Are Harnesses Good for Dogs?

white terrier on a harnesses

A harness is a standard piece of equipment that is used to walk dogs.

 There are many different reasons to get a harness for your canine companion. It is a good idea for you to learn about what these devices have to offer before making a decision either way.

Controlling Your Dog on Walks

It is imperative that you maintain complete control of your dog at all times while walking it. Failing to do this can lead to your dog running away, and there is no telling what could happen if this occurs. A harness is just one way to do this, and it can be quite effective.

If you have a particularly big or strong-willed dog, it is particularly important that you keep them under control when going for a walk. This will ensure that your dog stays safe when you are spending time with its outside getting some exercise.

Benefits of Using a Harness for your Dog

There are a number of benefits to using a harness with your dog that you need to be aware of before making a final decision.

jack russel terrier on a walk e1582975274528

1. You Have Complete Control

One of the main benefits that a harness offers is that you always have complete control when walking your dog. It is easier to yank them back if they happen to lunge at a vehicle, person or another dog while on a walk. This, in turn, can help to keep your dog as safe as possible while you are getting them their daily exercise.

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2. Great for Training Your Dog How to Behave on Walks

When you use a harness on your dog, they will be less likely to pull you around. It shouldn’t take long before they realize that trying to do this is pointless. It is always better to start using a harness on a dog from a young age. It can take a while for older dogs that are more set in their ways to get the message. This is especially true if you have a very stubborn type of dog like a Siberian Husky.

3. Protect Your Puppy

If you have a puppy that you are training to go on walks properly, a harness is a great investment, to say the least. It is also a lot safer for these dogs, as there is no risk of them getting tangled up and choking like with a leash.

4. Easier on Your Dog’s Neck

The constant pulling on your dog’s neck that is associated with a leash can take a toll on it over the long term. While it is true that a dog’s neck is incredibly tough, there is only so much these animals can take. A harness pulls from the chest, so you won’t have to worry about any potential injuries to the neck.

siberian huskyes on a sledge

Drawbacks of Using a Harness for your Dog

While there are very few drawbacks to using a harness for your dog, you’ll still want to know what they are before making up your mind.

1. Some Dogs Might Not Like How it Feels

It is certainly possible that your dog might not like the way the harness feels on them, especially at first. There could be an adjustment period that your dog has to go through before it gets used to it. If your dog is really stubborn, it might refuse to wear one of these devices altogether.

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2. Certain Harnesses Aren’t Always Effective

Keep in mind that harnesses with a back clip design don’t always work well, especially with larger dogs. Using this type of harness with your dog might actually teach it to disregard you when you go on walks together.

cute puppy in a grass

Harness vs. Leash

There is no question that a harness gives you more control over your dog than a collar. It is simply a more effective way of keeping your dog safe and secure while on a walk. A collar doesn’t take quite as much time to put on each time, but it’s not that big of a deal. Once you learn how the harness goes in, it only takes about 10 to 15 seconds to get on your pooch.

While it might seem like a collar is the best option because it has a simpler design, this is just not true. The fact is that a harness is almost always better than a basic collar, especially for big dogs that tend to be stubborn and pull a lot. When you need to keep control of your dog, a harness is typically the way to go.

What to Look for in a Harness

There are a few different things that you’ll want to look for prior to selecting a certain harness for your dog. This information can help you to make the right overall selection.

  • Material: It is important that you choose a harness that is made of sturdy but somewhat flexible material like nylon. This will ensure years of effective use.
  • No pull design: There are certain harnesses with a no-pull design, and they are ideal for big/stubborn dogs.
  • Custom-fit: Look for harnesses that can be adjusted to match your dog’s body perfectly. This will always give you a comfortable and secure fit.
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  • The fact is that harnesses tend to offer more control over a dog than a standard collar and leash.
  • If you have a very big stubborn dog, you will definitely want to consider using a harness.
  • A harness is perfect if your dog is still fairly young and you are training it how to behave on walks.
  • Harnesses do not encourage pulling like collars, which is something else to consider.
  • If you have a puppy, keep in mind that a harness is safer than a leash. With the latter, your dog could get tangled up and choke.
  • Remember that your dog might not take to the harness right away, especially if it is already accustomed to a collar.
  • Take the time to look for a harness that is made of a flexible yet durable material.
  • You should also get a harness that offers a custom fit for your canine companion.