Just say "NO" to the no pull harness.
By Hilary Chambers C.C.S.
When we think of what a harness is used for, the first thing that comes to mind is PULLING. Sled dogs, tracking dogs, weight pulling dogs all use this tool as it encourages & enables them to PULL.
Some YouTube trainers enjoy promoting the use of a front line harness because it pinches the dog, making walking uncomfortable thus slowing them down from pulling. There is no easy fix in dog training, you have to do the work...these might make life seem easier for you initially, but it teaches the puppy or dog nothing, it can also harm proper development of muscles and on a pointing dog...hamper their ability to POINT. YIKES!
This is not a wirehaired pointing griffon friendly training tool!
In dog training there is a simple truth, if you control the head, you control the dog. Yes, physically the head itself, but also the brain. Slip chain collars, martingales, flat collars, prong, wonder lead, dominant dog collar (Volhard collar), slip lead made in a figure 8 over the nose, gentle leaders (We don't personally like the halti brand) all help you work WITH the dog while controlling the head.
The point of dog training is to have a healthy, happy OBEDIENT dog that you can enjoy while giving your pup a fulfilled life.
PUPPY TRAINING is essential. Start of by setting yourself and the puppy up for success. Join a puppy obedience class right out of the gate when you get your puppy. By creating a solid foundation NOW, you will reduce stress for both of you and be proud to have your dog out with you in public.
If your training tools fail when you are blocks or acres away from home...can you still get there safely with your dog under control?
Making your puppy or dog walk on a harness because its pulling on the lead, is not the way to help your dog or puppy walk correctly. You need to "train" your puppy or dog to walk calmly on a loose lead, and not expect your pup or dog to know how to do it.
A harness puts too much pressure on a dog's shoulders & chest! It isn't too hard to imagine the damage it can do on a young puppy that is growing and their growth plates aren't even closed.
A sports medicine guru and canine athlete enthusiast, Dr. Zink (and many others) say that no-pull harnesses are detrimental to a dog’s structure and gait – and are especially inappropriate for canine athletes. “I do not believe that there is a harness on the market that is nonrestrictive and that also helps the dog not to pull,” says Dr. Zink.” These should not be considered as a method to teach a dog not to pull. In my opinion the real way to get a dog to stop pulling is to train it.”
These harnesses sit on top of some very important muscles, which help to extend the shoulder joint. This compression and lack of appropriate motion of the shoulder can lead to shoulder pain, arthritis, inflammation and bursitis.
If a harness doesn’t fit well and a dog pulls hard on his leash, there is some potential for a chest injury, says Dr. Susan C. Nelson, clinical professor at the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University.
Front-hook harnesses, on the other hand, can affect a dog’s natural gait and hinder shoulder movement. Nelson says these particular harnesses may not be a good choice for dogs who engage in athletic activities.
Again, we cannot say it enough, a harness can be quite damaging to your growing pups body. It is not worth it, or worth investing time with someone who wants you to train this way.
Puppies should be trained in a positive manner that enables them to engage with you. At a young age, dogs are like a sponge and it is the easiest time to work with them.
Commit to joining a reputable trainers classes...at the very least, a 6 week session of training when you get your puppy.
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Hilary specializes in puppy & young dog training. She has over 15 years of experience working with young dogs and puppies, from rescued and rehomed to purebred.