The harness has a very awkward set up, but it’s designed this way for a purpose. It’s sort of kinda a step in harness of sorts but the hook you attach the leash to is in the middle of their chest. Strange, I know. But the reasoning is so that when your dog pulls too hard it pulls them back and to the side, almost like they’re being forced to turn around. This makes it feel awkward for them to pull and causes them to then more than likely pull a little less. Clever, huh?
They also have a variation of this for more vigorous pullers called the Gentle Leader where it goes around their snout and the leash attaches under their snout, kinda like a horse. This has the same effect as the chest but it’s far more awkward to have your head getting forced around making it potentially more affective if your dog is persistent.
Let me emphasize for a moment that this is not a permanent fix, this is merely to help your dog get the idea during training. This is not a tool to half ass your training and call it good… even if like me, you really really want it to be.
Laverne is not the worst puller, so at first I didn’t see myself getting too much out of it. But I did notice a slight difference when we tried it in class so I decided to try it and our trainer said I was good to return it if I wasn’t thrilled so I figured what the hell.
Well I must say I am quite happy with it and contrary to my gut, no returns necessary. Like I said before Laverne does pull a tad but not horrifically, that is unless there is another dog or person then things get more exciting.
If you are familiar with my site at all you probably know Laverne is fearful of other dogs, which causes her to get pretty dramatic when we pass them. Our trainer said when she does that to stop and turn her around so she’s not facing the distraction till she calms down and continue that as many times as it takes till we pass the distraction calmer. It can take several frustrating times.
With this harness when I stop if I keep a tight leash and stand right next to her and turn she’s forced to turn with me. Which is significantly easier than me getting on the ground and physically turning her squirming eccentric body around, it’s like trying to wrestle a fish.
So I guess you can say I use mine just for the control aspects of it, not so much the pulling. Although other people in the class got it for their dogs that pull (even massive strong dogs) so I’d say it’s a win in that department as well or people wouldn’t be investing.
The harness only has two downfalls; it’s awkward to put on the first time you try to figure out the proper way to put it on your pup. I’d probably ask an employee for a demo if you’re getting it form a store, or you could always just see if a YouTube clip exists on how to do it… Or I guess you could read the instructions. I hate instructions. I could hardly consider this small obstacle a downfall. Once you get the groove of how it should go on its cake.
The other downfall is since it’s on their chest near their legs, the leash with slip under their arm every now and then. Nothing major, but something to mention.
If your furry friend is a puller or you need more control during walks or both, I would consider adding this harness to your training routine if I were you.
Here's the link for the Gentle Leader if you find it more suiting...