Problem with PetSafe front lead harness
  • I learnt about front lead harness from the instructor of puppy training/behavior class. she told me to purchase front lead harness to help with the training. I used to have a harness that has the D ring on the back (not the front one). I researched about it and came across PetSafe brand. I checked on the amazon and the review is pretty good. Thus, I decided to purchase it. I used it only when I walk with my akita inu (Hiro). it seemed fine and worked pretty well for several times. However, I noticed that this harness actually cut the underarm of Hiro. It was pretty bad, so I stopped using it. I did not notice that before because Hiro did not avoid the harness when I put it on or cry/bark, etc. I am such a bad mom. I feel really bad for him. Does anyone has experience using this harness? any suggestion,solution and comments are welcome. Thank you :)
  • http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/16_7/features/the-no-pull-debate_20782-1.html

    Dr. Zink explains that these harnesses sit on top of the biceps and supraspinatus tendons, two of the most commonly injured structures in dogs’ forelimbs, particularly in canine athletes. She asserts that, just by logic, one has to assume that the pressure this kind of harness exerts on the dog’s forelimbs in an activity where the dog is supposed to be extending her forelimbs (i.e., running, walking), is not a good idea.

    “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.” There are however some very nice, well constructed, nonrestrictive harnesses on the market. However, those 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.”


    In addition to possible risk of injury quoted above, I've seen first hand no-pull harnesses causing a dog to change its gait and walk with its front legs unnaturally pinched closer together. Walking the wrong way for any length of time, for any species, is going to bad posture, pain, and joint issues.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
  • AjaxAjax
    Posts: 55
    Don't be too hard on yourself. The important thing is that you caught the problem before it became serious. Nylon can cut flesh surprisingly fast. I hope Hiro is feeling better.

    Any harness (traditional or front lead) that is cutting is probably due to a poor fit. All tools have there advantages and disadvantages, but I do think PoetikDragon has hit on the often overlooked disadvantage of front lead harnesses. I personally would avoid them for growing puppies and exercising dogs.

    I hate to admit it, but I put Ajax on a prong collar after I nearly broke his leg one walk when he bolted from my left side to my right side and I stepped on his front leg (not just his toes) with my full weight. I felt horrible. My ultimate goal is to train him to walk nicely on a flat collar or back attached harness.

    In my opinion the real way to get a dog to stop pulling is to train it.
    ditto
  • http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/16_7/features/the-no-pull-debate_20782-1.html

    Dr. Zink explains that these harnesses sit on top of the biceps and supraspinatus tendons, two of the most commonly injured structures in dogs’ forelimbs, particularly in canine athletes. She asserts that, just by logic, one has to assume that the pressure this kind of harness exerts on the dog’s forelimbs in an activity where the dog is supposed to be extending her forelimbs (i.e., running, walking), is not a good idea.

    “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.” There are however some very nice, well constructed, nonrestrictive harnesses on the market. However, those 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.”


    In addition to possible risk of injury quoted above, I've seen first hand no-pull harnesses causing a dog to change its gait and walk with its front legs unnaturally pinched closer together. Walking the wrong way for any length of time, for any species, is going to bad posture, pain, and joint issues.


    Thank you for the feedback. so, what kind of harness/collar do you suggest to aid the training?
  • Don't be too hard on yourself. The important thing is that you caught the problem before it became serious. Nylon can cut flesh surprisingly fast. I hope Hiro is feeling better.

    Any harness (traditional or front lead) that is cutting is probably due to a poor fit. All tools have there advantages and disadvantages, but I do think PoetikDragon has hit on the often overlooked disadvantage of front lead harnesses. I personally would avoid them for growing puppies and exercising dogs.

    I hate to admit it, but I put Ajax on a prong collar after I nearly broke his leg one walk when he bolted from my left side to my right side and I stepped on his front leg (not just his toes) with my full weight. I felt horrible. My ultimate goal is to train him to walk nicely on a flat collar or back attached harness.

    In my opinion the real way to get a dog to stop pulling is to train it.
    ditto


    Thank you. He is better now. I stopped using it ever since I found out about it. I just believe the trainer. every class session, she always mentioned about front lead to me. Yes, I do agree that train the dog to not pull is the permanent solution. but, what kind of collar/harness do you use during the training process? Training will take time, not just several times. She told me that the plain collar would choke Hiro if I use it for training.

    I do not think it is due to poor fit. I measured him to get the proper size and followed the instruction.
    I understand your feeling. We learn from mistakes.
  • KajaKaja
    Posts: 176
    Front Lead Harnesses: Hey! I understand your worry. I haven't had experience with that particular brand, but here's my two cents. I use one on occasion with my dog. However, I only use the front lead harness from "Ruff Wear"... which is a nylon/padded harness and has never caused Kaja injury. You can see what I mean by looking at it here: link

    It is both a front-lead AND a back-clip harness. So your dog can wear the same harness and get used to both attachment types.

    It DOES cause your dog to walk funny sometimes. Especially if they have a tendency to walk to the side a little. So I wouldn't make it a permanent thing. I worry about changes in gait just like was mentioned above.

    Back clip harnesses: I used the above for training her not to pull. I don't know if it helped or not, but I can now have her on a back-clip harness and she doesn't pull to her heart's content anymore. Then again, there was reinforcement training involved as well. The thing worth mentioning is the front lead is best for certain situations/for training, but mostly I use a back clip harness for every day use (palisades webmaster from ruff wear, because it can attach backpacks).

    Alternatives: When I was younger we had a dog who used a head harness. It worked well -- you have to make it a good experience for them though (no yanking the leash -ever-, give them treats, etc etc). It's not my method for Kaja, since she doesn't need it -- but for some dogs that pull vigorously it might be a solution worth trying.

    Additional note: I don't know if this works for all dogs, and I only found this out by coincidence -- but I find Kaja is easier to walk on a leash when I put a doggy backpack on her and weigh it down a little. She's more cautious with it on, I think, which makes her run ahead less. But it's great for training muscle and carrying supplies (which is why I originally got it)... and I find it improved our loose leash walking as well.

    Post edited by Kaja at 2016-12-11 00:44:12
  • @Kaja That's a nice front-lead harness from Ruff Wear. Unlike every other one I've seen, it does not go over the outside of the shoulders which is where the problem lies. It is constructed more like a traditional harness. I wonder if that changes its effectiveness for being "no pull" ?

    @yuurin89 We've had the best luck with prong collars (used correctly!) or head halters. But we don't use either any more, because I expect my dogs to walk on a slip lead or chain at a dog show, and I don't want to train them with one tool but use something else at shows.

    My dogs used to be naked all the time and use slip leads when we took them anywhere. I was protecting their fur, because I have literally never found any kind of collar that doesn't damage the coat from daily wear. Now since we're mostly done with shows, I don't care that much, and they wear martingale collars.

    I like the martingale because it is a limited slip. So it functions similar to a slip lead or chain for training the dogs. We prefer the chain-style martingales over nylon for a couple reasons. One, nylon doesn't constrict and release as fast as chain, especially with thick JA coats. Response time is really important for training. Two, the chain actually makes a noise when it moves, so the dog can learn to respond to just the sound of you pulling it and not actual pressure.

    ETA: Here are some pics of our collars. They were custom made for our dogs, and designed to switch between slip and fixed. When in fixed mode, it can't constrict, which to me makes it safer for wearing around the house when not training.

    image

    image

    image
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2016-12-10 23:43:45
  • KajaKaja
    Posts: 176
    @poetikdragon Your post reminded me to try walking Kaja with her martingale again! As for the Ruffwear front lead harness -- I don't know how it compares to other front lead types -- but it definitely does give more control over the dog than standard back clip types. It's probably my favourite harness, except that it makes Kaja look like she's wearing a little pink shrug. Despite that, it's great for training. :)
  • DanielJDanielJ
    Posts: 3
    Just had our first training session with our Shikoku pup and our adult dog working on helping them get along a bit better. I was under the impression that harnesses create a desire to pull, especially with this breed, but our trainer highly recommended them even instead of a Martingale collar.
    Wondering who else prefers a harness to a collar and what brand you use, she recommended the Freedom front pull harness with a leash that attaches to the back and front of the harness. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks

    https://freedomnopullharness.com/Freedom-No-Pull-Harness-Black-Harness-with-Silver-Loop.html

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