When it comes to training your dog, there is no shortage of equipment to choose from. A leash and collar are musts – and yet for some dog owners, it can be a real challenge to get their pups to stop pulling when they’re out for a walk. The solution may be using a dog harness to cure your dog of pulling on the leash.
The Purpose of a Harness
How does the purpose of a dog harness differ from that of a dog collar? Both are intended to tether your dog to a leash, but it’s there that the similarities end.
There are several types of dog collars, but all are secured around the dog’s neck. Some types of collars are controversial, such as choke collars or prong collars. One popular option is the Martingale collar, which is also known as a slip collar. This type of collar eliminates one of the issues of using a collar – it narrows when your dog pulls on it, thus ensuring that the collar won’t slip off your dog.
Instead of going around your dog’s neck, a training dog harness goes around the dog’s body and under its front legs. It then hooks to the leash. Where a leash applies pressure to your dog’s neck and trachea when the dog pulls, the main pressure points of a harness are under your dog’s front legs.
Pros and Cons of Using a Harness
If you’re not sure which option – harness or leash – is best for your dog, let’s review the pros and cons of using a harness, starting with the pros.
- Dog harnesses are easy to put on and comfortable for your dog to wear. You can still leave a collar on at all times for your dog’s tag, but most harnesses take just a few seconds to put on.
- The training dog harness gives you far more control over your dog than a typical collar and leash combination. The reason dogs pull on their leashes is that they can feel themselves moving forward. A dog wearing a harness won’t get anywhere if it pulls – instead its front legs will lift off the ground.
- A dog harness takes pressure off of your dog’s sensitive trachea and neck area and puts it either on the chest or back, depending on the design of the harness. That makes it safe for your dog to wear.
- Unlike a collar, a dog harness won’t slip off even if your dog pulls or struggles.
- If cuteness matters to you, dog harnesses are available in a wide array of colors, patterns, and styles to suit any dog owner’s taste.
Many dogs who have a problem pulling on the leash may stop that behavior entirely once they start wearing a training dog harness. That’s especially important if you have a large, strong dog since it can make the experience of walking your dog much easier.
When it comes to the cons of using a dog harness for your dog, there’s really only one:
- If your dog is aggressive, a dog harness does not give you as much ability to restrain your dog as a traditional leash and collar.
The key here is that if your dog is mostly well-behaved and not aggressive with other dogs, a dog harness may be the best choice. If you feel you may need to restrain your dog, then you might want to stick with a collar.
If you have a tiny dog – mine is a Pom – and they are a legit service dog – and mine has the proper training for this – a harness makes people more quickly accept that it is a serve dog. Altho mine does have vests that say service dogs. I think harnesses are more humane if at all possible.