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Discussion Starter #1
Ok y’all... Loki is pretty good on a walk, doesn’t pull, run away, etc. but...
Unfortunately though he hates his harness. He won’t walk AT ALL with his harness on willingly, unless I give him a small tug with his leash then he will walk perfectly. If I put his harness on him and walk away, he won’t move and will cry eventually. He won’t walk to me even if I have treats and toys.
When I attach the leash and start walking, every few second he bites the harness on his right shoulder (only his right shoulder). I don’t know why! He will also sit and pout sometimes. I’ve checked the sizing, if anything is poking him, everything!! If anything it’s a bit too loose on him. Sometimes he will go a while without biting and I think we’ve mastered it, but then starts it all over again.
I’ve tried treats, distractions, saying no, tugging a bit when he bites, etc. we’ve done lots of walks and different strategies. But no use.
It’s a front lead hardness and I’m wondering if it’s the weight of the leash in his front? Is it the jingle sound of the leash? Is it the fabric?
Wanted to get anyone thoughts on what I should do next. I don’t want to walk him on a collar, but when I tried it as an experiment he walked perfect and only tired to bite the leash a few times. Should I try a back clip harness with a softer fabric ? I tried putting the front lead in backwards where it clips on his back (picture below - Loki is in the red harness) but he kept biting again at his right shoulder still while we were hiking.
Last thing: I do try to get him to like his harness by offering treats while I put the harness on to make it a positive experience. He eats the treats while it’s on and off. But he freeze up the moment it’s on him and won’t walk at all!!

Thanks everyone in advance!!
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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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I would definitely try a different style of harness. I keep getting grease stains on my shirts because I cannot stand the feel of an apron looped around my neck. Same goes for any sort of halter top, bra, bathing suit, whatever.

I'm sure dogs can be the same.

Peggy will sometimes (like maybe once every few weeks) give a single angry bite at her leash where it hangs down. I think she's annoyed by it, but has resigned herself to its presence.

If it only happens when the leash is clipped to Loki's harness, you could also try a leash with a lighter clasp on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree... I’m thinking trying a different style harness or different leash hook. I’ve tried 2 different leashes (one slip lighter than the other) so I’m wondering if it’s just the style harness.
Thank you for your input!!
 

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That style looks like it cinches when the leash hangs down. I would try a different style, or a martingale collar (distributes pressure around throat so don't make a choking noise). I have had an awful time finding a harness Annie can stand- she happily comes to me if I pick up her martingale, pinch collar, jacket, bandanas, etc. And flees if she sees a harness or a gentle leader halter.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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That style looks like it cinches when the leash hangs down. I would try a different style, or a martingale collar (distributes pressure around throat so don't make a choking noise). I have had an awful time finding a harness Annie can stand- she happily comes to me if I pick up her martingale, pinch collar, jacket, bandanas, etc. And flees if she sees a harness or a gentle leader halter.
Peggy also does this sometimes. She will scamper away and play bark/growl as though it's a big game. But if we wait until she's outside or in the car to put the harness on, she's totally calm. It's bizarre.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If he is good on the leash you could transition to a buckle collar.
Yes I might!! I’m sure sure yet. I talked to a trainer and she said there is a safe way to have a collar - higher on the neck - to protect the trachea.
Today I bought a different style harness and so far it’s better, but he still fights a bit. I’m going to give it more time and then try the collar since he really doesn’t pull unless he sees a new human lol
 

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I highly recommend a martingale if you go for a collar and are uncertain about it. I use one as Annie likes to do the pull and choke thing on a flat collar if there are squirrels, and the way it distributes pressure keeps her from making that awful sound.
 

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I agree with the try a different style comments.. if the harness is a problem in general - regardless of a harness train Id'd start some general desensitization to the harness. You can find information on how to do that here-

 
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Discussion Starter #10
I highly recommend a martingale if you go for a collar and are uncertain about it. I use one as Annie likes to do the pull and choke thing on a flat collar if there are squirrels, and the way it distributes pressure keeps her from making that awful sound.
Yes! This is the one I’m looking into and having it higher on his neck -if his new harness “sporn non pull” works.
so far it works better, but he’s not 100% happy.
thank you for the recommendation !!
 

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I Use a sporn on my Labrador- it works great
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Hi all! Thanks so much again. So far the new harnes is.... kinda good? I just got a martingale collar in the mail and will try that. I will put it higher on his neck so we don’t damage his trachea, if he wants to pull.
I will let you know how it goes!!!
 
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