Are you using the correct harness for you and your pet? Collars, Harnesses and Head collars range in shapes, sizes and fabric styles, but most importantly they vary in how they function. Choosing the right one will do wonders for you and your pet when out on a walk. But there are so many options! How does one choose?
Head collars are safe and completely humane to use on your dog. They are fast becoming one of the first-choice collars for puppies. Head collars have a strap that goes over the bridge of the dog’s nose and a strap that clips at the back of the neck. Head
collars sit high on the back of the dog’s neck so that when the owner pulls or the dog pulls, this area tightens slightly, puts a small amount of pressure on the top of the neck and the bridge of the nose which helps to control the direction of the dog’s head. The general principle is similar to that of head collars used for horses i.e. if you are able to direct the dog’s head, the rest of its body will follow.
Head collars are great for most people and their dogs. They won’t cause damage to the larynx and oesophagus unlike other collars which can cause damage to these areas.
If you have a dog who mouths or snaps, some of the head collars can be gently pulled forward to close the dog’s mouth safely and humanely. When this collar is used correctly it makes going for walks easier, safer, and less stressful allowing you to enjoy each other’s company making it a win-win for you both!
Head Collar Brands:
- Black dog training collar
- Gentle Leader
- Canny Collar
- Petlife Halti
No-pull Harnesses are a great choice for dogs who pull or lunge during walks. They are great
tools to help you teach your pet to learn walk calmly and ultimately go on relaxing walks with no pulling or lunging.
A no-pull harness fits under your dog’s front legs and then loops over your dog’s shoulders, with the lead attachment at the front of the harness, not on your pet’s back. When you are on a walk and your dog pulls, the harness applies gentle pressure to their front legs to slow their pace. There are different makes of these harnesses, so they do look and fit differently depending on the brand, however they use the same concept of slowing your pet down during a walk. It’s very important to find the correct style for your pet since breeds have such different body shapes – some harnesses may be suitable for one type, but not for another – we’re comparing pugs and grey hounds here! Like the head collar, the no-pull harness won’t cause damage to the larynx and oesophagus.
Occasionally, and particularly if your dog is huge and strong, some of these harnesses may not be for you. Some very large dogs can override a particular style of harness and end up pulling harder – this may cause injury to you. Seek professional advice if you’re not sure which style or brand may be the best for your pet.
Regular Harness or Collar:
A regular harness fits around the dog’s chest and avoids pressure to the neck when walking.The lead attaches to a clip on the pet’s back between the shoulder blades. Regular harnesses offer no behavioural guidance – they are just a device to clip the lead onto before going on a walk. For dogs that don’t jump, pull or lunge these harnesses are great. Regular harnesses are not ideal for large dogs who find it challenging to walk calmly on a loose lead as they’re able to ‘lean in’ to the harness and really pull! If you have a dog that pulls, a head collar or no-pull harness might be a better fit for you.
Using an ordinary collar to walk your dog can gives little control over the dog. If your dog is able to walk with a loose lead and in calm and relaxed when walking, then a regular collar presents no issues. However, if your dog pulls on the lead or you pull on it hoping to get your dog to slow down, the collar can cause injury to your pet’s larynx and oesophagus. It is recommended you use a harness or head collar to give you better control without the risk of accidental damage to your pet.
A word about Choker & Prong Collars:
Choker and Prong collars aim to reduce a pet’s behaviour by punishing it for “doing the wrong thing”. They are painful and can cause serious injury or death and do nothing to actually teach the dog how you would like it to behave. It’s far more effective to set your dog up to ‘do the right thing’ by using kind training methods and tools. We do NOT recommend the use of choker or prong collars. We can assist if you are finding it challenging to teach your dog what you would like it to do.
As you can see there is a wide selection of dog collars and harnesses and their accompanying leads out there! Finding the right one that suits you and your pet can sometimes feel like a challenge. If you have any questions about which harness or collar would be right for your pet or your having a challenge teaching your pet what you would like it to do, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on 0481 527 678.