Thursday, September 12, 2013

Corgi Versus the Harness, Round One

If you've been reading my posts regarding Dally's physical issues lately, you know that I'm at the point of trying anything and everything to keep her in one piece and happy.

So when the chiropractor and I were discussing how the disc would have been irritated to a point of being out of place and swollen. The only thing we could think of, besides the jumping off of the bed and couches (like we touched on earlier), was our daily walks.

Mind you, I don't jerk on my dogs. LaMesa wears a ComfortFlex Harness and has for the past two years because she would pull more ahead on our walks. Dally usually just shuffles behind us at her own pace. That isn't really a problem, except for when she suddenly stops to sniff something or go potty. If I'm not paying attention, I don't know she's stopping so I will jerk a little on her leash because of the sudden stop.

So that could be the problem.

So how do we solve that? Pay better attention to Dally when we're walking? Yes...that would help. But maybe it's time to look at her attire.

Dally asks: Does this harness make my badonk look fluffier? Be honest.

She got her very own ComfortFlex Harness, only in the color of a diva--hot pink.

Seems like an easy fix, right?

Maybe for some other dogs, but this is Dally we're talking about. The first week after getting the harness, I couldn't wait to try it on her and take her for a (short) walk. First I fit the harness to her, making sure it wasn't too tight and it didn't rub behind her "armpits." Then I let her wear it around the house for a couple of hours. The next day, I was ready to take her for a walk...

We got to the neighbor's driveway. Yep. Barely a hundredth of a mile. Walking FAIL.

I thought maybe she was still a little sore, so I let her go back to the house, took her harness off and promptly left with LaMesa--she was more than ready for a walk. The next day I tried it again. We maybe got a little further with more coaxing, but that was it.

I asked Merinda about what she thought and her response:

Merinda, the voice of reason.
OK, OK... Yes, I get it. Dally is a diva. She is a drama queen. If it's not the way she wants things, she's not happy. She's a Corgi. But this is a battle I have to win, because I can't walk her with just a collar any more if I'm afraid one pull or one accidental jerk might cause another disc problem.

So what can I do to get her comfortable with walking in the harness? She's been wearing the harness around the house, going into the backyard with it on, etc. I did finally get her to "walk" with me and LaMesa last night by basically leaving her in our dust--LaMesa and I went ahead and Dally shuffled behind us to catch up, all while dragging her leash and wearing her harness. It worked--she made it all the way to our destination on her own while wearing her harness. Then when we went back to the house, I held onto her leash and she ran alongside LaMesa. (Note: We were walking just down the sidewalk to care for Merinda's cat, there was no traffic, and I kept my eye on her that she didn't go into the street.)

But I can't always do that.

Can't we all just walk peacefully and happily, all while wearing a harness?
So, I'm reaching out: How do you teach old dogs new tricks and how can I get Dally comfortable with walking in her harness, on the leash, with me and LaMesa?


  1. How about driving her to a park or such where there are lots of new smells to distract her from the harness? Where it's not just her routine walk....

  2. I agree with Taryn, and take her someplace new and exciting so she doesn't "think" about the harness being on her. Such a Corgi ... LOL!!!
    ~Rebecca & Teach

  3. Great ideas, guys! I took them for a walk this morning and turned them loose in our park (we live right by one) to run around and I forgot to bring the harness with me. And yes, Rebecca, she is the epitome of Corgi Attitude!