When Dexter – our gorgeous and perfect (ahem) Chihuahua – came bounding into our lives over 9 months ago, I bought basically all of the dog products. All of them. I was – and still am – the crazy dog lady.
We went through 3 collar and lead combos until I was eventually satisfied. However, we ended up settling on a harness for his walks.
So now, Dexter maintains his collar which holds his ID tags and wears his harness on walks. There are a few reasons behind this and I’m going to share 5 of them below.
Dogs are unpredictable. You may know your dog pretty well, but they are very much their own animals. With this in mind, I have been out on walks with Dex where he’s got inexplicably spooked. Before the harness, I had struggled to maintain control over Dexter to take him out of the situation. Now he is safely harnessed, I can guide him through or around almost any obstacle safely and swiftly.
Dexter is a small dog with a proportionally small neck. Using a harness is kinder and more comfortable than dragging him around by his tiny neck all day! Not to mention safer. Smaller dogs also have smaller windpipes and the harness is much less likely to interfere with their breathing. This is because a harness distributes the pull more evenly.
A harness is also safer if you are intending to travel with your dog. In the car, the harness can be connected to the seatbelts comfortably. Also, unlike a collar, if the harness gets caught on anything it won’t cause choking.
Lifting a dog over obstacles, out of water or into a car can also be made much easier by using a harness. You can even purchase harnesses with built in handles that further aid the safe lifting of you four legged friend.
The harness has also been a life saver in teaching Dexter to walk nicely when on the lead. Because of the extra control we have when walking him, he has been less able to pull forward too much. Originally, Dex would pull so hard on his collar that he would cause himself to cough or snort repeatedly. Post harness, there is neither any snorting nor coughing!