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Harness: Pros.. Cons...


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I want your input about dog harness on greyhound.

 

Otis is a big male (80lbs) and he is easily excited about things when we walk.. when we meet other dogs he wants to play and he does the kangoroo: jumping around at the end of the leash.. it's scares me sometimes since I dont want him to get out of his martingale!

 

would a harness be a better choice?

what's your experience with harness? what kind or brand do you have? what size?

did your grey adjust ok to the harness? did it take time?

thanks!

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Our first greyhound, Tuffy: You will always be there with us my angel!
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"When you open your minds to the impossible, sometimes you find the truth." W.Bishop

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Personally I like harnesses. I used to walk my iggies with martingales and they PULLED and PULLED and PULLED. I bought them the Wiggles, Wags, and Whiskers no-pull harnesses and they are ANGELS on walks. They don't pull and actually for whatever reason they are not as barky at people, dogs, or bicycles that we see along our way.

 

Generally I walked my greyhounds with martingales but if I had one that gets excited like your guy, I'd definitely be buying him a WWW harness :)

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

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We have to walk our grey Celeste using a harness. She has a compressed disc in her neck. If you have a puller, a harness may avoid a future neck injury. I have both the Wiggles, Whiskers and Wags and Premier harnesses - Size Large. Both work fine and are very adjustable to fit even your 80 lbs. boy. No cons that I can think of.

Edited by winnie

Laura with Celeste (ICU Celeste) and Galgos Beatrix and Encarna
The Horse - Gracie (MD Grace E)
Bridge Angels Faye Oops (Santa Fe Oops), Bonny (
Bonny Drive), Darcy (D's Zipperfoot)

 

 

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I also have a WWW. I use it during anything scary where I am concerned she might jump or pull (thunderstorms, crowds with balloons bursting, fireworks) or when we're hiking. Haven't found any cons... other than it takes longer to dry than a collar? Which isn't really much of a con, LOL!

 

ETA: Ignore the harness in my signature, it's NOT a WWW harness but a cheap thing from Petsmart that I've since disposed of since the fit was terrible. It was purchased just for temporary use.

Edited by OwnedBySummer

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Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

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Here is the link to the Wiggles, Whiskers and Wags (WWW) harness - http://www.2houndsdesign.com/1-Freedom-No-Pull-Harness-Medium-and-Large-Breeds-pr-345.html

 

Premier harnesses are available in many pet stores or you can get them from GEM - http://www.gemgreyhounds.net/GEM-Store/category/harnesses-couplers/

Laura with Celeste (ICU Celeste) and Galgos Beatrix and Encarna
The Horse - Gracie (MD Grace E)
Bridge Angels Faye Oops (Santa Fe Oops), Bonny (
Bonny Drive), Darcy (D's Zipperfoot)

 

 

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The WWW harnesses are great, I've used them with several fosters. I bought Sammy a harness from Silk Road Collars. I like that it is adjustable in 5 places and is lined in faux fur (his fur is pretty thin). Several years back, Dr. Kellogg had suggested I start using a harness because it reduces the pressure on the dog's neck.

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Beverly. Missing my happy toy-flinging boy Sammy (Where's Mandrill), (8/12/2009-9/30-2021) Desperately missing my angel Mandy (BB's Luv) [7/1/2000 - 9/18/2012]. Always missing Meg the Dalmatian and Ralph Malph the Pekeapoo.

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The only con I can think of is that Otis may not recognize the harness as a control device, like he does the collar. All mine are used to walking with just the martingale, but I occasionally want to have to added security of a harness - when we're on vacation or walking somewhere new. When I switch to the harness they will often walk much WORSE because they don't feel the pull at their neck. I solved this problem by adding a short coupler that attaches to both their collar and the harness. Then I have the added security plus they still know they're walking on a leash.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Another WWW harness user here! My hound is a little bit of a spook, and when things scare her, she will try to slip her collar and run away, so using a harness has brought me a lot of peace of mind on our walks.

Laura, mom to Luna (Boc's Duchess) and Nova (Atascocita Venus).
Forever in my heart, Phantom (Tequila Nights) and Zippy (Iruska Monte).

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I used a harness for Fletcher (90 lbs) because he was very leash reactive. I was afraid he would hurt himself twisting and jumping around with just the collar, plus the harness (and a leash with a short loop) gave me much better control. I also switched to a harness for Molly after she hurt her neck. I use the WWW harnesses, can't think of any cons!

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IMO the harness provides power to a dog, and it's easier for them to drag you around, since they can use their chest and really get into it, with 80lbs and might in their hindquarters, it isn't difficult for them. HOWEVER, I prefer a harness for dogs that pull (based on experience) for 2 reasons:

 

I'd rather hold him back with a harness than have him choke with a collar - they don't care if they can't breathe - if they are determined to go sniff that thing or say hello or scared out of their mind, they will do what they want to do - PULL.

I feel I have more control, i.e. instead of just a leash on the neck when I need to bring him close and against me, I can grab a handful of harness on his back and more easily hold him in that position.

 

I have one that was meant to secure them in the car (a big loop on the back of the harness - however we don't use it for that purpose). The loop provides a great grab handle for restraint. Can't remember the brand we have, but it looks like this
http://www.rockshore.uk.com/ekmps/shops/rockshore/images/pet-harness-for-dogs-seat-belt-harness-large-medium-small-sizes-6545-p.jpg

 

To be truthful, he took to the harness beautifully. When I first put it on him, he turned into a different dog. Slack on the leash, and just happier.

 

Good luck!

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The one thing I don't like about harnesses is that often the leash attachment is on the dog's back, which means it would be behind you with the dog in heel... which I find usually means the dog will walk slightly in front. My dogs are supposed to be at a heel and they don't pull (okay, the puppy does if she sees something she wants to investigate off to the side, but generally no pulling) so I prefer collars. I did use the harness when I used to hike Summit on leash since then he wasn't in a heel. Now it's irrelevant because he hikes off leash.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest Giselle

Your best walking tool is: high quality training.

 

Other than that, these tools are just that - tools, sometimes helpful and sometimes not. Relatively speaking, harnesses are "safer" than collars because they will put pressure on the abdomen v.s. the more sensitive trachea, like a collar would. For better control, you can use the specialty harnesses: Freedom No-Pull, Walk in Sync, Easy Walk. OR you can just use a regular harness and clip the leash to the front O-ring. Just make sure it won't dig into your dog's chest.

 

The cons? I think all training tools have cons and that is that they sometimes give folks a false sense of security. With this false sense of security, some folks relax their training or don't enforce it at all. Of course, I'm incredibly biased, but that's my opinion. No matter what tool you use, remember that the emphasis is on training your dog to be safe, to walk well, to trust you in scary situations, etc.

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It's personal preference really. I'm a dog walker and I hate harnesses. They take more time to put on and take off, usually don't provide any more control than a collar, they often chafe and the training ones often alter the dogs gait.

Maybe an obedience class could help with his self control.

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Even though properly fitted, Gracie nearly backed out of her WWW harness when she was spooked. I've only used martingales on her since.

The only other time I tried a harness was on one of my big boys. He acted like it was crushing the life out of him (it wasn't) and refused to budge.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
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Guest Gemma

IMO the harness provides power to a dog, and it's easier for them to drag you around, since they can use their chest and really get into it, with 80lbs and might in their hindquarters, it isn't difficult for them.

 

:nod Most dogs will 'lean into' a harness and use their strength to pull even more strongly than with a collar. The 'no pull' type harnesses will assist with this but, personally, I don't like the way they tighten; I feel that it can put too much stress on the shoulders and neck.

 

My boy has never been a strong puller but, when we switched him to a harness due to his back pain, he realised that he had more control and started to lose a lot of his nice leash manners. At the recommendation of a friend, we ended up using a coupler and attaching it to his harness and a martingale. With this combo, he learned that the harness was not free reign to pull out in front. Since he had nice manners before the harness, it only took a week or so for him to return to an easy, well behaved walk.

 

Personally, I prefer a good harness. I feel it's easier on their neck, looks adorable (this might just be me, admittedly), and offers a good incentive to work on your dog's leash manners. :)

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I sort of see what you guys are talking about. But the beauty of the WWW harness is the front-clip! If the dog starts pulling, it forces him to spin around to face you. It also has a regular clip above the shoulders, but the front clip works really well for serious pullers.

 

Also, Giselle, I do agree with you 100%. Harnesses are just tools. The only way to truly eradicate the problem of hyper-arousal and pulling is to routinely practice heeling and calming exercises. OP, you can do this by reward the dog for being in the heel position. When he tries to pull, either stop or change directions. Though, I do think the harness does give more control while you're working on the training. In Truman's case, we started his first few class sessions with the harness on and leash clipped to the front... then the next few were harness still on but clipped at the shoulders... then harness on, but leash clipped on the martingale... then the final classes were no harness, only martingale. That seemed to work pretty well.

Edited by a_daerr
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I love harnesses, but I don't have a dog that pulls a lot and we do a lot of hiking using very long leashes.

 

In terms of pulling, I have found a very successful method using a harness and leash (I think I got it off of this board). The leash is attached to the harness on the dog's back, but if you pull it down and cross the leash in front of the chest and then hold it on the other side I have found it stops pulling better than any collar, and it causes no choking or discomfort. If my description is unclear I can take a pic :P

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thanks for all your replies!!

I will try a WWW harness on Otis, He does not have pulling issues and walks good, it's really only when he gets exited when meeting other dogs (he really want s to play with everyone, sily boy). ;)

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Our first greyhound, Tuffy: You will always be there with us my angel!
Tuffy greyhound-data
Otis greyhound-data Abbey greyhound-data
"When you open your minds to the impossible, sometimes you find the truth." W.Bishop

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I agree that they all (collars, leashes, harnesses) are just tools. Some tools will work better on some dogs that others.

 

I think it is interesting that some people have said that they think a harness is less effective on pullers. I had a Boston Terrier who pulled like a Mack truck, and with that thick neck, a collar might as well have been a limp noodle for all the difference it made to him :lol The harness was so much better for him. Hijack over :blush

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:nod Like I said, my little guys would pull until they choked themselves out on martingales but have never even TRIED with the WWW harnesses. They walk nicely at my side.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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We use a harness with Mabel. She's very petite, and I always worry about her backing out of her martingale because of how skinny her neck is. She is not a puller particularly.

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Karen with Mabel (Googly Spin b 1/06- ), Fidel (galgo b c2013), and bridge kids Dublin (J's Texmex 1996-12/31/01), Daisy (Assurance 8/8/95-9/26/07), and Bubba (Kelsos Irony b 5/99-8/19/10)

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i generally will use a harness on an injured dog, older dog, dog w/ neck issues(maybe a spooky dog) and that's about it. i find a good fitting collar- not too wide and instructions from a certified trainer who has common sense and experience to be the best way to handle a dog who pulls. i did have a www (martingale style harness) which i used for a short time. felix was chaffed by the lining. he has a thin coat and collars or anything else w/ velvet just rubs his coat off.

 

there are lots of training tools, including leashes that are easy to handle(my preference is leather or biothane-5.8" for a big boy). a good leash is an excellent starting point. i personally HATE nylon leads and find they often hinder one's ability to give corrections.

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