All pet parents expect their dogs to be excited and happy when they see their owners taking out the harness. This gesture simply means the dog must prepare for its daily stroll. But what if your pet shows aggressive behavior and tries to bite you when you get them inside their harness?
This can be pretty frustrating, and you must learn the reason why your dog bites when putting on its harness. There are many reasons behind this. For instance, your pet might be scared, not customary to the type of harness, over-excited, or too hyperactive.
However, on the positive side, there are many ways to train your furry friends to happily and conveniently get into their harnesses. Keep reading the article below to know a few prominent reasons why your dog gets aggressive when wearing the harness and how you can provide basic training to your pet for the latter.
Why Does My Dog Bite When Putting On a Harness and How to Fix It?
The Harness Is Too Tight or Too Loose
If you try putting your dog into an ill-fitting harness, it will feel uneasy and try to run away or show aggressive behavior. For example, if the harness is too tight for your dog and causes discomfort, your dog will try to bite you to show that it does not want to wear it.
Solution: Take your dog’s chest measurements before buying the harness. While placing it on your dog, check if you can insert two fingers inside the strap according to the rule of thumb. This will tell you how tight or loose your dog’s harness is.
Most Dogs Do Not Like Anything Tying Them Up
Dogs like to be free, and they’ll feel vulnerable when something tries to go over their heads. This can make them bite you as soon as they see something reaching their head, which is a sensitive area.
Solution: For this reason, you can use different harnesses, such as the front clip harness, back clip harness, dual clip harness, etc. These harnesses come with an adjustable strap and D rings, making it easier for you to get your dog inside them. You can get proper harnesses for your dog from here. Also, you can offer your dog many treats while training it to wear the pulling harness.
Your Dog Might Not Be Used to Wearing a Harness
This issue arises primarily with rescue pups because most stray dogs are unfamiliar with a harness. When new to your home and life, your rescue dog is already fearful and nervous and will see everything new as a threat to himself, thus resulting in biting and aggressive behavior when introducing a harness.
The solution: Take the process slowly for a couple of days. Introduce the harness to your puppy by putting it on the floor with lots of treats for your dog to get familiar with it. You can also let your pet hold or touch the harness to create positive experiences in your pet’s head about the latter. Eventually, with dedication and patience, your furry friend will soon learn that the harness is not a threat and will not bite.
Your Dog Might Need Medical Attention Due to Pain
This is one of the most prominent reasons a dog bites when using a harness. Your dog might need medical attention because it might be hurting somewhere in its body, and this is the only way to tell you that they need a doctor. Maybe it is an ear infection or a stomach ache/ Your dog tries to get your attention by showing aggressive behavior and biting.
The solution: If this happens regularly and your dog starts biting you more aggressively, immediately take him to your vet for a quick check-up.
Your Pet Dog Might Be Too Excited or Hyperactive
Most dogs get too happy and excited when they realize it is time for their daily stroll. Significantly, younger pups get too hyperactive than older ones and may bite their owners because of over-excitement.
Though it may sound safe and funny in the beginning, it eventually gets frustrating if the dog makes a habit of biting and getting aggressive whenever it sees you taking out its harness.
The solution: Give introductory training sessions to your dog regularly where you sit and wait patiently while putting their harness on. Your dog should learn that a treat, its favorite food, and even its stroll will only come when it’s calm and patient. Doing this will teach your dog its behavior science, rather than focusing on the harness.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of harness should I use for my dog?
Many different harness types are available in the market in various sizes. Hence, it is best to buy the harness after taking the chest measurements of your dog. If it is a puppy, a fully padded harness will be better. For older and more aggressive dogs, a dual clip vest harness is better to get more grip.
What should I do when my dog bites when putting on a harness?
If your pet tries to bite you while you put on a harness on it, do not react with aggression, as this can escalate things significantly. You can give them basic training while saying words like no or bad dog to make them stop. Once trained, your dog will get familiar and much calmer when seeing the harness.
Remember, if your dog bites when putting on a harness, it is not something new, as most pups try to do the same when they are new to being tied. Hence by creating positive experiences for your dogs, like offering them lots of treats, food, praises, attention, and some introductory training sessions to calm down, your dog will eventually learn to show patience and good behavior when putting its harness on. It will then associate this behavior with being rewarded with his favorite treats and gifts!