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Battle of the Leash – Should Your Dog Wear a Neck Collar Or Chest Harness?

Mick Pacholli
Mick Pachollihttps://www.tagg.com.au
Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

Are you caught in the never-ending battle of choosing between a neck collar and a chest harness for your beloved four-legged friend? Well, fret no more! We understand how important it is to keep our furry companions both safe and comfortable during walks. That’s why we’re diving headfirst into the “Battle of the Leash” to help you make an informed decision once and for all.

So, grab your leash, tighten your grip, and get ready to explore whether your pup should strut their stuff with a traditional neck collar or opt for the trendy comfort of a chest harness. Let’s settle this debate once and for all!

Harnesses are More Comfortable

A harness distributes the pressure of a dog leash across the chest and shoulders rather than just the neck, making it less likely to cause discomfort. It can also help prevent pulling and lunging by limiting your dog’s movement, says Siegfried.

When choosing a harness, make sure it’s snug enough that your dog can’t wriggle out of it and not so tight that it causes chafing or breathing restrictions. Most manufacturers recommend measuring your dog’s chest girth and neck, with the measurement taken at the widest part of the chest behind the front legs, and checking the size chart for fit recommendations.

Some dogs, like toy breeds with flatter faces or long-bodied breeds prone to spinal problems such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), shouldn’t wear collars. Harnesses can decrease the chance of neck or throat injury and help you have more control over your pet during walks.

Harnesses are Easier to Train

While collars provide a means of identification and facilitating control, they can also pose health risks when used incorrectly. In particular, collars put heavy pressure on a dog’s neck and throat which can cause injury, especially in small breeds with a risk of tracheal collapse.

Harnesses, on the other hand, spread the weight of a dog across their chest and back instead of their neck. When used correctly, harnesses help prevent neck strain and allow dogs to enjoy their walks. To train your dog to love their harness, associate it with positive experiences like walks and treats. Then, when they start pulling, interrupt them with a recall command and redirect them with some mental stimulation until they return to your side. This is an effective method to train them to stop pulling and to walk nicely on a leash.

Harnesses are Easier to Clean

A dog’s neck muscles can withstand a lot of pressure. However, jerking your dog by the collar repeatedly can cause damage to the thyroid, nerves, and trachea.

Harnesses, which fasten around the back and chest, distribute pressure more evenly and decrease the risk of injury. This is especially important for dogs who lunge or pull on the dog lead.

Dog harnesses come in many different styles, including no-pull harnesses that discourage pulling by training the dog to walk in line with you. These are favored by many trainers and pet parents. The type of harness that best suits your pet depends on a variety of factors, such as size, breed, and behavior. A qualified veterinarian or certified professional dog trainer can help you make an informed decision.

Harnesses are Easier to Adjust

A harness that’s too small or tight can be uncomfortable for your dog and restrict their natural stride. It can also cause neck strain and damage. This can lead to long-term medical issues such as a tracheal collapse, says Hodges.

Collars can also put pressure on the throat and trachea when a dog pulls on the leash, which can result in choking or coughing. Harnesses are safer for dogs who tend to pull or lunge because they distribute the pressure over a larger area, like the chest.

However, a harness that’s too big can encourage pulling and lunging. It can also put too much pressure on the neck, which can cause breathing problems. As with any leash decision, it’s important to consider your pet’s specific needs and consult a trainer or veterinarian.

Harnesses are Easier to Clean

A dog that tries to pull a leash attached to the dog collar or tags is likely to get tangled in the fabric or catch itself on something. In addition, the choking and pulling caused by using a collar puts pressure on the neck and throat area which can cause pain or injury. This is especially a problem for small-breed dogs at risk of tracheal collapse and flat-faced dog breeds such as French bulldogs.

Harnesses eliminate this issue because they take the strain off of the throat. This makes them safer to use for walks, training, and show events. Additionally, harnesses are much harder to escape from than collars. This is a big benefit for those dogs who can turn into escape artists on a walk and pose a danger to themselves or others.

Conclusion

The decision between a neck collar or chest harness for your dog ultimately depends on their individual needs and behavior. While neck collars may be more traditional, chest harnesses offer better control and comfort for some dogs. It’s important to consider your dog’s size, breed, and walking habits when making this decision. Ultimately, what matters most is that you prioritize the safety and well-being of your furry companion while on walks. Whichever option you choose, make sure it fits properly and allows for proper training techniques to ensure a happy and healthy relationship with your dog.

Mick Pacholli

Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

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