Where are pig-specific harnesses available?
For pig harnesses to be fully effective, a modified A design is required. Purchasing a dog harness won't provide you the power you require if your pig is going to back out of the harness . The easiest way to secure your KuneKune pig's safety is to get a harness made just for them. Search Google for Retailers that specialize in harnesses for Pigs.
It ought to be a pleasurable experience putting the harness on. Pigs require a lot of diversion and desensitization! The key is short sessions; avoid overstressing your pig at once. It is advisable to harness train your pig far in advance if you know you will need to take it anywhere outside the house and it will need to be harnessed. It won't be fun trying to rapidly put your pig in a harness, either for you or your pig. These processes demand time. Pigs seem to respond more positively to lower speech tones, but high-pitched voices tend to put them on guard.
I'm not sure if this is due to the environment or maybe just my pig, but I've observed she responds better when I use a milder voice. So, as you are harness-training your pig, keep your voice calm and convince him or her that everything is fine. While harness training, constantly use short verbal cues like "harness on" or "harness off" when putting on or taking off the harness so your pig learns what to expect.
How to properly harness your pig (peacefully)
Before you put it over her head, attach the part that goes around the neck if she is reluctant to let you put anything around her. To keep your pig busy while you work on fully fitting and adjusting the harness, spread some peanut butter on a cookie sheet and have it ready to place on the floor. Once you have it on, keep it there while you give the pig a few hours to adjust. She might be vocal and feel "restrained," and pigs dislike that sense of control loss.
Before you introduce the leash, practice putting it on and taking it off with her. Laying down a trail of treats where you want her to go will help her understand what being led entails once you're ready to use a leash with the harness. I would suggest doing this in your home or backyard rather than a public place where she might be able to escape it, at least until you are certain of the fit and how she will react to it. Treats should be gradually phased out while you're walking; instead, give one treat and some verbal praise, such as "good girl" or "good boy," when you're done.
Using a leash and harness to guide your pig
Pigs don't travel quickly because their legs are so short, but if you use food to help lead your pig, it will be more likely to go where you want it to go because it will know that there may be rewards placed every few feet. Cheerios in peanut butter seems to work well for me.
Soon, she was willing to follow me wherever I went in the hopes that there would be some cheerios somewhere, and I always have a bag full of them when I take her out anywhere. At first, I put them in a straight line and just held the leash while she walked the imaginary line I created with cheerios. Later, however, I would throw a couple further away and lead her to them. To ensure that your pig will be safe, ALWAYS practice in a secure environment before moving to a less secure one.
When your pig is trained to use a harness, the difference between being able to transport it without difficulty and needing to struggle can be significant. To be even more clear, pigs shouldn't wear collars because they have a thick neck and might easily suffocate from one. The purpose of a harness is to regulate your pig's movement, where it can go, and whether or not it poses a health risk like choking. This includes controlling your pig's destination.
Harness training is really a must for pigs. Once they get too heavy to carry, your only option is to crate train and/or harness train so that your pig can go to events, or to the store and even to the vet. We have a list of people/organizations that make pig specific harnesses on our recommended product page that you can look at by clicking here. Some harnesses will come with basic instructions on how to get your pig to use the harness and others do not, so we thought it would be a good idea to give you a few pointers to get you started