Is your pup a little Houdini? Sometimes, a collar just isn’t good enough, and your four-legged friend can slip away at a moment’s notice if you aren’t careful. Unfortunately, while we may want our dogs to be able to wear fashionable collars, a harness is the only way to keep them secure and safe.
If you’ve got an escape artist for a canine companion, or if your dog just has too much energy for a collar, consider a good harness. Harnesses can help prevent even the craftiest dog from getting away!
What Is a Dog Harness, Exactly?
A harness is an alternative to (or addition to) a collar for your four-legged friend. Rather than being secured only around your dog’s neck, a harness is secured around their neck, as well as around their torso behind their front legs. This added material allows for a more snug, secure fit in comparison to a collar, and it has quite a few benefits.
Stops Escape Artists
A harness is an effective tool when it comes to stopping dogs from escaping. Quite often, collars aren’t secure enough, and many dogs are able to slip out of them. What’s more is that there are breeds of dogs that can slip out of collars simply because their heads are slightly smaller than their necks, making escape easy. Because a harness slips around their torso as well as their neck, it ensures that these breeds can’t slip away easily.
Harnesses offer more control over your pup than that of a traditional collar. Because the harness attaches around the neck and the torso for your dog, you can make sure that during tense situations, you’re able to maintain control over your pooch. If you have a dog that tends to get nervous or can get a little excitable while on the leash, a harness may be good for you.
Most harnesses are designed with control in mind. A large part of this that’s important to mention is the reduction of a specific behavior that helps control immensely; pulling.
Nearly all harnesses available on the market have attachment points on the back as well as the front of the harness. The attachment point on the front is meant to reduce pulling.
The harness helps to curb the pulling behavior in pups by making pulling an ineffective behavior. Most times, dogs are able to get headway in the direction that they’d like to go by pulling. When the leash is attached to the front of a harness and your dog pulls, it turns them to one side or the other. Eventually, your four-legged friend will understand that pulling too hard actually prevents them from going the way they’d like to, and the behavior will be phased out.
Good For Jumpers
While a harness won’t necessarily prevent jumping, it will prevent your pup from being injured while doing so. When a dog jumps, the force that’s able to be exerted is enormous, and jumping in a collar puts all of that force around the neck of your pup. By putting your dog in a harness, you can prevent neck injuries from jumping.
Great For Small Dogs
A cute collar is great, but on small dogs, a harness is better for a number of reasons. First, small dogs are notorious escape artists and can slip out of collars easily. Additionally, many small breeds are prone to neck and chest injuries when pulling too hard while wearing a collar.
A harness stops them from harming themselves should they get a little too rowdy. Harnesses are fantastic options for small, spunky pooches.
Helpful For Older Dogs
Dogs with mobility issues can benefit from the use of a harness. In most cases, these are older pooches, but any dog with mobility issues will likely prefer a harness over a collar, as the harness allows them to be helped up.
If your dog has a hard time standing after sitting, the back of a harness can be lifted up while the dog is wearing it, offering some assistance.
How To Fit a Harness
Harnesses are going to come in a number of different sizes and styles, but there are some general guidelines on how to best fit a harness for your pup. First, you’ll need to measure your dog in a couple of different ways. Using a soft tape measure, do the following:
- Measure your four-legged friend’s neck at its thickest point, just above the shoulders.
- Measure them around their chest at its widest point, just behind the front legs in most cases.
Additionally, knowing your dog’s weight can help, as some harnesses have additional requirements based on your dog’s weight or breed.
Putting the Harness On
When you actually put the harness on your pup, some adjustments are going to need to be made in most cases. Buckle or fasten the harness into place while loose, and then incrementally tighten it, making sure not to over tighten any parts.
When checking for fit, stack two fingers on top of each other and place them between the harness material and your pup. The fit should be snug when your fingers are placed between the fabric and your dog.
When it comes to harnesses, fit is everything. A harness that’s too tight can restrict breathing, cause chafing and loss of hair, and can be just generally uncomfortable for your pooch. A harness that’s too loose misses the entire point of the security that a harness can provide, allowing for your pup to escape, or worse, get tangled while trying to escape and potentially become injured.
A Cut Above the Rest
When reviewing harnesses and their features, we’ve decided that the best all-around harness for any pup is the Wild One Harness. This harness is great for a number of reasons and would be a great harness for any pooch. Here are some of the features we’d like to highlight about the harness itself.
- The Wild One Harness is made from a soft, stretchy material that’s lightweight. It won’t bother your pup to wear it, and they’ll probably not even notice it’s on.
- All of the hardware on the harness is of high quality, with nylon straps, coated steel rings, and secure plastic buckles that are pinch-proof.
- There are three leash attachment points; one on the front for a no-pull walk and two on the back for the more well-trained pup.
- It’s easy to clean and available in an assortment of stylish colors!
If you’re in the market for a new harness, we highly recommend the Wild One harness. If you’re looking for a new leash to match, consider getting the Walk Kit, which comes with a harness, a leash, and a dog waste bag dispenser.
Remember that a harness is great for walks, but your dog should always be sporting some identification in case they do scamper off. Complete your dog’s look with a cute collar and some high-fashion identification tags.
Walk Safe and Stylish
To bring it all together, harnesses are a great option, not just for escape artists but for all dogs. A properly fitted harness offers far more security and control and can prevent health problems in certain breeds. A harness may just be the thing you need to make your life a whole lot easier.
The Pros and Cons of Using a Dog Harness | Harmony Animal Hospital
Dog Harness Vs. Collar: Safety Pros and Cons of Each | Insider
How Should a Dog Harness Fit? Avoiding the Dangers of a Poor Fit | Pet Lover Guy