Teaching your dog to walk properly on a leash is one of the biggest challenges of dog training, which is unfortunate because if you’re a dog owner, you probably walk your dog often. Straining against a collar is a natural instinct for dogs (t’s the same instinct that makes sled dogs pull), and they often can’t even feel when they’re tugging on the leash.
When I first adopted Ru, I was determined to not take any short cuts. It was as though using a special harness or collar meant I was admitting defeat or not properly dedicated to being a good owner. After weeks of watching me struggle to train Ru, our doggy class trainer suggested I try the Sense-ible Harness. I finally gave in and bought one. As soon as we started walking, I began wishing I had bought it earlier – it was like walking a completely different, perfectly behaved dog.
The Sense-ible Harness attaches in the front of your dog’s chest and the leash can actually clip into their collar as well for additional security and stability. Unlike with a standard collar and many other harnesses, the dog is able to feel when she is beginning to pull against the leash because of a squeezing effect on the harness. When your dog pulls hard or in another direction, the Sense-ible Harness maneuvers them so they are twisted back towards you instead.
Also, unlike choke collars, prong collars, and gentle leaders, which many dogs find awkward and annoying, the Sense-ible Harness fits comfortably even when snug. Sometimes I would even forget to take it off on the end of our walks, and Ru would fall asleep with it on. Eventually, Ru and I were able to do enough training that the Sense-ible Harness was no longer necessary, but that took nearly a year of dog classes. This made walks so much more pleasant in the meantime.
For dog owners who have dogs that walk them instead of the other way around, I cannot recommend this harness enough. You can read more about it on the Softouch Concepts website, the company that manufactured the Sense-ible Harness, as well as on Amazon. I also recommend calling your local pet stores to see if they have it, since they can likely help you properly fit it to your dog.