Dog Tips

Collar or Harness?

What’s Best for Your Pooch

Some dogs pull or yank making walking them very difficult. While big dogs are more likely to pull, some small dogs pull, too, often to the point of choking themselves. Harnesses are recommended for these tough walkers, but how do you know if a harness will help your pup?

There are several things to consider when choosing between using a traditional collar or a harness for your dog.

Collar Pros

Generally speaking, cloth dog collars are the most comfortable option for them especially if you plan to leave it on all the time. For dogs who walk easily and don’t have a tendency to pull, a collar is a good option. (Learn more about how to find the right collar for your dog.)

There are a variety of collars out there, some that are even designed to choke or poke your dog if they do pull. These options aren’t usually recommended, as training and positive reinforcement are better alternatives.

Collars are great for identification purposes and most dogs are comfortable wearing theirs all day. If you do have a dog that pulls, however, a collar can increase the risk of a neck injury. This is where a harness might be a good choice.

Harness Pros

Compared to the traditional collar, harnesses have several advantages.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Reduces pulling

  • Gives you more control over your dog

  • Helps to stop jumping

  • Lessens doggie distractions

  • Avoid damage to your dog’s neck or strangulation

  • Your dog can’t get out of it

All of these benefits are for increased safety. Having better control over your dog, for example, is essential for walks on a busy street or in crowds of people. Dogs that are easily distracted on walks, can get injured more easily as a result of not paying attention. And with collars, it can be easier for your dog to escape if it comes undone.

Ready to try a harness?

Two Main Types of Harnesses

Back Clip-The back clip is the most common, due to its ease of use and comfort for most dogs. However, these harnesses don’t provide too much extra control and don’t discourage pulling as well as the others.

Front Clip-These are great for dogs that pull and are used widely by trainers and large dog owners. If you choose to use a front clip harness, make sure to have it properly fitted.There are other options as well, including a combination of the two. If you’re ready to invest in a harness for your pup, talk to your vet to get the best recommendation.

Remember, responsible dog parenting means providing your pooch with quality medical care.

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