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Benefits Of a Dog Harness {2023}

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Benefits Of a Dog Harness

Many pet owners often ponder whether they should opt for a dog harness or collar for their beloved canine companion. Dog collars have traditionally been a go-to choice for training and handling dogs over the years, but harnesses have gained significant popularity in recent times.

What is a dog harness?

Just like a dog collar, a harness is a type of gear that pet owners use on their dogs. Unlike a collar that encircles the dog’s neck, a harness is designed to be fitted around the dog’s torso, with straps positioned behind the front legs to evenly distribute any pressure to the chest.

Both a dog harness and collar come with their own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s crucial to grasp the possible benefits and drawbacks of each option. Furthermore, certain dog breeds or personality types may find one choice more advantageous than the other.

Pros and Cons of Dog Collars

A dog collar is a common sight on dogs of all sizes and breeds, and it serves an important purpose. It provides a simple means of identifying that a dog has an owner and allows for easy attachment of identification tags. In the unfortunate event that your dog goes missing or escapes from the backyard, a collar becomes a visual signal to others that your dog belongs to someone. The tags attached to the collar also increase the chances of a safe return for your furry friend.

While collars are invaluable for identification purposes, they may not always be the best choice as a training tool or for controlling your dog. Collars can exert significant pressure on delicate and vulnerable areas of your dog’s body, such as the trachea, esophagus, thyroid gland, and cervical vertebrae. A forceful pull on the leash or constant pulling from your dog can result in pain or even injury to these sensitive areas.

Additionally, certain dogs are more prone to slipping out of collars and escaping. This is particularly true for breeds with narrow necks and heads, such as Greyhounds and Whippets. In such cases, a collar may not provide the most effective means of keeping your dog secure and close by your side.

Benefits Of a Dog Harness
Benefits Of a Dog Harness

Pros and Cons of Dog Harnesses

Dog harnesses come in various styles, but they all share the same fundamental concept: to distribute the force from the leash across a larger area of the dog’s body instead of concentrating it around the neck. They are particularly popular as a primary choice for puppies and are also favored by owners of dogs that tend to pull during walks or are larger and harder to control.

The main advantage of a dog harness is the redistribution of pressure from the neck to a broader body area. However, it’s crucial to note that an ill-fitting harness can be just as harmful to your dog’s well-being as a collar that applies excessive pressure in the wrong spot. Ensuring that the harness doesn’t restrict your dog’s natural range of movement, especially around the shoulders and front legs, is essential.

A harness can address several walking-related challenges. It generally offers better control over larger or stronger dogs and doesn’t reinforce pulling behavior since the forward movement is halted by the pressure exerted on the harness.

For dogs that tend to be nervous or can escape from collars or simpler harness styles, a well-fitting three-point harness that secures around multiple areas of the body can be beneficial.

However, it’s worth considering that a harness may be more prone to causing tangles or mats in dogs with long fur, particularly if worn for extended periods or during intense activities.

Some dogs may need time to adjust to wearing a harness, especially those that are nervous or dislike having their head put through it. In such cases, a gradual approach accompanied by treats to establish a positive association is recommended.


When to Use a Dog Harness Rather Than Just a Collar

It is essential for every dog to wear a collar for identification purposes. However, when deciding between a harness and a collar for walking and training, it’s important to consider your dog’s breed, personality, your experience, and the typical situations you may encounter.

Small dogs, those with a history of tracheal collapse, or breeds prone to respiratory issues, should use a harness. This is also true for flat-faced, brachycephalic breeds like French Bulldogs and Pugs, who may have respiratory problems.

Any dog that pulls excessively would benefit from wearing a harness to alleviate pressure on the neck and prevent choking while you work on loose-leash walking skills.

If you plan on running with your dog or giving them additional freedom on a long leash, it is always recommended to use a harness. This helps avoid potential neck injuries if they build up speed and suddenly reach the end of the leash.

Remember, no equipment can replace proper leash training. If you want a well-behaved dog that walks calmly on a leash, you must be willing to invest time and effort to achieve the desired results. However, by understanding the advantages and disadvantages of dog collars and harnesses, you can make the appropriate choice for your pet.

Many pet owners often ponder whether they should opt for a dog harness or collar for their beloved canine companion. 

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