I purchased a replacement harness for Cooper…and he hates it!
I purchased it because I didn’t like the one that I originally brought home from the pet supply store that I shop at; it had a front mounted D-Ring only. The new one has the front mounted D-Ring leash connector, which discourages a dog from pulling or trying to walk you, and a top-mounted D-Ring for relaxed walking; the latter being the only type of walking that Cooper and I do; he doesn’t pull, he never has.
I purchased the new one that has large padded areas to distribute the harness’ contact area with the dog’s body, so I moved his “Dog-tags” to the front ring and his leash connection point to the back one. Then I slipped it over his head.
Immediately he didn’t like it because, unlike his old harness, the new one had a smaller head-opening that reminded me of pulling my head through a turtle-neck shirt.
I took it off to adjust the straps and when I tried to put it back on him, he dodged me at every turn! Finally, I gently managed to place him in the new harness and we headed for the door but s-l-o-w-l-y, hardly normal for him, and then, when we stepped outside, he walked at a speed of a 95-year-old man using a walker!
I thought, well, he just needs some time to get used to it so off we went, but s-l-o-w-l-y again, he just didn’t want to walk with it on. Eventually, we rounded the last corner of the block and headed into the home-stretch, he hadn’t done his business at this point and that was highly unusual for him.
About three houses from home, he stopped – he put on the brakes, looked me right in the eye, and simply refused to go any further.
At this point, talking wasn’t going to work, so I bent down, scooped him up into my arms, and carried him the rest of the way home. We went inside, I took the offending harness off of him and he RAN toward his water bowl and drank his fill, all the while he was wagging his tail – he was happy again!
So I let him rest a bit and slipped his old harness onto him without any problems, hooked up his leash and headed out again. I HAD to know if it was the new harness that caused him to walk so slowly and not enjoy his walk, or if there was another, unseen problem.
Well what do you know, he’s walking happily along, tail in the air, prancing as it were, and simply happy to be outdoors again like he normally is. Then he stopped… squatted down … and pooped, like he normally does and yes, I clean up after my dog and proceeded to pee on every pole and hydrant along the way. He simply HATES his new harness! So back it goes, and I’ll try another one that is closer to the type that he wears now or the type that has a connector for the neck opening so that nothing needs to be passed over his head and includes back and front mounted D-Rings.
I hope that he’ll like that one…