Taking a dog for a walk is one of the best ways to bond. Most dogs enjoy the opportunity to see the world outside of home, apartment or fenced yard and they love getting one-on-one attention from their owners. Most urban and suburban codes require dog owners to walk dogs on-leash, so which option for attaching your leash is better – collar or harness?
The answer depends on your situation. Here are a few issues to consider:
O Dogs with respiratory problems should wear a harness. Dog collars may put too much pressure on a dog's throat and airway.
O Small dogs like Chihuahuas, Yorkies and Pomeranians usually fare better in a harness. Smaller dogs have smaller, more elaborate necks.
O Dogs that pull also may need a harness. Again, it's a question of protecting your dog's health. Pulling on a collar may cause a dog to cough, wheeze or even cause permanent damage.
O Collars come in a variety of materials, colors and designs. Dog harnesses come in a variety of shapes, colors, and styles. In either case, there are plenty of choices so you can find something to fit your taste, budget and your dog's personality.
O Training collars, if not fit properly or if put on incorrectly, can injure or even strangle your dog. If you are training, a harness may be a better choice. A dog harness spreads weight over a wide area, so it is easier to remind your pooch to "heel" and he is less likely to pull.
O Standard collars are easy to put on your dog, but if not sized correctly can allow your dog to escape.
O Harnesses can be difficult to put on your dog, particularly if the dog does not want to wear one. If you do choose to use a harness, pick a style that is easy to put on and take off … while still providing the security you need to control your pet.