As pet parents, we listen to free advice, expert opinions, or youtube videos to learn what tool is best for our dog, we invest in the best harness, or a fancy leash, or maybe an imported collar, but what we don't realize is that it's never about WHAT tool you use, it's about HOW you use it and WHY.
Let's understand one thing, when we train a dog, it is important to view everything from their perspective, the way their species train each other. No dog mother walks around with a leash or visits a posh pet store to purchase the best harness for their puppy. They don't need any of these tools for training because they behave and respond in the same way.
We humans think, behave and function differently. Hence, such tools were created to TEACH our dogs right from a young age what is ideal behavior, how we expect them to respond to certain situations, and therefore a leash, collar, or harness makes our jobs easier. But, in recent times, these tools have become a dependency throughout our dog's life, restricting movement and depriving complete freedom.
So basically we're saying,
Use the tools to teach your dog so well that after a certain point, you don't always need a collar, leash or harness as your knows how you'd like him to walk outdoors, giving him the freedom by teaching him responsibility...
Let us see between the collar and harness, which tool works better:
Coming straight to the point, what does the word harness mean?
a set of straps and fittings by which a horse or other draught animal is fastened to a cart, plough, etc. and is controlled by its driver.
When a harness is put on any dog, or rather any species - it stands true to his name ie. harnessing all the energy to pull forward, hence the harness. Making our dog wear a harness gives him an opportunity to use his body strength to pull us forward and tug during walks, making it more difficult to handle him. Think back to the reality TV shows we watch, like Fear Factor, when a truck needs to be pulled ahead - what do they make the human wear to gather strength? Definitely not a collar, it's a harness.
Here are different types of harnesses that we mainly use in training:
The best type of Harness: No-Pull Body Belt
Giving full coverage to our dog's bodies, this belt is able to protect them from any health hazards. Any other type of harnesses create additional pressure on the back or neck and do more damage than good.
When can you start using the No-Pull Body Belt?
Once your dog is fully grown to his size, measure him and purchase true to his body girth and width
Only when your dog learns to stop tugging in an opposite direction or pulling on the leash (use the collar to first work on that as there is a chance he can slip out of this when pulled from different ends)
When he learns to walk alongside you then ahead or behind.
You may sometimes think to yourself, what made a human tie a collar-like tool around another animal's neck and use it for taking them on a walk? Or why does my dog cough every time I put a collar on him?
Again, let's go back to training dogs how dogs train each other. If a dog mother had to teach her pup how to walk, catch hold of them while they run outside of the territory, what would she do? She doesn't own a leash, collar, or harness. In this case, she would use her teeth right at the nape of the neck of a puppy. Since we don't have teeth like a dog who can pick up puppies or teach them, we use an ethical replacement such as a collar. When this collar is around their neck, our dogs understand exactly what you mean when the leash is attached to it, provided you do not PULL on the leash or choke them.
Here are different types of collars that we mainly use in training:
The best type of Collars: Flat Collar or Martingale Collar
A simple soft cotton/nylon collar suffices when we take our dogs out on a walk. To choose between the two, observe how your dog walks - if he pulls or lunges, go for the martingale collar or else stick to the OG flat collar.
When can you start using a flat or a martingale collar?
While teaching your puppy how to walk. Remember to not pull on the collar, teach him to walk in harmony and calmness.
If your dog is running on a walk and tends to trip you making it difficult to walk, use a collar like this to first teach him basic walking rules.
What's our Verdict?
We say Collars are the best way to first teach your puppy or young dog how to walk ie.
Walk alongside you
Not to pull or tug on the leash
Stop changing directions, circling around, and tripping you
Lunging on people or other animals during walks
Walking in a calm, confident, and consistent manner
Once your dog learns all of the above, you can shift to a No-Pull Body Belt for a happy, force-free life!
What's the final goal? Never to control, it's to guide and direct. Combine this with our All Ears leash and give your dog the freedom he deserves!
Check out our collection of leashes right here
If you use a leash, collar, or a harness to control, the day you let go of them or they escape from your grip, the first thing you'd come and say is they were OUT OF CONTROL!!! - Yes, because you were trying to control them in the first place.
Utilize these tools to TEACH, they will learn and follow them for the rest of their lives!