How to Stop a Dog From Biting the Harness

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 3, 2022

stop a dog from biting the harness

For this LA Dog Training session we helped 1 year-old Corgi Ghost, sharing tips to stop a dog from biting the harness.

Ghost was abouted a week ago so he is definatley still geting used to his new home. While his guardians love most of his personality, there are a few dog behavior problems they wanted me to help them with; biting fingers when they touch his paws, nervously mouthing their fingers and biting at his harness when it’s put on.

Ghost was very anxious throughout the session and although I was able to get him to take some treats from my hand, he never fully relaxed. I discussed the potential of exploring medication, and recommended they speak to the veterinarian about some anti anxiety meds like Doggy Prozac. It can be a real quality of life improvement for highly nervous or anxious dogs, and Ghost certainly has those issues.

We discussed the importance of dog consent as well as how to read dog body language so his guardians will know when Ghost is uncomfortable or offering cut off signals. Recognizing these and taking appropriate action is one of the most important fundamentals involved in helping fearful dogs feel comfortable. This means not exposing Ghost to situation he’s not prepared for. Taking him in the car to the park for a walk as opposed to walking along a busy path to get there, not visiting confined or overly busy places, etc. Until he feels less anxious, his guardians need to avoid overly busy situations or places that may trigger Ghost. Especially now. He needs time to get used to his new home.

I regret that I didn’t go over a handling exercise with the guardian but hopefully they can understand how to do this using this training video from one of our puppy classes.

If the guardians watch her body for cut signals and use a lot of treats when she doesn’t, Ghost should be comfortable having them touch his paws. That said, Ghost is a very anxcious dog with a number of confidence issues that we addressed at different parts of the session. But we also went over some hands on exercises like hand targeting and cookie in the corner as well as tips to stop a dog from biting the harness.

How to stop a dog from biting the harness when excited

Ghost gets so excited when he sees the harness that he starts trying to bite and nibble it. Part of this is an association with the excitement about the prospect of going for a walk, but I think the biting could also be a little bit frustration for not being comfortable or used to wearing a harness. It’s also most certainly a part of Ghost being overly excited. Often re-creating situations that are not so exciting are the best ways to help a dog learn to stop biting a harness.

If your dog does not like the harness being put on or likes to bite the harness, you should check out the free positive dog training video below. Even if your dog fears having the harness put on instead of being excited, you should watch.

By breaking the exercise into small steps and rewarding Ghost each time he successfully completed one, we were able to help him gain confidence and learn how to put on the harness himself. This is a great way to stop a dog from biting the harness, you just have to go at the dog’s pace, and practice a couple times a day for a week or two.

We shared a number of other dog behavior tips in this at home dog training session. I’m pretty certain that Ghost either was under socialized as a puppy, or had some bad experiences. He was on high alert and highly anxious for most of the session. I really think that medication will help him learn to relax. Hopefuly many of the other tips I shared with his guardians will help too.

To help the guardians remember all of the dog behavior tips I shared in this in-home LA dog training session, we recorded a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr