How to Apply a Dog Harness

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Applying a dog harness to your pet depends on the style of harness, but it generally will snap on behind the legs or over the chest. Find out how to securely fasten a dog harness with helpful tips from an experienced dog trainer in this free video on canine accessories.

Part of the Video Series: Dog Care & Behavior
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Video Transcript

How do you apply a dog harness? There are several different kinds of harnesses on the market. Some of them actually snap in the front between the dog's shoulder blades, some of them snap on the side. You would fit it over their head, and put their legs through and then snap it. This is a, stay, a fairly new concept in a harness. This is called a easy walk harness. It is a mechanical device that makes it very easy to control your dog. And they always have a different colored strap for the chest. And they have a snap on the back portion that goes over the back of the dog. And they have a snap on the chest portion. It is always easiest to apply these harnesses by unsnapping the different colored strap or the chest portion. Once you have it unsnapped you just slip it over your dog's head, bring the strap underneath, behind the legs, and you snap it in. And that is about it, it's pretty easy to apply. Harnesses in general other than the harnesses that work on the mechanics, and make it easier to walk a dog are generally best for possibly putting your dog out on a line supervised. Because it would not put any pressure on the neck. And if you are using your dog for something where you would want them to pull for example, tracking dogs almost always wear harnesses. They are expected to pull you to the location, and so you want to protect their neck and their spine. And you want them to pull. In walking they are much safer obviously than using a collar, because they don't put any pressure if they are fitted right, and it is a good harness they should not put any pressure on the spine and on the neck of the dog. However, it doesn't help teach your dog how not to pull. So ideally you work with a trainer, work with a professional, and teach your dog how to walk with a harness or walk with a regular collar. Now a harness is also a really good device for restraining your dog in a car. There are harnesses specifically that have a padded chest plate that if your dog were in an accident the seat belt would engage just like it would for us humans. And then the chest portion would be fairly cushioned so that when your dog is thrown forward that they would be restrained. Much safer for all of the human occupants in the car, and much safer for the dog. You would not want to use a collar in that instance, because obviously that would be an ending if you did have an accident. So there are many, many harnesses. I would strongly suggest that you find your local pet store, and you take your dog over there if you dog is social with others dogs, and good with people. And you try some of the harnesses on.

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