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Why A Harness? Why Not!!!

Updated on July 24, 2012

Whenever you step outside of your house or apartment with your dog, he or she is sporting some sort of control device. For many, it is a collar with a leash attached. For some, it is the gentle leader or haltie. Collars are popular. They are versatile. You can attach nametags and other forms of ID to a collar. In fact, most dogs wear collars.

Collars are choke, half-choke, rolled, flat, shock and prong. Sometimes, owners unwittingly opt for a collar such as a shock, prong or choke as an easy fix for training. In rare instances, using any of them on a regular basis may, perhaps, be justified. In most cases, if you have issues over pulling pick a better, safer, gentler option – a harness.

What is a Harness?

Harnesses are strips of leather, nylon and other materials that loop around the body. They have a strap that, in most cases, slips easily under or between the front legs of the dog. In removing the weight from the dog’s neck, the harness distributes the weight more evenly. It allows you control over pulling while decreasing the chance of any neck injury associated with collars.

Types of Harnesses

There are many different types of harnesses. The most basic are:

· Pet harnesses – the most commonly employed by pet owners

· Sled dog harnesses – used to pull heavy weights

· Assistant dog harnesses – employed by dogs who act for the hearing and seeing impaired

· Mobility support harnesses – a fairly new innovation allowing dogs with mobility issues to have less strain on their legs

· Car safety harnesses – these allow your dog to rise safely in the back of the car unsupervised. Prevents issues involving restless dogs

Harnesses are also available, during to their increased popularity, in a variety of colours, styles, patterns and materials. They may be made of leather or nylon. They made be pink, brown or blue with patterns of hearts, bones and peace signs. Yet, harnesses are essentially divided into two types: step-ins or beneath the belly. This describes the positioning of the straps.

You may also purchase a harness that has a double ring: one goes to the ring at the back; the other is situated at the neck. You can also choose between a front harness clip or a back harness clip. In this case, some prefer the front clip believing it gives them better control. Others find the back clip to be as effective. It all comes down to your dog, his or her temperament and the rationale for purchasing this means of control.

What to Consider

When selecting a dog harness, make sure you are well aware of the size and shape of your dog. You must consider, also, the purpose of the harness. Consult your veterinarian if the issues are health-based. Talk to a trainer you trust as well as a knowledgeable employee at your favourite pet supply store. By combing their input, you should come up with the right and beneficial solution for your dog. Although most harnesses are adjustable, it is essential you know what size your dog takes and whether the fit will be comfortable. Bring your dog in when you decide to purchase one.

Benefits of Harnesses

Harnesses provide the safest form of dog training possible. Harnesses do not cause any of the following harmful practices:

· Choking

· Shocking

· Neck damage

· Specific throat injuries such as trachea

· Spine problems

· Slipping out of a collar

A harness easily allows you to control your dog without suffering. While it is most common to use harnesses on small dogs, it is also practical and humane to employ them with other breeds. Bulldogs can easily benefit from the use of a harness. They come in a variety of sizes making it simple and practical for medium and large dogs as well.


If you are training your dog not to pull or have a dog with such issues, do not immediately opt for a choke, half-choke, prong or shock collar. Consider the viable option of a harness. Harnesses are an effective means of reducing pulling. They are also beneficial in reducing the potential for neck injuries. Overall, harnesses provide a safe, effective, advantageous and humane way of controlling your dog, whether he or she pulls or not.


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      Diane Ward 5 years ago

      I am a huge fan of harnesses for dogs. they are humane and a good way to keep control of your animal