Which is better, a dog collar or a dog harness? If you are trying to decide which one to purchase for your dog, here is a consideration to keep in mind.
If your dog pulls you along as you are walking or you have a hard time controlling him, you may want to consider purchasing a dog harness for him instead of a collar. The first reaction to a dog pulling you is to yank up on the leash. Yanking up brusquely creates a “whiplash” effect with extreme pressure on the neck. We all are aware that when you have continuous pressure or stress on one area, something is going to give eventually. A collar places all of the stress on the neck area whereas a harness distributes the pressure across the chest and “armpit” area. Disc and neck problems usually do not show up until later in life, so you are the judge. You know your dog better than anyone else.
If you feel that a harness is the better decision for your friend, you need to measure the girth of your dog to properly fit a harness. Place one end of your tape measure on top of your dogs spine at the widest part of his rib cage. Wrap the tape measure underneath your dog behind his front legs and up to meet the end of the tape you have placed on his spine. The number on the tape measure that coincides with the beginning of the tape is the girth measurement.
Most dog harnesses will indicate the sizes of girths they will accommodate; for example, medium will fit a girth from 32 to 48 inches. Opinions vary as to whether to choose the smaller or larger size that is closest to the girth measurement of your dog. If you have a pup that is still growing or a senior that has stopped growing, you are the best judge. When you have fitted your dog with his new harness, check to make sure that you can place a couple of fingers vertically between the harness and the body of your dog. The adjustable straps on the harness will enable you to secure your friend safely.
Your new dog harness should be made of a comfortable material. You know what kind of coat your dog has so you will know if a leather harness is suitable for your coarse haired friend. If your dog has fine hair, then your best choice should be a lighter nylon harness perhaps.
To keep both you and your friend content and happy with your dog harness, bear in mind the following tips:
Just like a collar, remember to increase the size of your harness as your dog grows or gains weight. Believe it or not, some owners just do not check their pet attire regularly.
Make sure that the harness does not rub against your dogs skin and create sores or lesions. Check for irritated or broken skin in the areas where the harness is close to your dogs body.