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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a harness for my puppy since he's starting liking to go outside now, mainly because the weather is warmer, but anyway, it's a real ordeal just to get the harness on him. But, once it's on he's fine, and it doesn't bother him a bit. I adjusted it, so it wasn't too tight, or too loose, ect. It's not pinching him anywhere or anything.
I assume eventually he'll get used to having it put on and it shouldn't bother him so much, but in the meantime, is there anything I can do? What can I do to get him where putting the harness on to go for walkies isn't such a mess??

Dannie
 

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whenever your putting it on tell him how much a good boy he is and give him his favorite treat, hell soon be bringing his harness to you for a treat lol.
 

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Just persevere, Baxter use to hate putting the harness on (he would pitch a fit) but he eventually got use to it.
You could try giving him a treat every time you put it on.
 

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I even went to the point of offering a treat on the other side of the harness to get Boop to poke her head through. It worked twice, and then she started refusing the treat until the harness was completely on. Odd. She never fought it, just averted her head, but she lets me put it on. Her body English shows she's unhappy at the moment.
 

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persevere lots of praise and treats (eventually phase out the treats but keep the praise) - what i used to do when Twig was a puppy was put the harness on in the morning leave her for 20 mins take it off - do the same around lunchtime then again in the evening it was enough so i didnt upset her but she quickly got used to it (infact thats what i did with teaching her all her commands)
 

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The doggie trainer that I worked with for awhile said to leave the harness out and leave treats in, on, and around it. Make it a treat dispenser. Also like everyone else has been saying, just tell your baby how good he is. Also, just leave the harness on even when you're not walking him and let him wear it around the house. I think this will help him get used to it. Also, do you have the kind of harness where your dog can step into it and it velcros or snaps around the waist? I've found that these are really easy to put on, since they don't have to go over the head. My baby hates anything that goes over the head.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I put it on him, and left it on for one entire day around the house. I'm getting ready to take him for a walk in about fifteen minutes. I'll try some of the advice. The treat, and LOTS of praise...and I guess we'll see. I'll let you guys know.

Thanks!

Dannie
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I decided to go ahead and try it now. I did the treat, and a soft voice. Then when it was on(with only a little fight) he got a treat and LOTS of praise. But, now he's looking at me like he isn't very happy with me. :D Guess he'll get over it. I hope eventually he'll see that the harness means 'walkies'...

Thanks again!

Dannie
 

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Yes, your baby will definitely get over it, and soon he will associate his harness with being able to go on lovely walks like you said. Now, all I have to do is say, "Wanna go outside?" or "Wanna go to grandma's?" and my Minky sits down and lets me put on her harness or sweater. Just be consistent and persistent with it. So glad to hear that your boy is starting to catch on!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I guess I spoke too soon. *sigh* This morning, I was getting him ready for his "walkies", and I got out one of his favorite treats, a puppy jerky stick. I broke it into bite size pieces, and by talking in a soft voice, telling him what a good boy he was being, and giving him a treat, I got the harness on without a fight at all. Taking it off after his walk was another matter all together. He doesn't like it being pulled over his head, he started fighting. But, I managed to get it off.
Anyway, I don't think he's going to forget the fact that he hates it going over his head again...because this afternoon I was going to give him a treat, he usually gets one mid-afternoon, and he acted leery of it. He looked at the hook where his harness hangs, I guess making sure it was there, then hesitantly took the treat.
It seems like a no win game...now he won't hardly take treats because he thinks I'm going to try putting the harness on. But, I thought I had to be consistant, and do the same thing every morning before "walkies". Either way he isn't very happy with Mamma right now.
Am I only making things worse, to continue trying every morning??? I don't want him to be scared of taking a treat for fear of his harness being put on, or be scared of me. What would make him not like the harness so much?? I checked it again this morning after I put it on, made sure it wasn't too tight, wasn't pinching anywhere, it was fine. I assume it's the same as it is with a collar, if I can put two fingers under it. Am I right???
My friend told me I was being too much of a wimp, that it was all right for him to get angry with me, and that he was just a spoiled rotten dog, and was only acting that way to get what he wants, which is no harness. Like a human child would. But he's my baby, and he just looks so pitiful when it's harness time.
I'm frustrated, and would appreciate any and all help that you guys have to share...

Thanks,
Dannie
 

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I think a walk is a bigger reward than a treat is, so maybe you don't need to give him treats? Just a thought.

When I take off Boop's harness, I hold the harness so she can pull her head out. No treats since getting free of the odious object is the reward. Same with sweaters. I don't know if that helps with the disrobing or if it's just a quirk of mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good idea. But, he's gotten over it now, and is back to going and sitting by the shelf where I keep his treats, and whimpering. lol. I'm sure as soon as he sees the harness come out he'll be back to his other behavior though. I guess I'll just keep trying, and hope that he'll get used to it.

Thanks...

Dannie
 

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One more thought - harnesses made of nylon leash fabric are cut with a hot knife to seal the ends before they are sewn up. I noticed the insides of the harness had poky, scratchy places from the sharp corners where the straps had been cut, sort of like the labels in your clothes. I smoothed them out with a nail clipper trying to make the harness more comfortable for Boop. She scratches a lot when the harness comes off. Maybe smoothing it will help.
 

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I went through this with all 3 of my girls.
Just ignore the bad behavior and get on with it. He'll get over it as long as you don't make a big deal of it.
With having to put on 3 harnesses I didn't have time to deal with their trantrums :foxes15:
Now when they see me get the harnesses they get excited and come to me because they want to go outside. They even put their heads in the loop and lift their front leg so I can fasten the clasp.
The first chi is always the hardest to deal with because there is no example for it follow. It's going to take a while for him to get used to putting on and taking off the harness, but he will get used to it eventually. You know you are not hurting him and it's for his own good. He'll realize it's a fact of life and he's the one making it a bad situation as long as you treat it that way.
 
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