Collar vs Harness For Your Dog?
If you’ve been around dogs for a long time, you’ve probably walked a furry chum that pulls hard on the lead at some point. They pull against the tension, choking themselves on their collar, and you might think that getting a harness will solve that problem. You may be right, but there are important pros and cons to consider when deciding between using a collar or a harness.
Collars are the usual solution when walking a dog. They come in a wide variety of styles. Some are intentionally designed to constrict or cause discomfort when a dog pulls as a means of training, but we don’t recommend them as there are other training options that use positive reinforcement instead. Choke and prong collars fit into that category.
But a common, traditional collar that does not constrict is fine for dog breeds that don’t have respiratory problems and aren’t prone to pulling on leads. They may also be more comfortable for some dogs, especially if you plan on leaving it on all the time. A harness usually isn’t as comfortable for all day use. Also, if your dog has long hair, it might get caught up in a harness. A collar doesn’t have that problem. However, for dogs that pull hard during walks, a collar can increase the risk of neck injury. A harness may be the better option in those cases.
There are also slip collars designed for pups that are prone to slipping out of traditional collars. These close around the neck when dogs pull or back up without choking, and they prevent dogs from getting loose. Slip collars are especially effective for Greyhounds, Bulldogs, and other breeds who either have slim heads or thick necks
Harnesses are becoming more and more popular as dog owners discover the advantages they can offer. They are great training tools for puppies learning to behave on leads, and they allow walkers to have a bit more control. Harnesses discourage pulling and allow you to stop your dog from jumping up on strangers without worrying about choking. Dogs on harnesses are also less likely to be tangled up in the lead accidentally.
Another advantage a harness has over collars is that they reduce the risk of neck injury, especially for delicate toy breeds. They also cause less restriction for breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs that are prone to respiratory problems or tracheal collapse. If your pup has any trouble breathing, a harness is likely the best choice.
Harnesses can either be front-attaching or back-attaching. Front-attaching harnesses are effective for larger dogs as they lead from the front, while a back-attaching harness doesn’t allow for the walker to have as much control and may lead to worse pulling behaviour since the dog does not feel the guidance necessary for training. Back-attaching harnesses are recommended for small breeds as they are more sensitive to pressure and a front-attaching harness can be painful for them.
When using a collar or a harness, it is important that your dog is always wearing identification tags and they are microchipped. You never know when something can frighten or distract a dog and cause him to bolt, and you never know when your dog might accidentally get out of the house or off lead, Accidents happen. You should also research effective methods of training a dog on walking behavior. Pulling and jumping up are not ideal with either a collar or harness, and simply switching between the two won’t stop your dog from doing those things.