If you have a dog then switching over to a harness could be one of the best things that you can do for them. With a traditional collar and leash the dog can experience pain, coughing, damaged neck muscles and poor behavioral control. However, by switching to a harness and leash your dog will find it harder to pull but much easier to breathe and be guided by your pressure changes on his torso.
Why Are Harnesses Easier To Control?
A lot of dog owners, especially ones who are training, are coming to the conclusion that harnesses are much better for both the dog and the owner. This is because the harness is able to provide greater feed back to the dog about what it is you want them to do.
By having straps across the torso of the dog he will be able to feel your every move. If you want him to slow down because he is pulling then he will feel a tightening across his chest and back instead of a choking feeling that hurts from a traditional collar. The reaction from the harness is much more pleasant for the dog and he will be more willing to co-operate with you if he is not in pain and wheezing.
Directional guidance is much easier too. This is because the dog will feel pressure on the left if you want to go left and pressure on the right if you want to go right.
What Types of Harnesses Are There?
There are many different styles of dog harnesses but they all fall under a basic design: one strap down the back, two straps down the chest going towards the tail and connecting with the back strap either via one or two straps around the torso (chest) area.
Now depending on what the harness is for will depend on the overall style of the harness. Working dogs tend to have more padding with maybe extra belts, loops, or pockets so that they can carry items. Other harnesses are designed for night walks so they have a reflective thread woven into the webbing. Some harnesses are designed for older dogs so they may have extra support straps for their hind legs.
There are plenty of designs to chose from, it’s all about getting the right fit for your dog and making sure that they are comfortable.
Sizing Your Dog
When getting a harness it is important to measure your dog properly. Here is an approximation of guide measurements for harnesses.
Back: 7 inches
Neck: 5.5 inches
Chest: 12 inches
Back: 9 inches
Neck: 6.5 inches
Chest: 15 inches
Back: 13 inches
Neck: 8 inches
Chest: 19 inches
Back: 17 inches
Neck: 10 inches
Chest: 24 inches
Back: 20 inches
Neck: 13.5 inches
Chest: 29 inches
By following these guidelines you can ensure a nice fit for your dog.