Author Topic: Reactive to her harness  (Read 235 times)

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Offline JanBon

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Reactive to her harness
« on: May 23, 2021, 09:43:25 PM »
Hello, another query from me. Our cocker spaniel Bonnie is 6.5months old and very energetic. Most of the time this is just normal spaniel behaviour. However when we go to put her harness on she gets really grumpy. She tries to bite the harness and then our hands when we try and do it up. She loves going out and as soon as the harness is on she changes back to her normal self, but it can be a painful process putting it on. Just wondered if anyone had any ideas how maybe we could desensitise her. She was always a bit bitey if we had to towel her down but have found if we give her a tug toy she'll happily have that in her mouth and we can attempt a dry. However toys or treats don't stop the biting/mouthing when it comes to putting the harness on. Thank you

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Reactive to her harness
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2021, 07:08:58 AM »
Treats and toys are a good distraction to help him get used to associating the harness with something positive and praising the behaviour you want  but do be careful to get the timing right otherwise you end up „rewarding“ the biting.
My dog, now 6, still hates having his harness put on and I still haven‘t figured out the reason. (He runs back to his bed or just lies down and rolls over, it drives me mad!! >:D )
You could try going back to the beginning and practise putting it on and off when he‘s reasonably relaxed. Put it on the floor with a treat next to it and let him sniff it and investigate it. You can hold a treat in one hand and very slowly start to slip it on, praising him all the time. Once he starts biting, take it away and completely ignore him and try again half an hour later....If you can practise it before you‘re actually intending to go out, you can take your time and get him used to it while its quiet - once the lead is in sight and he‘s clocked on that its walkie time, he‘s probably more wound up anyway.
This bitey stage is quite normal but the best strategy is always to stop what you’re doing, turn your back and completely ignore him so that he learns that biting isn‘t a good strategy to get your attention.
Best of luck!  :luv:

Offline JanBon

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Re: Reactive to her harness
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2021, 07:04:14 AM »
Thank you, will keep on trying.

Offline Lobo do Mar

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Re: Reactive to her harness
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2021, 05:54:24 PM »
Salty was like this, he just grew out of it
It was better when we got a Perfect Fit - must be more comfy?
I sound like a bit of a Perfect Fit pusher, but I have just found it to be great