Collar or Harness? What to Choose when Taking Your Dog for a Walk
In the UK it is the law for all dogs to wear collars with an identification tag in public spaces under the 1992 Control of Dogs Order. Due to this, many owners opt for attaching a leash to the collar the dog is already wearing before a walk.
However, in many instances a well fitting harnesses is a lot more suitable for many dogs and choosing between using a harness or a collar largely depends more on the dog’s needs rather than the owner’s preference.
Before deciding which one to use for walks, it is good to weigh up the pros and cons of both, keeping in my mind the breed and size of the dog and the dog’s health.
Attaching a Leash to a Dog Collar
For ease, many owners simply attach a lead to their dog’s collar before going for a walk. Many owners also find collars on their own are less restrictive than harnesses. Breeds of dog with longer hair, such as Shih Tzu’s and Wheaten Terrier’s, often find it more comfortable wearing a collar on its own, especially on lengthy walks on warmer days.
In addition, collars, unlike harnesses, are less likely to require any training to get the dog used to wearing one.
Choke and Prong Collars
Many owners prefer using a collar on younger dogs and puppies in an effort to train them.
It is recommended not to use non-safety collars, choke chains or prong collars to train or discipline dogs. A 1992 study found that improper use of choke chains can cause spinal and throat damage to dogs, along with many other injuries. Here at JULIUS-K9 UK we are promoting positive dog training. Positive dog training is reward based and needs a good relationship between dog and owner.
Using Dog Harnesses for Walks
Harnesses are a popular choice for owners of dogs that are prone to pull during walks. Not only do harnesses make controlling your dog easier, they can also help prevent injuries in more overzealous dogs that tug and pull while on a leash. Some collar injuries that harnesses help prevent include:
Both harness types are designed to be easy fitting, comfortable and secure. They also come with an attached handle for increased control. The ring at the top of the harness is suitable for leash fitting which helps prevent tangling that is common on collars.
Benefits of using these harnesses include:
Important note: before buying any harness, it is important to measure your dog to ensure of a correct fit.
Harness and Collar Combination
Some owners remove their dog’s collar when fitting a harness. This is not recommended as if you forget to reattach ID tags back onto the dog you can be fined up to a maximum of £5,000. Due to this, it is good practice to leave your dog’s collar on even when they are wearing a harness to avoid this issue.