Not all dogs are the same, and they don’t all need the same collar or leash. The choice has to take into account the complexion of each dog, its level of energy and activity, its behavior and, of course, also that of the person who is going to walk it.
Collar or harness for dogs, which is better?
Before buying a collar for your dog, or a harness, it is good that you value the implication that each of these accessories can have for health and behavior.
Pros and cons of dog collars
The neck is a very sensitive part of the canine anatomy. As in people, a single whiplash accident can be very damaging.
That is why collars are NOT recommended for the following types of dog:
- Dogs with high activity, which tend to walk pulling on the leash
- Elderly dogs or dogs with cervical problems
Excessive pressure of a collar on the neck can involve health risks such as pain, bruising and / or contractures, impaired blood flow and related problems or breathing difficulties.
Now, dog collars are very practical accessories in the case of dogs that do not pull on the leash, or that spend most of their time loose because they live in environments conducive to it.
A collar is easy to put on, has less risk of getting caught in a branch if the dog runs through the bush, takes up less space and dries faster if it gets wet.
Pros and cons of dog harnesses
Using a harness instead of a collar ensures that the pressure (light or severe) that the dog exerts when pulling the leash is not concentrated on the neck. This avoids the risks associated with the collar.
Some people believe that a dog with a harness pulls more than a dog with a collar, and although there is no scientific data to support this, it is an opinion that can be taken into account. However, as we have seen, pulling dog collars are not a good idea, precisely because of the pressure they exert on such a delicate area as the neck.
So that’s where the anti-pull harnesses come into play, designed to accompany the dog in its learning not to pull on the leash. They are a very good option, although they should never replace the canine education work necessary to teach the dog to walk quietly.
How to choose a leash for your dog?
There are many types of leashes, but in general the most recommended are those that allow the dog some freedom of movement: leashes of more than one meter.
Which extension is the best?
Straps less than one meter are not recommended for walking and should only be used in very specific circumstances where absolute control is needed. They do not allow the dog to sniff, move with some ease, or enjoy the walk.
A good idea is the straps with different hooks, which can be made shorter or longer as appropriate. They are a very versatile and interesting option.
The extendable leashes, of several meters, can allow a lot of freedom of movement for the dogs, but also have an associated risk of uncontrol. The choice must be carefully evaluated depending on each dog and each owner, since picking up a leash of several meters can be difficult in the middle of a busy street, for example. On the other hand, you have to watch out because they can roll into trees, streetlights or cause trips.
Finally, there are training straps, flat and several meters long. They are used when training exercises such as the call (teach the dog to come when called without risk of escape) and others in which it is interesting to combine freedom of movement and security.
Round or flat?
The shape of dog leashes can vary from round to flat. The differences are not too significant except in the case that you need a leash to perform some canine education exercises (obedience, for example). In that specific situation, it is better to choose a flat leash that you can step on with your foot and hold while you reward the dog or indicate the exercise to perform.
Leather or fabric?
It may be a matter of taste, but there are a few things to consider when choosing leather or fabric dog leashes.
If you have a puppy, choose fabric better because your puppy may end up biting the leash and fabric ones are cheaper. You can replace it at a lower cost.
On the other hand, if you know that your strap may get wet often, choose fabric as the skin deteriorates more easily if it is wet.
In all other cases, the choice would be more of an aesthetic matter than anything else. So: choose the one you like the most. You are sure to find a design that goes with you and your dog.
We hope this article can help you choose the best collar, harness or leash for your dog. And, above all, we hope you can enjoy long walks together.