Sunday, April 7, 2019

Collar or Harness?

The simplest collar can be fastened with a buckle or snap and is usually made from leather or fabric.  This is the only collar that should be used on a puppy.  Collars can also be what is called a "limited slip" or Martingale style with two sections--the smaller one tightens with a loop of chain or fabric.  This type of collar is an option for an older dog who needs more control for walking.

Only the buckle or snap collar can be worn without the owner providing close supervision. Collars that can tighten can get caught in all sorts of places and can choke our dog or at least realy scare him.  Even the safest colar can cause a problem.  Because of this, some people opt for no collar on their dog when in the house.

Halters or harnesses provide other options.  Head halters come in several designs, but all work by going around the dog's head as well as around the nose/mouth in much the same way that a halter works on a horse. They all fasten to the leash from under the chin.  Head halters should always be removed at the same time as the leash.  Head halters are not appropriate for a puppy.

Body harnesses come in multiple designs and styles.  Some fasten in the back, some in the front and a few can be fastened in front, back or both.  Some include a limited slip or Martingale connection at the location of the fastener.  I don't recommend these because dogs have no collarbone.  So, pressure from the front of the chest, like with a front fastening harness, especially with a Martingale style loop, can damage the muscles and ligaments that protect the shoulder.  The body harness is also best kept off until going out on a leash.  A body harness that fastens at the back is great for a puppy!


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