Why are harnesses bad for reactive dogs? This question has been asked in multiple forums as well as a professional dog trainer for the last 10 years I determined to give my reader an answer so here it is. Many people believe that harnesses are bad for reactive dogs because they restrict their movement. However, this is not always the case. Harnesses can actually be a good way to control a dog’s behavior if it is properly fitted and used correctly. Properly fitted harnesses will distribute the weight evenly across the dog’s shoulders and torso, preventing neck and back strain. Additionally, harnesses help to teach your dog how to behave by rewarding good behaviors and punishing bad ones.

But are harnesses really the best solution for reactive dogs? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using a harness to manage your dog’s behavior. We’ll also outline some alternative methods that you can try if harnessing your dog doesn’t work out.

What is a harness?

A harness is a type of dog collar that attaches to the front of a dog’s neck and is used to restrain the dog while training. Harnesses are bad for reactive dogs because they can cause tension in the neck and spine, which can lead to problems such as aggression, pulling on the leash, and neck pain. If you have a reactive dog that needs to be restrained during training, it is best to use a buckle collar or a physical leash instead of a harness.

How harnesses work

A harness is a type of restraining device that is worn around the chest, neck, or body of a dog. Harnesses are designed to provide containment for reactive dogs and help them to control their impulses. However, harnesses can actually have the opposite effect on some dogs, making them more aggressive and uncontrollable.

The main problem with harnesses is that they rely on the dog’s collar to provide restraint. This means that if the collar becomes loose or falls off, the dog can become free to attack. In addition, harnesses can put excessive pressure on a dog’s chest and neck, causing pain and discomfort. Finally, harnesses create an attachment between the dog and human that can be difficult to break if the relationship between the two becomes conflictual.

If you’re considering using a harness for your reactive dog, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. If you decide to use a harness, be sure to keep it properly fitted and make sure your dog feels comfortable wearing it. And remember: always use caution when interacting with a reactive animal in any way

How to get a reactive dog to wear a harness

A harness can be a great way to help get a reactive dog under control. A harness is like a collar, but it goes around the dog’s chest rather than around the neck. When the dog is wearing the harness, they can’t pull away from you as easily, and they’re less likely to bite or attack.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using a harness with your reactive dog. First, make sure the harness is fitted properly. It should fit snugly but not too tight. Second, make sure the leash is long enough so that you can hold onto it without having to reach behind the dog. And finally, be consistent with using the harness. If you use it when the dog is calm, then you’ll likely see more success with using it in the future.

How to put on a harness with a reactive dog

It can be frustrating when your dog reacts aggressively to being harnessed, particularly if you’ve never tried it before. However, it’s important to remember that harnesses are not inherently bad for reactive dogs – they can be used in a number of different ways that can help manage the dog’s behavior.

Here are four tips on how to put on a harness with a reactive dog:

1. Start slowly. If your dog is hostile or reactive when you try to put them in the harness, start by putting them in the harness at a distance from you and gradually move closer. This will help to build trust and gradually increase the amount of time your dog is wearing the harness.

2. Be consistent. Be consistent with putting your dog in the harness, no matter what else is happening around them. If they’re reacting negatively to being in the harness, chances are they’ll react negatively to any new situations as well. keep things calm and consistent, and eventually, your dog will learn that wearing the harness is not always a bad thing.

3. Use positive reinforcement. If your goal is to train your dog using positive reinforcement, it’s important to start early – while they’re still responsive to verbal commands –

What are the benefits of using a harness with a reactive dog?

Harnesses are not good for reactive dogs. Harnesses restrict a dog’s movements and can cause tension in the neck, back, and chest. They also place extra weight on the dog’s chest, which can lead to breathing problems.

How Harnesses Affect Dogs

Dogs wearing harnesses are often forced to pull excessively on the leash, which can cause pain and discomfort in their shoulders and neck. This type of training also creates a habit of dogs pulling on the leash instead of following the handler’s commands. Harness-based training also sets up punishment for incorrect responses, making it difficult for a dog to learn how to respond correctly in various situations. In addition, most harnesses do not distribute the weight evenly across a dog’s body, which can cause leg fatigue and joint pain. Finally, dogs wearing harnesses are at a disadvantage when it comes to agility and other activities that require quick movement.

Why are harnesses bad for reactive dogs?

Harnesses can be very bad for reactive dogs because they make it difficult for them to free themselves from situations that might trigger their aggression. By wearing a harness, the dog is forced into a position where it is unable to use its natural instinct to escape or defend itself. This can lead to frustration and aggression, as the dog feels trapped. In addition, harnesses can restrict movement, which can also lead to tension and aggression. If your dog is reactive and wears a harness, it’s important to remove it and find an alternative form of restraint that will be more comfortable and effective for him or her.

Harnesses and Reactive Dogs

Reactive dogs are dogs that are excessively reactive to stimuli, such as loud noises, people, and other animals. Harnesses can be a very bad idea for these kinds of dogs because they restrict their movement and can create anxiety. They also may not be able to feel when they are in danger, which can lead to them getting injured or attacking people or animals unintentionally.

Harnesses and Immobility

The use of a harness for dogs can be very dangerous, especially when used as a form of punishment. Harnesses restrict the dog’s mobility and can cause them to become immobile and unable to free themselves from the harness, leading to serious injury or death. A reactive dog who is constantly pulled or jerked around by its handler may become more reactive as a result, as well as feel frustrated and trapped. Harnesses should only be used in cases of absolute necessity, such as when walking a large dog on a leash, and should always be fitted properly to avoid causing any undue stress or injury.

The Downsides of Harnesses for reactive dogs

Horses are well known for being able to handle difficult situations with ease, but this is not always the case for dogs. A harness can be aversive and cause tension and fear in a reactive dog when it is pulled on or when the leash is tightened. Harnesses can also restrict movement and cause neck, back, and abdominal pain. For these reasons, it is important to use a harness sparingly if at all with a reactive dog.

Types of harnesses

There are many types of harnesses available on the market, but not all are designed for reactive dogs. A good harness should fit snugly and provide good control of the dog’s body. Harnesses that are too loose or too tight can cause discomfort and distress, making the dog more likely to react. Some common types of harnesses include body harnesses, head halters, loop harnesses, and slip-on harnesses.

Body harnesses attach around the chest and are often used with retrievers and pullers. Head halters fit close to the head and use a strap to hold the dog’s head in a certain position. Loop harnesses have a series of loops that wrap around the dog’s body, providing more control over movement. Slip-on harnesses simply slip over the dog’s head without any straps. Each type of harness has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Some people believe that using a traditional collar and leash is better for reactive dogs because it provides more control than a harness. Others feel that a dog wearing a collar can become tangled up in the leash, making it difficult to walk him. A good way to find out what is best for your reactive dog is to try various types of harnesses


Harnesses are often marketed as a way to keep reactive dogs safe and restrained. However, they can actually do more harm than good. Harnesses constrict the dog’s neck and chest, which can cause pain and breathing problems. They also make it difficult for the dog to move around freely, which can lead to accidents. Ultimately, harnesses are not appropriate for all dogs and should only be used if absolutely necessary.


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