View Full Version : Scratching at Harness

17th July 2010, 11:51 PM
My little pup hates her harness. Whenever she has it on, she stops every few steps and scratches, which makes going outside and walking a bit tough because I have to stop every time she does it so I do not accidentally drag her. It almost worries me because I know excessive scratching can be a symptom of SM, but once I take it off she does not scratch anymore.

She actually is 11 weeks old today. I have had her wear it every day now, and often for several hours I will keep it on her in the house. We have had her almost a week, and still she scratches at it.

I have checked to make sure it is not too tight and it is not rubbing her sore in any areas.

How long did it take your pups to finally accept their collars/harnesses? I have not even tried putting a collar on her yet :(

Kate H
23rd July 2010, 02:53 PM
As nobody else has answered yet, I'll put in my pennyworth! A lot of puppies don't like the constriction of a harness or collar - it takes getting used to. I would leave it on all the time during the day (or at least while you can supervise her - harnesses can get caught on things and cause accidents), and do fun things with her while it's on, so that she forgets about it. Then attach a light lead to the harness for a few hours every day, so that she drags it round the house and it occasionally snags on furniture and gives her a little tug - and again, do fun things with her. When the lead isn't causing a problem, quietly pick it up from time to time and let her lead you round the house, perhaps also giving a gentle tug from time to time for her to come to you for a treat. Then try taking her outside with a toy or titbit to persuade her to walk along with you - avoiding battles! It just needs patience to help her forget she has the harness on. Did you get your pup from a breeder? If so, had the breeder started lead training her, as she was 10 weeks old before she left? It may be that she's more used to a collar! Lead training must feel a bit like a child running around barefoot or in sandals all summer and then suddenly having to go back to school in lace-ups!

Best of luck!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

The Rouge Princess
23rd July 2010, 08:03 PM
I think Kate has offered some good advice.I would make a game with Scarlett when she was a puppy of putting and taking over her collar despite she's never been walked on a collar.I'd say don't reach over her head as this makes some dogs uneasy.If it's shoulder height, they can still see it and this reassures them.Having nibbles of chicken, cheese and kibble helped.I put her harness and collar on the floor alone and allowed her to investigate them both.After ten mins I scattered some nibbles down.I did this for a week every day for 20 mins and then moved on to wearing it, taking it off and putting it away.Then to wearing and playing.Now she doesn't seem fazed but does still have the odd scratch.It must be like us having to wear a bra in sticky weather - you need an itch now and then! :lol: .

Have her wear her collar/harness when she's playing and/or being fed.She'll begin to associate the both of them with positive things.I wouldn't advise getting her excited pre walk as I understand sometimes this can cause more problems in the future.I have found loosening her harness has made it more comfortable for her to wear esp with the humidity at the moment.Also, when I first bought Scarlett's, I washed it as I thought it would loosen up the fibre and make it more comfier to wear.It's that nylon collar sort of material.

Let us know how you get on