So we bought an Easy Walk Harness and have been using it for a couple of days now. So far it's great! Here's a few things I like about it so far:
- when Begley starts to pull on the leash, it doesn't pull on his throat and make him cough, but it does help redirect back him back towards us so we spend less time waiting for him to remember that we're standing still behine him
- it's not a "cure all." We still have to employ the "be a tree" method when Begley starts pulling at the end of the leash, and we still have to practice "come back" and have those opportunities for to treat when he comes back and when he's walking nicely beside us.
So it definitely seems promising so far! Thanks for the encouragement and advice on how to effectively use the harness as a training tool. I'm looking forward to seeing how we progress over the next while!
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So we bought an Easy Walk Harness and have been using it for a couple of days now. So far it's great! ....
So it definitely seems promising so far! I'm looking forward to seeing how we progress over the next while!
Good to hear! I just thought to mention you should check to be certain the harness isn't rubbing Rusty anywhere and irritating him. That issue was raised in a Whole Dog Journal article and discussed in another thread on the Easy Walk. Trying the Easy Walker (note posts #13 and #17)
I stitched Chagall's up some to "customize" the fit and it worked beautifully for him. And you are spot on; the training is the same and just as important whether you're working with a harness or a collar. I wish you continued success. We'll all be here to celebrate when Rusty is loose leash walking and transitions to a collar.
CABRYN CHAGALL CGC Some of our greatest historical
and artistic treasures we place in
museums; others, we take for walks.
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Trainer at our local pet smart recommended the easy walk. One time I forgot to take it off right away when we got back from our walk and he chewed the front of it. I bought the next one from amazon. MUCH cheaper. Max has learned to loose leash walk very well with it and it is much easier on my arthritic hands. :-)
Names of dogs: Remington, Jackson, Bailey, Nelly, Kody, Rumpus, Meesha, Thayer Bear and Reba
Poodle Type: Standard and Toy
Location: Killeen, Texas
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I use an easy walk harness under Remi's work vest. I have one that has nice pads on it, and he seems to like it A LOT!
"I know that dogs are pack animals, but it is difficult to imagine a pack of standard poodles ... and if there was such a thing as a pack of standard poodles, where would they rove to? Bloomingdale's? " --Yvonne Clifford, American actress
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Names of dogs: Walter - Black Spoo and Joanie - Standard F1 Labradoodle
Poodle Type: Standard
Location: Syracuse, NY
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Originally Posted by Rusty
Our standard poodle puppy, Begley, is 15 weeks old, and we're working on loose leash walking training by doing the "be a tree" method and treating for being beside us or coming back to us after pulling ahead on the leash. We're starting to see some success, but it's pretty slow going (which I expect and am okay with, but wouldn't mind getting faster results, either). I'm wondering about the Easy Walk harness to maybe speed things along, but I have a few questions for people who've used it before.
First, is it safe for puppies this age? If not, what's a good age to consider starting to use it? I don't like that once in a while (when he's really excited about something), Begley starts pulling fairly hard on his leash, and the pressure from his collar makes him cough. But are there other concerns associated with the Easy Walk harness?
Second, does it actually work in training loose leash walking in the sense that one day Begley will naturally walk with a loose leash, even with a normal collar? That is, is it possible to transition away from relying on the Easy Walk harness to maintain good walking manners after a period of time? I guess my question is whether the Easy Walk harness is a positive, effective training tool, or if it just masks the symptoms without really working on the underlying behaviour.
Thanks for any advice and shared experiences! I want to do what's best for our training in the long run, even if it means slower "baby steps" at these early stages.
I like what you're doing and agree with leash training by teaching focus and lots of treats. It may be slow, but it seems that harnesses just make it easier for a dog to pull comfortably. Walter is about 70 lbs now, and I am 5'4" with some arthritis, so pulling isn't an option for us, even if it doesn't make him choke. He'll be a year old in a couple of weeks and has gotten pretty good at focus and keeping his leash loose, even with most distractions. It's taken many hours and treats to get this far, though. I've learned that with most things for this smarty, convincing him that behaviors are HIS idea work the best. Good luck!
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