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Any tips on using/fitting a harness?


I have purchased a cheap harness for an elderly terrier. I've never ever used one before, and would like to hear about people's experiences with them.


How do you fit them properly? I've done the 'two fingers comfortably underneath' thing, then decided it seemed too tight somehow, and loosened it a little. How do you know if the harness is the right size for your dog? It was correct according to the weight of the dog, but I'm a worrywart. I have heard the horror stories about how easy they are to get out of and might do the 'carabiner attaching harness to collar' thing you see on pit bull websites.


Any tips, advice, experiences?


She's wearing a harness because she has respiratory problems. She will pull occasionally to get to a smell because she can no longer hear my 'leave it', and sometimes I will stumble or change direction suddenly and jerk her neck- she can't hear any longer when I change direction, and sometimes I forget that.


I'm not that worried about pulling in a small 14 year old dog. I want easy breathing and a not-injured neck, and if this allows that it will be great even if she does ineffectively attempt to drag me over to see the ducks.

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I now own both a flexi and a harness, for the same dog. And I will at some point probably use them together. Huh. I am one of 'those' people now.


"Ditto if you see a person walking a dog on a retractable string leash, or you see someone walking a dog in a harness meant for draft horses. This is a person that has never read a single book on dog training. You do not have to say anything. Simply notice it and remember what it means."- Patrick Burns

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I really like the SureFit harnesses, as they are very adjustable and easy to put on and off. I use them for tracking and attaching drag lines. Plus, I can attach the leash to the front ring in a pinch and it becomes a front clip harness (like when my dogs see the beach for the first time in months and drag me over! :P )



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I have the Ruffwear Front Range harness for both my collies and I really like it.






They both love to run and sometimes pull like sled dogs (my fault for not taking the time to train) but I haven't had any issues with the harness rubbing or causing discomfort.


Just wanted to add that the harness isn't cheap and my rescue Mattie did pull out of it once but she was at doggie daycare and afraid and had to pull hard to get out of it, she has never pulled out of it when with me. I can easily get three or four fingers under the straps and the harness still fits well.


I have had four different harnesses for Natasha and she has never pulled out of any of them. Mattie is a bit of an escape artist when she gets frightened. I wouldn't think you will need to worry about your dog escaping the harness. Mattie's issue is that she is a rescue and is frightened by everyday things.

Edited by RemsMom
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The harness was actually from the dollar store. I don't spend a lot of money on clothes or accoutrements. I keep telling myself I'm just 'thrifty' etc.


On using it today, while getting her into it was a little bit of a struggle, she seemed to be just fine once walking in it, didn't impede her a bit. She kept stepping out of it while I was putting it on her and just being quite determined that the strange thing wasn't going to be put on her. I have seen dogs who will jump into the harness. Hopefully once she realizes that it means 'walks' she'll be happier, she's just a bit crotchety about new and strange things.

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