Not only are Huskies beautiful, fun-loving, energetic dogs, but they are also mischievous escape artists. They want to be free to run and play without restrictions or boundaries. It is common for a Husky to slip its collar or back out of its harness to escape. They are also known to chew out of their harness surprisingly quickly to make their escape!
The best way to stop your Husky from destroying or slipping out of its harness is to make the harness a positive and rewarding experience. Turning the harness into a positive experience can be done with consistent and rewarding training methods.
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Why Do Huskies Not Like Getting A Harness On
It is very common for dogs to dislike having something put over their head. This is because it can feel quite threatening for them. Unfortunately, most harnesses go over the head, so the initial step can be pretty daunting for your Husky. As for the harness itself, it will take time for any dog to adjust to having a strange object around its body.
Also, dogs don’t know what the harness is and what it is for; therefore, it is normal for them to try to get it off and get away from it. An ill-fitting harness will also be uncomfortable for your Husky to wear, encouraging the dog to try to get away from it or destroy it!
What Should I Look For In a Harness
Choosing a good harness for your dog is as important as choosing the right food. You want a secure harness that doesn’t pressure your dog’s neck, shoulders, or spine. For example, a Y-shaped harness is best for your dog’s joints as it allows free shoulder movement and doesn’t put pressure on the neck or spine.
The harness should be snug, but you should be able to slide two fingers under the harness when it is fastened. Always be careful when clasping the harness that you don’t pull or catch the fur in the clip.
How To Turn a Harness into a Positive
Once you have chosen a good harness, it’s time to introduce it to your Husky. First introductions are always important.
- Hold the harness, allow your Husky to investigate and smell the harness, but don’t allow chewing.
- Hold the head section open in front of your Husky, and a treat at the opening.
- Allow your Husky to put their head through the opening to take the treat but don’t put the harness on yet.
- Repeat the previous step a couple of times, using praise and a reward for putting their head through the opening.
- This time when your Husky puts their head through to get the treat, introduce a verbal cue. I use the cue ‘head in’.
- Repeat the previous step a couple of times using the verbal cue, praise, and reward for putting their head through the opening.
- This time, when you give the verbal cue and reward for putting the head through, continue to fasten the harness. When the harness is on, praise and reward.
- Leave the harness on for a few moments, then take it off.
- Repeat these steps a few times, praising and rewarding each time, leaving the harness on slightly longer each time.
As you leave the harness on for extended periods, keep an eye on your Husky. If you see them start to chew, distract them by playing some training games; focus games are a good distraction.
Spending some time familiarising your Husky with their harness, and teaching them that putting the harness on is a positive and rewarding experience, will ultimately save you time and money in the long run. When my Husky was a puppy, she was like many other pups; she didn’t want to put her harness on. Luna would back away from it and run away when it was time to put it on.
My trainer turned us onto the harness introductions and rewards. I have to say that it was a game-changer. She happily puts on her harness and has never tried to escape it. The harness is a positive and rewarding experience for her.
We hope you found this article helpful.