If your dog is struggling with any stage of this training, simply go back to the stage before and continue for a little while longer to build their confidence before progressing again. If you believe your dog to be worried by the harness or being handled in any way then stop – always respond to your dog’s communication so they know they can trust you to help them out. Signs that a dog might be worried can range from the very subtle and easily missed, for example widening their eyes and lip-licking, to the more visually expressive such as wriggling around, growling, or even snapping if your dog becomes really frightened. Our Body Language section provides information on learning to recognize how your dog is feeling and how to respond appropriately.
If your dog is behaving in any way that worries you or shows any signs of aggression, please contact your vet to rule out a painful or medical reason for this. Your vet can then refer you to a qualified behaviourist to help you further.