Many dogs owners question whether it is better to use a harness or a collar when they walk their puppy or dog. It is often appealing to choose a collar that comes in various designs and colors. Yet choosing what is best for the dog involves a lot more only style. Collars hold their place for identification and to hold the dog’s registration and name tag. Yet they are not always suitable for all situations. For the majority of dog breeds, a harness offers a safer and more comfortable way to take the dog for a walk.
Here are 5 important reasons for using a harness:
1. Improved Control
Not all dogs are well-behaved when using a dog leash. They are prone to chasing after or lunging towards another dog, cat or even birds. They may be having fun, yet this rowdy and wild behavior may get you or your dog into a lot of trouble.
A harness, on the other hand, gives you more control over your active dog. Opposed to attempting to steer in the way of pulling on the neck of the dog, a harness directs the entire body of the dog. People that own rambunctious and big dogs can greatly benefit from a harness for increased control, especially walking their dogs through areas that are busier when the dog’s excitement levels increase.
2. Lowers Neck Strain
When a dog is constantly pulling when they wear a collar, you not only risk injuries to your hands or arms, but this constant pulling also places immense strain on the neck of the dog which can increase the chances of more serious injuries. In most instances, these injuries are not immediately obvious. It usually involves a deterioration that is more gradual followed by a sudden and unexpected pain. A dog that is excited is usually more focused on what is going on around them to notice they are actually causing themselves pain. In some cases, the dog may begin showing symptoms of a slight discomfort which are usually the earlier signs of problems that are more serious.
The smaller breeds like a Miniature Pinscher or Chihuahua are particularly prone to injuries in the neck. This is because bones inside the neck of these breeds are very delicate, sharp pulls from a leash can result in pain or even worse, a broken bone. A harness disperses the strain across an area that is larger, which offers effective protection from injuries.
3. Discourages The Dog From Pulling
When walking your dog, keep in mind that you are the one that is supposed to walk the dog and not allow the dog to walk you. When your dog pulls incessantly on the leash, even a short walk around the block can become an intense and often frustrating exercise. Harnesses are designed to discourage pulling in the way of redirecting the momentum of the dog. The dog will start to learn that when they are pulling against the leash that their harness will pull them in an opposite direction on where they are trying to go.
4. Lowering The Risk Of Escape Artists
The general understanding about a collar is that you dog owner should easily fit 2 fingers between the neck and the collar. This stops the collar from hurting your dog or to avoid a collar that is too tight. However, a determined dog will easily take advantage of their comfortable collar. You may have noticed that when walking your dog, you were distracted for just a moment and the next thing your dog has escaped and is sprinting in the opposite direction.
The dogs with a small head and thick necks that are very wiggly will easily escape from a collar while walking them. This, of course, poses safety issues, especially when you live on a busy street. A harness goes over the body of the dog and is fitted securely into place. A good quality harness goes around the front legs, chest, and shoulders which makes escape impossible.
5. Neck Injuries And Respiratory Problems
Any type of strain placed on the neck of a dog can result in pain, yet a dog that already has an existing neck injury or respiratory problem is especially at risk. Additional pressure placed onto the neck can squeeze the windpipe of the dog which makes breathing a lot more difficult. Some dogs will suffer from a coughing fit which is caused from walking the dog with a collar and a lead.
Tracheal collapse is a type of chronic disease which can become worse from wearing collars. This usually occurs in the smaller breed dogs, when cartilage in the trachea is malformed or weakened. This results in an airway that is restricted. These types of dogs should only ever wear a harness when walking them to keep the pressure away from the sensitive neck area.
To ensure you are obtaining the best use from your dog harness, it is essential that you have chosen a style and type that matches up to your dog’s needs. There are a number of different options to choose from which are designed for various training levels, personalities and sizes. For example, for a dog that is always pulling, a harness where your leash clips onto the chest are better. Make sure you conduct your own research about the different types to ensure walking your dog is more pleasant and safer for you and your dog.