important that no matter who is leash training with your dog that you all do it the same way. Use the same commands, same stopping points if they are pulling, same treating methods if they are doing well, this ensures that your pup is not confused by what is going on!

Don't be discouraged if you find that your dog still pulls occasionally, just keep trying new methods and working on it, eventually you will find what works best for you and your special canine companion!

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