How do you choose the best collar or harness for your dog?
It will all depend upon your pet, your pet’s age, and even their breed. No, the leash and harness are not fashion accessories as many people think. They are tools (that luckily do come in some great collars and prints!). Tools which allow you and your dog to achieve the best possible enjoyment out of walking. There are four basic types of recommended models for you to select from, dependent upon your pets’ needs.
Basic Collar and Leash
This model is the most common seen in our pet stores and used thoughtout the world. The simple long leash and colar around the neck is for the low energy pup who walks well and is well behaved. If your dog is a good walker and does not pull, listens to your commands, and does not distract easy, then this will work just fine for you both.
This option is also a fairly recognizable tool used in grooming and veterinary offices. It requires no collar. You simply put the round end of the leash over your dog’s neck. It allows your dog to have freedom if they walk well and should they pull, the slip will tighten. It also allows you the freedom to control any unwanted behavior along your walks. You gently pull the leash to the left or right and it will tug on your dog’s neck – sort of popping them back into reality. This is a great option for a fairly well trained dog that may simply get distracted from time to time and need that gentle nudge. Please, ensure you are using gentle nudges and not using tons of unnecessary force on your pet. Chocking your dog is not acceptable! If you find your gentle tugs don’t get their attention then perhaps this tool is not the right fit.
This option is fairly uncommon but a great way to control the dog who pulls, without chocking or utilizing excessive force to reign them back in. It fits on the neck and applies pressure on their most sensitive part of the neck.
The harness is a broad category for a large variety of options. A standard harness should be used for dogs that are easily controlled and not distracted. It is ideal for taking your dog on a walk while you rollerblade, skateboard or bike. It gives your dog much more ability to pull so it is not a good fit for some dogs. It will make them stronger.
It is a great fit for smaller dogs, dogs with slender and delicate necks, as well as breeds that have flat faces that restrict their breathing. Dogs with smaller, thin necks are at great risk of throat damage and collapsed tracheal issues when they are not fitted with a harness. The other options above are too hard on their sensitive necks and could cause damage. Fit them with a good harness and keep them comfy.
Whatever option you choose, keep in mind that there is always a training and adjustment period. Always exercise patience and be aware that there may be a need for some trial and error with the different options until you find one that works best for you and your dog.
photo credits: via photopin (license); All mixed up via photopin (license)
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