When it comes to dog harnesses or dog collars, opinions differ. Many dog parents often use the collar automatically: You know it, you see it everywhere, you just don't think much about it. It is worthwhile to question your routine and weigh up whether a harness might be a better alternative to a classic collar. We have put together the pros and cons for collars and harnesses.
Dog Collar Or Harness - Which Is Better?
Many animal rights activists recommend dog harnesses as it first and foremost protects the larynx of your tailmate. The cervical spine and the neck muscles can also be relieved by wearing a dog harness. If the harness fits perfectly, the dog can move freely without putting pressure on the neck.
The Advantages of the Harness
The harness has many benefits for your dog that the collar does not. To help you understand better, here are some advantages of using a harness:
- The harness, if properly adjusted, will prevent the dog from injuring himself when he pulls too hard on his leash. At the same time, when you hold it back, it becomes more blocked since the resistance is all over the body.
- The harness makes walking your dog more enjoyable, both for him and for you, if your pet tends to pull on his leash a lot. There is less of this master / dog duel to advance.
- The harness allows you to have more control over your dog's walk, or rather over the direction your dog decides to take. It is easier to redirect your pet using a harness than a collar. Distributing the animal's weight over its entire body, these redirection changes are very simple for it and remain natural.
- The harness is handy when you want to train your dog, especially for walking. Also, use the harness when you want to teach it to sit or stand, still. With a frank outfit, you indicate the order.
Harness Also Has Disadvantages
But the harness also has its disadvantages. The harness straps often encircle the chest far too close to the front legs and thus limit the mobility of the shoulder blade. In general, harnesses that cover large parts of the shoulder blade should be viewed critically, as they severely restrict the dog's freedom of movement. It is particularly problematic when the dishes rub your four-legged friend and cause him to rotate his elbows outwards. The movement sequence is massively disrupted and can even have long-term consequences. Therefore, before using a harness, you should definitely check whether it fits correctly. Conversely, it is just as a nuisance if the harness is not close enough to the dog's body and slaps around uncontrollably. A harness demands a lot more responsibility from the dog owner because it has to be perfectly made and fit perfectly. This is particularly important because it can be a hindrance and even harmful when freewheeling.
Tips for Choosing the Right Dog Harness
When buying, you should make sure that the dishes meet the following points:
- light, soft and flexible material
- long back bar with sturdy buckles
- length-adjustable slider in the chest area
Tip: Go for a H-Shaped Harness. This is the “classic” type of harness, the one everyone is familiar with. It is a great first choice if you are unsure of yourself and what is right for your pet. However, with this harness, you have to be very careful to adjust it correctly as it can go off if the animal pulls sharply.
What are the Risks of the Collar?
Wearing the collar is not safe for your dog. Each jerk or tension is transmitted to the dog's body. For humans, we know that it only takes a "whiplash" to have pain. For the dog, it's the same. A collar damages vital organs in the neck and causes pain, as it would for us.
Possible discomforts with the collar: headache, muscle pain in the back and neck, reduced mobility, difficulty eating and drinking, changes in metabolism, cough, stomach and intestinal problems, changes in heart level, thyroid disorders, negative effects on the lymphatic system, blood circulation, increased stress levels, eye problems, damage to the trachea.
A Swedish study showed that 63% of the dogs participating in the study had back problems. 91% of these dogs pulled a lot or received leash shots. A similar Norwegian study showed that 75% of the 350 dogs tested had neck problems without the owners realizing it.
Advantages of the Collar
A collar is not bad per se, but it is advisable to use it carefully. As is so often the case, common sense is the best advice here: The collar should not be subjected to excessive or long-lasting forces - if your fur nose is chronically on the leash, a harness is certainly the better choice. If the dog is walking loosely on the leash, a collar can be a lot more comfortable and less annoying for the dog. It is important that the dog learns how to lead and is used to not pulling on the leash. As long as your four-legged friend has understood this, there is generally nothing against putting on a collar.
Ideally, you have both ready for your friend and your dog is used to both a collar and a harness. The use then depends on the situation and perhaps even on the mood. Not infrequently, a neck injury can preclude the use of a collar, or a chest or back injury can make it impossible to use a harness. In such cases, it is good if your four-legged friend has no problem with both variants.