Do you use a harness if your dog doesn’t pull?

(39 Posts)
Ellybellyboo Tue 10-Dec-19 10:06:12

We had a harness to begin with but she learnt to walk nicely on a lead really quickly. It was always a total mission to get the bloody thing on her so we eventually stopped using it and just walk her on a collar and lead

A few months ago I bought her some snazzy collars and matching leads

On Sunday we went out for lunch at our local pub and I thought I’d put one of her snazzy new collars and leads on

Took dog out for a wee after we’d eaten and she’s happily sniffing away when a woman comes out of the pub and starts giving me an absolute mouthful about how my dog should be wearing a harness, I’m sacrificing her health for fashion, I’m risking neck injuries, etc, etc.

Like I say, she doesn’t pull on a lead, she walks nicely with a loose lead so I don’t really see a problem

OP’s posts: |
Gottobefree Tue 10-Dec-19 10:11:18

Don't worry about her. My dog walks perfectly on the lead so no risk to her neck and as long as you have the right collar it should be fine.
We have harnesses but only for car travel and sports

Obviously for things like seatbelt connectors in cars a harness is better. Some harnesses restrict the front joints and can cause shoulder issues as well.

Ellybellyboo Tue 10-Dec-19 10:12:51

Oh, I should have said

We have a harness for the car. It plugs into the seatbelt connector


OP’s posts: |
fairgame84 Tue 10-Dec-19 10:13:40

Collar and flexi lead for my lazy non pulling dog.
The dog walker uses a harness on him.
Dog walks much better on a collar and lead.

eggandonion Tue 10-Dec-19 10:14:40

My ddog ate his way through two harnesses. So is on a collar and lead, ultra thick lead as he eats ordinary leads...(Waits for reply telling me i'm doing it wrong!)

PlatinumBrunette Tue 10-Dec-19 10:16:22

Depends on the shape of the dog 😄 Mine wears a harness because she’s got a huge neck and a small head. She simply reverses out of any collar.

yasle Tue 10-Dec-19 10:24:16

Some dogs have more fragile necks than others. For mine, a harness is essential. What breed is your dog?


Ellybellyboo Tue 10-Dec-19 10:33:25

She’s a Springer.

Our previous dog never really cracked walking on a loose lead so we always used a harness, but she just trots along nicely beside you - total knobber off her lead though

OP’s posts: |
CMOTDibbler Tue 10-Dec-19 10:36:22

I have lurchers, and they walk on collars (wide martingales). The only time I use harnesses is for running as if they stop suddenly I could pull on them.

Lunafortheloveogod Tue 10-Dec-19 10:47:09

We use harnesses but it’s more to do with the size of their necks, we’d have to use teeny cat collars which have safety latches so aren’t safe on a lead for two and the third has a bigger neck than head so if she gets bored she’d bow out and go her own way. And as a tiny breed they have fragile necks so it’s safer for them too.. not sure if springers have issues with collapsing tracheas though, no experience with them besides mega bouncy hellos.

MaryLennoxsScowl Tue 10-Dec-19 11:32:40

The point of a harness is to prevent the dog hurting its neck if it pulls, so if your dog doesn’t pull then you don’t need one, I’d have thought. Mine has a harness because he’s still learning to walk nicely on lead. He did hate his first harness but I was told it restricted his shoulders so got a new one that drops over his head and he is fine with the new one. Ignore the rude woman! The things people tell you when you get a dog are varied and frequently insane. My favourite so far is the woman in the park who firmly told me to use homeopathic flea treatments as flea treatments would harm my dog and were a con, while her dogs scratched themselves silly.

Ellybellyboo Tue 10-Dec-19 14:28:18


if your dog doesn’t pull then you don’t need one, I’d have thought

That’s always been my thinking to be honest

The collar is slightly loose on her but she has a fairly big head in relation to her neck so she can’t get out of it

There’s always someone telling you you’re doing it all wrong I find.

OP’s posts: |
Claphands Tue 10-Dec-19 14:30:22

Harnesses cause the dog to pull according to my friend who is a dog handler.

adaline Tue 10-Dec-19 14:37:49

Collar and lead here - he only wears a harness in the car as he sits clipped into the back seat.

pigsDOfly Tue 10-Dec-19 14:50:27

I use a harness. Dog doesn't pull because she's been trained not to.

However, she's small so the likelihood of injury to her neck is far greater than it would be for a bigger dog using a normal collar and lead.

If you use any sort of retractable lead, training lead or car attachment you need a harness.

Voldethought Tue 10-Dec-19 16:24:15

All I can add is that I am in awe of you if your dog is a springer and doesn't pull! I'm the doting owner of a six month old springer and, although she's getting much better, I fear I have a long way to go before I can say we've achieved looose lead walking...

powershowerforanhour Tue 10-Dec-19 16:34:52

"Harnesses are for sled dogs and the poorly trained" with the most icily supercilious glare you can muster ;-)

Spudlet Tue 10-Dec-19 16:39:25

Old dog is deaf so wears a harness to attach his flexi-lead to. He isn’t poorly trained, he just can’t bloody hear! hmm

However before he went deaf, we often just used a lead on the collar, or a slip-lead for ease of taking him on and off quickly. He was well-trained and wasn’t in danger of hurting his neck.

SilentTights Tue 10-Dec-19 16:42:23

Flat collar and lead for road walking, public spaces where there are likely to be a few people, events or anywhere I want him close by me and walks where he's going to be let off lead shortly into the walk and popped back on at the end.

Always a harness for walks where I want to ue a longer lead, such as on a beach or in open spaces with distant but uncontained livestock or in places I don't know too well etc. That gives him extra freedom but without risk to his neck if he misjudges the length of the lead.

Also a springer and I know what you mean about a big head to neck ration grin

There’s always someone telling you you’re doing it all wrong I find.

Too true!

Soubriquet Tue 10-Dec-19 16:43:32

I do but I have chihuahuas and they have delicate necks so need to be harnessed not leaded

powershowerforanhour Tue 10-Dec-19 16:46:15

Or even better, "Harnesses are like unsolicited opinions- the mark of an ill mannered creature that wasn't properly brought up".

(Not completely true as in some situations eg collapsing trachea or cervical IVDD a harness is better just in case they lean on the lead briefly now and then; and I have seen some beautifully trained dogs on harnesses- but quite often they are on the spoilt snappy little designer fuckwitted types who have never been taught manners.

WibblyWobblyWonder Tue 10-Dec-19 16:48:33

4kg JRT wears a harness because she can back out of a collar far too easily and pulls. Also she can't go off lead and there's no way I'd use a long line with a collar. 40kg mongrel wears a collar, unless we're canicrossing (they both have canicross harnesses so there's no shoulder restriction, etc). I have far more control of him with a collar, because he just pulls in a harness. My old gun dogs were just on slip leads because they couldn't wear a collar when working and their heel work was bomb proof.

powershowerforanhour Tue 10-Dec-19 16:50:20

Would definitely include the 3 scenarios preceding my above post in "good reasons for a harness"- police dogs working in urban areas are often on a harness and long line too. Well trained springer out for pub lunch and stroll- nope.

Bobstergirl Tue 10-Dec-19 17:14:40

Always use a y fronted harness on my dogs.

They walk well and do not pull on their leads but harnesses are a much safer option in all situations.

Floralnomad Tue 10-Dec-19 17:21:44

My dog walks beautifully in his harness , he can’t wear a collar as he has a a problem with his trachea . Whoever it was upthread who uses a collar and flexi lead is definitely risking their dogs health as that’s a definite no . I would always choose a harness irrespective of health issues as I do think they are safer for the dog .

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