Harnesses, leads, dens and muzzles

Harnesses, leads, dens and muzzles

We thought that this information might help you when choosing and introducing harnesses, leads, dens and muzzles.  We've highlighted some of the things we like and have included some useful training tips in the videos featured that help you introduce them in a really positive way.


Harnesses

While your pup or dog must wear a collar with ID by law, we'd always promote the use of harnesses for many reasons including to prevent injury, to help loose leash walking and for safety.  Contrary to poplar belief...harnesses do not make a dog pull on the lead!  There are a mind boggling array of harnesses to choose from and some do more harm than good.  

We like "bra" like harnesses, ideally with a front and a back ring.  Make sure the harness is well fitting and does not restrict movement or cause rubbing or chafing. 

We like the Kumfi Complete Control which is modelled here by Bo and is a great lower cost option and good for older pups and dogs that don't pull too much.

Explore Kumfi harnesses

Still not convinced about harnesses? Then we'd encourage you to take a read of this article before making a final decision.  

Introduce a harness carefully and positively using food to create positive associations, this video has some great tips on introducing harnesses in a positive way.

The Perfect Fit  harness is fitted to your dog's exact measurements and is a great choice, especially for serial pullers. 

 

Straight leads and training lines

A straight lead is an essential piece of kit when you are training a dog to walk nicely on the lead and to stay close. We'd always recommend walking a dog on a harness as such as the ones shown above and the Halti double ended lead can clip onto front and back harness rings to help teach a dog how to walk nicely.  It's also a great length for moochy walks (2m) as it gives your dog a bit more slack to explore (for small pups choose a lighter weight option until they are older).  You may need a heavier version for bigger dogs.

Avoid the use of slip leads as they can really damage a dog's neck, especially if they pull forwards.  It also hinders loose lead training and actually makes the problem worse, because as the neck is constricted and less oxygen can get to the brain, the dog cannot think clearly or respond to training.  So basically, half strangling your dog actually makes them worse!

The evidence is clear - training on a harness is the way to go.

Think of a training line as an "umbilical cord" when you are still training your dog to comeback. A training line will also help give your dog more freedom to mooch and sniff, and will help keep them safe while you are working towards a reliable recall.  5m are great for pups and small dogs while 10m give more freedom for older and bigger dogs. Make sure that the training line you choose is strong enough for your own individual dog. 

Please don't use a training lead on a collar, only with the back ring on a well fitting harness and dake sure you are using them correctly to avoid injury to yourself.  

The item shown below has good reviews but there are lots to choose from.


Dens 

Having a suitable pen or crate for your puppy is one of THE  most important bits of kit you can have.  Introduced in the right way, it'll provide a calm, safe space for pup to chill out in and a place where puppy is absolutely happy to be when you cannot supervise them.  

The Den will be the place where there are only positive associations for your puppy, and not where they get put for a time out or as a punishment.  The Den should not be in an isolated location away from the family.

The Den should be big enough so that your dog can stand up easily, turn around and stretch right out. We'd have a comfortable bed or mat in there, toys, water, comfort blankets and something safe to chew too.  

We like the softer crates available rather than the metal ones such as this one available on Zooplus which folds down, is very lightweight and is really transportable.


Muzzles

Humans in general seem to hate muzzles, but we love them! Muzzles are an great safety tool and we wholeheartedly support the Muzzle Up education project.

Muzzled dogs aren't bad dogs.  They could be wearing a muzzle for all sorts of reasons.

Dogs might wear muzzles because:

  • He eats rocks, socks, or other non-food items that can be toxic or cause expensive and life-threatening surgeries.
  • She is nervous of other dogs, and the muzzle helps keep everyone safe during off-leash hiking or on-leash walks.
  • The muzzle works as a cue to tell other owners to give the dog some space.
  • The owner wants to teach their dog to be comfortable wearing a muzzle in case the dog must wear one someday at the vet's.

If you take the time to train your dog to wear the muzzle, it should be comfortable for your dog.  

Bumas offer a custom made muzzle fitted to your dog's exact facial measurements.  They are made from Biothane which is soft yet strong, which makes this a really comfortable and durable option.  They also come in a wide range of colours too.

Alternatively look for a well fitted basket muzzle such as Baskerville Muzzles or Baskerville Ultra Muzzles that allow your dog to take treats, drink, and pant comfortably - but not bite or scavenge.

 

Before you put the muzzle on your dog, take a look at this Chirag Patel video as it shows you step by step way of introducing the muzzle so that you dog has super positive associations with it!


These are not recommendations only ideas, and we cannot be held responsible for unsuitability for individual dogs or product issues . This includes (but is not restricted to) delivery, quality of goods, defects or faults. Nor can we be held responsible for owner and dog use.  As the owner you are responsible for supervising and ensuring these items are appropriate and safe for you and your dog.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, however you do not have to purchase at the links supplied should you wish to find and use your own.