Picking the Right Collar/Harness
Just like finding the right leash, it is important to also have the right collar or harness for your dog. There are a few different styles each all having different uses, features and training purposes while still keeping your pet looking stylish.
A handle harness is great for dogs who hate putting their heads through a neck piece of a traditional harness. The harness sits on the dog’s back and has two straps that go around their front legs and clips around the armpits. The handle allows for more control and is perfect for more reactive dogs or dogs who are still in training. Handle harnesses are great for any size dog as the handle allows for control. The harnesses design puts even pressure on the dog’s chest and torso so no areas take more stress than others
The standard harness (or the comfort harness) is the typical design where your dog will put their head through the neckpiece, the fabric will sit at the chest, and a strap and a D-ring sit near the back buckling them in. These still allow for your pup to move freely without any pinching or itching. The harness puts the force on the dog’s chest and back. These harnesses are generally not recommended for larger or rambunctious dogs because it can promote leash pulling. If a harness is not on properly or comfortable for the dog, they can shift their weight to their back legs so they don't have as much pressure in the front.
An adventure harness is very similar to a standard harness minus the piece on the chest. All of the fabric sits under the chest and on their stomach. This is another great harness for dogs who don't like putting their head through anything. This one clips on and off like a collar and clips on the back as well providing your dog with the freedom for your adventure. These harnesses are great as they dont put the same amount of strain on joints that another harness could. This one having minimal fabric allows more freedom.
Over-the-head harnesses are similar to the standard harness with having the dogs put their head through the top. This harness sits a little higher on the chest and is shorter in length. Without proper support in the harness, the compressions and lack of motion can cause health problems in the future. It is important to consult with an expert and get a harness that is best suited for your dog. These halters come in XL but are more geared towards small or medium dogs.
There are two different kinds of martingale collars, ones with a chain and ones without, both working the same way. Martingales are great for those escape artists. Simply attach your desired leash to the D-ring and when your dog pulls the collar will automatically tighten, preventing them from slipping out. Along with your dog never slipping out of martingale collars, the collar doesn’t have to be extremely tight around the dog’s neck providing more comfort. These collars are great for any breed or size of dog. The tightening of the collar is meant to be slightly uncomfortable for the dog, so if your dog is pulling for majority of the walk, they may develop a negative reaction to collars.
Standard collars are great for wanting to show off their style. These can come in multiple different colours, patterns and materials making them unique for each dog. All collars have some sort of adjustable mechanism whether that be a sliding clip or if they have different holes to put a prong in, much like a belt. The other closure is a standard plastic or metal buckle. The standard collars are the most common ones you will see in stores or on dogs. Collars are relatively safe unless they are too loose. In a situation like that your dog could be scratching its ear and get tangled up or if the collar is too loose there is a chance your dog could slip out and escape.
An honourable mention is the HALTI head collar. The HALTI stops pulling. You clip your leash to a D-ring that is connected to the rest of the collar. When your dog pulls on the lead, it gently brings their head back towards you, getting them to focus back, and teaching them quickly not to pull. This is a great training tool to implement the idea of not pulling along with them not barking as it goes over their mouth. Halti's should be used in conjunction with training and not a tool to rely on as it can cause a negative feeling towards it.Just like the leash post, there were many styles and options discussed. Finding a collar or harness can be stressful but we would be happy to help fit your dog with the right style for you and them. We also always like to note that if there is anything you believe we missed or that should be added in send us a message or come in and we’d be happy to learn more.