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Discussion Starter #1
I’m a little puzzled at something Bailey has been doing and thought you may be offer some insight in to what he might be thinking…:huh:

I noticed that for a few months now, whenever I get out his harness and leash, Bailey runs and hides and acts like he is scared of it. I’m really confused as to why he would act this way. I adopted him at around five months old in March and he was not leash trained at the time…I had to work with him for a few weeks to get him to walk on a harness and leash. It’s possible that he may have had a bad experience in his past with a leash…but I didn’t notice this behavior in the beginning…he only started acting scared of it a few months ago. So I’m wondering why…

I guess it could be because he started associating the leash and harness means with going in the car…which he does not enjoy. But most of the time I put his leash and harness on, it’s for a walk…and he does enjoy his walks once he’s out the door. Or maybe he finds his harness uncomfortable? He does pull a little while walking which causes him to choke and cough (I’m training him not to pull) so maybe now he’s associating pain with his walks?? :(

I’ve been giving him a treat every time I put his harness on so he starts associating it with something positive (as I saw in “It’s Me or the Dog”!). But I thought I’d run it by you guys too to see if maybe you had any thoughts on what else I could do. I realize it’s hard to tell if you’re not there to see the behavior in person, but any advice would be helpful! Thanks! :)
 

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some times it takes for ever to get a harness on ,they can catch in our maltese dogs hair to ,so try a step in harness i bought one for Obi as he was the same as a puppy i also brought chopped up chicken with me on walks in a small bag in my jacket pocket ,which i gave him every few minutes telling him he was a great boy .
Obi loves walks now and last year became a therapy dog .
 

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My malt does the EXACT thing every time. I hang up her harness in our coat closet and as soon as she sees me reaching for it she runs underneath our kitchen table. :mellow: I have no idea why. She enjoys the outdoors but I have to trick her now. I pick her up and then go get the leash while she's in my arms.:w00t:
I hear of other dogs being so excited when they see their leash or harness but mine does a dissappearing act !!!
 

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What kind of harness do you have? My bet would be that is what it is. I had the same issue with Bella and we went through multiple styles before I found one she didn't mind. The ones that we had to put over her head were the least fun for both of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have a few different harnesses for Bailey, but the one I use the most is an EzyDog one: Dog Harnesses - EzyDog Harness - Chest Plate - EzyDog: The Original Shock Absorbing Leash - Dog Leashes, Collars and Harnesses
I really like it because of the chest plate...seems to choke Bailey less when he pulls. And also, I love that it can be used as a car harness (I use it with the Snoozer car seat). I really wanted a harness that can be used safely as a car restraint as well as for normal use as I found it super inconvenient to have to keep switching harnesses every time we got in and out of a car.

Good call though...I didn't even think of that....I'll try a different harness and see if he acts the same way.
 

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Crystal was the exact same. It took us some training to help her doesn't mind the harness or leash. Wait let me search for a fantastic video I came across that explains AND shows the same method that I used when training Crystal (video is clear as crystal in its explaination-and so very useful)...I will look for it and post here
 

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This lady uses the same method that worked wonders for Crystal & the harness.
Video description:
"This video is dedicated to all the little dogs in the world who run away from their owners when their owner takes out their harness. The same method of counter conditioning can also be used for dogs that don't like their muzzle or dogs that don't like the leash being attached to their collars.
"
Check it out ;)
 

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Lilly is the same way. She usually runs and hides behind the toilet when the harness/leash come out. She doesn't even need to see it, just the noise of the tags gets her. We have NO idea why she is like this and we have tried different harnesses, etc. and nothing has changed. Once she has her harness on she is fine and can't wait to get outside. I don't really worry about it too much and just assume that it is one of her (many) quirks!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Lilly is the same way. She usually runs and hides behind the toilet when the harness/leash come out. She doesn't even need to see it, just the noise of the tags gets her. We have NO idea why she is like this and we have tried different harnesses, etc. and nothing has changed. Once she has her harness on she is fine and can't wait to get outside. I don't really worry about it too much and just assume that it is one of her (many) quirks!
Oh okay, good to hear it's fairly common behavior! I was afraid I was traumatizing the poor guy and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong to make him so scared :(

I'll continue giving him treats every time the harness and leash comes out...hopefully that'll help a little!
 
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