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I'm just curious as to what everyone's take is on a harness vs. a collar, and why you use one or the other?



I use harnesses for all of my dogs. I found that, on a collar, Ryou and Kuso would both pull and pull and pull, and just choke themselves no matter what I did. On a harness, however, they don't pull nearly as much, I have much better control, and when I ask of them to slow down, they generally do. They also don't choke themselves as bad when they do pull.

Amaya also would pull really bad in a collar, but never as bad as Ryou and Kuso, and in a harness, she's an absolute doll, except when she wants to chase after objects blowing down the street! I find that, when this happens, I can easily pull her back onto the sidewalks without yanking her or choking her, and she isn't hardly effected by this. When I'd pull her back onto the sidewalk when she had a collar on, it damaged her, even though I wasn't meaning to hurt or scare her, but just keep her from getting run over.

I use just a regular step in harness. I prefer Lupine, because they've got neat designs, and they're guaranteed, even against chewing. So that harness Kuso chewed up last week will eventually get sent back in so I can get a new one. haha. Until then, separate walks, and/or parents' house to run around in their nice, big backyard.
 

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I use a harness with annie, only because her neck is as thick as her head, and she can slip out of collars so easily, even if they're properly fitted. They have to be choking her tight for her to not be able to slip out.
 

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I had the same trouble with becka even at 8 weeks when we started on the collar and lead she would pull ahead (I was using the post method of lead training) until she choked herself. She would end up coming back from a 10 minute 40 yard walk with red eyes from the strain :-(.

I changed to a rope lead that I twist as a bit-less-bridle so it acts as a head control harness, this has worked wonders as instead of choking it just closes the mouth.

I do have a harness which I use when I have to leave her on a chain in the yard when I am doing the gardening (I have not got the stone eating habit out of her yet so I can not trust her yet on her own in a whole!!)
 

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I use a harness with annie, only because her neck is as thick as her head, and she can slip out of collars so easily, even if they're properly fitted. They have to be choking her tight for her to not be able to slip out.
You won't have this problem with Annie anymore if you do get martingale collars. They were designed for this specific purpose but for greyhounds.
 

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I've always used martingale collars with my dogs as they are easy to slip on and off over their heads, that being said when I go out in the real world with the public and other dog walks I use the "easy walk" harness, I love this harness.

Its gotten to the point now since the dogs have matured that they pretty much don't need their "easy walks" any more as they have quit pulling almost completely.
 

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All 3 of my dogs wear collars with their ID tags but that's the only reason they wear their collars. I always take them out in harness to protect their throats from injury. None of my dogs pull on lead but I prefer to be safe with a harness.
 

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Chelsy wears a harness because she was paralyzed at age 3 and had back surgery. Now at13 she is again losing control of her back legs so we've always felt the harness was easier on her long back and neck then a collar. We can actually help hoist her along with it.

Rocky used to use a martingale but he tends to hang behind me on walks, taking his time sniffing every little thing and he also will stop dead if he see's anything new or 'scary'. The Martingale would always yank on his neck so we switched him to a harness. Now I can give him a little tug and tell him to hurry up and not feel like I am pulling on his neck all the time.

I have had both of them slip out of collars with their haircoats so I prefer harness's when we're out somewhere, just for safety reasons. They also wear collars at the same time, with all their tags on them, just not attached to the leashes.
 

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My dogs wear regular collars for everyday use for their tags . For walks I have martingale also I have the gentle leader and the halti collars! I like the security of the halti collar though because of the extra clip on device that attachs to their regular collar. But then my one lab proved that when the halti gets wet she can bite through that extra little security device LOL! So for her gentle leader when walking !!!! I like the no slip martingale for my one big nosed ori pei dog but he seems now to be getting a bit to rambunctious on walks (squirrels, rabbits, birds just get him so uncontrollable)so trying the halti which he hates right now! He hates anything on his face! UGH!:rolleyes:
 

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Both Lucky and Duncan wear martingale collars from 2 Hounds Design. (Linsey-I too agree that Annie would be a perfect canidate for one of these collars :biggrin:) I just love these collars.

I have found that a harness will give a dog more pulling power, thus making it harder to walk and control them. However, I may be wrong because I haven't used one in a long time.

Lucky is a terrible puller (espically if she sees a squirrel or bird near) so I always walk her in a Halti. Since she has been wearing a Halti on our walks her pulling has totally stoped. I love the Halti.
 

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You won't have this problem with Annie anymore if you do get martingale collars. They were designed for this specific purpose but for greyhounds.
I'm going to order her one as soon as I can decide which one, and can convince my husband that $75 for a collar/ leash set is totally worth it.
I have a lot of convincing to do!
 

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I'm going to order her one as soon as I can decide which one, and can convince my husband that $75 for a collar/ leash set is totally worth it.
I have a lot of convincing to do!
I know what you mean! LOL When my hubby learned how much I paid for the two collars we got he just about died. BUT...let me tell you this....those two collars are the BEST collars I have ever had. They are so sturdy and very well made. You can wash them and they look brand new. IMO, they are well worth it. I am wanting to order some new ones now! LOL :tongue::biggrin:
 

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I have found that a harness will give a dog more pulling power, thus making it harder to walk and control them.
I completely agree with you. I got Aspen a harness when he was about 8 months of age. That's never gonna happen again...with any of my future dogs.
 

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I completely agree with you. I got Aspen a harness when he was about 8 months of age. That's never gonna happen again...with any of my future dogs.
Look at sled dogs. They wear harnesses. Harnesses are designed to pull. By far the best thing is to teach your dog what the expected behavior is. If you can't do that, find someone to help you.

I have used Gentle Leader head harnesses with great success. I have never found a dog I couldn't controll with one finger using a GL. However, it can be difficult to transfer that control to a collar once he is well behaved on the GL but it can be done.

GL makes a no-pull body harness also. I haven't used one but have talked to people who really like them.
 

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Look at sled dogs. They wear harnesses. Harnesses are designed to pull. By far the best thing is to teach your dog what the expected behavior is. If you can't do that, find someone to help you.
I know that harnesses are for pulling. I didn't know that then. I CAN teach him the correct behavior. I don't want to because when we are out scootering, I WANT him to pull in his harness. I don't want to confuse him. He definitely does not pull in his gentle leader though...

ETA: Sorry to the OP for going a bit off topic.
 

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I know that harnesses are for pulling. I didn't know that then. I CAN teach him the correct behavior. I don't want to because when we are out scootering, I WANT him to pull in his harness. I don't want to confuse him.
A lot of us sled dog owners have multiple different harnesses. Not all harnesses are designed for pulling and most dogs are smart enough to know the difference between the harnesses they are supposed to pull in versus the harnesses they are supposed to walk on a loose lead in.

We use a normal harness for regular walks around the neighborhood and my sibe knows not to pull in his regular harness because I trained him to walk with a loose lead in his regular harness. We also have an X back harness for my husky which is made specifically for pulling and we actually encourage pulling in the X back. Dogs are not stupid and can tell the difference (I know plenty of husky owners whose sibes know which harness is for walking and which is for pulling), training is key here though. YOU are the one who will have to train your sled dog how to behave in the different harnesses, they are smart so don't underestimate them and I would not be at all worried about confusing them.

Harnesses themselves do not encourage pulling, they are simply more comfortable to pull in versus a collar for example. If you've got a serious puller they will pull whether in harness or on a collar which is why it really boils down to training to stop pulling on the lead.
 

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All 3 of my dogs wear collars with their ID tags but that's the only reason they wear their collars. I always take them out in harness to protect their throats from injury. None of my dogs pull on lead but I prefer to be safe with a harness.
Totally same here!
 

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A lot of us sled dog owners have multiple different harnesses. Not all harnesses are designed for pulling and most dogs are smart enough to know the difference between the harnesses they are supposed to pull in versus the harnesses they are supposed to walk on a loose lead in.

We use a normal harness for regular walks around the neighborhood and my sibe knows not to pull in his regular harness because I trained him to walk with a loose lead in his regular harness. We also have an X back harness for my husky which is made specifically for pulling and we actually encourage pulling in the X back. Dogs are not stupid and can tell the difference (I know plenty of husky owners whose sibes know which harness is for walking and which is for pulling), training is key here though. YOU are the one who will have to train your sled dog how to behave in the different harnesses, they are smart so don't underestimate them and I would not be at all worried about confusing them.

Harnesses themselves do not encourage pulling, they are simply more comfortable to pull in versus a collar for example. If you've got a serious puller they will pull whether in harness or on a collar which is why it really boils down to training to stop pulling on the lead.
I knew all of this already. I know not all harnesses are for pulling. He has the X-back as well. We are both happy with our gentle leader...
 
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