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Collar or Harness?

(18 Posts)
UpWithPup Sat 20-Dec-14 18:37:52

We took pup into a small, local (non-chain) pet shop today, to pick up a few bits. He was wearing his collar and lead. The lady in the shop asked if he had a harness, why he wasn't wearing one, didn't he like it etc. She said we should really use it to protect his throat instead of the collar.

As it happens he does have both, I just find the collar easier. He is a small breed and doesn't pull much (no more than you'd expect a 4 month old pup!) So I guess my real question is, am I being dreadful careless? Is the collar going to hurt him?

Gingerfudge Sat 20-Dec-14 18:48:26

I use a harness for walking because I have a sight hound and he pulls, if he didn't pull I wouldn't bother and would go for a wide collar instead.

SpicyBeat Sat 20-Dec-14 19:05:50

I much prefer harnesses for all dogs. Even non-pullers can occasionally pull after a smell or something of interest and a harness takes away the risk of hurting the throat.

UpWithPup Sat 20-Dec-14 19:11:35

I can see your point SpicyBeat, but how big is the risk of them being hurt?

Hurr1cane Sat 20-Dec-14 19:13:55

Apparently you shouldn't use harnesses because harnesses are made for pulling and dogs should walk next to you or behind you so that they know you're in charge. Dogs are pack animals and apparently are a lot calmer and happier when they aren't the leader of the pack, as the leader is responsible for the whole pack, and the leader walks in front.

That's from a lot of research I did when I fostered a dog for a couple of weeks. Slightly obsessed about doing the right thing I was as I'm usually a cat person. Cats aren't pack animals and are happy as the leader of the entire world.

youbethemummylion Sat 20-Dec-14 19:17:02

We have a collar for ID and a harness for walking. Ddog walks mostly slightly behind us so having a harness doesn't automatically mean a dog will pull.

Hurr1cane Sat 20-Dec-14 19:19:45

No maybe not. I'm just saying what my research came back with. I'm not a dog expert by any means. I just worried about doing exactly the right thing while I fostered one in an emergency situation.

Gingerfudge Sat 20-Dec-14 19:23:36

Training stops a dog from pulling, my Dpup like to be upfront when walking with the family, is not in the least distressed about leading....he needs to learn that pulling doesn't get him what he wants - forward movement - ie pulling is non rewarding behaviour. He pulls - i stop, he doesn't need neck damage to get that message.

basildonbond Sat 20-Dec-14 19:25:53

Sorry hurr1cane but your research em wasn't very thorough - if it had been you'd have found out that pack theory is outdated discredited unscientific bollocks

Hurr1cane Sat 20-Dec-14 19:29:26

Haha fair enough. That's why I'm a cat person then grin I really did a lot of reading as well.

Oh well

writingbeagle Sat 20-Dec-14 19:32:33

I have a harness. Our puppy pulls and the trainer suggested it, because he was choking himself. The training advice of not moving when he pulls wasn't working because he pulled so hard he choked and it wasn't good for him. We are still training him to walk on a loose lead, but using harness and he is improving.

CMOTDibbler Sat 20-Dec-14 19:33:37

I only use a harness when going running with ddog. Dpuppy did have one when he was small, but is now walked on a wide sighthound martingale collar.

However, if I ever used long leads or those extending leads, it would always be with a harness

SpicyBeat Sat 20-Dec-14 23:22:50

Well I couldn't quantify the risk. The harness is lower risk though and in the absence of a compelling reason not to, I will always prefer the lower risk option.

SpicyBeat Sat 20-Dec-14 23:25:46

I also don't like collars for behavioural reasons. They make it much harder for dogs to do anything approaching an appropriate greeting of another dog on lead.

LimeJellyHead Thu 08-Jan-15 22:27:15

I always use harnesses on my dogs. It is safer (no strain on their necks) and a harness feels more secure too. It feels odd now to clip a lead on their collars.

Staffle Fri 09-Jan-15 08:11:10

Mine wears a harness and we are not having any trouble training loose lead walking even though we also do canicross with him where we encourage him to pull. He seems to know the difference.
I feel much happier knowing if the loose lead training goes out the window and he pulls on the lead he's not doing his neck more damage (rescue - already had neck damage from a collar and lead sad). He does seem to like his harness though - he automatically puts his paws up to get it on (not trained!)

niqnet1 Fri 09-Jan-15 12:39:50

We've tried a lot of harnesses and our favorite it the Dog-Games harness. The perfect fit one is easy to get on and off if you do decide to use one with your dog.

EasyToEatTiger Fri 09-Jan-15 13:08:19

I use a harness for on-lead, and take it off off-lead. Collar is to hold ID. The less to get tangled in hedges the better!

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