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Beginning Harness and Lead Training for a Pig

If your pig is a pet or if you plan to show it, you will need to
teach the pig to wear a harness before you can teach it to walk
on leash. Since pigs are genetically prepared with the instincts
of prey animals, being grabbed or wrapped with something will not
come naturally to your pig, and it may be initially frightened by
the idea.

The easiest way to get a harness on your pig is to use
distraction. Scatter some of your pig's favorite treats on the
ground and come up with a code word or phrase for your pig to
associate with putting on the harness. Be calm and speak softly
and comfortingly while you are attempting to put on the harness.
Never yell or get frustrated. The emotion will communicate itself
to the pig and make it much less likely for your pig to get
comfortable with the harness. Remember to stay where your pig can
see you as you fasten the harness, otherwise your pig can shy or
snap in fright and maybe hurt itself or you.

If you are using the H-style harness, first put the neck loop
around its neck and then, avoiding the front feet, put on the
second loop behind the front legs. Make sure that you have the
harness right side in and the belt with the loop on top of the
pig's back. If at any time your pig becomes jumpy, just throw
some more food on the ground to distract it.

For the A-style harness, slip the loop over your pig's head and
latch the girth strap around behind its legs. This one is not as
easy to get on the pig because it has to go around and over the
pigs head. Just be patient and if your pig starts to panic don't
put the harness on. Come up with a phrase when taking off the
harness too and this makes it easier for you both in the long

See also: How to Select the Right Harness for your Pig

Once you have the harness on you can then adjust it so that it is
snug but not tight on your pig. You should still be able to get
two fingers between the harness and your pig's skin. Be careful
and move slowly and let your pig know what you are doing while
you are adjusting the harness so that it doesn't become jumpy. If
your pig doesn't want to stay still for you to adjust the
harness, take it off and adjust it yourself. Put it back on the
pig to test it, let your pig wear it for a few minutes and then
take it off again. You don't want to leave it on for too long the
first time you put it on because it can stress out your pig.

Continue to put the harness on your pig regularly and let your
pig wear it for extended periods every time you put it on. Keep
your pig happy and in a familiar place while you are doing your
harness training so that your pig doesn't learn to dislike
wearing the harness. Teach it to associate the harness with
particular words and pleasant experiences.

Once you pig is comfortable wearing the harness for a long while
you can then attach a ten foot or less leash or lead to the
harness and practice with your pig leading it around its pen. For
safety's sake, do not take your pig for a walk outside the pen
until you learn how to properly lead your pig and your pig is
comfortable walking with you on a leash.

After a few weeks of practice, you should be able to quite
stylishly parade down the sidewalk with your prancing leashed pig.

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