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Changing To Harness Due To Strong Prey Drive


Guest stormsmom
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Guest stormsmom

Hello! This forum has been a wealth of information since we got our beautiful Storm a few months ago! I learn more and more every day.

 

Storm has a very strong prey drive that even though we use the 2in Martingale collars I am afraid we are going to hurt her if we don't change to a harness. We go on three walks a day and the morning walk is the worst. My neighborhood has A LOT of bunnies (we see on average 6-7 every morning) and I can't always break her attention before she launches. With her prey drive would it be better to switch to a harness or would that cause other damage? Is there any harness that someone might recommend? Or a way to stop her from launching (or a sign for me to realize she has spotted something).

 

 

Thanks!

Storm's Mom

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I have a Stormy. He is 12 and a spook from day one. He was bounced 3 times due to his quirkiness. He has been here for 6years and it doesn't get better with age. We use the Freedom Harness, Wags,Wiggles & Whiskers brand. It is simple to put on ,has velvet under the arms and a martingale loop on the top to pull him up like a suitcase when he freezes. I don't leave home without it. I must saw he did wonderful at Mountain Hounds with 350 hounds there.

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I agree with Buddy. Rebel is on the spooky side and can easily slip out of a martingale collar and a standard harness rides up his chest when he tries to bolt. Go with the no pull freedom harness from WWW. It has the control loop on the back and also a control ring on the front of the harness to help with dogs who pull.

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Carolina (R and A Carolina) & Rebel (FA Ready).
At the bridge: Kira (Driven by Energy) 7/19/97 - 6/17/04 & Jake (Jumpstart Dude) 9/12/00 - 1/24/15

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One Stop Harness Shop has the best harnesses ever! It's only on Facebook. Toni make a no pull no escape harness that really works!

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest MnMDogs

We have an extremeley high prey girl, but I disagree with going to a harness. We did that with Macy, and then it was pointed out on here that harnesses allow them to really leverage their strength (think sled dogs). I'd recommend a gentle leader (with leash attached to both it and the martingale loop) and training.... Lots of training. It has done wonders for Macy.

 

We only use a harness for our spooky boy Greg who will NOT walk with a collar (he's not a racer).

 

Though I don't know what the no pull harness is that Robin mentions.

Edited by MnMDogs
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We have an extremeley high prey girl, but I disagree with going to a harness. We did that with Macy, and then it was pointed out on here that harnesses allow them to really leverage their strength (think sled dogs). I'd recommend a gentle leader (with leash attached to both it and the martingale loop) and training.... Lots of training. It has done wonders for Macy.

 

We only use a harness for our spooky boy Greg who will NOT walk with a collar (he's not a racer).

 

Though I don't know what the no pull harness is that Robin mentions.

:nod And the help of a good trainer to help you get him comfortable with wearing the head collar first. If you search this subforum for "gentle leader" there are a couple of threads where I've posted a video about how to do this as well.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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The harness has a martingale loop on the chest. It was impossible to walk Iker because he was so scared and always pulled towards home. After I purchased the harness, I was able to take him for a walk around the neighbourhood for the first time in the three years that he had lived with me. Not only was he easy to walk, but his tail is no longer tucked under his belly. There must be so,etching about it that lets him feel more secure.

 

He doesn't look happy in this picture as it was cold out, but this gives you an idea of what it's like.

 

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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I use the Freedom no pull harness also. yes harnesses can make them pull like a sled dog if the loop is only on the top. But the Freedom No Pull has a front loop which redirects them towards you when they pull. Some of them come with a leash with two clips for top of harness and front of harness but essentially one leash.

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I wanted to add-We have a lot of bunnies in my yard too, there are woods across the street. One time as I was heading out the front door with Charlie, I didn't look around first and he almost took me flying off the front steps because there was a bunny right there. After that I always said "leave it" in a stern voice. It has worked! Wish it worked for the stray cats he sees. Not yet anyhow. There is a bold feral who will actually walks toward us even though Charlie is barking at him.

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We have a Freedom No pull Harness for my high prey drive girl Angel. And she behaves like a completely different dog on her walks when she wears . What I also started doing when she would start barking,and lunging at the squirels and rabbits is to stop walking.and stand perfectly still in place and we didn't continue walking until stopped acting like a crazy dog. She figured it out after about a week.

Sarah, mom to Stella and Winston . And to Prince, Katie Z, Malone, Brooke, Freddie, Angel and Fast who are all waiting at the Bridge!

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Guest stormsmom

Thank you all for the advice! Storm is great with "leave it" as long the bunny doesn't surprise her or run right in front of us. Unfortunately this happens almost daily (seriously?? why do they have to run toward us??).

 

I am going to try to Freedom no pull first. If that doesn't work I will try some of the others.

 

Thanks!

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I think the "no-pull" harness sounds like a good idea. I've never used one of those. I only ever used a standard harness on my Sobe when he had a neck injury and couldn't wear a collar. It worked fine for him, but he didn't have any walking issues to contend with. When he had healed, but was still in the harness, he had a startle incident (very rare for him) and put me on the ground. He was a sled-dog in that harness. I could never have used it to control him. He went back to a martingale as soon as possible. The power he could put into that harness humbled me.

 

I personally don't feel comfortable with a dog in a harness. But - it might work for you if you get the right one.

 

I will tell you that I thought my Diana was going to strangle herself and/or dislocate my shoulder on many occasions going after rabbits for the first few months we had her. We kept her in a 2" martingale, and she hit the end of the leash then up into the air more times than I can count. It was painful for both of us. I quickly learned to keep one hand in the leash-loop, and the other hand holding the leash a foot down, so I had 2 hands to handle the lunge. She got over it and quit after a while. She'd still go after bunnies sometimes, but stop when she felt the end of the leash. It's not the "nicest" way to deal with it - but with a hard-headed, determined dog, it worked for me.

 

You need to figure out what works for you, and your dog. We're all different.

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The no-pull harnesses that have a clip on the front (on the chest of the dog) work the best IMO. A bit like a head collar in that the dog is pulled around towards you when they lunge. Other than that, most harnesses don't work at all for pulling in my opinion.

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we purchased 2 harness leads at GIG, from a group from nj was set up next to us and guarantees that the dog will NOT slip out- and it provides control. I do not like harnesses (i have tried 3 varieties) and love the HARNESS LEAD. here's the link, watch the videohttp://www.harnesslead.com/

Edited by cleptogrey
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One Stop Harness Shop has the best harnesses ever! It's only on Facebook. Toni make a no pull no escape harness that really works!

 

Robin told me about this harness and it has been a life saver for me. Before I got it I tried Majestic Collars' Spook Harness, the Harness Lead, and a Freedom Harness by 2 Hounds Design all combined with a martingale and was using two leashes - one attached to each to try to control my galgo, when we encountered squirrels, rabbits, cats, etc. on our walks. He was still able to pull me off my feet and/or drag me before I got this harness. Cristiano is the highest prey drive hound I've ever had and will still try to lunge after prey, but he can't drag me and he cannot back out of it. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Edited by galgrey

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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Thank you all for the advice! Storm is great with "leave it" as long the bunny doesn't surprise her or run right in front of us. Unfortunately this happens almost daily (seriously?? why do they have to run toward us??).

 

I am going to try to Freedom no pull first. If that doesn't work I will try some of the others.

 

Thanks!

I have this harness have really liked it when used for my dogs in the past, but when my galgo, Cristiano, saw a rabbit, he realized almost immediately that he could back out of it so be aware of that. If I hadn't also had the martingale on him, he would have gotten away from me.

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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Guest Bean_Scotch

I'm in the no harness camp too. Harnesses distribute their weight evenly so they have more leverage to pull more instead of less. I've had 150+ hounds through my house and the only ones I've ever put a harness on is ones that were a flight risk(spooks). The rest, martingale only. I HAD a high prey dog that wasn't cat safe, with a martingale collar and training he's fine now. Get yourself a good trainer and you'll be just fine!

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I have a very high prey girl, our group recommended the Gentle Leader, but not to be used by itself (the head of our group has a greyhound who hates small dogs and would kill them in a heartbeat if given a chance). I ended up buying both the Gentle Leader the Halti version of the Gentle Leader as it seems a lot more subtantial than the Gentle Leader.

 

Anyway, on walks she also wears a loop-type martingale that Nancy, from Nancy's Collars, made for her. First I put the collar on her, then I put the Gentle Leader on (first I wrapped it in moleskin so it was super soft on her snout), then I connect both the collar and the Gentle Leader to her leash and I use a carabiner for double security.

 

Here is an article discussing Gentle Leader vs Halti Optiplex Headcollar.

 

At first I felt VERY vulnerable when walking her as I'm used to walking dogs in WWW harnesses, but it proved to be exactly the right thing to walk her in when we were approached by a squirrel on a suicide mission came straight at us during a walk. She THREW herself at the squirrel, bucked like a wild bronco, I pulled the leash downward as if she were a bronco, and it worked perfectly. It held tight, I was able to control her and bring her to me, where we had a come to Jesus moment on the sidewalk. She walks really well with the Halti Optiplex, usually on a loose leash, but completely under control when needed.

 

I have thought about putting a WWW harness on her and connecting it with a coupler, but haven't done it as it seems like hardware overkill

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Guest Amber

I like a double ended leash with a clip both ends, one clipped to a standard harness (well i use a Mekuti harness) and the other clipped to a martingale. Takes a bit of practice but using two light hands on the double ended leash, the dog has nothing to lunge against , because there are two points of contact. Alternatively, if you feel either the collar or the harness is better in any given situation, you can use that end for control.

 

Personally i prefer a harness on a dog that lunges badly, as i think the collar can choke them. But depends on what works for you and your dog. The main purpose of the equipment would be safety and reduction of possible injury to dog and handler, with a strong dog.

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A head collar is your best bet in this situation. It's similar to a halter on a horse....and if it can control a 1,200 animal, it can control a greyhound. You just want to follow Jen's advice to get them used to wearing it, and make sure it's always clipped to both the head collar and the regular collar.

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I use a Wiggles Wags and Whiskers harness for Beka because she has a high prey drive too and tends to pull, and I was afraid that she would hurt her neck pulling with a martingale. The harness is a godsend and is very strong. I still put a martingale on her too to keep her tag collar from slipping off and also because she has to make a fashion statement!

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