To Collar or to Harness, that is the Question
Walking your dog can be a relaxing pastime for both you and your furry friend, however that relaxation can quickly dissipate if your dog isn’t the best walker in the world. Anyone who has a dog can attest to the struggle of having your dog walk you, and with this comes the choking, panting and hacking from the pull of the collar on your dog’s neck.
Recently, the use of harnesses have become quite popular within the world of dog walking, and while many dogs can be seen wearing these lovely contraptions, some still only wear their collars while being walked. So, what gives? Should you walk your dog with a collar or with a harness?
If your dog is still in the process of being trained on how to walk correctly on leash or is simply prone to pulling, especially when a squirrel runs by, then a harness is probably the best bet when it comes to your dog’s safety. By walking your dog with a harness, you are discouraging your dog from pulling and jumping, while reducing the risk of neck injury at the same time. Harnesses are also a great collar alternative for breeds that are prone to respiratory problems, such as Pugs and French Bulldogs, as there is less restriction on the respiratory system.
Just because you choose to walk your dog with a harness now doesn’t mean you have to forever, but you certainly can. Harnesses can serve as an excellent training tool for puppies or dogs just learning to walk on leash, and once this skill is mastered you may switch to a collar if you desire.
Speaking of collars, a collar is just fine if you’ve got a dog that constantly walks by your side, never pulls, and has never had any respiratory problems. That being said, it is still very important to make sure the collar is well-made and sized correctly, otherwise your dog may still experience discomfort.
Ultimately, the decision between a harness and a collar is up to your discretion and what you believe is best for your dog, its safety, and its skill/obedience level. Regardless of your choice, make sure you always have proper identification tags attached. Walk on dog lovers, but safety first!