Keeping Your Dog Safe on a Leash
Walking outside with your dog on a leash is great exercise for you and for your furry friend. However, many people find this tiring and troublesome, especially when their dogs keep pulling away. You need to work against your dog’s momentum so that he won’t escape from your control.
You cannot blame your dog for being excited when you bring him into an open environment where there are new smells and sounds. Training your dog to be controlled and obedient can take a long time. Walking your dog in a harness can greatly decrease the dog’s pulling behavior and further its health.
This leads to the questions: Can a harness hurt your dog? Why is it better than a collar? How can you keep your dog safe on a leash at all times? All these will be answered as you read on.
Collar vs. Harness
The debate about whether a collar or a harness is better for your dog has been going on since the harness entered the market. Research has supported the idea that dog harnesses are healthier for dogs because there is no pressure on their necks.
However, some people will argue that a harness encourages pulling because the dog can move forward more freely. In reality, the only reason why a dog wearing a collar cannot pull harder is because the pressure is concentrated in one sensitive area.
The dog feels pain as it pulls against a collar, causing damage to its trachea. It does pull, regardless, to maintain its balance. In addition, dogs that wear collars suffer physical pain and this can cause misbehavior.
How is a harness better than a collar? Harnesses are composed of straps which are wrapped around the chest and shoulders of the dog. This way the pressure is distributed to the body. It gives you greater control over your pet, training him to behave in the way you want him to.
How Can a Harness Hurt your Dog?
Despite a number of advantages to harnesses over leashes, wearing a harness improperly can cause problems. Like humans who feel uncomfortable wearing jeans that are too tight on the waist or thigh, dogs also feel uncomfortable wearing harnesses that are too tight for their bodies.
On the other hand, a dog harness that is too loose allows the dog to escape. A loose harness raises the alarming possibility of your dog running away or getting into an accident.
What a Dog’s caregivers and Owners Should Do?
The best thing you can do to avoid this kind of dilemma is to know your dog’s size before buying a harness. You should measure the size of the chest, by wrapping a string or a tape measure around the neck then around the torso close to the dog’s front legs.
Also, wrap the tape measure around the upper neck if you are planning to get a coat harness. Make sure to slip your two fingers in between the dog and the tape measure so that there will be enough room for your dog to feel ease while moving.
If your dog is already wearing a harness, observe how it behaves while moving. If it feels anxious, whenever it sees the harness, your dog might be uncomfortable with it.
The common area where it can feel pain from a harness is the axilla or the area around its front legs. Adjust accordingly, following the two-finger rule.
If it keeps on scratching its body, it might be because of the fabric used for the harness. Another thing you can do is to let the dog wear the harness inside the house from time to time. This way, it will get used to wearing its harness and be more behave when you walk outside.
What Kind of Harness Should You Use for Your Dog?
The best dog harness is the one that is comfortable for your dog while walking. It should prevent harm but allow you to have better control and communication with your furry friend. Therefore, you should not just look for a harness that is fashionable for walking but is essential for training.
There are different types of harness on the market and generally, all of them are suitable when you take your dog’s size into account and the appropriate harness is adjusted properly. The other factors that you should check are the material or fabric the harness is made of, and where the clips are located.