I tricked my son into walking Val on the harness for the first time last week. It didn't slow her down nearly as much as we had hoped.

By "tricked," I mean I told him before we took the dogs on a walk, "I haven't walked her on the harness yet. You don't want to miss that, do you?" As my history with Val on the leash has been disastrous -- I can't recall how many times she's gotten away from me -- he figured he probably should be the one walking her.

For the first block Val played tug of wag with Isaac as she was so excited to out for a walk. With or without the harness, this was normal behavior and for the next block or two she tried to get Isaac to run with her by pulling hard on the leash. We had hoped the more restrictive harness would keep her from doing this. It did not.

After about the third block, Isaac realized that if he pulled back a bit and let the old Chester and I walk in front of him, Val kept to a more reasonable pace, as she'd follow us rather than try to set the pace. But the slower place didn't keep her from sniffing out and checking things out around, so Isaac had to constantly yank the leash to keep her moving.

By the time we turned around, the boxer got restless again, because she new the walk was over half over, and she clearly wasn't ready for it to be over. So Isaac decides he's going to to jog with her the rest of the way, to help her burn off that restless energy.

That lasted about a block. The teenager bit off more than he could chew and was quite winded when he got home.

But his attempts to walk Val helped me the next time I took Val for walk. I put a collar on her, in addition to the harness, put her on a short leash and when she tried to tug hard, I reached down and grabbed her by the collar.

That effectively put an end to that nonsense. Now Val knows she can't get away with nearly as much as she can when Isaac walks her.

But it doesn't stop her from trying.