How I Met My Dog

The Truth About Harnesses

For dogs that pull and even those that don’t, using a harness can be a safe alternative to a collar. Finding a harness that fits correctly is the key to keeping your dog comfortable. We’ve put together a list of various types of harnesses, their uses and links to purchase them. Trying multiple different types of harnesses will help you find the ones most suitable to you and your dogs needs. Happy reading!

  • Head Halters

Head halters work to control the direction of a dog. They fit similarly to a halter on a horse and attach around your dog’s head a neck. The premise of a head halter is that wherever your dog's head goes, its body will follow. Head halters are especially helpful for gaining control over a dog’s mouth. For dog’s that bark on walks, redirecting where their head is pointing is a great way to change their focus and offer the opportunity to reward better behavior.

Head halters, like all collars and harnesses can be dangerous if misused or ill fitted. Head halters are not safe for strong leash corrections. They can bend a dog’s head and neck back at unnatural angles and cause unwanted and unnecessary pain. To fit a head halter properly, follow specific instructions that come with whatever version of a head halter that you choose to purchase and leave enough room on the nose piece that your dog can open their mouth fully, while the head piece is fit snugly around their ears.

The most well known head halter is called the gentle leader. You can purchase it in various sizes and colors by clicking here.

  • Front Attaching Harness

Similar to the way a head halter redirects a dog’s attention; front attaching harnesses can do the same. By attaching a leash to your dog’s chest, you can control the direction of their movement and subsequently change where they are looking and what they are paying attention to.

Front Attaching harnesses avoid putting any pressure on your dog’s head or neck so they never cause any coughing or choking. The length of your dog’s nose does not compromise fit in any way. Two different types of front attaching harnesses are the Pet Safe Easy Walk Harness and the Eagloo No Pull Harness. Both harnesses come in various sizes and colors. The Pet Safe Easy Walk Harness is a great way to gain control over dogs that pull, but it does limit the natural gait and can hinder shoulder movement. The Eagloo No Pull Harness fits around the dog’s front legs and chest and does not limit shoulder movement, but it does put pressure on the sternum and if not fitted properly it can shift during use and be uncomfortable for your pet.

Front fitting harnesses give more control than the traditional collar by helping you redirect your dog’s directional movement and attention. These harnesses are great for dogs that pull. Finding the correct style and fit of these harnesses does take trial and error!

  • Back Attaching Harnesses

Harnesses that attach to a ring on your dog’s back give very little assistance for pulling pups. These types of harnesses actually give your dog more surface area and leverage to pull you! We only suggest back attaching harnesses for dogs that do not pull with owners who prefer harnesses to collars.

Puppia makes tons of sizes and colors of their back attaching harness and at such an affordable price, that you can have Puppia harnesses to match every outfit!

  • Wrap Up

Just remember, too much of a good thing can quickly become bad: all collars and harnesses put pressure on points of your dog’s body that can become stiff and sore. Cycling through multiple harnesses in different styles can help prevent body soreness in your dog’s chest, shoulders and neck.

See Spot Run

Increasing a dog's daily exercise routine often helps to decrease their desire to bark, dig and chew. A tired dog is often a well-behaved dog.   

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