As with anything new you are introducing your pup to, we suggest using Positive Reinforcement training to introduce your pup to wearing the harness. Here are the basic steps"
1. Use high value treats to reward your dog throughout the training process. String cheese, hot dogs are just a few ideas. If your pup is not motivated by food, you can use a special toy to reward them for their interest in this new object. (The harness) If possible we suggest having two humans. One to praise and give the treats and one to introduce the harness and do the fitting.
2. To begin using your "Marker Word" or if you do not have a specific "Marker Word" Use whatever you say to your dog when you praise him for doing the right thing. Put the harness on the ground and let your pup investigate it. The moment your pup looks at the harness, mark/praise and reward. Don't be stingy with the treats or game play. Repeat this process until your pup is comfortable with the harness on the ground. You can also sprinkle treats on and around the harness as your pups is checking it out.
3. Once your pup is comfortable with the harness on the ground pick it up and when they look or sniff it in your hand, praise and reward.
4. Now slowly extend and retract the retractable leash in and out. This may be a new novel sound to your pup, so the first few times go slow. When they look at it, mark/praise and reward. Practice the in and out until your dog is comfortable with the sound of the leash extending and retracting.
5. Now unbuckle the two side buckles on the left side of the harness and place it on the floor. Then place their right paw into the right side of the harness and slowly bring it up over your pups back. Mark/ praise and reward as you do this. Then attach the harness on the left side. Give lots of praise! :-) Remember this is all a new experience for your pup.
6. Most likely they will shake and wiggle once the harness is buckled as this is a new and novel feeling for them. Let them walk around and acclimate to the feeling.
7. Next, repeat the process of extending the leash and retracting it slowly on their back. Remember to mark/ parise and reward as you repeat this process.
8. Once your dog is comfortable, you are ready to get outside and enjoy new adventures with our pup!