So I got two harnesses, one for Ruby and one for Cassie, to jury-rig the proposed car tie-downs. That doesn't seem like the greatest idea ever to hit the pike. BUT... I decided to try using them for the daily doggy walk, instead of their collars.
Cassie, a grown dog, is not a dragger. But Ruby the Corgi Pup is only just beginning to get the "heel" idea. She will drag for half a block or so, until her ginger wears down and she remembers. The other day I'd put a rolled leather collar on her instead of her usual wide nylon collar, and I think it hurt her! She started to choke and gasp -- injured trachea? It went on and on and scared the bedoodles out of me. Of ocurse, I picked her up and took her back home.
She's none the worse for wear, but I decided to try using a harness instead.
The difference is AMAZING! Ruby does not drag when she's hooked up to the harness. The gentlest little tug on the leash will remind her to slow down. There's no way it can choke her, and it doesn't seem to irritate her in any place under her little legs or along her flanks.
Don't know why this would be. Back in the day, I tried harnesses on the bodacious GerShep (this dog didn't have drive; she had hyper-drive!), to ridiculous effect. At one point I got this crazy thing that was supposed to discourage dragging by exerting pressure on the dog's forelegs when it surged ahead. Hilariously ineffectual!
This is not a special training harness. When I went into Petco and asked for the easiest-to-use harness in the house, this is what they came up with. And it's very simple: you open it up and slip the left leg in where it's marked "left leg" and the right leg in where it's marked "right leg" and snap it shut. Even I can do it. Size is easy to adjust, and when it's properly fitted, the dog hardly seems to notice it's on.
At any rate, I don't know why it works, but it does work. Ruby is progressing nicely in the doggy-walk training department.