Teaching your dog to walk on a leash can be pretty challenging. Dogs are inquisitive creatures, so your pup might get distracted too many times during the walk. And as a result, he might pull the leash, zigzag his way, stop suddenly, or even get entangled in the leash.
Leash training takes time and patience, but the fact is that there are some shortcuts. Using the right dog-walking gear can help you with this. For instance, a harness could be exactly what your pup needs.
Why a Harness Might be Your Best Option?
When it comes to walking your pup on a leash, you have two choices before you – harness or collar. Both options have their own pros and cons, so there is no ultimate answer to which of these two is better. It all depends on your dog’s personality, as well as your own preferences.
That said, let’s talk a bit about some of the biggest advantages of using a dog harness.
- It’s really comfy for the dog – A harness will spread the weight evenly across his chest, so when he pulls, it won’t hurt him much. If you used a collar instead, pulling vigorously could hurt him, potentially causing neck/throat injuries.
- It’s really safe – Sure, you could try to reduce the risk of injuries caused by dog collars by making it looser, but that way, you will increase the risk that he might slip away. Believe it or not, when your pup is motivated enough, he can get pretty sneaky and find a way to release himself from his collar.
- A dog harness puts you in charge – Another advantage of a harness over a dog collaris that it makes it easier for you to stay in control. When the leash is attached to the collar, it allows him to change his direction whenever and wherever he feels like it.
- It makes walks easier for the dog – We’re not yet done with talking about the advantages of a dog harness. Another thing that makes it an awesome choice is the fact that harnesses can be of a lot of help to a tired dog. If your pup is low on energy after a long walk, you can help him out by pulling up the harness.
- It makes the dog go forward – With a dog harness, it is not that easy to spin around by 180 degrees. Actually, it’s almost impossible for him to rotate his body on the spot because his center of gravity is upfront and that’s where the harness strap is.
What’s So Great About Front-Clip Dog Harnesses?
We’ve mentioned that a harness is a great choice for those dog owner’s whose pup likes to pull forward with all his strength. In this case, even a regular harness is better than a dog collar. Still, if you want to take it to a whole new level, we say go for a front-clip harness.
Also known as no-pull harnesses, they have clips upfront rather than above his shoulders. Why is this so important? It’s physics really – your dog’s center of gravity is upfront, which means that when he tries to pull vigorously forward, this kind of harness will make him turn around.
Instead, the only way for him to go straight is to take it easy. Sure, at first, you can be sure it’s going to be weird for him, but once he gets used to it, he’ll become a dog that walks slowly and elegantly. Due to this fact, these types of harnesses are often the choice of those whose pups are just learning how to walk on a leash.
A front-clip harness will help you teach him to walk slowly, without any pulling or tugging. And once he masters this skill, you will be able to use a back-clip harness or even a dog collar to take him for a walk.
Are There Any Advantages to Choosing a Dog Collar?
Of course there are! Otherwise, no one would ever use them. So, which advantages are we talking about? Here are a couple of them:
- Easy to put on – You need literally only a few seconds to put a collar on your dog; that’s not the case with harnesses. If your pup is a restless little devil, putting on a harness could be really challenging.
- No need to take it off – There really is no need to put the collar on every time you take him for a walk, only to take it off when the walk is over. You can leave it on him all the time. You can’t do this with a harness, because it could make him feel uncomfortable after a while.
- A dog collar will make him look nice – A harness can be big and cover a large part of your pup’s back, hiding his shiny fur from the eyes of passersby.
- Price – The fact is that dog collars are cheaper than harnesses. It’s obvious why that’s the case. They’re smaller, meaning that less material is used for making them.
Picking the Right Harness/Collar for Your Dog
As you can see for yourself, both solutions have their own advantages, but one thing is certain, if the collar/harness isn’t the right size, your pup won’t feel comfortable. And it’s your dog’s wellbeing that matters the most, after all.
For instance, if a harness is too small, it will be tight on your dog. And that would put a lot of pressure on his chest and front legs, causing him pain and discomfort. If the harness you pick is too large, it is guaranteed to make walking difficult for him.
The good news is that most harnesses you can find in your local pet store are probably adjustable. Still, if you want to play it safe, our advice is to look for products designed specifically for your pup’s breed. For example, if he’s a French bulldog, you should look for a Frenchie harness; if he’s a German shepherd, look for a harness made for this breed. You get the picture…