Jump to content
  • entries
    439
  • comments
    3218
  • views
    13612

Not a happy Pack

Crinkly

119 views

Tara:

Aunties, I hate it!  It is horribubble!  First I have to wear my harness, and I don't like it much.  OK it is lovely red and I look cute, but ever since that horribubble harness arrived I have to do lots of walks without Cato, and I don't like that.  I just trot along without sniffing and it is all boring.  Dad asked me to go with him for a sausage place breakfast yesterday, but I just looked at him and then put my head down.  Dad was sorry, and then he left without me. :(  It would all be OK if that harness disappeared.  Walks were better before.

Then even if I DO go for a walk without Cato, when we get home I am not allowed to Bounce.  Cato is there, and I am happy to see him, and I go rushing up to Bounce on him and roll him over and stand on his back, and Mum and Dad both go 'TARA!!!!!!' and I have to stop.  It is awful.  I hate it.  I am not allowed to do ANY fun stuff.  Nowadays I only get to bounce on him round the corner down the side alley where Mum and Dad can't see, but Cato doesn't come round there with me when I ask him.  S'not fair!!!  They kjeep shouting at me, or putting me on the lead in the house.  It is awful and sad and I don't know wot to do.

 

Cato:

Hello Aunties.  It is all different now, and I don't like it.  I hate my harness.  Yesterday morning Dad got the harnesses and said 'Come on Chaps!' and I stayed in my bed!  I didn't want to go!  Ever since my back hurt things haven't been the same.  Tara doesn't bounce on me so much, so I don't have to yap at her to tell her off.  I like that.  But she still WANTS to bounce, and that means I have to keep watching for her.  Sometimes she stands at one end of the kitchen and braces to Bounce, so I have to sit at the far end, on the doormat and wait for Mum to notice.  Otherwise Tara will ChargeAndBounce, and that can be very hurty.  She also wants to stand on me while I am playing Tug'o'War with Mum.  And Mum won't let her.  And she won't stop.  So I don't get to play Tug'o'War.

I like Tug'o'War.

Sometimes Tara goes sniffing down the side passage.  I want to go sniffing there too.  But I can't.  I have to wait until she isn't around, or she just Bounces on me.

I don't think harnesses are a good idea.  I think Mum should make them go away.  They fit very close, and I can't control Mum as well when I want a sniff.  Though if I pull back hard enough, the harness gets a bit twizzly, and then Mum has to fuss me and sort it out.  I like that.  But I don't like harnesses, and a walk has to be very sniffy and interesting for me to put my tail up wearing a harness.

Can you tell Mum that we need to go back to leads?  Please.

If we didn't have harnesses, I could walk more, couldn't I? 

Things were better before the harnesses.

 

Mum:

As you can see, it is fun here at the moment.

Both mutts REFUSED a walk yesterday morning.  Tara has NEVER refused a walk before.  Cato has only refused 3 I think, every time when he has been ill or in pain. 

This upset all of us, especially Dad who treasures his morning walk to the cafe. 

Dad is also concerned about his Cato Rabbit-Lifting-Technique and his Moving-Cato-On/Off-Lap technique.  Also his Carrying-Upstairs and Into/Outof-Car-Lifts.  

As for me... I see a miserable confused Tara (she lives to Bounce), and a miserable depressed Cato (he lives to sniff and explore).

The twice we have taken Cato out without the harness, he has been back to his positive, engaged, sniffy self.  The moment we put that harness on, he sits down and doesn't want to step outside the door.  I have checked the fit several times.  No tightness or rubbing.  He just doesn't like it.  And once he has decided that he doesn't like something (stairs, stinky fish eggs, walking over drain covers...) then I have never known him to change his mind.

I do have one last trick to try though.  Next time we go out on a really great sniffy walk (like Foxy Park) I will take him out to the car on the lead, then put the harness on as we start the walk.  He may be so distracted by the fun walk that he doesn't kick up about the harness.  Fingers crossed.

I have had to re-arrange his second animal chiropractor appointment.  We are away for a week later in the month (holiday, South Peak District self catering dog friendly cottage).  So the appt is now for when we get back.  It is going to be an interesting holiday, trying to limit Cato so we don't push him too far (chiro lady said no more than a mile a day!), while keeping Tara worn out ;) and also seeing local sites and enjoying ourselves...

The whole Pack feels off balance and uncomfortable at the moment. :(



21 Comments


Recommended Comments

Goodness. I've never had a dog who didn't hugely prefer a harness to a collar. Yogi wouldn't know what to do with a collar on, but then I started him on a harness from Day 1. As you can probably guess, I'm not a huge fan of collars.

And you may think that is an absolutely bonkers idea and you may not want to do it. And I understand.

But . . . have you ever considered trying a prong (pinch) collar? I know they look like medieval torture devices. But they're much gentler and MUCH safer than many other collars. And most dogs really won't do much pulling in one. You can get micro prong collars for small dogs, and little rubber covers to go over the prongs to make them even more gentle. And the good thing about longish haired dogs is the prong collar doesn't show all that much, and you don't get weird looks from ignorant people who do not know what they do not know. 😉

  • Like 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
Marlene

Posted

What does the harness look like?  Picture?

They both accept coats and sweaters - right?

I have a feeling the harnesses are strappy and stiff.  

This is the one Shorty wears - there are two leash rings.  One at the back of the neck (but pulls across the chest) and another at the middle of his back.  Of course the main reason for one like this (I guess) is not to pull on the neck.  Tzus have such small fragile necks and can be strong pullers.

This fits and feels more like a dog coat.

Petco Adjustable Mesh Harness for Dogs in Green with Skull & Crossbones Print

The green pic (like Shorty's) does not accurately show TWO rings.  The one sticking up is in the middle of the back but transfers pressure across the chest.  You can't see the one at the back of the neck (which also pulls across the chest).

Here is another one I found that has a better look at the leash attachment rings.

http://www.chihuahuakingdom.com/product/pupteck-best-front-range-no-pull-dog-harness-vertical-handlecalming-adjustable-reflective-outdoor-adventure-pet-vest-2/

Share this comment


Link to comment
Marlene

Posted

5 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

But . . . have you ever considered trying a prong (pinch) collar? I know they look like medieval torture devices. But they're much gentler and MUCH safer than many other collars. And most dogs really won't do much pulling in one. You can get micro prong collars for small dogs, and little rubber covers to go over the prongs to make them even more gentle. And the good thing about longish haired dogs is the prong collar doesn't show all that much, and you don't get weird looks from ignorant people who do not know what they do not know. 😉

I have used these on Boxers and they can make all the difference in a pleasant (training) walk for both of us.........but I wonder how effective they would be on a long haired Shi Tzu?  And they DO still put pressure on the neck/trachea.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Crinkly

Posted (edited)

They look like this:

perfect-fit-img-ultimate.jpg

 

The only parts that touch are soft comfy fleece, and they have so many adjustment points that they really do fit like a glove, especially since they were prfessionally fitted by the seller.  The pick shows a big dog.  On a Shih Tzu the straps are about 1.5 inches of soft fleece wide, which gives them plenty of comfort without reducing movement or being too hot.

We went out for a walk just now, after work.  Apparently the way to make Tara comply and enthuse about the experience is to make clear that Cato is coming too.  And the way to make Cato comply is to let him out to the front gate and then put the harness on there, where he can look through the gate and see the exciting sniffy outside world while the harness is being fitted.

During the walk I observed them both carefully.  

Tara is a different dog when walking with Cato.  She is alert and sniffy and interested in everything.  So different from when she walks without him, when she is head down, trudging along, not engaged with her environment.  

I have never insisted that they walk to heel.  My preference is that they walk to heel, to toe or alongside, with a slack lead.  No pulling.  They can pause and sniff, and step aside to greet people, but not PULL.  She does all of that with Cato around, and just trudges to heel when alone.  :(  She is fine with the harness really.  But not fine by herself.  She REALLY needs another dog to walk with.

Cato on the other hand... he can walk fine alone.  Happy sniffing.  But watching him today, I think the problem may be his tail.  Because he is so small, and his back is a good 3 inches shorter than Tara's, the attachment ring on the harness is basically much closer to his tail.  Every time he tries to raise his tail, it brushes the leash.  And he is a toe walker, not a heel walker, so the leash is always rising up past his hips, and the natural sway of his walk brings the tail into contact with it.

He twitches and shies and looks over his shoulder at it frequently.  

I am wondering it there is a way that I could move the D ring attachment further forward over his shoulders. 

It might make the whole problem go away.

@Pawz4me  I have been thinking about your prong collar suggestion,, and I can see where you are coming from.  My concern would be twofold.  Firstly the animal chiro specifically said 'He needs a perfectly fitted harness in order to protect his back and shoulders'.  So I am guessing that reverting to a collar and lead would miss out on that support.  And secondly... despite my near obsessive hawklike focus, Little Miss Brat is still occasionally (attempting to) Bounce on Cato.  She tried it on walking through the Churchyard today.  If he had been wearing a prong collar, her Bounce, knocking him off balance and bearing down on him would pull that collar tight in an instant, and I would be worried about the consequences.  I do really appreciate the suggeston though, and will keep it on the back burner, just in case.

In the meantime, this evening I have 2 tasks.  Firstly to trim Cato's tail down so that the full fluffy luxuriant upstanding volume is reduced and will brush that lead less.  And secondly, to have a good look at the design of the shoulders of the harness, to see if I can bring the D ring further forward...

Edited by Crinkly
  • Like 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
Marlene

Posted (edited)

25 minutes ago, Crinkly said:

But watching him today, I think the problem may be his tail.  Because he is so small, and his back is a good 3 inches shorter than Tara's, the attachment ring on the harness is basically much closer to his tail.  Every time he tries to raise his tail, it brushes the leash.  And he is a toe walker, not a heel walker, so the leash is always rising up past his hips, and the natural sway of his walk brings the tail into contact with it.

He twitches and shies and looks over his shoulder at it frequently.  

 

3 inches is a lot in the grand scheme of things, especially on a tiny dog.  Maybe Cato's harness is just too big!  I'm sure it was expen$ive and fit professionally.....in which case the seller might (should) re-fit it with a smaller one.  You shouldn't have to try and alter it - it's supposed to be "custom".

Edited by Marlene

Share this comment


Link to comment
Crinkly

Posted

Oh, and Cato was OK wearing jumpers for the first 2-3 years, but as he has matured, so has his resistance.  It is now something he dislikes, and puts up a kind of passive loathing.

The couple of nights he has been put into a jumper to sleep (because he has just been cut short ) he spends the night trying to wriggle out.  By morning he is usually a sorry sight with both front legs pressed to his body, and the neck below his shoulders.  He is a persistent and determined Resistance Operative, when he wants to be...

Share this comment


Link to comment
Crinkly

Posted

41 minutes ago, Marlene said:

3 inches is a lot in the grand scheme of things, especially on a tiny dog.  Maybe Cato's harness is just too big!  I'm sure it was expen$ive and fit professionally.....in which case the seller might (should) re-fit it with a smaller one.  You shouldn't have to try and alter it - it's supposed to be "custom".

:( he is already in the XXS which is designed for the smallest dog breeds.

it really is a good fit.  Maybe by the time his tail grows fluffy again he will have got used to it. Fingers crossed.

Share this comment


Link to comment
3 hours ago, Marlene said:

And they DO still put pressure on the neck/trachea.

They should not, if they're fitted correctly and used properly. Unfortunately, many people don't know how to do that.

 

2 hours ago, Crinkly said:

They look like this:

perfect-fit-img-ultimate.jpg

 

The only parts that touch are soft comfy fleece, and they have so many adjustment points that they really do fit like a glove, especially since they were prfessionally fitted by the seller.  The pick shows a big dog.  On a Shih Tzu the straps are about 1.5 inches of soft fleece wide, which gives them plenty of comfort without reducing movement or being too hot.

We went out for a walk just now, after work.  Apparently the way to make Tara comply and enthuse about the experience is to make clear that Cato is coming too.  And the way to make Cato comply is to let him out to the front gate and then put the harness on there, where he can look through the gate and see the exciting sniffy outside world while the harness is being fitted.

During the walk I observed them both carefully.  

Tara is a different dog when walking with Cato.  She is alert and sniffy and interested in everything.  So different from when she walks without him, when she is head down, trudging along, not engaged with her environment.  

I have never insisted that they walk to heel.  My preference is that they walk to heel, to toe or alongside, with a slack lead.  No pulling.  They can pause and sniff, and step aside to greet people, but not PULL.  She does all of that with Cato around, and just trudges to heel when alone.  :(  She is fine with the harness really.  But not fine by herself.  She REALLY needs another dog to walk with.

Cato on the other hand... he can walk fine alone.  Happy sniffing.  But watching him today, I think the problem may be his tail.  Because he is so small, and his back is a good 3 inches shorter than Tara's, the attachment ring on the harness is basically much closer to his tail.  Every time he tries to raise his tail, it brushes the leash.  And he is a toe walker, not a heel walker, so the leash is always rising up past his hips, and the natural sway of his walk brings the tail into contact with it.

He twitches and shies and looks over his shoulder at it frequently.  

I am wondering it there is a way that I could move the D ring attachment further forward over his shoulders. 

It might make the whole problem go away.

@Pawz4me  I have been thinking about your prong collar suggestion,, and I can see where you are coming from.  My concern would be twofold.  Firstly the animal chiro specifically said 'He needs a perfectly fitted harness in order to protect his back and shoulders'.  So I am guessing that reverting to a collar and lead would miss out on that support.  And secondly... despite my near obsessive hawklike focus, Little Miss Brat is still occasionally (attempting to) Bounce on Cato.  She tried it on walking through the Churchyard today.  If he had been wearing a prong collar, her Bounce, knocking him off balance and bearing down on him would pull that collar tight in an instant, and I would be worried about the consequences.  I do really appreciate the suggeston though, and will keep it on the back burner, just in case.

In the meantime, this evening I have 2 tasks.  Firstly to trim Cato's tail down so that the full fluffy luxuriant upstanding volume is reduced and will brush that lead less.  And secondly, to have a good look at the design of the shoulders of the harness, to see if I can bring the D ring further forward...

 

That harness looks incredibly bulky to me? There are lots and lots of harnesses available, and although I'm not a doggy chiro or any expert at all, it doesn't seem to me that any of them--properly fitted--would necessarily be better/worse than another one. In your shoes I *think* I'd rather have a reasonably happy dog wearing a less bulky harness than an unhappy dog in one he despises. And I think it's also possible you could use a less bulky harness for a few days and then transition to that one? And are you sure that trying to move the D ring to another location might make the harness less effective or even possibly more harmful to him? I mean if you're going with the theory that the chiro (or the pet shop person?) recommended this specific harness, then altering it seems no different to me than trying a different one?

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Crinkly

Posted (edited)

Excellent points!  Will mull them over.

i’ve decided I can easily add another D ring.  The question is whether it is a good idea...

although the pic you see above is of a labrador.  The Cato sized version is definitely not bulky, I am v glad to say. :)

I found the vid below as a better example of how C&T look, although they are the next size up.

 

Edited by Crinkly
  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Crinkly

Posted

Progress! Have rung the harness people and got a v helpful and knowledgeable young lady.

they have confirmed that dropping the size of the back section down from xxs to the smaller ‘tiny’ would not work.  The ‘tinies’ are cut for chihuahuas, so don’t fit Shih Tzus.

however, we did establish that a new D ring could be positioned half way down the back section, with no loss of strength, and (for Cato) a better back support, since it will be more over his shoulders.  The twizzling of the harness (that Cato mentioned above when he leans for a sniff) will then disappear.  She even suggested using ribbed nylon ribbon and the exact place to put it.  

Great service.

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Marlene

Posted

So glad you called them and they gave you good advice.  They have probably heard the same problem before.

And good for you for basically figuring it out for yourself :cheer:

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Crinkly

Posted

I am not letting Cato anywhere near the computer until he has calmed down.

his tail is now as short as a 3 month old puppy.

he is not pleased!

Share this comment


Link to comment
Marlene

Posted

2 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

We need a picture. We really do. 😉

Agree.

Cato - I'm searching for "hair extensions" for your tail.  For social occasions.

  • Like 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
Crinkly

Posted

It will grow.

i keep telling him it will grow back...

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
2 hours ago, Crinkly said:

It will grow.

i keep telling him it will grow back...

And it's true. 

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Crinkly

Posted (edited)

We are out for the day today.  Trip to Thornton Abbey and a pub meal.  I will take some photos when he isn't looking.

Then I will post them here, when he isn't looking.

He refused another walk yesterday.  After the tail cut.  It was hot, but I suspect it was more about the tail than the heat...  He just lay down in the shade of a wall and looked at me.  We were less than 20 yards from our front door!

Trouble is, the little monster has me over a barrel - and he knows it.  I will not be able to carry him for the whole walk (because of MY back).  I can't pull him along by the leash (because of his hypermobility and the chance I could hurt or wrench him).  I can't assume that he is being bloody minded (because maybe his back or legs are hurting, and he has a v good reason for not wanting to walk).

He has developed an extremely good Immoveable Object impersonation.  And I need to up my game.

Edited by Crinkly

Share this comment


Link to comment
Marlene

Posted

That is truly a hard one..........not knowing if it is because of pain or something else.

Shorty has just forgiven me - he has been MAD at Mama for a week.  He desperately needed grooming and I took him to a new groomer recommended by a FB friend with a Shih Tzu.  She really butched him - very short with tail left much too long.  He was really cold for a few days so we kept him in a lightweight coat.  He did NOT want to sit or lay with me and was just generally miffed. I don't think it is the haircut itself........he was just mad I left him at a new plac with a new person.  I've been forgiven - he is on my lap at the moment.  He holds grudges!

I wonder.........do you have any pain meds for Cato?  Maybe you could try giving him some an hour before a walk and see if he is more interested.  That might tell you if it IS pain that's putting him off his walks.

  • Like 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
Crinkly

Posted

16 hours ago, Marlene said:

That is truly a hard one..........not knowing if it is because of pain or something else.

Shorty has just forgiven me - he has been MAD at Mama for a week.  He desperately needed grooming and I took him to a new groomer recommended by a FB friend with a Shih Tzu.  She really butched him - very short with tail left much too long.  He was really cold for a few days so we kept him in a lightweight coat.  He did NOT want to sit or lay with me and was just generally miffed. I don't think it is the haircut itself........he was just mad I left him at a new plac with a new person.  I've been forgiven - he is on my lap at the moment.  He holds grudges!

I wonder.........do you have any pain meds for Cato?  Maybe you could try giving him some an hour before a walk and see if he is more interested.  That might tell you if it IS pain that's putting him off his walks.

They are so like cats, aren’t they?

SidneyCat had the Guilt/Punishment thing down perfectly.  Right up until he wanted to achieve something else; a warm lap snuggle, an early dinner or a window being opened.  Then he turned on the charm.

🤣

34 minutes ago, Summerangel said:

Can you give a herbal pain meds? 

This is from my herbal lady 

https://www.allnaturalpet.co.uk/tinctures/pain-killeranti-inflammatory

Thank you!

i would much rather use herbal anti inflammatories.

we still have Loxicam (sp?) left over from when his back was bad.  So will trial that, and if the pain reduction works to help with walking, I will try the herbal anti inflams.  

😀

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Summerangel

Posted

3 hours ago, Crinkly said:

They are so like cats, aren’t they?

SidneyCat had the Guilt/Punishment thing down perfectly.  Right up until he wanted to achieve something else; a warm lap snuggle, an early dinner or a window being opened.  Then he turned on the charm.

🤣

Thank you!

i would much rather use herbal anti inflammatories.

we still have Loxicam (sp?) left over from when his back was bad.  So will trial that, and if the pain reduction works to help with walking, I will try the herbal anti inflams.  

😀

You’re welcome. I recommend this to a friend of mine for her dog that has arthritis and she said it’s helped her so much, she got a different little doggie now. 

Hope he wants to walks and plays  soon xx

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×