As a dog lover, dog owner, dog trainer, and business entrepreneur in the pet supplies, I often have people asking for advice on various topics about dogs. One question which came up recently is, "Is there such thing as a dog car harness that a dog can't get out of?" This person was trying to keep their dog safe in the car but their dog kept getting out of the pet safety device. Sadly, the answer is no. A determined dog will be able to get out of any harness. So if you want to keep your dog safe, what is the solution? The answer, it is all about training.
If your dog tries to get out of or chew their dog car harness, it is because they find it annoying. They are probably not used to wearing a harness. Help your dog get used to his harness by having him wear it around the house. Have him wear it at home when you are able to supervise. Reward him when he doesn't mess with it. Distract him from it by playing with him or giving him treats.
Most dog car seat belts come with two parts - the harness part and the tether part. Generally, the seat belt tether can be disconnected and a leash attached instead. If you have this type, then walk your dog while they are wearing the harness. Eventually, your dog will get used to the dog car harness and might not try to get out of it so much when you take him in the car.
Once you have your dog used to wearing the harness in the house or on walks, start taking short trips in the car. If you can, have someone sit in the back with your dog to distract him and praise him when he is not trying to get out of the dog car harness. Eventually, you will want to work up to longer trips and trips without someone in the back seat with your dog.
Help your dog associate the dog car seat belt with fun stuff. Always try to reward your dog when they are not trying to get out of their harness. You can say 'no' in a firm voice when they do try to chew on it, but don't punish them. Redirect their behavior away from the harness with a fun toy or treat.
If your dog is trying to get out of the harness by chewing on it, try spraying it with Bitter Apple spray or another dog training spray deterrent.
Another reason your dog may be trying to get out of their dog car seat belt is because they want to be able to move around and/or be close to you. Because my dog Maya likes to move around, the tether on her harness is kept a little longer. A shorter tether is safer, but it's not going to be safe if your dog keeps trying to get out of it. So I have compromised a bit and allowed her a little room to move around.
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