Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Workin' Dog Harness

We got the new harness for Zander! It's a real "working dog" harness and I'm thrilled. At first our Bubby was a little nervous about it.

 Worried Bubby look.

But we realized that we have only ever put a harness or a collar on him when we were going to the vet. So I have him a rawhide chew and told him how handsome he was.

Like a boss.

Then he got the feel for it and was rockin' it like a boss.

Wait. Go back. What? We don't collar our dogs? Nope. Or cats or goats or anybody else. Can you believe it? So.... what happens if I have to get ahold of someone?

Normally we just control everyone with verbal commands or a loud hand clap to get their attention. But, son, if we have a situation that is so far out of control that I have to snatch you up then it is going to be by the hide. That's how we do it around here.

So why the harness? A couple reasons. First, we didn't have a collar or a harness that was big enough for Zander. We found this out the hard way when we had to rush him to the vet in what can only be described as Commander Zander's PoopStorm 2014. I don't mind telling you... it was ugly. But we got him fixed up (and I just used a slip leash for the visit). However, this wasn't an optimal solution and we needed to do something.

He's got the hang of it. Look at his upright and proud carriage....and a goofy Bub look.

Dogs like Zander - thick necks and huge shoulders - can easily slip out of collars so breeders in the know recommend this kind of harness. For Zander we actually went one model up... mostly because it was exceptionally sturdy... and how great would it be if he could pull stuff? So we got him the the pulling model.  *OFG dreams of mushing thru the snow with her Dog Horde*  We also liked this model because the "handle" on top of the harness is much more pronounced and easy to grab.

Since Zander is getting a promotion I need to have a way to take him into the barnyard with me and a harness is a great way to keep him close. We've worked with Kai in a harness and she loves it. She did great when she helped us last year with our Hog Harvest (careful with this click it's to a butcher post). Looking forward to this fall you can bet I'll be standing there with both Kai and Zander as back up for our next butchering day.

In the meantime I'll be teaching Zander our commands "guard Momma" by positioning him in front of me as needed. I'll also see if he can help round the goats up. I can use the "handle" to keep him by my side while I teach him to walk calmly around the goats to herd them up.

Plus the pulling features of the harness will allow me to give him a "job" of carrying or pulling things (who needs a pony to pull a cart when we have a dog this big!). One of the things we teach our dogs is "Find momma/daddy." This is great command to send the dogs between us. So if one of us is at the top of the hill with the tools and the other is down fixing the fence - we can easily send Zander down with tools clipped on his harness. How great is that?  And I can probably get a holder for my phone so Zander can be my radio man.

We are thrilled with this harness and can't wait to get to work. You can be sure that we will get one for Kai also. She loves her current harness - which we call her "pretty girl necklace" - but she'll get a real workin' dog harness soon.

Thanks to the folks at Julius K-9 for their fine products!

Happy Friday everyone! Any body got any real mushing dogs?

Editor's note: Again with the associate links to Amazon? Yep - someone is going to ask so here are the links to the harnesses. Remember if you order something thru my Amazon store,  from one of the links, or the black Amazon search box on the right side of this page I'll get a tiny percentage of the sale. If you like this blog, or if I've helped you at all in your farming efforts, just make a purchase from Amazon to show your support. Thanks!


Weekend Cowgirl said...

He is really pretty and looks proud. Interesting read as we have never had a harness for any of our dogs. Love to learn new things!

David said...

hmmm A beverage holder would be nice, send an empty back to mommy or daddy and get a full one back!

Unknown said...

Wow, he really is rockin it! What a gorgeous guy too, love the curly tail :)

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