Harness Training

In less than a week, I've been successful in training Loki to accept the harness. He used to be aggressive when we tried to put the harness on, so this is how I trained him out of it.

I hand fed all of his meals and each meal was a training session. I progressed gradually with baby steps. (By the way, this is a step-in type of harness.)

Step #1: I put kibble around harness on the floor and let him eat without me around (But be careful that the dog doesn't chew on the harness.)

Step #2: Just like Step #1, but with me sitting next to the harness.

Step #3: I ask for his paw with the harness laying harmlessly on the ground. Treat for offering paw without retracting it right away.

Step #4; I pick up the harness and put it through my arm, then ask for his paw. Treat for offering paw and shaking 5 times. No retracting allowed.

Step #5: I pick up the harness and put it through my arm, then ask for his paw. Treat for offering paw and shaking in such a way so that the harness hangs off of his leg rather than my arm. No retracting allowed.

Step #6: I pick up the harness and put it through my arm, then ask for his paw. Then I use my other hand to lift up one side of the harness as if I were going to put it on. But I don't actually put it on.

Step #7: Just like Step #6, except I do both sides. So I do lift up both sides of the harness as if I were going to put it on. But I don't actually put it on.

Step #8: I put the harness on completely. I leave it on for 2 seconds and then remove it.

He still hates it, but at least now he is no longer aggressive. Without the aggression issue, we can then move on to making positive associations with the harness on. In particular, the harness means we are going for a car ride, which often means we are going to the dog park.

2 comments:

Janet said...

You are a shiba inu's dream owner!!! So patient :-)

Candies said...

Thanks much for tips.. we are expecting to get a Shiba puppy in 2-3 months, so your blog has been inspiring so far... can't wait to read the whole postings about puppy. We are a first time puppy owner too.. very nervous and exited. =)

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