An age-old question that has puzzled dog owners for years: Should I get a collar or a harness for my pup? Well, if you’re leaning towards finding a high quality harness, we’ve got you covered. There are plenty of benefits to using a harness, and we’ve got them all right here.
Check out our article on what benefits using a harness on your dog can bring you!
What is a Dog Harness?
Similar to a collar, a dog harness is another way of leashing and restraining your pup. Rather than be solely figured around your dog's head like a collar, a harness has several mounting points and typically wraps around your dog’s abdomen and legs. Think of it as a little vest for your pooch.
Harnesses allow for multiple leashing points and come in a variety of styles and materials. If you’ve chosen a harness as the best way to restrain or leash your dog, there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to find the best harness that suits your pet’s needs and style.
What Benefits Do Harnesses Have?
There are many benefits to using a harness on your pup, but your individual leashing and restraining needs will help to determine if a harness is right for your pet. Chances are, you can’t go wrong with a harness, and here’s why.
If you’ve got a dog who needs training while on the leash, a harness is the way to go. Regardless of dog ages or dog sizes, harnesses allow for better lead training due to their design. In most cases, harnesses are designed to prevent dogs from pulling, with the mounting point for the leash being on the front of the harness.
This design deters a dog from pulling because it puts slight pressure on their chest, as well as turns them in a direction that they don’t want to go. If you’re looking to increase your four-legged friend’s leash manners, a harness is what you’re looking for.
Even dogs with the best leash manners can find themselves in situations where they’re getting a little bit rowdy. Suppose you’ve got a dog that does well on the leash while wearing a collar, but you suspect that some more energetic behavior may be present during certain obstacles like going to the park or meeting a new pup.
In that case, a good harness can help you maintain control over the situation. Harnesses can be a lifesaver in scenarios that you know will rile your pooch up.
If you’ve got a dog who loves to pull hard, then a harness is what you need. When dogs pull hard while wearing a collar, they risk causing serious damage to their necks. This can include minor injuries like strained muscles, but if gone unchecked, it can result in more serious harm like suffocation or broken bones. Using a harness prevents these injuries, and in many cases, helps to curb the behavior that causes them. The padding on the adjustable straps on different types of harnesses, from a lightweight to a heavy-duty harness, can help your dog stay safe and controlled.
Harnesses are fantastic for dogs of all sizes! Related to injury reduction, it is more likely that small dogs will injure themselves when pulling hard and wearing a collar. While wearing a harness, this is reduced greatly. In fact, many of the best dog harnesses have been specifically designed for small dogs!
Large dogs like German Shepherds or Boxers fare well in harnesses, too. Often, large dogs are very strong pullers, which can cause some struggle when walking them. Harnesses, as mentioned before, can help with controlling a dog that’s pulling hard.
In relation to large dogs specifically, harnesses have been designed with two attachments for a double ended leash which help to control larger dogs when they get a little rowdier.
For All Ages
Harnesses are a great option for any dog, regardless of age, which is a huge benefit. When looking to equip a puppy with something for leash training, a harness is the obvious choice because it allows for more control of the pup as they start to learn their leash manners. In their middle years, dogs can get rowdy and excited, and a harness can help control these behaviors when necessary, too!
Similarly, harnesses can be a great choice for elderly dogs, as well. As a dog ages, they may experience limited mobility, stiff joints, and sometimes even arthritis. All these things can make it difficult for them to stand. That being said, harnesses can be the solution to this problem.
By using a harness as a handle, older dogs can be assisted in standing up when need be. Harnesses really are meant for dogs of all ages!
A slack leash is prone to entanglement in the case of a collar a lot of the time. A harness can help prevent this. Once your four-legged friend has gotten their leash manners down pat, the front lead on the harness can be moved to the attachment point that’s on the back of the harness.
With the leash attached to their back, there’s less chance of getting front legs caught in the leash, preventing any snagging or tripping that your pup could deal with while on their daily walks.
Some dogs just don’t want to wear a collar or a harness, for that matter. The difference lies in how easy it is for them to free themselves. With a collar, unless you’re using a martingale collar specifically, the size stays the same, and some dogs are especially good at slipping out of them.
In fact, breeds like the whippet or greyhound are very good at slipping from them, as their necks are typically thicker than their heads. All they have to do is back up, and the collar may slip off.
The same cannot be said about a harness. Since a harness wraps around your pup’s torso and their legs, escaping is not as simple as it is with a collar. Harnesses present a secure way of taking your dog for walks, and ultimately keeps them safer.
A no-pull dog harness is a great option. This one comes with multiple points of adjustment, nylon straps, and three points for optimal leash attachment. This no-pull harness is all about comfort and visibility that fits extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large dogs.
A harness can often be a product that’s bought for life, so long as the material is durable, made of quality fabric and clips, and cared for well. Harnesses offer a large range of adjustability and can be refitted as time goes on and your dog grows.
Generally, they’ll still have a range of sizes and weights that they’re specifically designed for, but if you buy a harness when your dog is reaching early adulthood, there’s a good chance that the adjustments the harness allows for will keep a secure fit for years to come.
Harness the Fun
Harnesses are a fantastic way to leash your pup, with a plethora of advantages over traditional collars. They’re the lead of choice when it comes to leash training due to their design that prevents dogs from pulling. They allow for better control when pulling does occur and prevent the likelihood of injury that pulling hard while wearing a collar can cause. When looking for a harness, you’re likely to find one in just about any size imaginable, as they’re built for dogs of all breeds and ages.
Something that a harness provides that a collar doesn’t is security. For any dog that’s an escape artist, you’ll want to choose a harness over a collar without a doubt. They make sure that your pup can’t get away, no matter how crafty or excited they get.
Consider switching to a harness today!
Dog Harness Vs. Collar: Which is Better? | American Kennel Club
The Pros and Cons of Using a Dog Harness | Harmony Animal Hospital
Leash Training: How to Leash Train a Dog or Puppy to Walk on a Leash | American Kennel Club