How to Introduce Your Dog to a New Harness

fearful dogs Aug 17, 2020
Pittie in Harness

You’ve bought a new harness for your dog.  What next?  If you’re like most people, you try it on your dog to see if it fits.  


But, you might have learned the hard way that just putting a new harness on your dog can backfire. Even dogs who aren’t fearful in general, can quickly become fearful of a harness. Some dogs hate being harnessed so much that they run and hide when you pick up the harness.  Why does this happen? 

The harness might be uncomfortable, and dogs (and people!) naturally try to avoid things that cause discomfort.  Or, the process of putting the harness on could be unpleasant for the dog.  Putting a harness on usually involves standing and bending over the dog, and reaching around them. These are human behaviors that many dogs find intimidating. 

Whatever the reason, many dogs try to avoid their harnesses. To decrease the risk that this will happen to you the next time you bring home a new harness, take your time, and use treats.  Try the process for introducing the harness shown in this video: 

Introducing a harness to your dog

We’d love to hear what you think! If you tried the steps shown in the video, how did it go with your dog? Join us in our Fearful and Reactive Dog Facebook community and share your thoughts. 

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