What’s So Special About Front-Clip Harnesses?
It’s actually quite simple. Lots of dogs pull. “How do I get my dog to stop pulling,” is pretty high up on the list of reasons people call us. Front-clip harnesses help with that! The leash clips onto a ring on the front of the harness. When the dog pulls, he’s turned to the side a bit. Because the sled-dog wannabe is no longer going in the direction he wants, it is no longer as reinforcing to pull. Furthermore, the harness distributes the pressure across the chest and away from the neck and trachea (windpipe). In case you are wondering, harnesses with the ring on the back do keep the pressure distributed and away from the neck, but they don’t often help with pulling. (Think sled dogs.) No-pull harnesses are a simple and effective way to help you and your dog walk nicely together!
Why Do Dogs Pull Anyway?
Again, it’s often pretty simple if you think about it. They are trying to get to something or somewhere faster than we are. There are tons of fantastically appealing — to them, maybe not to us — sights, sounds and smells pulling them in like a tractor beam. When walking, we’re kind of slow and boring, expecting them to go at our pace, stay on sidewalks and walk in straight lines. It’s no wonder that so many dogs pull!
What About Training?
You can train your dog to walk politely with a loose leash. In fact, we recommend it! (You can learn how by taking a class with us, or you can hire us to train your dog to walk nicely on-leash! We might even write about how to train polite walking in another post sometime soon.) Whenever we teach our dogs, we set them up for success by making the task easy in the beginning and then we very gradually increase the difficulty. With loose leash walking or polite walking, this means beginning inside in a very low-distraction environment. You’ll probably need or want to take your dogs on walks in the meantime. As you might guess, they’ll likely continue to pull on walks and during training sessions. Front-clip harnesses can protect their tracheas…and your arms! Furthermore, the harnesses can help to speed up the training.
What Are My Options?
We recommend and sell the Freedom No-Pull Harness. It actually has two rings, one in the front and one in the back. We recommend clipping to the front ring for pullers. (A leash that has two connection points, one for the back and one for the front, is also available, but not necessary.) The harness is lined with velvet to help prevent chafing. The manufacturer will replace chewed straps for the cost of shipping. Other front-clip harness options include Sense-ation, Sense-ible and Balance.
HARNESS THE LOVE!
To learn more, visit the Harness The Love campaign.