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Harnesses and Head Halters

3 min read

Harnesses and Head Halters

Many dog owners question the differences between body harnesses and head harnesses. As a matter of fact, they are quite different. Not only is it recommended for small dogs who are prone to medical issues such as a sensitive trachea for the toy poodle or respiratory issues for the pug, it is also recommended for stronger and bigger dogs. The harness is suitable for owners who rely on the harness to gain full control of their dog, and also for dogs with wide necks and smaller heads that slip out of collars often.

If you have a pulling or wheezing dog, the choke-free shoulder harness is recommended, and as the name suggests, is designed to stop dogs from choking by wrapping around the dog’s shoulders away from the neck. Similar to the choke-free is the freedom harness, suitable for owners who want to easily guide their dog. If you have a fussy dog and need an easy and simple harness so your dog feels comfortable when he walks, the step-in harness is an alternative. They are easy to use, choke-free, adjustable, comfortable, and come in a variety of patterns and sizes. Most harnesses have a D-ring placed on your dog’s back, away from the neck, to easily attach your leash.

So, why is the dog harness the right choice for your dog? Not only is it a useful piece of canine equipment, it also secures your dog the same way a collar would but by putting pressure on the chest rather than the neck. Harnesses are best suited for active and hyper dog, knowing full well that the harness won’t choke your dog like a traditional collar would. They are not only made for the walking dog, but also for working sled dogs. It allows them to run and pull the sled behind them, without causing any discomfort. If your dog enjoys riding in your car with the wind in it’s fur, a harness can be useful in keeping your dog safe and secure in your vehicle just like a seatbelt. However, the downside to these types of harnesses are it can cause irritation to your dog’s armpits, or for dogs with long hair can cause matting if worn for extended periods of time.

The head harness, better known as the head halter, is another simple and useful piece of equipment for dogs that is applied to the head and muzzle instead of the chest, like traditional harnesses. It is important to understand how to use head halters to prevent injury and get your dog to learn as quick as possible. With head harnesses, you have more control when walking your dog. Since dogs instinctively follow their noses, controlling their head is the best way to get them to move in the direction that you want. Although it looks similar to a muzzle, the head halter leaves enough space for the dog to drink water and bark. Using a head halter for aggressive dogs is highly effective in controlling your dog and preventing injury to yourself or others. Similar to the body harness, the head halter is also useful for dogs who constantly pull on their leashes. When used as a training tool, it helps refrain your dog from pulling, and teaches him to heel. For highly-active or hyper dogs, the head harness is effective in calming them down, but unfortunately not all dogs can wear a head halter because of the shape of their skulls, such as the pug. Because of their flat faces and breathing difficulties the head halter is not suitable and won’t fit well and for large breed such as the Doberman or Great Dane, head halters are not recommended because of common spinal diseases that these breeds are genetically immune to.

When used properly, harnesses and head halters can work wonders for disobedient dogs, however, take into account some resistance from your dog in the beginning and some time for your dog to get accustomed to it. None the less, if you’re looking to train your dog and need adequate control, the head halter is a better way to get your dog’s attention.


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