Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Greatest Invention Ever!

All right, maybe that's an exaggeration. But I am a huge, huge fan of the Easy Walk harness, which I first read about on Tibby and Catalina's blog (thanks for the tip, guys!). The D-ring on the harness is in the front, on the chest strap, as opposed to on the back like many other harnesses. This means that when Oscar pulls ahead of us, the harness tightens and pulls to the side, redirecting his attention to the side and back to us. It cost a little over $20 at PetSmart. I've also seen it at a couple of local pet stores as well.

We've only had the harness for a couple of weeks. We've used it with him at the dog park twice, and at PetSmart once (the ultimate test locations!), and it has been absolutely brilliant. While he gets too excited when he first gets to the dog park to completely stop pulling, he's actually controllable with the harness on. I also really like that he no longer makes that terrible choking noise that he made when the leash was hooked to his collar and he pulled. The harness is absolutely amazing, so if you've got a dog that pulls, I would highly recommend it!

I've said it before, but my tip to new dog owners is not to buy a retractable leash, especially if they are very nose-sensitive dogs like miniature schnauzers that like to sniff at everything (and I mean everything) when they're outside. A rectractable leash essentially rewards pulling by allowing the dog to go wherever it likes when it yanks. It was the first leash we used with Oscar, and it set a terrible precedent. I think the retractable leash was the one purchase that has had the most negative impact on Oscar's trainability. Hopefully this harness will help us get him back under control on walks. It's been great so far so I'm pretty hopeful.  I'll take some pictures on our next walk and put them up soon!


Debby & Kirby said...

Hi Oscar! Good post! Kirby has a no pull harness except this one applies pressure to his chest making him slow down. We got it last year and it has made a huge difference. Kirby looks prissy but is all muscle so he can really pull. One time he pulled the iron patio umbrella stand clear off the deck like it was nothing!

We'll be back to visit soon!

Catalina said...

Woohoo! Isn't it awesome?!?
It's like freedom! - for the owner :)

TE said...

Do you notice any discomfort or chafing under Oscar's armpits? I decided to take your advice and try out this product, I'm just a little worried that the buckle sits right under her arm. She hasn't shown any discomfort, but I've only taken her on one walk with it. How is Oscar doing after a few weeks with the harness?

OscarBlogger said...

It's snug under his arms too - I was worried about that as well at first. I use it on the loosest setting to prevent it from pinching. I Googled "Easy Walk harness fit" and the pictures that show up all seem to show the strap right under the arm, so I figure that's how it's supposed to fit. If it seems to bother her in the next little while, I think they make middle sizes (meaning small, small/medium, medium, medium/large, etc.) so maybe you could go up a size without it being overly large? To answer your question, Oscar doesn't seem to be bothered by how it fits, and we go on some long walks - 45 minutes at times. I hope it continues to work for you!

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