Training Thursday

I’m calling today “Training Thursday” around the Ranch and we’re about to have us some major league fun with it. Wanna know the reason why it’s going to be fun? Today will be so M.U.C.H. fun walking Ms. Elsa. Why? Well…I’m glad you asked.

While I’m not a pet product influencer (not yet anyway), can I just give a big shout out to the creator of the Freedom No-Pull Harness?! I have one for Sam for his work at the hospital and have loved it. It keeps him easily under control when he’s curiously pulling toward all the tubes, wires, and waste baskets, etc. in a patient’s room easily. Yesterday afternoon, after the umpteenth time of having my shoulder nearly ripped from its socket with the Princess Squirrel Hunter and then did the forehead smack when it finally dawned on me, I walked her Highness over to my favorite neighborhood pet shop and picked up another one. In the words of Homer Simpson….DOH!!!! Why hadn’t I thought to do that before?  The ease in which this product can be quickly hitched up is amazing. Slip the harness over the head, draw the two side buckles up onto the top strap and voilà! Done. No stepping in, crawling around on your belly to try to connect, not being tied in a knot because the dog isn’t cooperative. Simply, quick. Just the way to deal with an excited dog trying to be patient jonesing to leave the house as soon as you touch their leash.

Jessica McDonald, Life Saver and Inventor of the No-Pull Harness
Jessica McDonald, Inventor of the Freedom No-Pull Harness

This product is going to be a life saver. Literally. Three years ago, I had reconstructive shoulder surgery due to a bad scooter accident. The orthopedic surgeon said that he basically “crocheted” me back together again from stem to stern in the shoulder joint. Rehab was a bear and a painfully long process. Even now I occasionally will have painful days and walking a squirrel obsessed dog  who can catapult after tree rats like a medieval slingshot hasn’t helped. My raven haired little sweetie is quick as lightning once she’s spotted a squirrel and then it’s hang on for dear life for me. It was only a matter of time that (a) I’d probably get hurt or (b) I’d definitely get hurt. Since the idea of going through rehab again isn’t my idea of fun and games, I opted to spring for the harness which will provide maximum comfort and control. And did it ever!

But before we get to how Elsa performed in it, let me give you some of the back story about this harness. Like so many successful products, a problem prompted a design solution. Jessica McDonald was walking a friend’s 150# Rottweiler and quickly realized the prong collar was inadequate to control that dog. Relying on her Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering she designed a harness with an effective way to control the dog at its center of gravity-its chest.

freedom-no-pull-harness-circleBy designing a tension loop at the back of the harness, she discovered it made for a very effective training and communication tool. After applying for and receiving a patent, the Freedom No-Pull Harness was born. The owner of our pet store helped us custom fit the adjustable straps for a perfect fit and I was blown away by how walking home was so much easier. The harness comes in 6 different sizes for dogs of all sizes and is made in the USA and has a great warranty should your pet manage to chew any of the straps. Elsa walked the entire way home with a loose leash beside me and NOT pulling. Hallelujah!

And in the more exciting news category, she even accepted a treat directly from the pet store owner’s hand!  Since adoption, she has refused to accept all food directly from anyone’s hand and only in the past couple of days has begun to accept pieces of cheese from me so I’m telling you, this was HUGE people.

So all in all, Training Thursday has been full of surprises and success. I can’t begin to praise this product enough. And I’m tickled pink that Elsa is beginning to trust people enough to accept food directly. The squirrels and I want to express our gratitude for this effective training device. Looks like we’ll all be just a bit safer when the Ninja Dog is out patrolling the streets of Denver.

Live, love, bark! <3

28 thoughts on “Training Thursday

  1. Wonderful progress…for you both! I don’t ever plan on being pulled down the street by a large dog, but will keep this product in mind if the occasion arises!

    1. Trust me, Elsa is not a large dog, thin as a rail. You know what they say about the rule of inertia: moving objects tend to keep moving. And if a squirrel is the motivator…well, you can move fairly quickly! 🙂

  2. Sounds like a great product! Luckily for me, my pups are small enough to be handled without much difficulty…Although sometimes, Arty decides maybe he should take me for a walk :-).

  3. I use a harness with Benji. It’s probably not as good as your harness but it works and he’s quite happy. Walking is still a bit of a problem and my knee still gives bother so not to have him trying to pull me off my feet is good. If he were to pull me the wrong way I could end up doing a spot of star-gazing and I’d prefer not to :o) PS, we do not have “Tree Rats”here but we do have Magpies that – during their mating season, make Stuka Dive Bomber Pilots look like amateurs

  4. My friend just adopted a new black lab puppy. He got that very no pull harness thingie…
    he likes it…He had used collars and leashes in the past. Decided to start his new puppy out with this.
    Hugs madi and thank you for visiting us today

  5. Thanks for the tip. We’ve used the same technique with Kloe using her regular harness with the clip at the chest and her regular collar. So similar effect but having an all in one might. Be more efficient and effective.
    Great news about Elsa’s emerging trust! Great progress- congrats.

    BTW Holly’s shoulders take a beating from time to time with Kloe. Fortunately, due to Holly’s training efforts, Kloe is becoming a good leash walker and pulls a lot less which is good because she’s now over 60 lbs of pure muscle.

    Take care.

    1. Thanks for the well wishes, Michael. Sam was a puller too, and at the hospital that just doesn’t work. Neither does a gagging dog pulling at the end of a collar so the harness made great sense. 😉 I sympathize with Holly being at the end of a 60 lb. bag of muscle in the guise of a 4-legged slingshot!

  6. That’s great news on both accounts! I’m so very proud of Elsa accepting the treat from the pet shop owner, that is so awesome and shows how well you are doing with her 😀 Also really pleased you found something that works and is pleasant for both dog and owner 🙂

  7. Medievil sling shot! Made me laugh out loud! Can totally relate to the whole shoulder-out-of-the-socket thing! Add to that, torqued knees! When I started using PetSafe’s Easy Walk Harness (much like your new training device) it made a world of difference. Made the walks ever so much more enjoyable and I didn’t need to follow up with Advil at the end. It’s amazing what 35 lbs of Poodle can do to a body! Every dog should be so lucky to prance around town using these devices. Good to hear Elsa is starting to feel comfortable all the way around.

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