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Why does he hate his harness?
  • RAM25RAM25
    Posts: 317
    Ha, the pictures are great, I will have to get one of Shinobi hating her harness. She stands with her back arched really bizarrely when we first put it on and she cries too. I feel so bad. As you say though, it's only when it's first put on, once we're out and walking she's all good. She also tries to hide sometimes when she realises it's time for a walk - I always imagined dogs would be desperate to walk all the time, not so at all with Shinobi. When we're out she loves it and is impossible to bring back in the house. She's a grass is always greener type of gal! Actually, she does try to scrape off her harness by rubbing herself along every wall she finds, or maybe she's just trying to get as gross and dirty as possible actually. Shiba's are so funny!
  • DaghainDaghain
    Posts: 113
    @kagurarap Keiko acts like I am killing her with the traditional harness she has now. I'm thinking it could be the fact that she does NOT like me putting it over her head. I think I may try an Easy Walk before the martingale, as I'm pretty sure she could slip that in three seconds flat - her neck and head are approximately the same size. I am also leery about the martingale, as I know my dog is smarter than me and could easily back out of it if I had ten seconds of inattention.
  • DaghainDaghain
    Posts: 113
    Oh, and Keiko walks to the elevator like you're taking her to death row. Seriously. Once outside, she's really good. Crazy dog. I guess that's why we love them - they are a constant challenge. :D
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Tatonka hates the over the mouth gentle leader. Couldn't get him to walk anywhere with it. He'd either press his face into my leg trying to rub it off, or lying on his back trying to pry it off.

    Harnesses and leashes are just fine though. He just sits there while I manipulate his legs/neck to put him in.
  • LemonChickenLemonChicken
    Posts: 184
    We have used a harness for Panko pretty much since we got him at 7 weeks old so he is epretty used to it. He is now 5 months old. I just ordered a XSM Ruffwear Webmaster, K9 Float and the Approach a few days ago. We will see how that goes! He is pretty mellow in regard to new experiences so far so fingers crossed.

  • jelliesjellies
    Posts: 142
    I have been away from the forum for many months but came back today to create a topic "why does Boris hate his harness/leash" and lo and behold there it is on page 1.

    Our guy is 1 year old about now, he never had a bad reaction to being leashed since he was a pup, From the very first walk: one shiba shake and he was ready for action. No shiba scream, or sitting down refusing to move, or fighting the leash.

    The phobia has seemingly grown slowly and insidiously over time.

    It is now at the stage where he whines at the front door for his morning walk but if I (or mom) literally appears (not holding the leash or harness, we're not stupid) he escapes from that dead end, often picking up something like a shoe or a sock then looks at us from 20 feet away. He will maintain that distance. If chased and cornered, which we very rarely have tried, he'll get very upset and growl or try to bite any hands that reach out. This is the ONLY time he will try to bite us, let alone the kids, who can bother him quite unfairly at times. We can take his food away, we can prise some dead awful thing out of his mouth, and he won't lash out. We can push him off a couch when he is sleeping, clamp him in our arms in an uber hug where he can't even move his head, we can grab his toes and examine them, shove a hand in his mouth, he just waits patiently for the awfulness to end.

    so he has a few favorite spots to flee to: a couch or bed that he can crawl under, for example, or the kitchen/living area where he can circle endlessly if necessary.

    So the game now goes like this.

    I appear in the morning and he goes into this mode of keeping his distance until he feels I am doing something non threatening like using the computer. Then he goes to the front door to whine and scrape at it. If I make the slightest noise he rushes back to a more open area and watches to see whether I look like I'm going to try to walk him or not. Obviously none of this is now done with us holding the leash or the harness (those days are long gone). I just need to pick him up!

    What I end up doing is getting his most favored treat and putting it on my desk, eventually he will start sniffing around, and gets closer. If I just help him nibble on the treat but don't make any grabs, he'll put his paws up on my lap and start to nibble. Then I know I've won as I can scoop him up where he continues to nibble - but he knows what is coming.

    When I scoop him up, eg by surprise, if a walk is on the cards, his heart starts to race and he licks his lips nervously but the rest is easy: plop him on a chair, all the fight is gone, I fasten him up, etc. When he is leashed he is fine again, he'll follow me round for some more house errands, or stand by the door with the leash on the ground, waiting.

    he reacts like this even IF he is already wearing his harness. The process of putting the harness on is super gentle, it hardly touches his ears let alone his face. I ask for "paw" to help it go under his stomach. He doesn't flinch when it clicks in. The harness is a puppia, three different colors and sizes that didn't make any difference.

    The other way is simply to catch him by surprise eg resting or walking past him BUT he knows the morning is walk time, and some part of the evening a well so he isn't stupid. In between those times of course we can pick him up anytime, lie down next to him to read, have him snuggle on the couch, etc.

    If I were to hold a piece of raw steak at arms length, if he knows it is walk time, he will stand 3 meters away sniffing, but refuse to get within catching distance.

    On the actual walks of course he loves them and doesn't want to come home: come home time he'll throw himself on the grass and let me drag him a few meters like a corpse so that people laugh. He lives to interact with the dogs he meets. In fact, we off-leash him on walks in the park and he comes back for a treat and sits, at which point 1 time in 5 I'll be doing it in order to capture his dragged leash for whatever reason. He walks with me along the coastal path dragging his leash (or minus leash), and looking back to see if I've stopped.

    JUST the process of prepping for the walk is DRIVING US NUTS because we need/want to walk him, he needs/wants to be walked, and the whole thing especially in the morning can delay his walk by an hour which can sometimes mean he must get a short walk instead of a long one.

    I've had two shibas before and they would go nuts when I touched a leash, one of them would pull it off the hook and bring it to me.

    I'm curious if there is something I can try that I've not yet done because this problem is the only problem we've got with him but it is a doozy.

    (re-reading the previous responses I guess the idea would be to use a collar instead, but from past experience collars bother me if they want to slip them, they can. However I guess that is the last option I have left? ).

    Uploaded with Imgupr

    Post edited by jellies at 2013-06-04 21:45:10
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Have you tried offering one opportunity to go walk and when he refuses leave and go on your own walk returning and ignoring him until you are ready to go again?

    Do this consistently so he learns walks are when you decide.

    Or is there something else going in like he doesn't even like the walk once you are outside? Or is the process mandatory to pee/poo?
  • jelliesjellies
    Posts: 142
    Yes, I have vanished for an hour then come back. He is 50% less hyper focussed on keeping his distance - unless he has then plain gone into snooze mode, and then I can reach him easily.

    He is very reluctant to eliminate in our garden - his walks always involve multiple pees and two eliminations but he has ridiculous stamina so it doesn't really matter when the walks are arranged. The only time he demanded a walk at 5am, and no longer cared about the process of getting leashed, was when he had the runs.

    Strangely when the kids leave for school, he is by the door trying to leave with them. At that point, he would be a cinch to deal with. But only for that instant.

    Nothing negative happens on walks, it is all butterflies and happiness. No loud scary cars, no nasty dogs, he never needs to be convinced to walk away from the house. etc.
  • aferraroaferraro
    Posts: 33
    Here is what I have learned about training my shiba to do most things:

    1. If she isn't into the treat, she isn't hungry enough. - Use high value treats. If you are going to spend some time training your dog, it is okay to let them miss their previous meal so they are good and hungry.

    2. Invest in a $3 clicker. Shiba are often slow to respond to training. Not necessarily because they are slow, but because they are wondering what's in it for them.

    3. I did all of the above before I worried about the harness. My shiba loves chicken so I boiled some as my high value treat. I let her skip a meal so she was hungry (going to do it tomorrow too for Tricks Class). Then I sat on the floor with the harness out in front of me (this may even be too much for your shiba - so start with harness on the floor and you on the couch). If she looked at it, I clicked and gave her a treat. If she sniffed it I clicked and gave her a treat. If she touched it with any part of her body I clicked and gave her a treat. Eventually (I mean over the span of days), I held it and clicked and treated for all of the above. Then I clicked and treated for allowing me to just sliding it on her nose and back, then over her head and off again, then with one buckle, then the other, etc.

    4. No one knows your dog better than you. Take your time. Let it be her idea. Let her think the harness is the coolest thing because she gets awesome (quality and quantity) cookies when it comes out.

    I have also found that harnesses that clip the leash in the back allow the dog to pull more or work the pulling muscles. Clip it to the ring in the front of the chest area. Then if they pull it sort of stops them in their tracks and they learn very quickly it isn't productive for them to pull.
  • aferraroaferraro
    Posts: 33
    Oooh I forgot one thing. There was a time where Emma really hated her harness. It seemed to come out of nowhere.

    When we went for our therapy session, the Vet said perhaps the harness was too loose.

    It may sound strange, but if it is loose enough to allow rubbing it hurts Fluffy. It may seem tight, but you should only be able to get 2 fingers between the harness and the dog.

    I thought I was being nice to Emma by letting the harness be looser, but it was rubbing. As soon as I tightened it up, she was fine again.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Heheheeee... Looks like we all own the same dog. Harness hating must have been taught in Shiba kindergarten.

    I had some success today. I told Kaji we were going bye-bye to see Taisho and Baba and showed him his car harness/seatbelt. He usually backs away as he did this time, but he stopped on the stairs. I laid the harness down and he didn't run. He's not happy about it but he let me actually put the harness on him and buckle with zero struggle or trying to run away. So there is hope everyone!!! Or maybe he was on his best behavior since it is his one year old birthday today! :D
  • CrystalWolfCrystalWolf
    Posts: 235
    Riku likes his harness, he has had that since day 1 when I brought him home. He has his harness on for walks, as well as to go outside to potty. I didnt do introductions either. Just put it on him, left it on for the first few days so it would be easy in the mornings and nights for potty breaks.

    I just acted like its no big deal so maybe thats why, I didnt do anything special so he wouldnt think its anything special.
    Post edited by CrystalWolf at 2013-06-17 10:17:50
  • A little bit of a relief to see it appears to be a common trend in Shiba; Oscar just cannot take to his harness, or his leash, or anything that restrains him. Every time I need to put it on he walks in circles around me and will keep out of arms reach no matter how I try to coax him. Eventually he usually sends up on my lap being put into it, which I feel even worse for because he always looks so sad afterwards. He's fine once we are out the door, but you would think the leash and harness were a ton weight with the way he keeps his head down and his tail drooped until we step outside.

    I have left the harness on for extended periods and as long as he's not on leash it doesn't bother him after a few minutes, but the moment it is off he's back to avoiding it at all costs. Going to try a new type and see if that makes a difference, as the one I bought was quite simple and cheap, but so far no amount of treats and walks have warmed him to his leash or harness :P
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Kira is a year and a half old and STILL hasn't warmed up to the harness - the process of me putting it on or anything. She acts completely fine when we are on walks or hikes.

    My answer to the actual question of the thread name - "Why does he hate his harness"

    Because... IT'S A SHIBA!! [-(
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    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.”
  • Koda is definitely not a fan of the harness either. And she is such an explorer, walks with only a leash and collar are impossible. So sometimes she will attempt to run away when she sees the harness but if I say "okay fine" and put it down and go sit down, she'll go sit by the door and give in and wear it.
  • Tali only lets me put hers on with a nice high value treat in hand. I need to put it over her head first which is what she hates the most so I lure her with a treat through the hole. XD She's also a little calmer with a harness on, but once that thing comes off, it's Shiba 500 time.
  • micomico
    Posts: 242
    Suki used to have a collar but she hated having her lead clipped on for walks so we decided to try a harness. The first was too stiff and she didn't like the chestplate, the second was a palavar to fasten so we were ready to go back to a collar but found a nice soft one that goes over her head, between her front legs and a strap wraps round her torso and clips on the side. Does she like it? Does she hell!

    Tonight's walk consisted of 5 minutes of the human chasing her from the kitchen, through the dining room, down the hall and back to the kitchen with a tasty morsel in one hand and the dreaded harness in the other. Then human decides to let shiba into the back garden so she can don her layers and wellies before chasing shiba round the garden for another 5 minutes. Human re-enters house and removes wellies, shiba pokes head through catflap and notices wellies are not in post-dog walking position so runs to end of path. Human opens door and waves a tasty morsel but shiba just sits and stares. Human removes coat and puts kettle on, shiba pokes head back through catflap but human has still not moved the wellies so shiba returns to her vantage point at end of path. After a 10+ minute standoff shiba decides its time to come in and wear the harness of shame and glares whilst human puts multiple layers back on before setting off for considerably shortened walk because its too late to go across the fields as it'll be dark in 20 mins.

    Someone please remind me why we love these manipulative divas!
  • This is like 3 years late, but was looking on here for the same issues I've been having with my shiba as well. The first 2-3 weeks we got her, she slept, lived and ate with her harness on. (This was so we could tether her during the day while I worked on my computer or take her out if she had an accident.) She never minded the harness. After that, we began taking off her harness whenever she was inside. When it was time to go out, she didn't have issues with us putting the harness on.

    Until recently. We've had her about 4 months now, and by month 3 she begun running around the apartment whenever we held the harness and leash in hand. It usually took us 10 minutes to corner her and put the harness on (yet she never complained while we were putting it on--no whimpering, no whining, no barking--just silent, stoic defeat).

    Like many on here, I couldn't figure out why she doesn't like the harness, because she knows the harness means treats, going outside, going to the park, going for walks, etc.

    Last week I began training her to come when I hold up the harness. Every time she walked towards me while I said "Harness!" and held it up, I'd treat her. Yesterday I finally got her to come right up to me while holding the harness, and she's gotten better at coming when I call out "Harness!" (Which saves time on chasing her, but still requires 3-5 minutes to get her close enough to catch her and put the harness on.) I then also tried to put treats in my hand and stick it halfway through the loop of the harness for her to pop her head through, but if the harness was haflway up her nose, she'd run away again.

    It's progress, but frustrating nonetheless :P
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    Sounds like progress! Ozzy still doesn’t really like his harness. Some harnesses he will tolerate and just assume a look of defeat and disappointment while it’s being slipped over his head. Others he will run from still.

    I’ve tried a lotttt to work up from him eating treats near the harness to on the harness to through the harness... but as soon as I put the harness on and buckle it, even if I take it off immediately, it’s back to square one and he won’t come near it hahaha. I think if I just keep at it consistently, multiple times per day, he might be able to get more comfortable with it. But usually we’re kind of in a hurry to go somewhere or get a good, long walk in before work or school, etc. So I feel like it’s always one step forward, two steps back. :))
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    I eventually gave up on the harness thing as my husband prefers a collar. I hope that when this collar finally dies, we can get a harness. Coal is okay with those that slip over the head, but seems to hate step-in ones. The type could well be part of the issue. Just take your time, lots of treats, and go step by step. kikopup on youtube has a great video on it...i lost the link though XD
  • @lilikoi - Senketsu is the same way. You can literally see the moment he admits defeat. He will usually walk decently with just a collar but I am terrified to use one because he has even slipped a harness in the past! He also likes to thrash when he's REALLY upset (a "temper tantrum") and I'm afraid he'll harm his spine in a collar. I honestly don't see him ever getting over his dislike of harnesses or any form of confinement :P
  • MeghanBCGMeghanBCG
    Posts: 98
    We haven't tried a harness on Zuko yet, but Bonsai does ok once we get it on him. He'll run if he sees me pick it up, but we've figured out a way to trick him. He knows if we open the front door that it's time for a walk and he'll stand there at the glass door waiting to be let out. If I come up behind him with the harness he won't fuss and lets me put it on him. But if I were to try to put it on before he knew we were going out, no way no how is that harness going on, hahaha.

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