Five months is probably a little early to start, or even contemplate, harness training. I mean, focus…what’s that? There isn’t any, really. OK, that’s a little unfair. In just the past month, Hilda has calmed down a lot. She can even sometimes walk past a cat without trying to pounce on it. She can even sort of sit and let Melanie pet her, but she does end up losing her cool. Even so, Melanie has been able to pet her a little bit, which could have never happened a month ago. She still wants to jump on people, especially new people. She also really wants to be out in front, a good thing for guiding, not so much if you want a dog to walk on a loose leash, which she’ll need to do some of the time. But she really is getting better with that, too. She also comes, some of the time, off leash. We’re working on that, too. Also, crate behavior when I’m gone is improving.
But back to the harness. Recall that I put the harness on just for fun. She’s worn it without the handle a few times, maybe an hour or so during several days. She tolerated having that put on pretty well, and didn’t seem to mind it on her while she hung around the house. Today, I put the harness on complete with handle, and, just for fun, we went for a walk. From the upstairs crate, we went to the stairs, and she stopped at the steps, just like she has been all along. She took a bit of encouragement to go down the stairs with me, and we walked across the house to the back door and out to park. Naturally, I didn’t expect anything like guiding, or paying any attention to me, but it was pretty cool nonetheless, because she really did keep moving quite a lot of the time. She didn’t take a lot of encouragement to move when she would stop to sniff or for whatever reason. We even made it down the driveway and a couple houses down the block. Turning around to go home was another matter, as she wanted to just kind of go everywhere, jump on the neighbor, sniff the front lawn of the neighbor’s house, all very puppy-like and, hey, I don’t wanna go home!
Still, it was pretty cool to have this puppy walking in harness, even if not in actual fact doing much. I definitely see some awesome potential here though.
Hey, if I’m living right, there will be a picture of Hilda in harness, taken a few days before her five-month birthday. Or whatever you’d call that.