It’s Walk Your Dog Month: On a Harness or Collar?
January is Walk Your Dog Month!
January is National Walk Your Dog Month! In support of all you walkers of dogs out there, we want to take it up a notch with a discussion on how best to walk your dog. Should you walk your dog on a harness or collar? That is the question! As for the answer… well it’s complicated sometimes. Every dog and every dog walker is unique as well as the environment in which those dog walks are taken. To help make the decision a bit more analytical, we have put together factors for consideration when determining what is the best solution for you and your dog, a harness or collar.
Dog Walking: Harness or Collar Consideration Points
Safety is Priority #1
Whether you choose a harness or collar, safety is the number one consideration. Keeping your dog securely attached to the leash is of upmost importance. A harness should fit snugly with no wiggle room. A collar should be tight enough to not allow it to slip off the over the head if your dog suddenly goes in reverse or slams on the breaks unexpectedly. A collar should also be loose enough so there is no pressure on the neck. A proper fit is crucial to ensure that either a harness or collar is secure and safe for your dog.
Know Your Dog!
No one knows your dog better than you. The behavior and tendencies, both good and bad, can help you make the best choice in a harness or collar. Harnesses allow for dispersed amount of pressure on the dog’s body, mostly spread out across the chest area. This can help prevent trachea trauma resulting from pulling or lunging. A collar provide a great degree of control over head placement relative to what lurks on the ground. Which of of the following best describes your dog?
- The Puller – Frequently pulling on the leash out of excitement or fear: Harness, excess pressure on the trachea from a collar can cause damage over time.
- The Scrounger – Tries to eat inappropriate things while walking: Collar, so you can pull the head up and away from whatever is of interest.
- The Lunger – Out of nowhere, massive lunging. Often a squirrel or another dog: Harness, sudden impact can cause neck strain on a collar.
- The Mellow Mutt – Non-reactive to just about anything, just loving life: Harness or collar, whatever is easiest.
- The Tiny Dog – Small dogs are much more delicate in the neck and trachea area: Harness always.
- The Combo Dog – More than one of the above? Perhaps a harness is appropriate for well-known routes and a collar when exploring a new area.
The environment in which you walk your dog is a major consideration. Walking your dog in an suburban setting is far different than rock climbing or taking your dog to the city dog park. An example: would there ever be a situation where you would need to quickly prevent your dog from eating something inappropriate (chicken bones, poop from another animal, a carcass)? A collar is your best solution to preventing that from happening. Would you ever need to hoist your dog up (hiking, rock climbing, dog fight)? Then a harness is your best and only option. A leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, it depends. Read on!
Harness and Collar Types
There are many different styles, brands and materials used to make harnesses and collars. All adjust to fit and but with varying degrees of exactness. Some connect with buckles and others with quick releases. Material choices include mesh, nylon, fabric, micro-suede, rubber, rope and leather. Some breeds, especially large chested dogs like Doberman Pinschers or Dachshunds, need a great deal of adjustability when fitting for a harness. It can be challenging but is achievable. Harnesses vary on how they adhere to the dog’s body and where the leash connects to the harness. Each dog is different in body size, structure and activity level. Young pups, with their bounds of energy and playfulness may need a different solution than a mature dog.
A proper fitting of a harness or collar is essential. Don’t leave it to guess work. Allow the Goodness for Pets Pack to help you get the perfect solution with a personalized fitting for your dog. We have years of experience and can help you get the right level of safety and comfort for your dog.
Goodness for Pets is an all-natural pet store and pet boutique catering to animals and those who love them. Since 2004, we have been providing unparalleled service to our community in Naples, FL. Our goal is to be a valuable and dependable resource for our customers, offering products and services that are distinguished by quality, safety, excellence, and creativity. We specialize in holistic solutions with an emphasis on nutrition while acknowledging that each pet and pet owner has unique needs and requirements.