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This harness is phenomenal. I was a skeptic but I wish I bought it two years ago. My dog is a large, strong and athletic 3.5 year old and I struggled over the past two years we’ve had him to teach him leash manners. We have made a lot of progress but walking him was still a chore and he pulled excessively when he saw other dogs. I have had to use a choke chain even though I was uncomfortable doing so, and was constantly having to readjust it so it was on the right place of his neck. With this harness, he does NOT try to walk in front, he does NOT try to stop and investigate every single mailbox and telephone poll, and we can approach other dogs at MY pace, not his. The harness works because it tightens across his front shoulders. If he tries to go to the side (to sniff something) or out in front (to get somewhere faster) a *gentle* tug clinches his front legs and he responds immediately. It sets the tone for the entire walk and makes the walk relaxing and enjoyable for the human, too. I was thrilled with it from the first time I used it.
If you need to correct the dog, a gentle tug (very little force) will do it. But I have also found that I correct the dog much less often than before because the harness does it automatically as soon as he puts tension on the lead (before there is any actual pulling). For example if he starts to veer towards a fire hydrant he feels a slight tightening which stops the sideways movement and then instantly releases, rewarding him for returning to the path. This is why people say it is like walking a whole new dog- because the dog is on his very best behavior without any extra effort from the walker.
If you’re skeptical because you’ve heard people say, “With a harness, the dog can leverage his whole weight against it and pull harder,” know that this is not that type of harness. I mean, it isn’t a sled dog harness, people! Because it tightens across the front legs, the dog cannot leverage his weight against it. In fact he can pull harder with a choke chain because he is able to use the strength of all four legs.
My dog and I do a lot of walking (did I mention he’s large and athletic?) and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this harness. Of course I still let him pee on the occasional fire hydrant and pause to sniff a few mailboxes, but he gets more consistent exercise without the risk of neck injury. Best of all his “momma” is totally happy with his behavior. Walking him is now stress relieving instead of stress building, and I have a better relationship with my pet because of it.
This harness may not work for every dog or every human, but you must give it a try. You may be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
One final note: the harness is designed to prevent pulling forward, and works less well when trying to get the dog to continue walking if he stops to smell something. However it still exceeds a collar or choke chain in this regard, and, as described above, there is less stopping throughout the walk because of the instant corrections. Plus (in my experience anyway) teaching the dog “let’s go” is much easier than teaching to walk at heel.
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My dog is reasonably well behaved but the instant he sees another dog when we’re out walking he pulls so hard I’m afraid he’s going to damage my shoulders. I tried several different anti-pulling harnesses and collars and this one worked perfectly! At one point I tried the Gentle Leader head collar, but my dog hated having something on his face so this harness version was much better for him. Since the leash attaches at the dog’s chest and contracts if the dog pulls, there are two benefits: (1) When the dog pulls, the harness contracts around the front legs making walking awkward so it breaks their attention on whatever they were pulling towards, and (2) since the leash attaches at the chest, when the dog pulls it snaps him around to face you which gives you a chance to correct him and redirect his attention. Ultimately, the dog’s weight works against him versus the owner having to pull back. Now when my dog sees another dog and goes to pull, he immediately stops and rethinks that move since he’s instantly pulled around to face me, without me having to do anything at all. A wonderful tool!