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Drama Queen Alisa and the Harness


Alisa got a new nice padded harness. So very tragic… The first days she was in such a bad mood on the walks that she would barely move her feet, always falling behind. You would have to keep encouraging her to move faster like every 30 seconds. If you didn’t “cheer” her on she would slow down until she grinded to a complete halt and just stood there, or sat, or even lied down… while looking displeased with both you and this cruel world. It was so agonizingly slow that it became quite annoying after only 10 minutes or so. But just like in her puppyhood when she did her “I’m tired” strikes I found that jogging is still the best “treatment” for this silly dog, but not for me. When I walk I want to Walk.

Alisa

While Alisa never had any issue with collar and leash as puppy, both came very easy and natural, she utterly hated harness from the very first moment. She would roll and rub herself everywhere to try to get it off, she got a bit better with time but despite all my efforts she never got happy with it, so I switched completely to collars as soon as I could.

I kind of hoped that things had changed since then (I’m still so naive!) it hasn’t, not one bit, well expect for that she now accepts it without a fuss… just behaves like a drama queen. Put a collar on her and she’s one jolly-jogging dog again. After just a few days of this torture I wished for only one thing, that she would get over it very soon, before I would go totally insane. But I promised myself that this time she was not gonna get it her way, that I’ll not be such a sucker anymore as I was 6 years ago.

And she is getting better with it, at least with me, because my husband is already refusing to use it. He told me that he has no time do deal with her “performances”, which is certainly true. I should add that he is lacking a bit of patience (you do need a LOT!) but the main thing is that he just can’t improvise (like me) doing all possible silly stuff to keep trying to switch her gloomy mood and redirect attention.

You’re trying your best for those rascals and this is how they show their appreciation. ;)

Alisa

And yet, I’m still to be convinced that a harness is an entirely good idea for the sometimes naughty girl Alisa. This is why they always write that harnesses are for well trained/behaving dogs. I now see why. It’s very little you can do to prevent/block undesirable behavior while in a harness. From big things like stopping her to get into a “dispute” with an unsocial dog (in case you still don’t know it, Alisa can be one tough cookie, a bitchy one who can easily go and kick some bad behaving butts *if they are not bigger then her of course, she is not stupid!*) to the small things like drinking from puddles on the streets. I don’t mind when my dogs drink from creeks or from puddles after rain in the nature, but no drinking allowed from city streets.

When in harness, even when you block/shorten the leash the dog still have plenty of “space” to do what she wants if she is close enough to the desired thing. Which means you need to do detours around the “obstacle” which is not always physically possible or you have the time to do so.

This is why I actually decided to give up on it on street (public) walks. I use it now only for long nature walks, this when she is actually starting to forget that she has a harness on and just being happy-normal herself.

P.S. Stanley of course never had any problems with harness, he doesn’t care, he just want to go out. :)

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3 Responses

  1. Laila says:

    Alisa and Viggo…same problem. You have to chase after him to put the harness on. He won’t even come if you offer him a treat. Once it is on he is ok with it. I can’t walk him with a collar it just doesn’t feel right to me pulling on his neck and if there is a squirrel or jogger or cyclist he almost chokes himself. It’s always good to hear from other Icie owners because it just affirms that they all (that I’ve met) carry the hooligan gene. I love your Alisa , never a dull moment ( Stanley too ) !

    • Veronica says:

      Ah, I didn’t expect at all that Viggo also didn’t like the harness, he’s wearing it on all the pictures! Alisa not running away but you have to see that expression on her face!!! What silly dogs they are. :)
      I’m using my little method with collar for Alisa not to pull the leash. When she’s into the zone, I just hold her by the collar and gently turn/lead her away. She don’t really resist (that doesn’t mean she’ll stop barking! LOL!) and after leading her 1-2 meters or 5 if the cat was way too close))) she’ll start to follow me by herself.

  2. aafke says:

    Funny! we went with harness from the beginning, but when we found out we couldn’t control so good, we switched to a ‘front-clip- harness which helped *allot* to reduce the pulling around the wild 6 months!

    But now we are moving to the collar, he has a good walk and we can control a bit better like you said :) also when someone takes care of him, they all freak out with the harness “uh- so how does this work?”