With more and more people getting out and about with their dogs this year as lockdowns have ended, it’s important to make sure that your four-legged friend is secure. Unfortunately, sometimes a collar just won’t cut it. In situations where you need just a little more security, consider getting a harness.
Harnesses are very versatile and tend to be the heavy-duty option when compared to a collar. Today we’re going to look at dog harnesses and what makes them the best heavy-duty option for your pup!
The Heavy Duty Option
When comparing a harness to a collar, it’s plain to see that the harness is the heavy-duty option between the two. While a collar is fitted around just your pup’s neck, a harness is so much more, and offers more, too! With a harness, you’ve got more options than what you get with a collar, by all means.
Let’s take a look at why harnesses are considered the heavy-duty option.
Right off the bat, you can tell that a harness means business. They’ve got a completely different fit than that of a collar and have more material that comes into contact with your pooch. Harnesses are designed to fit around your dog’s neck, similar to a collar, but they also wrap around their front legs and their torso. When looking at a harness and the way it fits, you can tell that it’s meant for heavier lifting.
Multiple Attachment Points
Most harnesses on the market have multiple points of attachment for your leash, giving you different options for walking. Normally, there is an attachment point on the back of the harness, as well as one on the front. Both attachment points serve different purposes, and in some cases, can be used simultaneously (we’ll get to that later).
Durable and Long Lasting
When looking at harnesses, you’ll see that the materials they’re made from tend to be of a higher quality. The fabric itself is normally durable and easily washed, and the webbing is made from strong nylon. Buckles are a hard plastic, capable of taking a beating, and leash attachments are made from metal. A harness is the option you want when you expect heavy use and wear and tear.
The Purpose of a Harness
Harnesses are versatile and allow for a number of different uses. With a properly fitting harness, you’re likely to find that you’re able to do more than you could with a collar, and you’re able to do it effectively.
Here are some of the main uses for harnesses:
Harnesses are an excellent option for puppies and energetic older dogs because they allow for more maneuverability. When working with a dog that hasn’t learned its leash manners yet, that can make a tremendous difference. Because harnesses offer more maneuverability, it makes training a dog wearing a harness a much easier task.
There are typically two or more leash attachment points on a harness. These attachment points serve a few specific purposes depending on where the leash is actually attached to. Arguably, the most useful attachment point is the one on the front of the harness. This point helps to curb pulling behavior in dogs that like to try to lead the way.
It accomplishes this in two ways:
- When the pooch pulls, it creates uncomfortable pressure on their chest.
- In addition to pressure, the pulling leads the dog to the side rather than forward, a direction the dog doesn’t want to go.
These two effects caused by attaching the leash to the front point make a harness an effective training tool.
Harnesses help owners walk dogs, not dogs to walk their owners. For the rowdiest of dogs, a harness is miles better than a collar in terms of control. While attaching the leash to the front mounting point is a great option, sometimes it isn’t enough. That’s where the second leash attachment point comes in.
For some medium-sized working breed dogs, their energy just gets the best of them. If you’ve got a power plant for a dog, consider purchasing a double-ended leash in conjunction with a harness. By attaching the leash to the front as well as the back, you double the points of control, allowing you to work better with a pup that gets wild sometimes.
If your dog is an escape artist and no collar can contain them, then pick up a harness. The multiple loops on various parts of the body (the neck, front legs, and chest) make it impossible for any dog to escape when properly fitted. Make sure that you’ve measured your pup correctly when purchasing them a harness. Even the best harness can be escaped from if not put on correctly.
There are a number of health benefits to choosing a harness over a collar, depending on the breed of pup that you have. Even small dogs, regardless of breed, don’t know their own strength and can harm themselves when pulling hard and wearing a collar. A harness can prevent that.
Additionally, dogs that have inherent breathing problems (like Pugs and Boston Terriers) run the risk of injury while wearing a collar due to the pressure put on their necks. If you have one of these breeds, it’s best to fit them for a harness over a collar regardless of the circumstances.
Harnesses have to be heavy-duty when worn for mobility assistance. Some dogs are more prone to mobility issues based on breed, and some pups just get stiff as they get older. A sturdy harness that’s fitted well can make it possible to lift your four-legged friend slowly when they have trouble getting up. Grab a harness if you’ve got an older dog; they’ll be sure to thank you for it.
Are Harnesses Good For All Dogs?
There are very few reasons that a harness won’t work for a pup. In most cases, you’ll find that a harness is a superior option to the traditional collar, especially in terms of durability, but certain instances do come to mind.
Occasionally, no matter how well measured for and fit, harnesses can cause discomfort or chafing in dogs. This is normally due to long coats or skin allergies, but nonetheless, it is possible and worth mentioning.
Some dogs are just too big for a harness, to put it frankly. This can be due to a chest that’s too large or due to the amount of power generated by a large dog’s muscles. Whatever the case may be, you’ll often run into the problem that a harness is not ideal for the largest of dog breeds.
Harness the Power
When it comes to securing your four-legged friend, it is almost certain that when compared to a collar, a harness is going to be the heavy-duty option. Harnesses are better fitting with multiple attachment points, and they tend to be more durable due to the nature of their design.
A properly fitted harness makes training easier, provides more control over your pup and is a more secure option than the traditional collar. So long as your dog isn’t one of the larger breeds available, you can’t go wrong with a good harness!
Dog Harness Vs. Collar: Which is Better? | American Kennel Club
The Pros and Cons of Using a Dog Harness | Harmony Animal Hospital