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Aston acts different with harness on
  • Since we got Aston at 2 months old (turns 6 months this week) he's worn a collar around the house and a harness when we leave the yard. Well the past 3 days I've left the harness on him around the house and he is a completely different dog. He isn't half as hyper as he normally is. He lays around the house and doesn't act out. Now today I took the harness off and, BAM Hyper crazy Aston is back. Now I like the way he acted around the house with the harness but not sure what to think of this. any thoughts ?

    [mod edit: changed category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2016-06-07 11:22:31
  • RyuRyu
    Posts: 1623
    My male shiba is the exact same way. Super mellow with a harness on. I think he feels more restricted and doesn't want to move. We call it his "Kryptonite". Over time, I've realized that he is much better with softer harnesses (such as the Puppia) or a cotton-only harness. He will absolutely not budge if we put him in a nylon harness.

    How does he act when you are trying to put the harness on?
  • Also some dogs feel a sense of security with harnesses (especially ones like Puppia). They even make ones specifically for that purpose. They are called anxiety wraps. Like these
    http://www.sitstay.com/dog/supplies/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&categoryId=13963&langId=-1&top=Y
  • Thanks for the input, He runs away when i go to put it on him.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Tetsu was the same way with the harness and anything that goes over his face. To me, Tetsu didn't look relaxed but depressed, or showing a quiet rebellion. The fact that he runs away may be a sign that he doesn't like it.
    image
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
    That's so funny, because we use "the magic sweater" on Yogi when he gets worked up, usually at night. Lately they've all been getting into really intense play sessions after they come back in from their last potty break of the night, and sometimes Yogi goes too far it's not fun or funny for the other dogs, and surely not for me to listen to. He doesn't mind when I put it on, and he always gets treats during and a good snuggle after it's on. He seems to sleep like a rock at night with it, and it usually keeps the other 2 from rough-housing and they settle down when the magic sweater goes on. I used to think it upset him because he wanted to go straight and lay down, but I think it works on his little doggy brain as some sort of tranquilizer. If he's throwing a fit in his kennel, which he doesn't do very often but we can't figure out what sets him off, we just pop his little sweater on and he doesn't make a peep. Also seems to help with the way he greets company that stops by... much more politely and less excitable, with no jumping and sqealing... and it seems to trickle down to the other guys. Maaagic :)

    Reading this FAQ (http://www.anxietywrap.com/FAQ.htm) about anxiety wraps, this seems to be the EXACT effect it has on Yogi. I had never really thought about it that deeply, I just appreciated the fact that it worked!
    image

  • tobyshibatobyshiba
    Posts: 1121
    I actually noticed that Toby does something similar when his pack is on. If you let him in the yard without his pack, he runs around nuts. If he is let out with his pack on, he is not running, but walking and much calmer. Inside, he walks slow if he is wearing his pack.
  • Yeah i feel Aston doesn't like it, he seems a little depressed with it on but not horribly. He just seems more well mannered and less hyper active. Should I take it off him ? I'm unsure because without it he runs around like a mad man and gets mouthy and defiant.

    Oh and Tobyshiba- I have a friend with a Shiba name Toby too. Her dog is right around 1 now. I found that very interesting, how old is your Toby ?
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Whenever we have really frightened/anxious animals at work that are recovering from some procedure, we often end up mummy wrapping them with a towel and carrying them around with us like a baby until they wake up totally. Or we tuck in the bigger guys with lots of blankets and towels. It's like night and day, the pressure around their body from the wrap and being craddled has some sort of magic effect of them and they just fall asleep, no crying or thrashing post-op. No need for a lot of sedatives. Beebe seems to settle down when I put her Ruffwear harness or pack on. I like the idea of the anxiety wrap."Common sense isn't so common"
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    Isn't is the same process as when you swaddle a child? The purpose is to make them feel secure. Jazz got swaddled back in December when we had so much gunfire (from hunting) around us. It made a massive difference in her reactions.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
    CSC_0144
  • Reviving an old thread here, but I'm having this issue with Ripley. Without her harness she's a typical obnoxious puppy, generally unable to follow commands and running around biting like an absolute psychopath. When I get the harness on her (though I have to bribe her with treats or it's a scream fest), she immediately becomes an old and obedient dog. Listens to every command, doesn't mouth, doesn't tear around the house. I always wonder though: IS she feeling secure, or does she just hate it so much she's given up? I've checked it and checked it and checked it and it's definitely not too tight or pinching or anything like that. I like her subdued personality a lot more of course, but am I killing her childhood!? :P She usually ends up wearing it about eight hours of the day. Should I keep it on her less? More? Is she truly uncomfortable, or just the opposite?

    I'm at a loss for what to do. Obviously she needs to have it on sometimes--she's a Shiba, she'll crush her own trachea with just a collar and leash. Is the fact that she hates having it put on indicative that it makes her miserable, or just that she despises the momentary restraint? It just seems to suck all the energy out of her.

    I also don't want to use a harness as a way of making her "behave". It seems lazy and stupid and nonsensical. I'm hoping that one day, with work, she'll be able to walk on just a collar without trying to choke herself to death, but until then (or if that simply never happens) I don't want her to associate the harness with...well, anything. I want her to ignore the fact that it's on at all.

    And maybe I'm overreacting and maybe I just want too much, but I've never had this particular issue with a Shiba before.
  • @SnowCrash11

    FWIW...

    I noticed the same thing with my brat. He is much calmer with the harness.

    My trainer (who spends almost as much time with him as I do) and I talked in depth about this. He said:

    1) Its unnatural for the dog. Let the dog be a dog. Meaning, his philosophy is a naked dog is a natural dog. You want to cultivate his personality, not suppress it.

    2) It creates a crutch. Your goal as a hooman should be to understand and help your dog achieve happiness. You are as much a tool for his happiness as he is for yours. Training should be that, not finding a way to get the dog to "calm down".

    3) You may desensitize her to it. For instance there may be a time you REALLY need this harness to calm her down? (during fireworks). It'd be a good trick to keep in the bag for a last resort.

    I hope the tone I used when writing this doesn't come off as "abrasive". Not at all my intention. I think its a wonderful question you are asking and I am having trouble writing today. =)

    I don't leave the harness on in the house, but before we leave the dog park, I put it on and let him play for 10-15 more minutes before we go to break the association of "harness means leave".

    So to answer your question, I wouldn't leave the harness on at all except during walks.

    I am also not an expert so by all means wait for someone else who may have follow up questions.

  • That's sort of what I was worried about. I don't want her to be "unnatural", so to speak. I mean what happens when she doesn't have the harness on and I really need her to behave? Am I supposed to go grab it and force her into it? Yeah right! Even with treat bribery, I can't see how she wouldn't learn to hate it. I was hoping there was a way to get her to completely ignore the harness when I need her in it, but I just don't see how. When she walks, when there are people over and the doors are constantly opening and shutting, when I have to put her in the car (I have one of those seatbelt harness things), I want her to feel normal.

    And no, you definitely didn't come off as abrasive!
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @SnowCrash11

    Banjo made some good suggestions. Put the harness on for 10-15 mins in the house before leaving. If your Shiba is pulling, correct it. Either take some classes to teach your Shiba how to walk with a collar, or just ALWAYS walk your shiba in a harness.

    I myself walk my Shiba in her martingale collar, but she rarely pulls and listens to my voice commands. I've also met my friends shiba who always walks on Harness, because well, once his prey drive kicks in, he'll be choking himself on a collar.

  • Yeah, she constantly lunges on the collar until she can't breathe. The harness is a great solution--she doesn't pull and it keeps her safe, but it just seems to drain the life out of her while she's wearing it. The second it comes off she's an unstoppable force of energy. The harness is good for her health, I'm just not sure it's good for her mental well-being. My last Shiba, a big time puller, didn't even seem to notice when I put the harness on him, and it certainly didn't change his behavior. I might try a different style of harness, because I really like them safety-wise. I guess I was just posting in the off chance delusional hope that someone would tell me this totally happened to their dog and they got over it with time.

    Now that I think about it....maybe it is just the harness style. If I'm lucky. I know I hate looking at it; it's sort of ugly. And probably a little heavy for such a small animal. Hm.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    @SnowCrash11 - Harnesses (depending on the type) can have the same type of effect as a Thundershirt, depending of course on the dog as well.

    What kind of harness are you using? Perhaps a different style would help?

    If a harness is the safest means of walking your dog, please walk your dog on a harness. My two almost always get walked on a harness. Mostly because of security reasons (my youngest can wiggle out of just about anything except the Webmaster), but also because if they see a squirrel, they try to chase and it is just safer for them to be on a harness.

    But if the harness has a subduing/calming effect, you might want to only use it for walks and let her just wear a collar the rest of the time (which is what I do).
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • @sunyata has a good point.

    FWIW I use an ez-walker harness (it can be worn with the loop under the chin or between the shoulder blades. I use it between the shoulder blades). Its relatively loose, but has a "martingale style" loop which tightens with tension, but not to the point of constriction.

  • The style of the harness is one of those semi padded mesh type ones (it covers a wider surface of the dog's chest, probably because it's also for hooking to the car seatbelt and would better protect them in the case of the sudden stop), but since I've been thinking about it, you're probably right. I don't know how I didn't see before how cumbersome it must be for a small puppy to wear. She only ever wears it when we're outside in the yard (or about to be, or just were) or when I have to drive her somewhere, but admittedly we're outside a LOT, and she just doesn't want to play much with it on. If you're wondering why I don't let her free in the yard while I'm out there, it's because despite many promises, my landlord STILL hasn't fixed a blown down fence.

    Thanks for the recommendations! I think I'll try a few more harness types with her and keep this one for just car use or something. It's advertised as both a walking and a carseat harness, but it only seems to do one of those things well.
  • SnowCrash11SnowCrash11
    Posts: 45
    Ugh. Well I'm out of ideas.

    After finding a MUCH easier harness style (the step in ones that take about two seconds to get on) it's still a no go for her. She let me put it on the first few times, but now she's back to shrieking, growling, and biting (HARD) every time I get it near her. She's perfectly fine once it's on. It doesn't seem to matter how quickly and gently I do it or how many treats she receives in the process. It fits perfectly and is in no way hindering her movement. I thought it was being slightly restrained while getting it put on that she hated so much, but with this one I'm barely touching her at all. I even have someone else feed her treats while I do it but -nothing- is worth it to her, no matter what the treat is. She knows what happens if she steps into it and will refuse to do so at all costs.

    She just does so well once it's ON. Doesn't really pull anymore (absolutely chokes herself with a collar) and she can't bolt (she really ,really wants the immediate attention of every stranger she spots on the street). She doesn't touch it when it's on. Doesn't bite it, doesn't try to get out of it, nothing. I just don't get what's so awful to her about having it slipped on.

    I'm sure some of you have step-in harnesses. Any special tricks would be appreciated.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    @SnowCrash11 - She will probably grow out of this phase, but in the meantime, just make it as positive of an experience as you can. The best suggestion I have is to go ahead and hook the leash to her collar, THEN put the harness on so that you do not have to handle her as much. (It seems to me that the handling is what they hate so much, not necessarily the harness.) Try that and see if it works.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I had and still have issues with Kira walking away when she sees me with the harness. When she was young I kept treats with me during the process to make it rewarding for her. I keep a small container of peanut butter that she gets to lick with me for when I clip her nails, which is an even more hated process so that's something you could try too?

    I also shopped around for a harness that didn't require that the harness had to go over her head or require that she have both feet to step into the harness. I ended up with the EZYDOG chest plate harness because only her right foot had to be put through the harness, all I had to do afterwards was snap two buckles after putting the straps around her.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    imageimage
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • micomico
    Posts: 242
    Suki loves going for walks but hates having her harness put on. She does everything she can to evade us, running from room to room, upstairs, round the garden if the door's open and when we do catch her she shakes as we put it on. She's fine when the lead's clipped on and while we're out - maybe its not the right colour! We don't want to go back to a collar because she can wriggle out of them due to her fat neck - sorry Suki but you're a chunk!
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    Ratchet use to, and still does that ninja shadow side step on me if I approach him with his martingale or Ruffware harness. Now I just wait by the front door, and say “walk,” then wait for him to come to me, give him the “wait” command, then proceed to put on his harness or collar. Way back in the days when he was a puppy, I would say walk and wait by the door, and if he didn’t come I’ll just go out by myself, walk around the block or a few houses down, come back in and try again. He got the message quickly.

    Some of the obedience classes with him, I had him in his Ruffware Harness so I don’t know if it’s because he’s thinking, “Oh, I have the vest on, must be time for work.” I started to use his harness again when going to the private dog park in my apartment complex, because it’s much easier to direct, hold, or move him when introducing him to new dogs. But, generally I have not notice him being less egger to engage in roughhouse play with another dog that is willing to bear wrestle, body slam, jaw spar, or chase each other as, oppose to when he’s just in his… birthday suite?
  • SnowCrash11SnowCrash11
    Posts: 45
    @sunyata -- I didn't think about that, but that's a great idea. Thanks!
  • Good Evening Everyone,

    Klaus has always worn a harness since he was a puppy. I have tried many different types, Puppia, a step in, Ruffwear. He hates them all. He will run away from me when he sees it. He acts normal when we are out on a walk and/or at the park but when we are at the house he mopes and acts like a completely different dog. I have recently been trying to get him more use to it by putting it on at random times through out the day. So far, he does not seem amused. He goes outside and stares at me though my glass door. When I take it off, he is back to normal. Has anyone been able to get their dog over this type of issue?
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    This is my life, don't get your hopes up that he will grow out of it.

    Kira despises all dog wear - collars, harness, all of it. I've tried adding positive interactions, increasing frequency, given treats, all of it. I've accepted that she will never get over her hatred of restrictive items and you should too.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    imageimage
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • Ha! That's what I was figuring. I was just crossing my fingers for a light at the end of the tunnel. He just looks so dejected. lol
  • RooneyRooney
    Posts: 142
    Rooney doesn't particularly like to put his harness on. It's a step-in version that clips behind his shoulders. What I do is have him walk into the entryway before me and since it's just a narrow hall, he doesn't really have any way to run off. I kind of trap him non-aggressively between me and the door to go outside, then kneel down and hold his harness in front of him. When I tap his legs with it, he lifts his paws one at a time and steps in. He seems most scared of the clip noise, so I try to make that as quiet as possible. I do not restrain him in any way for this process. I'm not sure if this technique will help anyone that is having major issues with their pup not wanting to wear the harness, but figured it wouldn't hurt to share.
    Allison, Rooney's Mom
  • My 7 month old male shiba is the same way. Night and day difference. If you leave the harness on him for a day or two... watch out when it comes off! Zoomies for HOURS!

    We liked the concept of a harness so it would be easier on his fat neck and mess with his coat less. Now we only use his harness on big outings or situations where he might get into mischief and we need something easier to grab lol. Sometimes when we need some peace and quiet in the house we put his harness on him (only if he is REALLY acting up and at a bad hour) and he comes and lays down with us or in his cage.

    We thought we could outlast this behaviour and he'd eventually get used to his harness. Nope! Stayed melodramatic for 4 full days with zero signs of relenting.

    Shibe - 1
    Us - 0

    Seems like we're going to have to trick or corner and fight with him about his harness, choke chain, collar. Basically anything restrictive that goes near him will be a battle... forever...
    image
    Brody
    Post edited by spacewolf at 2015-01-20 15:17:30
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Why a choke chain for a puppy @spacewolf? Unless you mean martingale collar?
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • We've only started using a choke chain for obedience class (requested for all dogs in it). We don't use it with him at all at home. I might start to on public walks to work more on his obedience training.

    He's not a baby anymore! Going on 8 months, 30lbs and thinks he is top dog lol. Now that he's in with German Shepherds, Huskies and the like it's starting to put things into perspective though lol. He also needs and enjoys the challenge.
    image
    Brody
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    spacewolf said:

    We've only started using a choke chain for obedience class (requested for all dogs in it). We don't use it with him at all at home. I might start to on public walks to work more on his obedience training.



    I highly suggest that you read through some of the training threads on the forum. A choke chain is NOT needed for a Shiba (or almost any dog, actually). If it were me, I would change obedience classes. Classes that require (or even request) an aversive method (which is what a choke chain is) is not anything that I would want my dogs to be part of.

    Training is all about building a bond with your dog. By using aversive methods, you damage the relationship that you have with your dog and training often takes longer and uses fear instead of trust to get your dog to do what you want.

    By the way, I am not sure if I am reading your last line correctly, but choke chains are not a "challenge". It gives painful feedback and can be incredibly harmful to the dog if not used properly. A 30 pound dog does NOT need a choke chain.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • Couldn't agree with @sunyata more. Please don't use a choke chain... it's neither necessary or effective. They can cause so much internal damage before you even see external signs, not to mention the psychological damage. Perhaps try looking up some positive reinforcement training methods; there are tons here on the forum.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    If a class required a choke chain, I'd leave.

    Also, your dog is still a puppy. He's 7 months old. He might be on the heavier side, but regardless, he's young and impressionable.
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
    Post edited by Rikka at 2015-01-21 10:35:32
  • Rikka said:

    [...] he's young and impressionable.



    Spot on. Aversive training tools can mentally scar a dog for life.
  • Rikka said:

    If a class required a choke chain, I'd leave.

    Also, your dog is still a puppy. He's 7 months old. He might be on the heavier side, but regardless, he's young and impressionable.



    The puppy class I enrolled Kiba in said absolutelly no choke collars or harnesses...just a regular collar and 6ft leash.

    Kiba definitely learns fast but at the same time it is true what many say, Shibas get bored easily of the same treat and the same exercise. Kiba will do everything the first few times, then get bored of the treat, then get bored of the exercise. I also understand he is stubborn and has a strong will to do his own and I embrace that and I love him for it.
  • Experiencing this right now. Nikko is an absolute angel with his harness on. He is wearing it in the house and he's so calm and patient...it's incredible. It's almost like I can't even remove it - if I do, he goes ballistic.

    Same fear though...is he depressed with it? Or more comfortable? I know people that use this same principle for calming dogs/people (compression) and it's supposed to work wonders. It's why the Thundershirt was designed, right? I guess what I'm saying is it's great, but I wouldn't want it to be permanently necessary....

    thoughts?
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Generally speaking, putting a harness on a Shiba makes them seem more mellow because they are slightly uncomfortable. My Shiba hates having collars and harnesses on and her personality does a complete 180 if I put it on her in the house.

    Your dog may eventually get used to it... I only put them on mine if we leave the house.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    imageimage
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • I would work to get the desired behavior from the dog without using a "crutch".
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Reminds me of a forum user here that used to leave their Thundershirt around their Shiba for days on end because they "were more calm", even though it was a crutch and downright lazy.
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • @Rikka, I can't say I haven't wanted to try it with a shame cone =)

  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    @BanjoTheBetaDog - Nothing is stopping you. :)
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆

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