Dog leashes and collars are must have’s for all dog owners, however, with so many different options to choose from it’s difficult for dog owners to know what dog collars and leashes they should buy. They also need to consider the type. Should a dog owner purchase an ajustable dog harness or standard one? If you’re in the market for a new dog collar or harnass, or are wondering if you have the right one for your pet, this article is for you.
By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear idea about what types of dog collars and harnesses are available. You’ll also understand what each of them is best suited for which will allow you to pick the best options for your dog.
Are dog harnesses better than collars?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a straight answer to the question of whether dog harnesses are better than dog collars as it’ll depend on what you need it for. When the purpose is simply to keep an ID tag attached to your dog at all times, you’ll want to get a dog collar.
Dogs need to have an ID tag attached to them whenever they’re outdoors. Even if they’re in a fenced backyard. There’s always a possibility of an escape and an ID tag is an international sign that says a dog has a home and makes it a lot easier to get in touch with its owner. Dog collars are better for keeping ID’s around as they’re more comfortable for dogs to wear.
Adjustable dog harnesses aren’t the most comfortable equipment for dogs to wear at all times but they’re a better option when it comes to going out for walks, especially if the dog tends to pull on the leash.
Using dog collars and leashes on dogs that pull during their walks can increase the risk of neck injury. That’s because the collar puts pressure on the dog’s neck whenever it pulls. When you use a dog harness, that pressure is distributed evenly across the dog’s body.
Adjustable dog harnesses give dog owners more control over their dogs and are overall the safest and most comfortable way to walk a dog. They decrease a dog’s tendency to pull and there’s a lower chance of a dog getting tangled in the leash.
Dog collars and leashes
There are different types of dog collars you can choose from. Each of them will serve slightly different purposes and have different effects. Here are the most common types of dog collars:
- Flat collar: this is the most common type of collar used to hold the dog’s ID tag. If your dog is well trained and knows how to walk on the leash without pulling, this collar is enough. But, if your dog pulls, lunges, or tends to misbehave on the leash, you’ll need to get something else.
- Slip collar: these collars tighten whenever a dog pulls on the leash without choking it. These are specially designed for dogs that have slim heads or thick necks and are prone to slipping out of the collar.
- Prong collar: this is a self-correcting collar and tightens whenever a dog lunges or pulls. It has prongs lined with metal barbs or triangular points that pinch the dog whenever the collar tightens.
- Martingale collar: this collar a combination between the flat collar and the slip collar. It has a small loop in it that tightens whenever a dog pulls but only until a certain point. It’s also useful for dogs that tend to slip out of their collars.
- Choke chains: these collars also work by tightening whenever a dog pulls but there’s no limit to how much it tightens. The more a dog pulls, the more it tightens.
Besides the flat collar, all the other types of collars are used to stop dogs from pulling. Whenever a dog pulls, the collar tightens which causes discomfort and, in some cases, even pain. This will discourage a dog from pulling on the leash. But before considering any collar besides the flat collar, keep in mind that the best way to train a dog is by using positive reinforcement. So if you’re looking to train your dog to walk on the leash, stick to the flat collar for identification purposes and look into getting an adjustable dog harness.
Adjustable dog harness
There are also several types of harnesses you can choose from. It’s important to understand the difference between them as they’ll have almost opposite effects:
- Back-clip harness: these allow you to attached the leash to the dog’s back. It allows for more control over the dog when comparing to a flat collar. Because the leash is attached further down the dog’s back and away from the neck, it reduces the risk of injury. However, it’s not the ideal type for dogs that pull on the leash as it can make things worse. This is the type of harness that sled dogs use so unless your dog is meant to pull something, avoid this type of harness.
- Front-clip harness: these harnesses allow you to attach the leash to the dog’s chest and the leash will fall to one of the dog’s sides. This type of harness is ideal for dogs that pull on the leash. Having the attachment on the front will discourage a dog from pushing ahead as, when a dog does so, it’ll be pulled to one of the sides instead of being able to move forward. However, because it’s attached to the chest, there’s a bigger risk of getting the leash tangled in the dog’s legs.
- Dual-clip harness: these allow you to attach the leash either to the dog’s back or chest or even both if you have a two-sided leash. Some of these harnesses are bulkier than the previous ones but they also combine the advantages of them both.
Using an adjustable dog harness with a front-clip (or a dual-clip) will help you to train your dog to walk properly on the leash. This way you’ll have more control over your dog’s body and movements without resorting to punishment.
Making sense of it all
There are several types of dog collars and leashes and adjustable dog harnesses and each of them is used for different purposes. Keep in mind that, if your dog pulls on the leash it’s a good idea to have a flat collar for identification purposes only and a front-clip harness that will help you train your dog.
However, no matter what equipment you choose, in order for it to have the desired effect, it needs to properly fit your dog. Otherwise, it can be ineffective and even dangerous. Measure your dog before heading down to the store to buy anything. The measurements will depend on the specific equipment you want to buy and they’ll have their own sizing guides. A rule of thumb when it comes to sizing harnasses and leashes for dogs is to make sure that you can fit two fingers between your dog’s body and the harness’s straps or collar. No more and no less.