Does your dog walk nicely on a leash? Or, are you struggling to stop your dog from pulling on a leash? In case of the latter, have you got any advice from your friend with experience in training dogs or a professional dog trainer? What did you say?
When I first got my first Beagle, available tools that help train dogs to walk on a loose leash were limited. Some people had started using so-called head halters (such as Halti Headcollar) as a humane training tool, but a majority were still using a choke chain. Also, back then, people who didn’t know head halters could misunderstand them as they looked like muzzles for aggressive dogs.
Several years later people found another humane training tool, a special type of harnesses that help dogs stop pulling on a leash through the use of a front hook, such as Easy Walk Harness (Here is my review on the product that I wrote ten years ago). If you attach a leash on a front hook, your dog naturally faces you when he pulls on a leash.
Then, several years later people who cared about their dogs’ physical fitness realised that many of those “no-pull” harnesses tended to interfere with the movement of shoulder blades and muscles, which could cause shoulder injuries.
Nowadays there are a wide variety of non-pull harnesses with a font hook in New Zealand, such as Easy Walk Harness (mentioned above), Halti Harness (similar to Easy Walk Harness), Ruffwear Front Range Harness (popular among people who do Agility or other dog sports), Blue 9 Balance Harness (the idea is similar to that of Ruffwear Harness but lighter), and so on.
When you ask your friend for advice on how to stop your dog’s pulling, some might say that “You can’t control your dog with a harness, because harnesses are for pulling” because they don’t know those with a front hook. Some others might recommend those harnesses that have a front hook but could interfere with the shoulder movement, because they don’t know the risk of shoulder injuries.
When you choose a dog harness for the purpose of stop your dog’s pulling, please make sure that it doesn’t cut across the shoulders. In fact those harnesses that don’t interfere with the shoulder movement are harder to slip off than those that do.