3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Having your dog wear a collar seems like the norm. Most dogs wear collars to hold their identification tags in case they get lost. Many dog parents also use these collars for walking their dogs too. This might seem convenient, but did you know that harnesses are actually the safer choice?
Harnesses vs. Collars
Collars are usually cheap and easy to find. The sizing for them is easy because it just goes around your dog’s neck. Collars are great for holding identification tags, dog licenses, and whatever else you want your dog to have on them at all times. But Molly strongly believes that collars shouldn’t be used for much else beyond that.
The reason is that collars are a choking hazard. If you’re walking your dog with the leash attached to the collar, you could accidentally choke your dog every time they run, pull, or get wrapped around an object. Even well-behaved dogs could get hurt. Plus, it’s much harder to control your dog when they’re only wearing a collar.
Harnesses are much more complex than collars, but there’s a good reason for it. Harnesses strap around your dog’s body, so if they pull, they won’t hurt themselves. Harnesses can also keep dog safer when clipped into an object like a car seat or a stroller. They might be harder to put on and adjust, but they keep your dog more secure when you’re out and about.
Why Harnesses are Better
Harnesses are safer, more secure, and easier for training. All this together makes them superior to collars. I believe that you should have a collar on your dog for identification purposes, but you should never put any pressure on their collar. Otherwise, your dog could have a hard time breathing. So, use a harness instead while walking to keep your dog healthy.
Also, harnesses can help you better control your dog in busier areas. This can help them stay away from unfamiliar people and animals, and it can help you teach them to listen better. No matter how well-trained your dog is, problems can always arise. So, it’s best to have control over them just in case they tug on the leash or get into trouble.
How to Choose the Perfect Harness
The reason most dog parents avoid harnesses is because they’re difficult to find sizes for. You’ll need to measure your dog in at least two different spots ensure that you get the right size. Then, they might have some complicated straps and adjustments to put them on.
So, the easiest way to find the right size is to bring your dog to the pet supply store with you. That way, your dog can try on harnesses to make sure they’re a comfortable fit. If you’re buying it online, you’ll just have to measure your dog carefully then. Read online reviews too to see what sizes similar dogs used.
If your dog usually pulls a lot on walks, you can get a no pull harness, which can hold them back easier. However, if your dog is more relaxed while walking, you can get a thin, comfortable harness for your pup. There’s not just one universal harness. Choosing a harness all depends on your dog’s size, shape, and activity level.
If your dog currently walks with a collar, please consider switching to a harness. It will be safer for you and everyone nearby.
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2 thoughts on “Do All Dogs Need Harnesses?”
I went through various walking collars when I first arrived. A choke chain even made a very brief appearance for one walk and I managed to pull so much I made my self sick. My prey drive is enormous and in 7 years it has only decreased slightly. And before anyone says “ah well that’s your owners not training you properly” it isn’t. They have tried and partially succeeded in many different ways to lower the drive however I am hard wired to chase anything smily and furry, as well as deer sized. I have a harness which comes in 3 pieces each of which have been measured specifically for my size. Lenny has the same make of harness and we have not slipped out of them at all. They are strong harnesses with padding as I tend to pull an awful lot and sound like one of those old steam trains you hear on the old films. There is no tension around my neck and my collar is “loose” enough for my human to put two fingers between the collar and my fur, easily.
I am on the fairly small size and weight for a beagle, around 13-13.5 kilos depending on how many treats I have had over the week. The harness I wear isnt suitable for other beagles who do not pull like a sled dog when they see a rabbit, fox, squirrel, deer or badger etc. Ask your friends which harness they have, why they have, what are the characteristics of the harness and the dog and then measure carefully around our various body parts. My harness is slightly larger so it can be tightened to fit me, rather than too tight and unable to be loosened.
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Training a dog not to chase animals is extremely tricky, especially since a prey drive is part of their instincts. Mabel seems to chase animals even more as she gets older. When I first got her, I didn’t have a harness, and it seemed fine. But as time went on, I noticed how uncomfortable the collar seemed when she would try to chase squirrels, so I switched her to a harness soon after. Harnesses might not seem like a big deal to some dog parents, but I personally think it’s essential for a dog’s safety (as long as it fits properly, of course). I’m glad you found the perfect one for you!