Dog walking has a lot of benefits for both you and your pooch — not only do you both get fresh air but also good exercise. There are several types of leashes you can use for dog walking; some use standard collars while others use the harnesses, and some use neither.
Choosing a collar or a harness for your pup depends on the needs for both you and and your dog. One thing you’ll notice from walking your dog(s) is that every pooch has their own style. Some are calm while others pull and tug, potentially harming themselves through accidental choking. So, we’ll help you determine what is best for your dog so that you both enjoy your jaunts out.
What are collars? They’re usually the standard solution to dog walking. Coming in a variety of styles, the traditional collars are commonly used for dogs that don’t have respiratory issues and aren’t prone to pulling on leashes.
Slip collars, on the other hand, are designed for pups that are prone to slipping out of their collars, and as collars that will intentionally constrict or cause discomfort as a means of training (although this method of training is not recommended as you can better to train your pups through positive reinforcement).
Pros of Collars:
- Provide visibility and function (i.e. dog identification)
- More comfortable to be left on dogs all day long
- Light and non-restrictive for quick walks with your dog
Cons of Collars:
- Not ideal for training
- Increase in likelihood of neck injury/thyroid issues if pulling occurs
- Creates eye pressure, which may worsen clinical signs or disease progression in dogs with glaucoma
- Breeds with slim heads like Greyhounds, or breeds with thick necks like Bulldogs.
- Dogs with no respiratory problems/neck issues
- Dogs that do not pull and tug on their leases
What about harnesses? A dog harness is designed to go around the neck, in front of the shoulders, and behind the front legs. As more dog owners begin to explore other alternative dog walking methods for their pups, the popularity of harnesses has been on the rise due to the many advantages it offers.
Pros of Harnesses:
- Effective tool for training, especially for puppies
- Keep distracted dogs focused
- Dogs are less likely to injure themselves
Cons of Harnesses:
- Inability to fully control dogs with back-clip harnesses compared to front-clips due to its effectiveness
- Cannot be left on dogs for a longtime as it will cause discomfort
- Some dogs might not like the feeling of a harness around their bodies
- Dogs with pre-existing medical issues (i.e. respiratory, neck, glaucoma)
- Breeds with short noses like Pugs and French Bulldogs
- Dogs who are difficult walkers who need more control
Whichever route you take, the most important thing to note is that you should always be up to date with your vet with any health related issues that your dog might have, as both collars and harnesses serve their own purposes. After all, you want what’s best for your pup!