Harnesses for Your Dog

Dog Harness

When you go for a walk with your dog, who walks who?

If your dog wears a collar with leash attached, all that pulling can cause damage to both of you. Even small dogs seem to have the strength of an elephant when dragging you along for the walk.

So how about switching to a harness. Collars are useful for training and carrying tags with information and should still be worn. Harnesses can be safer for you and your dog. Since force is distributed evenly over the dog’s body without jerking the head, there’s no chance of injury to the neck area. This can be especially important for small dogs who sometimes suffer from a collapsed trachea due to the pressure on the throat if the dog pulls while walking. It can happen to large dogs too.

If a collar isn’t adjusted properly it’s possible for the dog to slip out of it presenting new dangers such as running away or getting caught in traffic or tangling around you and your dog.

Dogs are usually more comfortable and less resistant when wearing a harness. A harness is a more humane way of controlling your dog. They make training dogs, especially large one, easier.

A harness fits around the chest and front legs and can clip together at the dog’s side or between the shoulder blades. Leashes are clipped to either the chest area or the center back at the shoulder blades.

Harnesses can be made of different materials such as nylon webbing, leather, canvas. They come in all sizes, colors, patterns and some are designed for specific uses.

Ideally you may take your dog with you when purchasing a harness, for proper fit. But you can measure the widest part of your dog’s ribcage and then add about 2 inches. Most harnesses are adjustable for the right fit. Just as with a collar, you should be able to slip 2 fingers between the harness and the dog. Check the harness regularly since some materials will stretch over time and may need further adjustments. Make sure the harness fits comfortably around the chest and legs.

Some harnesses have special uses such as when used as a restraint in a car, to help prevent pulling, for swimming, for service dogs. You may need to purchase more than one type if you have different needs.

Your dog’s harness should be secure, safe, comfortable, easy to put on or take off, durable and washable.

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