How to Choose the Best Harness for Your Dog
But when you’re taking walks, having control over your pooch is vital. If he pulls, you and your dog could be in for a world of trouble; not to mention the fact that it just makes the whole experience a lot less enjoyable. But, having the right gear, like a harness, can help you rein your furry friend in so that you both can have a safe and pleasant experience. But choosing the right harness can be a bit challenging because there are several different options available.
Below, we highlight the three different types of harnesses and share some important features to consider so you can choose the best one for your dog.
Head halter harnesses resemble the harnesses that are used on horses, and for good reason; they were inspired by the equine tools. This type of harness fits over the nose and neck, allowing you to control your pooch’s head. The theory behind this type of harness is simple: where a dog’s head goes, his body will follow. Head halters provide the most control while walking. They’re an excellent tool for large dogs that pull. A head halter should fit your dog properly, so choose the right size for your pup. It should also be adjustable so that you can get the perfect fit for your pet’s unique shape and size. A high quality harness will be made of durable materials and will feature padding for comfort, and to prevent the straps from moving into your pup’s eyes. The leash attachment should also be securely attached.
No Pull Harnesses
If your dog pulls, but not so aggressively that a head halter harness is necessary, than a no pull harness is a great option. This type of harness fits around the upper body and the leash attaches near the chest. This prevents the dog from pulling with the most powerful part of his body – the chest – by creating tightening sensation if he pulls, thus giving you more control.
Like all harnesses, a no pull harness must fit properly, so make sure you choose the right size. Since all dogs are uniquely shaped and size, look for a harness that can be adjusted so you can achieve the perfect fit. The leash attachment should be firmly affixed to the harness and should be positioned on the chest, not the neck, to prevent choking. High quality harnesses will also feature a second leash attachment on the back, which allows you to use it when you aren’t training during leisurely walks, or once your pup is fully trained and no longer pulls. Of course, you’ll want to select a no pull harness that is made of durable materials so that it stands up to pulling and regular wear and tear. The material should also be breathable and prevent friction to avoid irritating your dog’s skin. Nylon webbing with breathable mesh panels is a great option to consider. Padding on the chest straps is also a great feature, as it improves the comfort for your do. Lastly, you might want to consider a no pull harness that features some type of reflective material that will increase your dog’s visibility during nighttime walks, thereby improving his safety.
Front Clip Harnesses
A front clip harness is another option to consider, especially if your dog pulls. This type of harness works similarly to a no pull harness; they fit around the chest and the leash attachment is positioned on the front instead of the back, like traditional, back clip harnesses. When the clip is situated on the chest, you have more control of your dog, as he will instinctually pull back, away from the pressure, which thereby prevents him from pulling.
If you are thinking about using a front clip harness with your dog, the first thing to consider is the sizing, of course. Make sure that you choose an option that is designed to fit your pup; obviously, if he’s a large breed, you aren’t going to want a small harness. Something that features adjustable straps is also a good idea, as you will be able to achieve the perfect fit for your pet’s unique size and shape. You’ll also want to choose a harness that is made of durable, breathable material that can withstand pulling and normal wear and tear and won’t irritate his skin. Like with a no pull harness, nylon webbing is a great choice. A high quality front clip harness will also feature padded straps to provide greater comfort. Make sure that the clip is situated on his chest and not near his neck to avoid choking and gagging. The clip should also be made out of durable material, such as stainless, and it should be securely affixed to the harness. You also want to look for a harness that is easy to get on and take off; front clip harnesses that feature a step-in design are usually the easiest to use, but what works best for you depends on your dog’s unique personality and needs. Lastly, consider in front clip harness that is brightly colored and has reflective materials for improved visibility and safety.