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Have you ever had a seemingly perfect walk in the park? Birds are harmonising, sunlight is just enough, and your dog seems to be in a good mood. It seemed like nothing could go wrong until you found yourself running out of breath—Browny just decided to run after a cat.
Dogs are generally characterised by their playfulness, aggressiveness, and curiosity/fearfulness. Hence, even the most minor and slightest deviation in their daily routine can pique their interest. With that, peaceful walks turn into a race where there’s constant pulling.
This is stressful for a dog owner, especially if it’s a large breed like Labradors and Rottweilers. You’ll definitely be dragged around if you don’t pull the leash. But, this can also be troublesome for your dog when you’re using collars.
Hence, if dog-pulling becomes a constant occurrence, maybe it’s time to consider using walking accessories that discourage pulling, like a No-pull dog harness. But first, let’s understand better the dangers of our current methods.
Dog collars have been long used for dog identification and control. But, its usage raises concerns with neck injuries and increased intraocular pressure.
In fact, a 2020 study published in the British Veterinary Association shows that collars, regardless of type and material, put pressure on your dog’s neck that’s significant enough to cause injuries when pulling on the lead.
Apart from physical harm, collar usage and excessive pulling also cause the emergence of your dog’s unwanted behaviours. This applies when you pull the leash every time you encounter another dog during walks. Your dog will start associating that unpleasant feeling with other dogs and barking at them the next time around.
Given these risks and dangers, harnesses with no-pull features have been developed.
No-pull dog harnesses work as they’re described—No pulling. Specifically, they minimise your dog’s tendency to tug their leashes when they try to chase or run away from something.
Although traditional harnesses already discourage much pulling from using collars, a No-pull dog harness does an even better job by having the clip at the front. It’s usually at the back, where dogs can easily take control and pull through the force their chests exert.
Clipping their leash to the front encourages the dog to stay by your side to move forward. Otherwise, the leash slides to the side and obstructs movement at the front. Hence, your dog will have no choice but to be directed back to you.
With this feature, control over your dog only needs little pressure and results in minimal discomfort on your dog.
Although No-pull dog harnesses generally function similarly, they still come in different qualities and designs to better cater to your dog’s needs. To get most benefits of a No-pull dog harness, make sure to familiarise its different types.
Having a front clip is a standard feature for a No-pull dog harness. Some even have back rings to connect the leash to both the front and the back of the harness. This enables you to gain more control of your dog’s movement without being too restrictive.
Once your dog becomes more accustomed to walking without pulling, you can either remove the front or back attachment to allow more freedom.
Isn’t this the traditional harness set-up?
Well, yes. But this type of back attachment harness also utilises straps in strategic locations like the chest and front legs. This is also effective in deterring your fur baby’s tendency to tug and pull but can also be dangerous for strong and pulling dogs.
Apart from the design, another way to maximise the use of No-pull dog harnesses is to look into the quality of its parts, such as the straps and cushions.
Generally, wider straps are preferred to distribute the pressure evenly on your dog’s body. These also prevent the matting and chafing that thin straps do to your dog’s skin.
As for cushioning, dog harnesses with soft padding are often recommended to make your dog more comfortable and cause less stress on its sternum.
A No-pull dog harness is handy. But remember that just like any tool, this harness is meant only to help you correct your dog’s behaviour and not depend on it to establish control. Hence, you also have to make sure that you teach your dog well by stimulating play and rewarding positive behaviours.