While attending BlogPaws for the first time a few months ago I was lucky enough to meet Alecia Evans, the creator of the Walk In Sync Humane Dog Walking and Training System. The system works amazingly well on even very hyper or distracted dogs, and the best part is that you don’t have to worry about your pup choking and gagging from pulling on a collar.
The Walk In Sync system includes a harness and leash, though I think the harness is the most ingenious part of the design. I work at a doggie daycare/boarding facility and have to deal with all kinds of harnesses that people bring in for their dogs. Many of the harnesses are so complicated and strangely built that I end up putting them on completely wrong. Thankfully, with the Walk in Sync harness, that’s not a problem at all. You slip the main part over your dog’s head like a necklace, then reach down and pull the other two straps up to the clip on the back. There’s even red color-coding on the clip to show you which way it faces. The leash attaches to the harness on the dog’s chest, rather than on his back. Describing it in writing doesn’t do the simplicity of the system justice; I encourage you to check out some of the demonstration videos on the Walk In Sync website. They’re very easy to understand and follow.
As you can tell, I really like the design of the harness, but how does it perform? I used it on my dog Azu at the beginning of a hike, when she’s generally at her most energetic. I apologize for the glare and road noise in this video, but I think it gets the idea across:
The videos on the Walk In Sync site do a much better job of describing the simple training method, but basically you walk forward until the dog puts tension on the leash. At that point you stop, and usually the slight sideways pressure from the harness will make the dog take a step back or toward you to put some slack in the leash. Once the dog does that, you praise him and continue, repeating the process as needed. As you can see from my video with Azu, she was so distracted that she needed some nudging the first couple times we stopped to get her to step back. I was amazed at how quickly she caught on to what I wanted her to do, though. After just a few stops she was automatically adjusting her speed to match mine, without straining toward the bushes to sniff things.
After watching some of the videos on the Walk In Sync site and getting to try it out on my own dog, I highly recommend the Walk In Sync Humane Dog Walking and Training System. If you give it a shot please let me know in the comments!
The final bit of information I’d like to share is that September 27th is Train Humane Day. Train Humane’s mission is to:
…make the world more humane for dogs through the use of humane training tools and education.
Raise the bar on the tools we use to train all dogs and puppies to ensure that they are humane, safe, respectful and cause as little stress as possible without choking.
I think it’s a great sentiment. Mark 9/27/12 on your calendars!