1) Harnesses are Better than Collars
As a pet owner, you have many reasons to consider a harness over a collar for your furry friend. Harnesses are usually used for dogs that have a neck injury or suffer from medical conditions like megaesophagus. It keeps the dog safe from experiencing pressure on their neck.
They are also a great tool for training your dog for jumping or not pulling. They are a less severe option as compared to chain or pinch collars as training methods. It has also been said that collars actually promote certain behaviours in dogs such as growling or lunging at other dogs.
Harnesses are suitable for dogs of all builds. Since small dogs are somewhat delicate, they are prone to getting injured easily. The harness distributes the pressure from a single point, i.e. the neck to the back and the body, resulting in fewer chances of injuries. The pet owners of large and muscular dogs often get pulled away by their dogs because they are too strong. But with a harness, you can have better control over your dog even if you haven’t trained them to behave in a leash yet.
2) Getting a Comfortable Harness is Essential
It is essential for the harness to be snug and be the right fit for your dog in a way that it hangs higher up on its chest. If the harness is too tight and you have to apply extra force to clip or buckle it, it may rub under the dog’s armpits and other body parts, causing discomfort and injury. If it is loose and dangles too low, you may find it difficult to control your dog’s forward momentum.
3) Right Size = Happy Dog
The key for your dog to like its harness is to get it of the right size. If you are buying it for the first time, make sure that you take your dog along with you and try several sizes to determine which one is the best.
Since dogs are of all sizes, you will find harnesses to be in sizes varying from extra large to extra small. Typically, you will be offered five different standard sizes for harnesses: 40+ inches (extra large), 26 to 40 inches (large), 16 to 28 inches (medium), 10 to 20 inches (small), and 8 to 14 inches (extra small). These sizes are according to your dog’s measurements around its rib cage and chest. Measure your dog’s chest and rib cage, and then add two inches to it to know which size will comfortably fit your dog.
4) The Dangers of an Ill-fitting Harness
Loose or ill-fitting harnesses can cause issues for you and your dog for several reasons. If the harness doesn’t fit properly and is loose, it can cause rubbing and if it is too tight, it can cause great discomfort. Also, if the harness is very loose, dog can slip out of it, increasing the risk of your dog wandering off or getting into an accident.
5) What’s There to Like about Harnesses?
So why should dog owners get a harness for their four-legged friend? Because it has many advantages. For starters, it is a very effective training tool, especially when they are at a tender age. They help in keeping puppies from getting distracted, and provide you with more control because it puts off jumping and pulling. They are great for specific breeds like pugs that are at risk of excessive protruding of their eyeballs from the sockets when they continuously experience pressure around their neck. Also, harnesses are good for pugs and other dogs that have short noses. They help to prevent neck injuries and respiratory problems.
6) What’s There to Dislike about Harnesses?
While there is so much like about harnesses, there are a few things you and your dog might simply dread. They are usually daunting to put on and take off, and you can’t just leave it on your dog out of laziness, as that is harmful as well. There are chances that your dog dislikes it and get irritated whenever you put it on. Some experts have dejected the use of back-clip harness as it is not as effective as other types of harnesses. They say that these harnesses promote ignorance and develop pulling behaviours when you try to gain control by pulling the leash. It takes your dog’s attention away from you.
7) Different Types of Harnesses
There are three different types of harnesses. In back-clip harnesses, the leash clips on the ring is located on the top side of the dog’s back. This type is the most agreeable to dogs, especially to small dogs that don’t like collars on their delicate necks. They are suitable for calm dogs that are trained and don’t require pulling them often. Another plus point is that they have the cute factor, as they are available in colourful designs and decorative patterns.
Tightening harnesses are designed to add pressure when the dog pulls. The slight tightening effect causes the dog to get a bit uncomfortable, causing it to stop pulling and walk on a looser leash. They are easy to put on and take off. But you have to make sure that the tightening is not too much for the dog to handle and causes great discomfort and pain.
Front-clip harnesses are mostly preferred by trainers as they discourage the dog’s pulling on the leash. The leash is attached to your dog’s chest in the centre. They provide more control and help in training the dog to not jump up, pull the leash, and other poor leash manners. They also allow the dog owner to direct the pet and enable it to turn to face the owner