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Harnesses are the produce of slick marketing. Think about it for a moment. So many are advertised as helping with dogs pulling, but the dog does not read the label and say, "We dont pull when wearing these!" If it does help at all it can only be that it inflicts pain if the dog does pull. Exactly the same as it blames collars for doing. There is no other way it can work! Collars have been in use for hundreds of years. There are collars in the Kennel Club museum from the 1700's. Collars used properly will not harm any dog, fact. The whole point is to train your dog to walk on a loose lead. If you do it will not matter one iota what you use. I have a photo of my mother walking her dog with a collar and lead a hundred years ago, and I have never used anything other that collar and lead or slip lead during my going on 70 years in dogs.
A lot of the anti pull ones do work by 'hobbling' the dog effectively, ie making it uncomfortable to have a normal gait or stride. I think what people forget when training dogs to walk nicely to heel, is that they are teaching them to walk at an unnaturally slow pace for a puppy/dog, and this can be frustrating for them, so you have to make it a really good thing to do.

The study for all harnesses, not just anti pull harnesses, did prove that all harnesses affect gait. For that reason I personally, wouldn't use one with a pup, but then as a breeder I'm all too aware of the possibility of problems with joints, how a knock here can affect a score there.
 

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Aside from the harness/collar debate, just wanted to add that Freddie was a biter too. If he was excited, anxious, stressed or overstimulated in any situation he'd launch himself at my arm. I had some spectacular bruises for a few months and it was a pretty stressful time for us all.

We tried various things with varying success and in the end I think he's just grown out of it.

At home if he did it he got shut out of whatever room we were in for 30 seconds, with a firm "NO"
Seemed to work but we also tried to work out what was causing the emotional overload so that we could fix that too - putting his toys away, a change of scenery, some scattered kibble etc.

It's harder to manage when out but I tend to try and hold the lead very short to minimise his options, and scatter a bit of kibble if appropriate to refocus him.
 

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Benson
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Aside from the harness/collar debate, just wanted to add that Freddie was a biter too. If he was excited, anxious, stressed or overstimulated in any situation he'd launch himself at my arm. I had some spectacular bruises for a few months and it was a pretty stressful time for us all.

We tried various things with varying success and in the end I think he's just grown out of it.

At home if he did it he got shut out of whatever room we were in for 30 seconds, with a firm "NO"
Seemed to work but we also tried to work out what was causing the emotional overload so that we could fix that too - putting his toys away, a change of scenery, some scattered kibble etc.

It's harder to manage when out but I tend to try and hold the lead very short to minimise his options, and scatter a bit of kibble if appropriate to refocus him.
Had at least 10 days now with no 'biting/launching at me' incidents. Then yesterday evening (he was tired on this occasion) a full-on 'launch' at me. I found your post very re-assuring in that I've tried hard to think about when/why etc and to do something positive about it. The 30 seconds time out sometimes works (although yesterday it didn't) and I can try distracting him with kibble (which works, but I feel I'm rewarding his behaviour so not my preferred choice). I am firm with my NO! But have also tried a very calm "gentle" (with mixed results). I'm speaking to a dog behaviourist Tuesday as I want to understand it better and know that I'm dealing with it the best way. I'll share any words of wisdom that I might glean! Anne
 
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