Harnesses are simply the safest, most secure, and most comfortable way to hook your dog up to his leash. A good harness will reduce pulling, increase your control over your pup, and decrease stress on his neck and joints.
Pros of dog harnesses:
1. It takes the pressure off the neck. If you have a dog that needs supervision for whatever reason, the harness gives you something to tie the dog to you and keep it nearby. This is much safer than using a neck collar, which can choke a dog or cause neck injuries if the dog pulls on it
2. A harness helps with control and safety issues. Harnesses give you something to grab on to pull your dog or puppy out of danger quickly or to stop your dog from running away. A harness is also a good substitute during the day in case the dog ever goes missing.
3. A harness is a great solution as you can make it easier to pull the dog back. It’s quicker to get your puppy or dog outside for a potty break – just clip the leash onto the harness and you’re ready to go outside. This is especially handy if you live in an apartment or need to take your dog out every time for a potty break.
4. It encourages your dog to walk in balance. A harness can put the balance on the dog's chest and cause him to stay under control while walking him or her. Using a harness with points of connection on the chest and back encourages the dog to move his center of gravity backward so he is more balanced. And a dog that is physically balanced will also have better emotional balance and will therefore be better able to learn.
5. It is more comfortable for your dog. Harnesses distribute any pressure across a much larger and less sensitive body area in the chest and flank than the alternatives where pressure is concentrated in the neck or face.Therefore, a well-fitted harness is more comfortable for your dog than being led by a collar or wearing a head collar.
6. It positions the dog naturally at your side. If you want your dog to walk on a loose lead, the ideal place for it to be is beside you, matching your pace and direction. Attaching a lead to a collar or the back of a harness position you firmly behind the dog - in the perfect position to encourage pulling!. Dogs tend to listen more and behave better with a harness on
Cons of dog harnesses:
1. Can be harder to put on and take off. It may require more physical strength than walking your dog on a traditional dog collar, depending on the dog's size. If a harness is too big, your dog may be able to wiggle out and escape. Dog harnesses that are too tight can be painful for dogs
2. Harnesses can irritate a dog’s skin where it rubs a lot, especially if the harness is too small, too tight, worn for too long, or made of rough material.In general, a dog harness should fit snug but not too tight. It should be tight enough that your dog can't back out of it, and the ring should sit higher on their chest. Just like with a collar, you should be able to fit two fingers (but only two!) between the harness and your dog.
3. If a harness is worn for too long and it rubs against the dog’s skin, the dog can lose hair in that area. A dog's harness should be taken off at night, when the dog is in a crate, and whenever the dog is left alone.
4. A Harnesses is fine for walking but can be uncomfortable if the dog needs to wear the harness for many hours as the strap can become tight and uncomfortable across the chest when the dog sits down.
5. Puppies and dogs with Pica have lots of time to chew on the harness and swallow pieces, which is a serious choking hazard
6. If a wet harness is left on a dog for too long, the dog could get a skin infection
7. A harness can hook on something your dog walks past and trap your dog
8. The harness can get dirty and start to smell if it isn’t removed and cleaned regularly.
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