crop ethnic woman walking dog

Every so often, I get an astonished look when I suggest habituating a puppy to a leash by having them wear one (when supervised, of course) in the house. 

What are the advantages? Well, first of all, you can have fun clipping the leash on and off your dog, whether you’re using a light collar or a harness. More about the harness a bit further down.

Advantage #1

How often have you seen small dogs run away as soon as you try to clip on the leash? Playing keep-away is a great favorite of dogs of all ages! They can get so much intense attention that way! Being chased throughout the house is very entertaining to them. You, on the other hand, may not feel the same way especially when you have other things to do that day:)

Advantage #2

For many puppies wearing an appendage feels oddly restricting. You get that “bucking bronco” effect as soon as the leash goes on. However, we would like the puppy to understand that a leash is a connection tool for safety purposes, not a steering mechanism. There are so many fun games you can play to make the appearance of the leash a predictor of various wonderful consequences. 

Let me give you some important reasons to get a comfortable and ergonomically correct fitting harness. Most people have puppies running around the house freely without any equipment. For a variety of reasons, puppies are not walked outside for quite a while. However, it is unrealistic to expect your puppy to accept the walking equipment when you finally decide they are ready to be walked outside.

If you live in a city as dense as NYC, it is particularly important to habituate your puppy to a leash and a harness. Practicing walking in a good fitting harness and on a leash is something that can be an enjoyable game at home. There they can acquire walking skills in familiar and non-distracting surroundings.

The other point: Don’t just get any tiny cute harness. Most of the step-in harnesses or harnesses that are stretchy or look like little dresses actually impede your puppy’s natural movement. With that much impediment, how can a little puppy concentrate on walking?

Additionally, you really don’t want your growing puppy to be pinched or pulled out of alignment while they are so vulnerable and growing. I really think the investment in a harness such as the Haqihana harness is worth every penny! It is lightweight and does not interfere with drive and reach in, in other words, the natural movement patterns of a puppy.

Lastly, they are quite flexible size-wise. Hence, If you have a puppy, you don’t have to worry as much about sizing up as you would with other harnesses. And the best part is that Haqihana harnesses come in beautiful colors and color combinations and look fantastic!

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any help with your puppy! Be it habituating your puppy to a harness/leash or having fun while teaching them to start walking nicely on a loose leash. I would love to help you and show you how smart your puppy really is!

Elisabeth Weiss is a highly certified, experienced dog trainer in Manhattan, NYC. To learn more about dog training services, contact us by phone at (917) 783-1473 or our contact form.

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