There are many friends of the furry who ask themselves this question daily: Collar or harness to take them for a walk? Is one better than the other? When should you use a collar and when should you use a harness? The collar is one of the most popular items among pet owners – they began to be used earlier and are therefore more popular – however, in recent times harnesses have started to earn points due to some of their advantages. Do you know them in detail? Well, in this article we are going to discover the main benefits of each of them and also their contraindications.
As we have already mentioned, the collar is ‘a classic’ among dogs, although more and more veterinary experts and ethologists are recommending the use of harnesses. Why? Well, because the collar is located in a basic area for the dog : the neck. In this region are housed a series of structures that if injured by the use of the collar can cause the animal a lot of pain . Some of the most common are contractures, thyroid problems, impingements in the spinal cord, alterations in breathing such as a chronic cough or neurological disorders by the vessels and nerves.
One of the dog-assisted interventions carried out in the Belviche library.
When can these damages appear? Especially when the dog is very nervous and pulls hard on the leash that is hooked on the collar . A situation that, in addition, can cause the dog to make a negative association and be reluctant to go for a walk or to put the leash on its collar. The discomfort and pain will generate nervousness and fear.
When is the collar contraindicated? Especially if the dog has respiratory problems or if it is a dog prone to pulling hard on the leash due to its energy or nervousness. And when is it recommended? When it is a calm dog that does not usually give problems when walking, when by habit it wears the collar on all day and also in long-haired breeds, since in this case the harness could cause unnecessary jerks. Obviously, opting for necklaces made of less harmful materials and / or padded in the area in contact with the neck can be an addition to your advantage.
The harness, for its part, would be the perfect option if we want to avoid the physical damage mentioned above. If the dog needs more control in his walks, this element can become a good ally when it comes to educating and teaching him to walk down the street. For dogs that play sports and also for those who travel a lot by car, it is also an ideal complement. And, of course, for the most fearful or those who suffer from a behavioral problem since it will cause them less aversion to the outside and it will be more comfortable for them.
A border collie playing with a ball.
What must be taken into account when choosing a good harness? Above all that the material is soft, that it does not cause injuries in the friction areas (armpits and chest), that it is made of breathable material and that the attachment ring to the strap is rear so that the force is distributed throughout the body and don’t focus on the forelimbs.
In addition, make sure to choose the size correctly by measuring the contour of the animal’s chest, make sure that the front ring is in its place, well centered and use a strap of at least two meters.
Despite their advantages, it is important to remember that harnesses do not work miracles. It may improve the walking experience but it will still be essential to insist on educating the dog so that it understands that it should not jerk. On the market there are special anti-pull harnesses that are highly recommended for breeds with a high level of energy and strength, such as the German shepherd, the Doberman or the bordie collie. They help a lot to avoid injuries to the dog by unexpected jerks.
It is also interesting to mention the anti-escape harnesses specially designed for those dogs that are able to free themselves from the harness or that, due to their anatomy, need some variations to fit their body. This is the case, for example, of greyhounds whose head has the same diameter as their neck.