I was planning on writing an update on our experience with the Freedom Harness today. Pearl has been doing great and I have been loving it. These photos from a recent walk speak for themselves- look at the loose leash! (Granted, these photos are not really representative of the whole walk- my husband caught us at good moments)
We are also working on the command “watch me.” When Pearl makes eye contact I click and treat. It worked well today when a dog passed us on the other side of the street. Pearl started to freak out, I had her sit and asked her to watch me and although she was still a bit of a nut she was listening and responding to me rather than being totally out of control. Below you can see how well she is doing with this!
There is just one problem. The bumps and itchies that I talked about in a post a week ago are causing problems. Pearl was put on prednisone by the vet after we got her checked out last week, but she is worse than ever. The bumps have multiplied and look more like hives. Some of them are bleeding, probably because we can’t get her to stop itching them all the time. She is now on benadryl as well as the prednisone and we have an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist next week. The benadryl seems to help with her discomfort. In the meantime, her harness goes across her back in exactly the spot where her worst bumps are. I am wondering now if it may be from Frontline, as the worst area is right where that gets applied? Poor thing, as I am typing this post she is rolling around on her back on the floor trying to scratch.
So, despite how much we have been loving the freedom harness we are hanging it up for the time being. My husband and I are worried about irritating the area further so we’ve gone back to walking her in her flat buckle collar. Two walks in and I am already missing the harness. It’s so much harder to control her in the collar and she is much more likely to pull. However, she is still better than she was when she first came to us and I she is still responding to “watch me” and other commands. Although we are unfortunately taking a break from it, I would enthusiastically recommend the Freedom No-Pull Harness to anyone looking for a front-hook harness.
In other, more positive news, tonight we are taking Pearl to her first group training class since right after we got her. Since we stopped going to the dog park we wanted another way to get her some socialization and keep working on her skills and maybe go from here to work on getting her Canine Good Citizen (with her reactivity we have a TON of work to do before we get there, but its good to have goals). Anyway, cross your fingers that class goes well for us!