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Do you ever wonder why dogs, if not all, always get excited when you say 'walkies'?
Humans have a wide variety of options when we're at home. We can watch TV, work out, sleep, clean, or socialise with other family members. Dogs, however, don't have that variety of activities to choose from or ways to pass their time. They only sleep, eat, play, follow you around, and get petted occasionally.
Having the above in mind, no wonder they get so excited when they get to go outside. Dogs' natural tendency is to be active, and walkies are one of the most important activities they enjoy. It's not just a physical exercise but also a chance to explore and opportunities for behavioural training.
Unfortunately, walking them can be frustrating and stressful for your dog — and you. As much as it can help your dog to stay healthy, it can also pose dangers. Using the wrong walking equipment can be a problem.
Dog collars have been a mainstay, but many argue that harnesses are better for walking your dogs. Now, let's discover why.
To collar or not to collar?
A dog collar is common on dogs of all shapes and sizes. It's a staple, and for a good reason. You can easily attach a tag on their collars for identification, so in case they get lost, people will know they've got an owner and can help them be safely returned.
However, it might not be the best option for walking your dogs. As it typically sits around your dog's neck, it can put significant pressure on the delicate areas. A hard tugging or constant pulling might cause serious neck injuries or other worst cases.
In addition, your dogs can slip out of their collars, especially greyhounds and whippets. As an alternative, harnesses are introduced.
A dog harness can reduce common walking woes in many ways. Instead of confining your dog's neck, any force exerted on the leash will be equally distributed to larger areas of their bodies. It also provides better control over your dog and doesn't reinforce pulling behaviour.
With that being said, dogs walk better with a harness.
Dog harnesses are generally the most secure and comfortable equipment when walking your pups. They're great training tools for puppies learning to behave on leash, allowing owners to have better control.
They are also great for specific breeds, like pugs and bulldogs, prone to respiratory problems and tracheal collapse. With harnesses, you can deter your dog's pulling without worrying about choking and struggling.
A harness can also be either back-clip or front-clip, providing better options for you depending on your dog's behaviour and needs while walking.
The problem we always face as a fur parent — constant pulling. But, worry less!
There are common misconceptions that a dog harness encourages your dog to pull or that teaching them to behave properly during leashed walks would be difficult. Contrary to popular belief, dog harnesses are specifically designed to prevent pulling.
A well-fitted harness does not put much pressure on the dog. Hence, they'll feel more comfortable and less likely to pull. In case of pulling, you don't have to worry about choking at all.
No, if you choose the right one!
Many dog harnesses manufactured today can be aesthetically pleasing without actually considering the dog's anatomy. Being so, some harnesses restrict shoulder movement due to improper strap placements.
As responsible fur parents, it’s our duty to always check and evaluate before purchasing. You should consider your dog's breed, size and body shape. This ensures that your dog is safe and comfortable wearing a dog harness.
There are different types of dog harnesses, and each is tricky to put on. One thing in common; it is preferred to put a dog harness on your dog when they're calm. Once calm, you can easily put them in a standing or sitting position. Slip the harness over their head or front legs and position the D-rings properly according to what you're using — back-clips or front-clips. Buckle the harness and adjust it, so it fits perfectly.
Some dog harnesses are difficult to figure out. But, the most important step is to make sure the harness fits well on your dog.