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The gallop

It’s easy to mistake a Great Dane for a horse

Some definitions of the gallop might describe all four feet off the ground at once, which can happen; so does one foot at a time.

Lesson of note – the white dog above has on a nice harness – which is what we used when we first started training balance dogs. It’s much less expensive than many other dog harnesses as it’s actually a horse halter on upside down and backwards.

The part over the horse head goes under the dog’s girth; the over-the-nose part is under the dog’s neck. The best halters have a buckle under the horse’s chin for adjustments. The buckle ends up on the center of the back of the dog. They come in all colors and sizes. The one on this Dane is a draft horse size. If you would like to be super fancy, you can buy leather halters often used on racehorses. They are very special looking.

8DanesIf you would like to live dangerously, it is possible to harness two dogs next to each other with a quick release loop. After a few hectic moments they learn to stride together very quickly. It’s not something that should be attempted alone, but we have done a “hitch” of eight dogs using the horse halters, some hay string, and about 50 double-ended brass snaps as a harness.

– Carlene White, founder of Service Dog Project in Ipswich, MA. The organization trains and places Great Danes with people who live with Multiple Sclerosis, Friedreich’s ataxia, and veterans with disabilities.

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