As a dog owner, you already know that no one will ever be happier to spend time with you than your dog. And what makes them even happier is regularly playing and walking with their human companions. However, they love walking so much, that at times it’s really hard for them to restrain themselves from pulling you, and it can be even harder for you to control them. This is why walking etiquette is crucial for your best four-legged friend.
Of course, you can’t instantly train your puppy or fix your dog’s bad walking behaviour, but having the right walking accessories such as a good dog harness can be of great help. So, how do you make walking easier and more enjoyable for yourself and your dog? Which dog accessories do you need? Do you need a dog harness or a collar? How do you know?
Harness or Collar?
Walking your dog should feel like a fun and lovely activity instead of an obligation that makes you uncomfortable. Your hands, arms and back should be protected, so it’s important that you choose a walking accessory that will allow you pain-and-strain-free walks.
Dogs are the happiest creatures on earth, and their favourite activity – walking with you, should, of course, be fun and painless for them, as well. Harnesses disperse tightness over a larger area on the dog’s body, reducing the pressure on their neck and back. Dog collars are more comfortable for your doggies, and they are great for trained dogs. Let’s explore both options in detail.
Wrapping around your dog’s body instead of just their neck, a quality dog harness gives you more control while walking with your pet, taking pressure off their neck. This is why they are a perfect solution for puppies learning how to walk on a leash, smaller breeds, older dogs that didn’t learn leash walking or dogs that have neck problems. There are also head halters, and no-pull harnesses (head halters or straps).
There are many styles of harnesses for dogs. However, they can be categorized as standard, vest harnesses that come in different clipping style, namely front, back, dual clip, and no-pull harnesses, such as straps or head halters. Here are some of the main reasons to choose a harness.
- Harnesses Provide Protection from Injury
Puppies that still haven’t learned how to walk on a lead, can not only pull, stubbornly seat without wanting to move, or even tangle up on the leash. A puppy harness will protect them, and make it easier to train them. Similarly, with a harness, smaller breed dogs are also protected from injury from pulling and tugging.
- Harnesses Help Against Pulling
When you are walking your dog and they can pull you, they are encouraged by their success, and this behaviour helps them move forward. Whether they are attached on the dog’s chest or between their shoulder blades, harnesses redirect small and large dogs alike, making them realise that there is no reward for them from pulling.
- Harnesses Are Easier for You
Having to run after your dog constantly, worried for their wellbeing, and in pain from the pulling, makes it difficult for you to love walking your dog, no matter how much you love them.
Giving you more control, harnesses help you walk more calmly, without having to fight against their pulling urge. It also makes walking your dog easier and much more pleasant. Harnesses also help you train a younger dog. And if your dog is older, but they’ve never learned how to walk on a leash properly, an adjustable dog harness will give you more control over them, as well.
Dog collars put the strain entirely on your dog’s neck, so they aren’t the best idea for an untrained dog or for a dog that keeps pulling and tugging. They are more comfortable for longer walks, or if you want your dog to wear them all the time. Besides collars for walking there are also collars with other purposes, such as anti-barking collars.
Dog collars for walking are best for trained dogs, and like harnesses, they come in different designs, and they are made from different materials. Collars restrain the dogs in two styles:
Collars that tighten around your dog’s neck or cause a different type of discomfort every time they pull on their leash. These are designed to train the dog to walk properly. However, if your dog pulls, rather than walking them on a collar that essentially punishes them with pain and discomfort, you could train them with a harness.
The second style is the classic, traditional collars that many dogs wear all the time, with a tag attached on them. These regular collars are much more comfortable for your dog, and some consider them more humane.
Here are the main reasons one would go for a collar:
- Collars Provide More Comfort for Your Dog
If your dog is trained and they don’t pull, and if their neck isn’t injured, and they don’t have problems breathing, though still an option, using a harness is not necessary. The extra material wrapped around their body is definitely not very comfortable for your doggy. Though they would, of course, prefer walking without any leash holding them back from running freely, as a walking protector, collars give them a higher level of freedom.
- They Are Decorative
A beautiful dog with a pretty collar makes a perfect Instagram photo. Collars look less sturdy than harnesses. And, apart from being like jewellery for your pets, they are where you would put their tag, stating their name, and their owner’s contact, to make it easier to find them, and for someone to call them so they feel safer in case they ever get lost.
- They Are More Convenient
Unlike harnesses, your dog can always wear their collar, or if they don’t you can very easily put it around their neck. This makes it easier for you to get out of the house, but also it makes it easier to let them free of their leash if you want to let your well-trained and well-behaved dog run freely for a while.