Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The New Leash

When we adopted Brutus four weeks ago, the woman at the Midwest Animal Rescue highly recommended that we purchase a "Easy Walk Harness". This type of harness goes around the dogs chest and under their front legs. It really did make a huge difference in controlling the walking behavior of Brutus, but the other thing it did was cause irritation under his "arms". The fur didn't wear away, but his skin seemed irritated. We would always leave the house with it adjusted correctly, but it never seemed to stay in place.

So, we decided to go to a "Gentle Leader" type of harness. This type of harness goes over the nose and snaps on the back of the head just behind the ears, kind of forming a V shape on their head. It doesn't choke them on their neck at all, which is important because the typical choke chain can do terrible damage to a dogs esophagus, and it also allows them to still breathe normally and move their mouth. It's also known to be very good for training, and of course, BRUTUS HATES IT!!

We started out trying to just get it on him. It took a few treats to sneak it by him. Then we figured that once it was on and we were out walking, he wouldn't even notice it. He loves walking almost more than food, so he would be fine. Well, the first walk was hilarious and sad all at the same time. For the first three blocks, he kept doing somersaults and nose dives trying to get the harness off of his face. The harness gave me more control over his movements, so when he couldn't get to everything he wanted to, he would get upset and buck like a bronco. I'm sure that anyone driving by on the road thought that I had a totally out of control dog. Walk number two went a little better, but it was still a bit of a struggle to get it on him. I guess the moral of the story for Brutus is that life is a trade off. He always gets something good in the end. He just might look silly in the process!

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