Let's take a moment to talk about collar grabs. I see a worrisome number of dogs who duck away when their human reaches for their collar. This is not only annoying for the human, it is also dangerous. Imagine what happens in an emergency, when the owner needs to quickly corral the dog to keep her out of danger, and the dog ducks away from the reaching hand and runs off.
What type of collar should your dog wear? It depends on your dog, your personal taste, and your training goals, philosophies, and needs. But from our force-free perspective, there are some types of collars we wholeheartedly endorse, some we support with caution, and some that we regard as unnecessary and risky.
Using a harness for dogs instead of a collar has huge benefits. There are many types of dog harnesses out there, and finding the best adult dog or puppy harness might seem like a daunting task. This Whole Dog Journal review of harnesses does all of the trial and error work of finding a quality harness for you! For dogs who pull on leash, WDJ strongly prefers harnesses over choke chains, prong collars, shock collars, and even flat collars and head halters.
Pulling on leash is problematic for many reasons. It's likely uncomfortable for the dog (even when the desired forward motion trumps the discomfort); it's uncomfortable for the human handling the dog; and it skews natural dog body language, potentially contributing to conflicts between dogs. We'd say the additional potential for contributing to the development of thyroid disease, particularly in breeds known to be genetically predisposed, makes using a well-fitted front-clip harness a wise choice.
Does this collar make me look fat?" This is not a question your dog is likely to ever ask
Some behaviors don't lend themselves well to a total choice approach, but you may be able to use a Choice/Conditioning-hybrid procedure, still giving your dog some sense of control over his own world. Here's one such procedure:
000 words on why reliable and independent crash testing of dog safety restraints is needed. A truly protective safety harness does not allow a dog to "launch" on impact. (For worse shocks
Harnesses for our canine companions come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. But did you know that many are made for a particular purpose? Have a dog you want to pull you on your skis? Got it. Have a puller – and you’d like a respite? Covered. Have a little dog? The possibilities are endless. Despite that fact, many of us walk into our local big box pet store and pull a harness off the rack without even considering the harness’ fit and function. With just a little more awareness, you can be sure that the harness you select for your dog is the right one.
Recently, WDJ received a letter from Christine Zink, DVM, PhD, DACVP, DACVSMR, who was concerned about the photo in WDJ (on the cover, no less!) of a jogger whose dog, running alongside, was wearing a front-clip-type harness. A sports medicine guru and canine athlete enthusiast, Dr. Zink (and others) posit that no-pull harnesses are detrimental to a dog's structure and gait and are especially inappropriate for canine athletes.
I was pretty traumatized recently by a phenomenon I had heard about many times but had never before seen: the intense, chaotic, life-or-death struggle that ensues when one dog gets his jaw stuck in another dog's collar. These dogs survived the experience. But since I've been telling my friends about my experience (with all the fervor of the recently converted), I've heard about a number of dogs whose jaws were broken in similar situations
Here are some trade secrets to getting your control harness to work better for you and your dog. With several of the simpler styles (SENSE-ation, SENSE-ible, Easy Walk) if you can’t get the harness to fit quite right, try putting it on upside down. (Doesn’t work with any of the “two-points-of-contact” harnesses.) If the front strap still slips down, clip your leash to the front-clip ring and the collar ring. This may diminish the effectiveness of the harness a little, but it will keep the front strap up and in place.
Some trainers scoff at the use of tools such as control harnesses, claiming that you are simply managing" a problem behavior rather than training the dog. A well-designed control harness