As a dog owner, you will definitely own at least a collar and / or harness. But do you know which one is better for your dog?
We get either a collar or harness with the intention to take our dogs out and want to make sure we keep them safe and secure.
A collar often wins in terms of its size and ease of wearing.Yet it poses some concerns as well, particularly if you are trying to control a dog that is pulling and tugging at his leash. If the dog were to be in a collar, such pulls and tugs will be directly causing a pressure against the dog’s throat. It’s even worse if the owner were to be using a choke collar (gasp!).
Over time, the poor dog’s throat and / or trachea will be damaged.
Imagine having someone trying to crush your throat or strangle you. How does that make you feel? 😊
Some owners may also not be aware of how fitting the collar should be. Too tight, and the dog feels strangled. Too loose and you run a risk of the dog escaping by slipping its head through the collar. This is especially so if you have a dog whose head is smaller than its neck.
So how then? Maybe wearing a harness will help? After all, the harness is worn on the body and covers a bigger surface area, that should take away the risk of injury to the trachea and also make it harder for the dog to escape?
Well, it’s a yes and no. While yes, if the dog had a harness on, the force exerted by the owner will be spread over a bigger surface area (more of the chest), thereby reducing the damage. Abrasions over time to the skin may still occur if you have a highly excitable dog who is prone to pulling. Also, unknown to many new and / or inexperienced owners, the dog could still escape from a harness if he were to reverse.
Collars also have their advantages. Being smaller, they are easier and more comfortable to wear over a long period of time. With collars, you can also include name tags and emergency contact details, making it easier to reunite lost dogs with their owners. That’s why at Hope Dog Rescue, we use a combination of both collar and harness for our rescues. However, we are careful in the type of collar we use. Our dogs use only martingale collars which tighten slightly when pulled but come with a stopping mechanism to prevent excessive tightening. With both a collar and harness, the dogs are better secured and we reduce potential flight risk and injuries.
We hope that this nugget of information will help you make a more informed decision the next time you shop for your dog. End of day, safety and comfort of our dogs are topmost on our minds.