As you know from yesterday's post, we're trying to get a handle on Athena's walking skills. When we first brought her home in July, she quickly learned how to walk on a loose leash, but as the weather started to get crummy here in Portland, us humans really slacked off in the walking department. We are totally to blame for Athena's recent pulling habit.
|Athena modeling her Freedom No-Pull Harness|
The first day we brought Athena home from the shelter we had her fitted for an Easy Walk Harness because we had heard that it was the best for training a dog how to walk nicely on leash. It worked well for a while, until Athena developed some pretty nasty hot spots under her arms. After the sores healed, we tried the Easy Walk again, only for the hot spots to return with a vengeance.
|As Two Pitties in the City would say, here's vintage Athena on her first day home from the shelter wearing her Easy Walk Harness!|
That's when we ditched the Easy Walk for the Gentle Leader Head Halter. At that point we couldn't find any body harnesses on the market that would eliminate the rubbing under Athena's armpits, so we decided to try out a head halter. Besides tricking people into believing that Athena was wearing a muzzle, the Gentle Leader actually worked some pretty good magic to help Athena in the walking department. We continued to use the Gentle Leader through our very first Respectabulls walk, but Athena's pulling in the presence of other dogs was no match for this head harness. She was left with deep groves on her muzzle from the rough nylon of the harness.
|Another vintage Athena, this time wearing the Gentle Leader|
So, we invested in a more high-tech version of the Gentle Leader called the Holt Walking Collar (also known as the Head Halti). If you're in the market for a head halter, this is definitely the best compared to the Gentle Leader in my opinion. Although the harness is much bulkier on the face (making it appear even more like a muzzle), it is thickly padded and doesn't twist from one side of Athena's face to the other (a major flaw of the Gentle Leader). We ordered ours for a very fair price on Pet Mountain.
|Athena wearing the Holt Head Harness|
The Freedom No-Pull Harness had been on our radar for quite some time, but it wasn't until Doodlebug's recommendation that we gave in and purchased it. We were pretty much sold when we heard that this harness has soft velvet on the underside to eliminate chaffing. I was positive that this would be gentle enough for Athena's sensitive skin, but I decided to first contact the Wiggles, Wags and Whiskers company to make sure. I wrote them an e-mail explaining Athena's discomfort with body harnesses and asked if they had heard from any customers who had seen an improvement with this harness. Here's the response they sent me:
|Mr. Moose modeling this harness combo|