Your puppy has finally moved in with you, has perhaps already taken a stroll or two and feels right at home in his new home. The first toys have long been bought (and probably destroyed again), as well as the rest of the equipment that you need for a young dog. But what about a harness? When walking on the streets you can often see dogs not being led by a collar but by a harness on a leash. Does that make a difference?
As with almost everything, there are advantages and disadvantages that we will now take a closer look at to make the decision to buy a tableware easier.
In general, a collar as well as the chest harness are used to secure the leash when walking the dog. Depending on whether the dog pulls strongly on the leash or if you as the owner want to steer the dog in a certain direction through the leash, forces arise that act on the dog.
Now, when a collar is used, these forces act on a very small area on the dog's neck. According to Dr. Ralph Rückert, a veterinarian from Germany, finds important organs there, such as the thyroid gland, the larynx, the trachea and the large cervical vessels. Long-term damage can result from constant pulling force on these organs over long periods of time. These often go unnoticed, such as hypothyroidism, which is caused by inflammation of the thyroid gland.
With a harness, the forces acting on the dog are distributed over a larger surface, which can prevent the above-mentioned damage.
Still, a collar may be a better option if the dog can walk easily on a leash without pulling too much.
Although the harness distributes the tensile forces more widely, there are also problems here that can arise if handled incorrectly. Dr. Rückert refers here to a study on dog locomotion published in 2006, which shows how important the free movement of the shoulder blade and forelegs is in dogs. This can be restricted by chest harnesses, which can also lead to long-term damage to the dog. In addition, many harnesses hold the chest too close to the foreleg and armpit, which can cause chafing that not only hurts the dog but also causes the dog to rotate the elbows outward. This also prevents the dog from moving correctly.
If you want to use a harness, as the dog tends to pull on the collar, you should pay attention to correct handling. This enables the dog to have fun walking without pain.
As the vet Dr. Rückert, but also the dog trainer Lydia Müller, who is the owner of a German dog school, recommend that the puppy should be used to both a collar and a harness, as these should also be used in everyday life in various situations.
If, for example, the dog is not yet very leashed or a "puller", the harness is recommended because the force is better distributed over the dog's body. However, you should make sure that the harness sits correctly and does not affect the shoulder blade or armpit.
If the dog is able to walk well, it is sufficient to use a collar. Correct handling is not so important here, but care should be taken to ensure that the collar is not too tight on the neck.
In the best case, the puppy should learn from an early age that he is allowed to pull on the harness rather than on the collar, where he should walk very well on the leash without pulling. So you can use the harness or the collar depending on the situation without exposing the dog to health hazards.
Here by the way, you can find a suitable collar and harness for your darling!