Does your dog walk you instead of you walking your dog?
Are you leash training?
Do you have a dog who you take on walks? In all of these scenarios, a harness is a much better choice than walking with leash attached to a flat collar.
Walking with a harness distributes pressure from pulling over more of the body as opposed to concentrated pressure on your dog’s neck when walking with a leash and flat collar – which can damage your dog’s throat and neck, cause tracheal collapse or even protruding eyeballs.
In addition to being physically safer, using a harness gives the walker more control over the dog, especially for reactive dogs or dogs who jump or pull, and are the best choice for breeds that are prone to respiratory problems (Boxers, Pugs, Bulldogs, Yorkshire Terriers, etc.) since restriction to the neck has been decreased.
Another added bonus of harness walking is that, in most cases, the leash clips to onto the harness at a point on the dog’s back, so there is less chance of the leash getting tangled in the dog’s legs and yours!
There are three types of harnesses to choose from:
Provides the best control. With the leash connecting at the chest, a front clip harness provides the greatest amount control in steering or turning your dog right around. Wherever a dog’s head goes, the body will follow. Front clip harnesses do tend to tangle a bit easier.
This style is becoming very popular because it provides the advantages of the both the front and back clip harnesses. Some styles have more than two clips as well as a handle to provide extra control. (Multi-clip bonus: small dogs can quickly and easily become pup suitcases, or pupcases, and that’s always entertaining.) While they tend to be on the more on the expensive side, this is a worthwhile investment if you are leash training and can transition to an every day walker buy securing one leash to only the back clip.
This one goes over the dog’s head and usually has fasteners at the neck and torso. If you have a patient dog who doesn’t mind things in their face, this will work just fine.
This one is a bit easier as your dog literally steps into the harness, typically just one fastener at the torso.
Once you have chosen the right harness, you will need to adjust and fit it to your dog. The straps should be snug against the body, but not tight, with just enough space to fit two fingers between the harness and your dog.