Saturday, August 3, 2019

Pups in Harness

Ella in harness with Indian Head in background
In the picture above Indian Head Express (Ella), now 6-months old, is in harness and pulling with conviction. "Indian Head" (Keefer Summit), the rock outcrop from which the prefix of my dogs' registered names was inspired, sits majestically in the background.
As a rule, at between 5- and 6-months of age, I like to start walking my pups in a harness; getting them in harness and just letting them pull to the front at the end of a check cord. Starting a pup in harness on the ground makes the transition to running alongside an ATV, while  attached to a roading bar, a little easier; the pup has already been introduced to the harness, has been pulling in it, and can make the transition to running alongside the ATV much faster than if you were to just harness the pup up and put him/her alongside the machine. When transitioning to the ATV, I generally start pups at a walk, because the sound of the machine, it's movement, and being in close proximity to it, can be quite an intimidating distraction for a young dog. Some pups fall right into the program and just start roading agressively, while others take some time to adjust; it may take a few short sessions and some patience on the handlers part to get a pup on track. Once a pup gets the feel for things, I put them in with the big dogs, and its off to the races.....