The Pros and Cons of Dog Harness and collars

Advantages of Collars:

dog-3508196_640 The Pros and Cons of Dog Harness and collars

First of all let me make it clear that this refers to ordinary collars and NOT I REPEAT NOT check or half check collars, e-collars, pinch or prong collars that I would NEVER recommend as a professional dog walker or even consider using on my own 2 dogs.

One of the main Pros of your dog wearing a “house” collar is that it is a legal requirement for dogs to wear an ID tag on his collar with name,  house number postcode and telephone number on.

Despite the fact that dogs must wear an ID tag and the fines of up to £5000 can be given by the courts for an offence a lot of dogs don’t seem to have a tag. It seems to be a common misunderstanding that as the dog is chipped it doesn’t need a tag or if does have a tag it says “I’m chipped” and still doesn’t have the info on. This is both illegal and not helpful. As a dog walker if I find a dog I will always look for the tag on the collar to find out the number so I can call them then and there. The chances are the owner is in the park or woods frantically looking for them.  If it simply says I’m chipped this is of no immediate use.

Collars are only really good for well trained dogs that walk nicely beside you an allow you to just slip a lead  on and pop out for a walk.

Disadvantages of Collars:

The majority of dogs will pull in some way, and even slight pulling can cause injury to your dog’s neck, including damage to their windpipe (trachea) or their thyroid gland. Bigger dogs that pull a lot obviously run the risk of causing more damage to the bones of the neck and increased pressure within their head.

If you own a Pug,  Frenchie or similar dog with more protruding eyeballs then due to the increased pressure that a collar can cause when they pull, collars should be avoided as a risk of causing damage to their eyes is an added problem.   These breeds will also suffer far more fro breathing problems when using a collar

Harness Pros

In my view, the benefits of a harness far outweigh the benefits of any collar and should be used (the Kennel club have finally caught up and now allow you to take the Good citizen scheme on a harness).

Pros of a harness include
  • Better control,
  • Reduced chances of neck injury.
  • Harness allow easier breathing/

The harness will discourage pulling and so help with the training. Pulling with a harness on causes the dog to get lifted in the air which gets them no further forward, as opposed to pulling with a collar on where they can get their head down and move forward more quickly.

Harness Cons

If I am honest in my view there really aren’t many cons to using a well-fitted harness as your dog will feel perfectly comfortable in this

Harnesses come in different shapes and sized just like dogs.  There is a harness for your dog out there.  I  like the Freedom Harness or The  Mekuti

Harness and Long lines

For the same reason that I mention in the cons of using a collar long can really do serious damage to a dog’s neck if the dog runs full pelt for many metres before being stopped suddenly when the long-line is attached to a collar.

I’d recommend a biothane long-line. These rubbery, waterproof material. It does not absorb water, like a nylon training lead. The mud falls off it.