Collars Vs Harnesses

A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of attending a fascinating  talk by Els Vidts about the anatomy of the neck and the negative impact collar use has. I also learned that despite my best intentions, my own dog’s harness didn’t actually fit her that well. I left with a great determination to make sure my own dogs wear better fitting harnesses, and that I’m clearer with clients about the sorts of harness they need. As Els pointed out, a lot of harnesses are actually just collars with extra bits of material- pressure from the dog pulling or being pulled still is still focused on the neck.

So my top tips for harnesses now are:

  • there should be no pressure on the dog’s neck- pressure should be distributed across the thorax;
  • There should be 5 cm clearance between the dog’s front legs and the rear strap of the harness;
  • Shoulders should still be free to move.

As well as saving the dog from physical damage, the right harness can also go a long way to helping with behaviour problems such as pulling and even reactivity.

Below is Els’s flyer. This can also be downloaded from her website in many different languages, so no excuse for not spreading the word far and wide! This is a really simple thing that we can get right for our dogs, so I’m hoping you’ll join me on the bandwagon!

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