The harness is an important training tool and ensures the safety and security of the dog. Not only does it provide control over the movement of the dog, but also allows you to guide the dog through different obstacles while walking. The importance of a harness can be estimated from the fact that it is the first accessory every dog owner buys for his or her canine friend.
Regarding training and harnessing, one of the main questions that dog owners ask trainers and pet professionals is “At What age can you put a harness on a puppy”? Here in this article, I will answer this question based on my experience with my puppies.
What I Will Learn?
What Age Can You Put A Harness On A Puppy For Training?
Generally, it is good to start the training of a puppy with a harness when it is around 8 weeks old. However, the right answer to this question mainly depends on the weight, size, and breed of the puppy. A puppy that is big and heavy in size can be trained early with a harness, as compared to a small and lightweight dog.
There are some main conditions for using a harness with a puppy. These conditions are that the neck size of the harness should be a little small and must not be able to slip over the head easily, otherwise, you will end up injuring your pet. Also, if the neck size of the harness is very small, it will be hard for you to fit your puppy with a leash as most of them are designed in such a way that they can be attached to both front and back legs.
How To Train The Puppy To Wear Harness?
Your little friend may experience some discomfort while using the harness for the first time. To train your puppy to wear a harness, first, attach a thin leash around its neck and then place the harness over its head. After that, you will need to do the following:
- Take one of the straps into your hand and secure it behind your puppy’s legs. The second strap should be secured in front of the puppies’ legs. Make sure that it is not too tight or too loose.
- Now, bring the strap over its head and secure it behind your puppy’s front legs. Do this gently as otherwise there is a chance of injuring the dog.
- The last step of the harness training process involves attaching both the leash and collar with each other, which will help you to control your pet better.
Benefits Of Using A Harness
The harness is mainly used for training purposes but it has many other numerous benefits as well. The benefits of the harness include:
- Relief From Pain – Harness is useful for dogs suffering from different health ailments like arthritis, elbow problems, and hip dysplasia.
- Prevention of Chronic Skin Disease – The harness can prevent the onset of chronic skin disease in dogs. Also, it can provide relief if your dog is already suffering from this disease.
- Protection From Heat – If you live in a hot climate zone, then the harness is good for your dog as it can protect him from heat exhaustion.
- Prevention of Canine Yeast Infection – Harness also prevents yeast infection in dogs by keeping their body dry.
- Detour From Lethargy – The harness enhances the endurance level of your dog and prevents it from lethargy.
Things to Consider While Using Harness with Puppies
Harness if not used properly can cause serious problems for the puppy. Some things to consider while using a harness are:
- Weight of Your Dog – The weight of your dog is the main thing that you need to consider before using a harness. If your puppy weighs 1-3 pounds, then don’t use it as it can cause harm. Dogs from 3-8 pounds should not be used either as their skin can get caught in the straps and create injury.
- Size Of Your Dog – All the products are designed according to size, weight, and breed. Make sure that the straps are adjustable as it will help your dog to wear them for a long time.
- Material Of The Harness – There are two types of harnesses available in the market: mesh and nylon. I would suggest you go with a mesh harness as it is very comfortable for your dog. Nylon-type harnesses can cause skin irritation.
Make sure that your dog’s neck size is not too tight or too loose. If it is very tight, it will cause damage to the skin and breathing problems while if it is too loose then the puppy can slip away from its collar. The shoulder area of the harness should fit the puppy properly. If it is too loose, then the dog can face problems while moving around and even escape from it.
The harness is one of the simplest accessories that can enhance your dog’s safety and provide it with better protection. Using a good quality harness will not only protect your puppy but also help you to train him efficiently. It is generally believed that a puppy should start wearing a harness when he/she is 8 weeks old. But, you just need to be careful about standard-sized equipment and take good care of your pet’s comfort levels during the process of harness training.
1. How long should a puppy wear a harness?
You can start by putting on the harness for a few hours and increase the time gradually until your puppy gets used to it.
2. How do you introduce a puppy to a harness?
Take a treat and put it in the middle of the harness. This will attract your puppy and he/she will try to take it while doing so your puppy’s front legs will get through one side of the harness and his back legs through another side.