Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ellie is now 9.5 months old. From the start, it was very important to us that she was a good leash walker. Her puppy kindergarten teacher had recommended the Sense-ation harness. She never reacted very well to it. From the second it was on, she would hunch her back and refuse to move. We realized that she probably disliked it so much because the leg straps were rubbing against her skin and had rubbed little raw spots behind front legs. I felt so awful. Then we were using the "Walk Your Dog with Love" harness. She also reacted horribly. She will even run backwards to avoid having us put it on her. We praise and reward with lots of treats; she is also just a stubborn little drama queen, but that is a different subject. Anyway, she still has a puppy tendency to pull--especially in the park when she views a squirrel or from the car to daycare or to the dog park. I could not find a discernable place where it was hurting her, but she still hates it so much. We were at the pet store today, and the store rep recommended the Sporn halter harness. (I had never heard of it--it is like a collar with these little straps that go around her legs with a sherpa fabric cover). She said the front connecting harnesses often pull across the trachea and can create lots of scar tissue. The front-connecting harness doesn't necessarily stop her from pulling, it just makes it harder for her. Anyway, this new harness is supposed to instantly stop pulling. In our little store trial, it proved very effective. However, Ellie refuses to walk if it is on her. The point of the harness is that it puts pressure on her armpit pressure point if she pulls, to incentivize not pulling. I have to pull on her to get her moving. Then she will take two stops and not go any further. She will not walk to treats, cheering, anything. She might be willing to walk once we get to the park, but I don't want it to be a giant ordeal where I pull and she takes two steps and repeat the entire walk. I know this is rather long, and I apologize. However, I would love some help. My questions are: (1) Has anyone used the Sporn before? (2) Any tips on getting the pup to walk when she doesn't want her harness on her? (3) Has anyone heard anything about trachea damage from other front-connecting harnesses? Thank you all so much. Because I have not posted too many pics of her, here is a puppy pic from a few months ago.
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