If you have had more than one dog in your life, you may have come across one that pulled more than necessary.
They pull against tension, sometimes choking on the collar, and you may think putting a harness on it will solve that problem. And it may, but there are significant trade-offs to consider when deciding between wearing a collar or a harness.
If you have doubts about whether to use a collar or harness with your dog, we hope that after reading this article you have reached some conclusion.
Using the collar on dogs
Collars are the usual solution when walking a dog. They come in a wide variety of styles, some are even intentionally designed to constrict or cause discomfort when a dog pulls as a means of training, but at Hospital Veterinari Glòries we do not recommend them, as there are other training options that use positive reinforcement on their place.
A common traditional collar, which does not contract when stretched, is fine for dogs that do not have respiratory problems and are not prone to pulling on the leashes. They can also be more comfortable for some dogs than others, especially if you want to keep the collar on all the time.
Harnesses are generally not as comfortable to wear throughout the day. Also, if your dog has long hair, it could pull on his coat and make him uncomfortable. With the necklace you will not have this problem.
But for those dogs that do pull hard during walks, a regular collar is the worst option. Harnesses provide a more secure hold for these cases.
Using the harness on dogs
Harnesses are becoming more popular as dog owners discover the benefits they can offer. They are excellent training tools for puppies to learn to behave on a leash and allow humans a little more control.
Harnesses discourage pulling and allow you to prevent your dog from injuring himself. Additionally, dogs in harnesses are also less likely to accidentally become entangled in the leash.
Another advantage harnesses have over collars is that they reduce the risk of neck injuries, especially for the more delicate toy breeds. They also cause less restriction for breeds such as pugs and French bulldogs that are prone to respiratory problems or tracheal collapse.
If your puppy is having trouble breathing, a harness is likely the best option. Collars can also cause the eyeballs of certain breeds to stick out of their sockets if too much pressure is applied to the neck.
Harnesses can be attached to the front of the body or to the back. Front restraint ones are effective for larger dogs as they lead from the front, whereas a rear restraint harness does not allow the dog as much control and can lead to worse pulling behavior as the dog does not feel the necessary guidance.
Therefore, we recommend rear restraint harnesses for small breeds as they are more sensitive to pressure, and front restraint harnesses can be painful for them.
Collar or harness, but with identifier
When using a collar or harness with your dog, it is important that they always carry identification tags. You never know when something might scare or distract your dog and cause him to bolt, and you never know when your dog might accidentally leave the house or off a leash. Accidents happen. Microchips are important, but not always the solution in all cases.
You should also research effective methods to train your dog for walks. Throwing and jumping on strangers is not ideal, neither with a collar nor with a harness, and changing between one and the other will not prevent you from doing so. Training is always the best option.
You will have to study which is the best option for your dog, always taking into account his well-being. What do you wear? A harness, a collar or something else? Does your dog have any preferences? Let us know in the comments!