Harness Conditioning

Harness Conditioning

  1. Choose a front clip harness - this will be what you use more most dogs (Recommendations)

  2. Front clips usually don't completely stop pulling, but they usually greatly reduce it and make handling the dog MUCH easier

  3. Some dogs will need a Gentle Leader head collar instead, if the front clip doesn't work

  4. When to condition/train

  5. Many dogs will not need conditioning/training and will accept the harness without additional work

  6. If the dog is backing up or otherwise trying to avoid the harness, you will need to condition it, as this can lead to problems later on

  7. ANY dog using the Gentle Leader should be conditioned first=

  8. Harness

  9. Hold harness up as if you were about to put it over the dog’s head, but do not actually move it forward

  10. M/T dog for any movement toward or sniffing at harness. Feed through loop of harness so dog has to put muzzle near opening for head

  11. Hold harness between dog's head and your hand. Again, do not move the harness

  12. M/T any movement toward your hand/opening of harness. Feed so that dog's head is through or near to opening of harness

  13. Gradually increase criteria until dog is putting head all the way through harness before M/T

  14. Once dog puts the head all the way through harness feed several treats, then remove without clipping

  15. Clip one clip of harness, M/T, remove

  16. Clip additional clip if applicable, M/T, remove

  17. Continue until dog stays calm and relaxed while clip all clips

  18. Let dog wear harness for a few minutes, then remove

  19. Add leash

  20. Head halter - If dog starts to paw at nose loop or try to rub face on ground, you are progressing too quickly

  21. Repeat process for front clip harness through step "g" - " Clip one clip of harness, M/T, remove"

  22. Clip, feed several treats in rapid succession, remove

  23. Gradually increase duration between treats - if dog starts to paw at nose loop or try to rub face on ground, you are progressing too quickly

  24. Once can go 5 seconds or so between treats, start to add movement - feed dog so that s/he has to step forward to get the treat (no leash yet)

  25. Gradually increase number of steps until dog can take several steps between treats

  26. Add the leash, but let the dog go where they want (continue to gradually increase time between treats)

  27. Continue to gradually increase time between treats and length of walks, also start to choose path, rather than letting dog go wherever they want (this will introduce them to feeling of pressure on nose)