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Old 06-10-2011, 10:05 AM   #2
CurlySue
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Hi!

You are clearly doing everything you can to help Zoe to be the best behaved dog she can be!! Whether or not this renewed pulling is simply adolescent exuberance, checking out what she can get away with, I couldn't say - but there are some professional and experienced trainers on this forum who will no doubt shed some more light on that for you.

But I wanted to comment on her fear of the harness. Are you able to say exactly which one it is, as there are quite a few "sensation" harnesses on the market? I suspect that, although it may not seem tight to you when fitted normally, it is obviously designed to close down or tighten when she pulls. Where the pressure is applied on her body depends on the harness......some squeeze the chest, some the throat, some under the elbows, and so on.

It may be that Zoe is not equating the unpleasant, and very possibly painful, squeezing sensation directly with her action of pulling, but simply with wearing the harness itself. When the harness brings its pressure points into action, it could be chafing, pinching, or snagging on her coat.

Personally I would switch back to a good old fshioned lead and collar, and try a bit of clicker training to resolve the pulling - you have an intelligent breed, why not capitalise on her brains and teach her that NOT pulling, and trotting nicely by your side, is a much nicer place to be!

There are alternatives, such as headcollars and other types of harness, which you could try as a temporary measure - but really they all chafe and snag and look pretty uncomfortable. Do some training on walking on a soft lead during every walk, she'll soon grasp it. There are trainers here who can explain how to do it, and numerous articles on the internet about clicker training "heel" with some high value treats (food she really really loves, assuming she is food motivated).

My terrier also developed an aversion to her harness. She took to running away from me when I got the harness out - it wasn't a sensation harness, it was just a common garden one which I preferred to a collar, as she's quite small but can be difficult to handle. I don't know if it was pinching or rubbing, but I changed to a leather collar and she doesn't run away from that. I chucked the harness in the bin!

Obviously she's still a hooligan, but that's a whole other story.

Good luck
Susie x

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