Walking with your dog is one of life’s pleasures – we know how much they love to get outdoors in the fresh air and sniff their way from one interesting scent to another. But whether you take them out into the countryside for an afternoon of adventure and exploration or simply take them around the block to relieve themselves, one thing is for sure; you need to have control over them. And in most public places, that means putting them on a leash.
But how do you attach the leash to your dog? Do you use a dog collar or a dog harness/vest? Both have their merits but what is the best option for dog walking?
The Difference Between a Dog Vest/Harness and a Collar
A harness or dog vest is worn around the body and has attachments for the leash between the shoulder blades or sometimes on the chest area. A collar is worn around the neck and so the leash is attached to the more vulnerable neck area.
Dog Vests and Harnesses Offer Better Control
Most dogs are perfectly well-behaved on a leash, especially if you’ve trained them well from a puppy. If so, no doubt they walk sedately without pulling and are a model canine! You won’t find them zigzagging in front of you as they suddenly sniff an irresistible scent, and they won’t try to jump up at people or wriggle out of their collars! But sometimes they do all this and more. Speaking as dog owners ourselves, we know that dogs can suddenly develop a mind of their own and decide to sit down and not move or lunge towards another dog or person without any warning!
For events like this, you’ll be glad that your dog is wearing a harness or vest of dogs rather than a collar. Not only will it make it easier to control and manage your dog, but when you do control them, there’s less chance that it will hurt their neck. And, if you’ve ever had a dog who could double for Houdini, you’ll know how easily they can slip out of a collar unless you put it on tightly – which isn’t really recommended.
Plus, They Have Other Benefits Too!
Vests and harnesses enable the walker to have better control of their dog which is especially important when you are walking them in a crowd or on a busy street. Plus, they offer other benefits too.
- They’re a great training tool for pups that are just learning to walk on a leash. Puppies are less likely to get tangled up in the lead when they are wearing a harness.
- It’s more likely that small or miniature dog breeds will injure themselves if they pull or tug on the lead. By wearing a harness, the pressure is dispersed over a larger area of their body, which in turn will reduce the strain on your dog’s neck and back.
- If your dog is large or particularly strong with a low centre of gravity, attaching their leash to a harness will give you much better control over them. Plus, it’s much easier and more comfortable on your back and arms.
- When a dog pulls on the lead when wearing a collar, he can still move forwards which gives him the impression that he’s in charge! By switching from a collar to a harness, you can discourage your dog from pulling and redirect him to where you want him to go!
- For older dogs who may need a little extra help to get up or down, a harness will help you to pull them up without causing any discomfort or pain.
- And, as we’ve already mentioned – they’re great for dogs who love to wriggle out of their collars. If you’ve ever had a dog who tries to do this when they’re crossing a busy road, you’ll know what a Godsend this can be!
Don’t Put Your Dog’s Neck on the Line!
So bottom line - we would always recommend that you kit your dog out with a vest or dog harness with an attachment for a leash when you’re going out for a walk. It’s the safest option for you and your dog!
For those rainy days, you will be please to know that our vests are also a great dog raincoat option. And if the weather get's cold, our socks for dogs and dog winter coats can be the perfect addition to your pooch apparel.