Control Harness Fitting and Use Tips


Here are some trade secrets to getting your control harness to work better for you and your dog:

With several of the simpler styles (SENSE-ation, SENSE-ible, Easy Walk) if you can’t get the harness to fit quite right, try putting it on upside down. (Doesn’t work with any of the “two-points-of-contact” harnesses.)

If the front strap still slips down, clip your leash to the front-clip ring and the collar ring. This may diminish the effectiveness of the harness a little, but it will keep the front strap up and in place.

If your dog seems worried when you attempt to put the harness on him, use high-value food treats to give him a positive classical association with the harness, and do several sessions of “harness = food” before putting it all the way on him. If his eyes light up when he sees the harness, you’re ready to proceed. (Many dogs take to the harness right away and don’t need the conditioning step.)

When attached to the front of your dog’s harness, make sure your leash comes directly to you in the shortest line possible (not around the dog’s other side and over his shoulders).

Do several practice sessions with the harness in low-distraction environments so the two of you can, together, figure out how it works, before trying it in the real world.

Keep slack in the leash when your dog is not pulling. If he starts to pull, stand still to brace yourself, and put gentle pressure on the leash to turn his front end back toward you. Mark (click or “Yes!”) and give him a treat, and walk forward again. Remember to reinforce him often for walking politely!