Why I believe the Easy Walk harness is a must-have tool for difficult dogs
The Easy Walk Harness is the easiest and simplest training tool I’ve found for walking dogs that like to pull. I can’t speak highly enough at how fantastic the harness is for stopping your dog from walking YOU! It is a simple, yet very effective, training tool and nearly everyone I’ve told about it were extremely thankful.
I learned about the harness at the first dog training class for my dog that liked to pull all the time. There were about 8 people in the class and it was held above a pet store. The trainer went into detail about why the Easy Walk was so effective and that we should consider getting one. After the class, EVERYONE was in the store buying one. I didn’t even need to use it more than two weeks before I had my dog walking beside me.
How to put on the Easy Walk harness
There are 2 quick release buckles on the harness with each one on a different color webbing. One of those colors will be the same color as the webbing with the D-ring attachment for your leash. You want to always leave that buckle connected after you fitted the straps for the size of your dog. Just slip that loop over the head with the D-ring laying near the chest of your dog – not on his or her back. The second buckle on the different colored webbing is the part that wraps around the body. Then just wrap the body strap under the belly and connect on the other side, making sure that it is snug.
In case my instructions didn’t make sense, try the following. Connect both quick release buckles together. Then disconnect the buckle on the webbing that is the same color as the webbing with the D-ring. By the way, the D-ring is the metal attachment for the leash and if you look at it closely it looks like a capital “D”. Once you do that you will notice that the webbing that makes up the loop is 2 different colors. That means you did it wrong. The loop that you ALWAYS want to leave connected is the loop where the webbing is the same color for the entire loop. So reconnect the buckle I told you to disconnect and disconnect the other buckle. Now the loop should be all the same color webbing.
It is one of the easiest harnesses to put on and take off after you’ve done it a couple of times. It’s not one of those harnesses that you have to get one leg in and then the next leg or any other “strange” methods that I’ve seen. Just place the same colored webbing loop over the head, then wrap the other strap around the body – click – and you’re done.
Instruction on how to use the harness for training: No more pulling!
Now for the reason why it is so good. A dog that constantly pulls and wants to walk in any of the 360 degrees around you is a problem. There’s a lot of things that go wrong like tripping you up, heading towards the street, another dog, a person, etc. And if you are like me, you fumble the leash and drop it once in a while, and an untrained dog might just take off running.
When you first use it, you have to pull on the leash each time your dog starts to pull or moves in a different direction. And you may have to pull on the leash every few seconds – and that’s the annoying part. With the leash connected to their chest, each time you pull, it slightly trips them up. Harnesses with a connection point on the back only slow them down and they don’t tend to change their direction.
So each time they start to pull you give a short yank on the leash and it pulls them towards you a little. Each yank of the leash alters the way they are walking. It makes them trip slightly. Within a few days to a week you should see a radical change.
Sizing, fitting and other details
So the harness basically has three sections: the back strap, belly or bottom strap and the chest strap. As discussed above, the different colored strap goes under your dog. The section with the D-ring goes in front near the chest, leaving the last section for the top of your dog’s back. Place the harness on and see how it fits. You should only be able to fit 1-2 fingers in between the webbing and your dog. Just tighten the webbing for each section if it is looser than that.
As for sizing, just search online for “easy walk harness sizing chart” and I’ve found clicking on Images brings up some great graphics. You need to measure the chest from behind the legs to up and around the back. Then just check the charts for the best size realizing that there are adjustments that can be made – best to go larger and tighten it then to find out you bought one that is too small.
A final tip I have is for dogs with body shapes that allow them to slip out of the harness. Another feature of this harness is that dogs can’t slip out unless they have long bodies like dachshunds. They are the only body shapes I am aware of that can slip out of the harness. The way to prevent that from happening is to attach the leash to the D-ring on the harness and then to the collar. Just swing the connection for the collar to just above the harness and you should be able to connect the leash to it as well. I don’t see how any dog could get out of that.
The retail price for the Easy Walk Harness for my dog (55-60 lbs) was approximately $26 US when I bought it about 7 years ago, though on Amazon they seem to be around $20. I do not know if there is a difference in price for smaller or larger dogs.
Feel free to email me with any questions or leave a comment about the Easy Walk Harness or with success stories of finally getting your dog to walk “normal”. Also, let me know if you feel I forgot anything about using the harness or any ideas you think would be helpful to add to the article.