The story of a boy living with Type 1 and his family's journey to raise and train a diabetic alert dog.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Putting On Bo's Freedom Harness

Younger Bo Trying to Eat His Harness
When I started using a Freedom Harness on Bo I had a difficult time putting it on him. He wanted to eat it or play with it -- anything but let me put it on his body. So, I began using treats to lure his head into the top part and then dropping treats to get his paws into the side parts before clipping it closed. I continued using treats to get him in his harness because it made the process quicker and easier than not using treats. Recently, I realized the harness itself is a cue to Bo that we are going outside for a walk. Realizing this I wanted to see if he'd let me put his harness on without giving him treats because he knew he would get to go for a walk. I gave it a try and it didn't work. He wouldn't have it. He backed away as if to say, "Not until you have a treat in your hand." So, I stopped trying and turned away from him.  After a minute, I tried again by offering the harness near his head. (This what I do when I have a treat in my hand.) Again, he declined and again I turned away and waited a minute all the while giving my attention to something else. I then tried again and it worked! Yup, he put his head through on his own and he let me lift his legs through each side of the harness and clip it. I then gave him a treat but the real reward was getting to go outside for our walk.

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