Put on your HARNESS – Service Dog Training

By | September 10, 2022

Does your dog back away when you go to put on his harness? This video goes over tips for building your dogs confidence and drive to want to put on his harness on a verbal or visual cue. In this exercise the dog does all the work while the trainer just holds the harness out for the dog to put his head into.

This dog training tutorial shows how to teach a dog to step into a harness:

Thanks so much for watching!
Happy Training!

#dogtraining #professionaldogtraining #servicedogintraining

Hello everyone this video is on the topic of 
teaching your dog to put on their harness when   You hold it out so it's for harnesses 
where the dog puts their head through   You could also potentially teach your dog to 
put their feet up on a platform if you had a dog   That gets into their harness by putting their feet 
into it so this video specifically is made to help   People with service dogs sometimes dogs will start 
to have an aversion to having their harness put on   Because sometimes it bumps into their ears or it 
just feels oppressive when the harness goes on   So instead of putting the harness onto the dog 
you can teach the dog to put on their harness   On a verbal cue or a visual cue if your dog has 
an extreme aversion to putting on his harness   You can try using something else 
that looks nothing like a harness   To teach the cue of putting their head through 
the harness and something very easy and with a   Larger hole so that their ears aren't getting 
squished or it's not rubbing against them then   This is a pool noodle you can gradually make 
it smaller and smaller so i could cut the pool   Noodle into smaller pieces so that it's a smaller 
hole that the dog has to put their head through   And get used to bumping into the bottom part 
with their chest on a verbal cue so you can   Use whatever cue you want i'm going to say put on 
your vest and that's going to mean put your head   Through whatever i'm holding out like this so it 
could be put on your harness because i also have   A harness but for bliss who is my service dog i'm 
going to have put on your vest mean for the vest   And then for the normal harness i'm just going to 
put it on him so that it's really a specific cue   That the service dog work is going to begin and 
that it's not just a casual walk where he's just   Walking on a loose leash enjoying uh being a dog 
okay so what i'm going to do is throw oh i dropped   A tree i'm going to throw a treat and say get it 
behind and then i'm just going to feed him like   This so he's getting used to approaching the 
harness and getting a treat it's not a harness a   Pool noodle so i throw a treat and i'm just 
building a repetitive chain of behaviors where   He's getting a reinforcement away and he's seeing 
the harness and he's getting a reinforcement for   Approaching it so there's no markers um that i'm 
using just yet i'm just building a repetitive   Behavior of going away and coming back with 
confidence so i'm not moving into his space   That's really important if anything i'm going to 
move away from him so if the dog is reluctant to   Come towards you when you're holding a treat 
as you as he approaches you can move away   And make noise did you see how he got faster so 
when you're ever conditioning something you can   Begin with movement away before movement towards 
and that's one of the big reasons that dogs don't   Like having harnesses put on because immediately 
the trainer is putting the object into their space   And hovering over the dog's head so even though 
he's pretty good you can see he's kind of backing   Up i mean he's he's a wonderful guy but you 
always want to begin with either being still   Or moving away good and and if you start to get 
to the next step where you're getting the dog's  

Head through and they start to get a little bit 
worried go back to the first step and really   Build in multiple training sessions you throw the 
treats away and you can even start adding the cue   Of come or put it in or touch or whatever you 
want so touching your fingers touch good and then   Throwing a treat away to really build that initial 
joy of seeing this and wanting to approach it okay   So if your dog is really confident and successful 
with that step you can move on to holding the   Treat where the dog puts their head through the 
harness so they're going to put the head through   The harness and eat the treat and the goal is 
for the dog to not dip their head back out of the   Harness so i'm going to load up my right hand with 
a couple of treats and then i'm going to throw one   Away for him and this is great because when i 
throw it away i can see how fast he approaches   If he stops wanting to approach that can mean 
that the the reinforcement isn't of high enough   Value that he's getting conditioned to enjoy 
the harness so if you throw one away and they go   Sniffing and want to wander off you need to try 
again at a different time or try better treats   Or just break the steps up smaller so i'm feeding 
him like this and then i'm going to say free and   Get him to back up or whatever cue you want for 
him to for your dog to get out of the harness   And then you throw a treat away so i could say 
free or i could say undress or whatever you want   So i'm going to say put on your 
harness and hold the treat here   And then mark and reinforce multiple times now i 
can start marking and then when i'm when he's done   And i want him to get out i'm going to give 
a cue so he doesn't just back out on his own   So i'm going to say undress and then i'm going to 
lure his head out of the harness and then throw   A treat and say get it so i didn't mark usually i 
use a clicker as i talk and mark the exact moments   But i don't want to click near his head if you are 
going to use a clicker where you're holding it say   For example i'm going to hold the clicker and this 
in my hand i can i can click and feed like this   Good job and then have him push his head back 
out but i've got a huge glob of poster tack on   My clicker so that it muffles it so i can put 
it like right near my ear and it's not loud at   All put on your harness good boy did you see the 
millisecond he kind of looked around the corner   Of the harness so if the dog goes around and goes 
to your hand just remove your hand and then walk   Away like this and then represent the harness with 
the treat so the dog knows that if he goes around   It's not just that you're going to feed him you 
don't need to tell your dog he's wrong you just   Have to show him what he does need to do in order 
to get the reinforcement if you've used luring to   Train this behavior you can then pretend to hold 
a treat say put on your harness yes and as the dog   Puts his head through show him that you have no 
treat in your hand and then go and get a treat so   There he backed up to get the treat off the floor 
i'm going to put the treats away i'm going to say   Put on your harness good and then i'm going to 
go get the treat from a direction that is facing   Forward so if it's the treat back here you can 
see that's going to make him back out so i have  

The treats here put on your harness good and he 
didn't go in all the way i want him to go in more   Forcefully so it touches his chest like that so 
i'm going to say good and then feed him so that he   Leans into the harness like that good job and 
he's backing out before i give the cue so what   That tells me is i need to not just do one 
treat where he's then predicting he's going   To do the behavior again but do multiple treats 
and then give him a release cue get undressed   Or whatever for me it's going to be free but i 
thought get undressed sounds funny for a service   Dog the final step is getting rid of the lure 
completely either your dog can offer putting their   Head in like that and you can mark and reinforce 
multiple times before then releasing your dog free Or say your cue if you think your dog's going to 
do it put on your harness but they might not do it   In the exact way that you want so see how he kind 
of i haven't worked on this with him but he hasn't   Put his head through as as forcefully or as 
far enough into the hoop that i wanted him to   So what i can do is because the criteria is 
higher and the lore isn't there i'm going to   Mark and reinforce a lower level of behavior 
that i want so i say put on your harness yes   And then i'm going to feed him for having his 
head further in so i'm marking him offering and   Feeding in the position that i want him to be and 
then see if i can build it now if he doesn't think   To put his head in further and further i can 
get some offering put put on your harness good   And then i can go back to the game 
of just having him touch my hand   Ready put on your harness good and build that 
desire and push into the harness using the hand   Target or the lure and then working in amongst the 
trials of doing that on getting him to offer it so   If you check out my instagram you might see him 
doing a stronger head push into this hula hoop   After we've practiced it a little bit but this was 
his first lesson doing this so just so you know   For optimal conditioning i suggest working on the 
exercise at least 12 times for a minute every day   Before trying it with the real harness and 
expecting the dog to find the cue put on   Your harness reinforcing and the dog to be able to 
generalize it to the new to the old harness now if   You need to put your dog in a harness in between 
the training sessions you can do something like   Go in the car with your dog without the harness 
on and just before they're about to get out of the   Door you can slip the harness over their head feed 
a treat and jump out the door so the dog isn't in   Your living room with nothing going on and the one 
thing that's going on to their body is a harness   I like to describe it as if you're wearing 
uncomfortable clothes and you go to a party   And there's lots of stuff going on you're less 
likely to be conscious of that maybe your shoes   Are too tight or your pant your belt is too 
tight or you're wearing a shirt that's itchy   Where if you were in your living room and you 
put on some tight fitting shoes you're going to   Be very hyper aware of it so if the only thing in 
the environment is the harness touching their body   And they don't like it it's going to be less 
they're going to have the attention drawn to  

It so in between the conditioning of getting 
the dog to enjoy putting it on you put it on   In an environment where the dog is 
interested and motivated to do something   And then the harness goes on and then they get to 
go on a sniffy walk or or they get into a training   Session with treats outside are you ready he said 
nope i'm listening to you talk so i'm going to   Practice with this harness now so i'm going to 
go back to the original step of throwing a treat   And then feeding him like this good 
job and then i'm also going to practice   Walking away from him getting you to get it and 
getting him motivated to move fast towards it Good and as you can see he's not that 
big of a fan of having his harness   Put on so that's why i want to train him this 
because it's easy when he's sitting in my car   And i just slip it over his head because he's 
focused on getting out but i've not worked on   It inside the house like this and you can see 
blissey come here if i go to put it on his head I can do it but he's also backing up so instead 
of just continuously doing that i'm going to   Work on the cue of him confidently putting 
his head through there get it good good good Whoop Put it on good free can you do paw thank you so 
much for watching if you'd like to support my work   Don't forget to like this video leave 
me a comment as it's highly reinforcing   And subscribe to my channel for more 
free dog training videos on how to   Train your dog without the use of physical 
or psychological intimidation see you later