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There’s most likely nothing on the planet that a dog likes more than going out for a walk and if you have a canine companion at home, this must be part of your daily routine. You need a lead and a decent harness to do this securely as this will keep your dog from straying too far from you when you’re out for a walk.
Dogs need to go out to relieve themselves, stretch their legs, expend some energy and socialise with other dogs. When out with your dog, you need to ensure that he or she doesn’t run across the road, get lost or get into a fight with another dog or animal. These days, a harness and lead combination is the most frequently used solution.
- 1 First Things First
- 2 The best dog harnesses on the UK market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about dog harnesses
- 3.1 Why should I walk my dog with a harness?
- 3.2 Does my harness also work to secure my dog in the car?
- 3.3 Are people afraid of dogs who don’t wear harnesses?
- 3.4 Are there laws on walking dogs with a harness?
- 3.5 Is a collar the same as a dog harness?
- 3.6 What problems can a collar cause that a harness won’t?
- 3.7 How do I get my dog to not pull too much on the lead?
- 3.8 Are harnesses suitable for dogs of all weights and sizes?
- 3.9 Can harnesses make my dog pull more?
- 3.10 What advice should I follow when taking my dog for a walk?
- 3.11 What happens if I just take my dog out so it can relieve itself?
- 3.12 How long should I walk my dog for?
- 3.13 Can I take my puppy out with a harness?
- 3.14 What vaccinations are required before my dog can go out?
- 3.15 Do all harnesses prevent my dog from pulling?
- 3.16 How should I use a no-pull harness with my dog?
- 3.17 How will my dog react the first time it goes out with a harness?
- 3.18 Should I also muzzle my dog?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
First Things First
- The harness you choose must fit the body, size and needs of your dog, as well as comfortable for you.
- Going out is the best time of the day for your canine friend and wearing a harness will make it a pleasant experience for you and other people and dogs you may meet.
- Dog owners are required to have their animal on a lead in most public areas and when travelling by car. Unlike collars, harnesses can divide the weight evenly along the body of the canine, allowing you to pull on the lead without harming it.
The best dog harnesses on the UK market
- Sporn Non-Pull Harness
- Beliefing Dog Body Padded Vest
- Julius-K9 162P0 K9 PowerHarness
- SlowTon Dog Car Harness Seatbelt Set
- fiE FIT INTO EVERYWAY No Pull Dog Harness
Sporn Non-Pull Harness
The Sporn No-Pull harness is a great product at a great price. It is suitable for all dogs from puppies to adults and comes in sizes small, medium and large. It makes for a pleasant walk with your dog without undesirable pulling. The patented elastic mesh design uses a ‘squeeze and lift’ motion to discourage the dog from pulling, ensuring that you are always in control.
It has adjustable shoulder straps and is cushioned and fleece lined for unrestricted movement whilst maintaining ultimate comfort and a secure fit. An extra safety feature is a sliding security cord lock which prevents over-tightening.
Beliefing Dog Body Padded Vest
The Beliefing padded vest helps prevent pulling. It is made from high quality nylon with a soft padding and is adjustable to ensure a comfortable but secure fit. It comes in black but also features reflective material for good visibility for night walks/training. It is suitable for all dogs and comes in sizes small, medium and large.
It features a D ring own the back for lead attachment and also has a handle for extra control or to assist lifting an elderly or less able bodied dog.
Julius-K9 162P0 K9 PowerHarness
`The Julius is a great looking harness. It is slightly more expensive but is available in a number of sizes for all breeds of dog. It is also available in 19 different colours so there is bound to be the perfect choice for you and your dog.
The K9 harness is made from high quality material. It has a scratch resistant, water repellent outer layer and a reflective stripe over the chest to ensure night visibility whilst the breathable inner lining is skin friendly making it more comfortable for your dog during warm or wet walks.
SlowTon Dog Car Harness Seatbelt Set
This is a great buy, the SlowTon dog car harness comes as a set with a safety seat belt for use in the car, it can also be used with the lead of your choice. The harness strap is designed to be universally compatible with most standard vehicles, keeping your pet secure whilst in transit.
The harness is fully adjustable and is available in a vast array of colours. It comes in size xxx-small to large making it a good choice for any breed. It is even suitable for cats and kittens. The seat belt can be adjusted from 20.87 inch to 29.13 inch.
fiE FIT INTO EVERYWAY No Pull Dog Harness
Another stylish harness available in black, orange and green and sizes x-small to x-large with 2 attachment points, a D-ring on the dog’s back and webbing with O-ring on the dog’s chest. It is made from nylon and has a 3M reflective stripe to ensure good visibility at night.
It also features a handle on the dogs back to assist with control or lifting and the breathable mesh lining keeps your dog comfortable during their walk or training activities.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about dog harnesses
Before buying a harness for your dog, you really should know the functionalities of this canine product along with the benefits for you and your pet. This will naturally depend on the model you choose. In the section below, we explore some of the most important aspects regarding harnesses, so that you can make an informed decision. We’ve also answered the most frequently asked questions.
Why should I walk my dog with a harness?
Dogs need to be kept under control in all public places, except those specifically designed for them. You can only let your canine friend loose in parks where these animals are allowed or in other specific areas.
Does my harness also work to secure my dog in the car?
To travel legally and safely, you must wear a seat belt at all times in your vehicle. The exact same goes for your dog. You are advised to attach the belt to a harness for greater comfort. This accessory will ensure that your canine friend is protected and that the force of braking doesn’t cause it any unwanted harm.
Are people afraid of dogs who don’t wear harnesses?
If you walk your dog on a lead, you can avoid these risky situations and not disturb other pedestrians who may be afraid of animals. Situations can quickly escalate if your dog runs loose which could result in an unpleasant situation for yourself and a person who has a fear of dogs which will only increase the discomfort they feel in the future.
Are there laws on walking dogs with a harness?
A third of drivers have never even heard of Rule 57 of the Highway Code and some insurance companies are now warning customers that their car insurance could be invalid of they are involved in a accident with an unrestrained pet in your vehicle.
If you are involved in an incident and have an unrestrained pet or passenger for that matter in the back seats this can potentially be deadly for you and your pet/passenger.
Is a collar the same as a dog harness?
A harness with the corresponding hook is necessary when travelling by car, while a collar cannot be used in that case. It would cause greater harm to your dog in case of an accident or braking.
What problems can a collar cause that a harness won’t?
|Collar||Some say that the harness can be pulled on, as it was its original purpose. It’s also an indication that pet and owner are going for a walk.||Pulling can actually cause damage to the neck of your dog, which is a very delicate part of its body.|
|Harness||Pulling won’t harm your pet since the weight of the lead is distributed over its body. Recommended when travelling by car. Ideal for dogs with respiratory problems.||A dog that you are often correcting for pulling may think that it can indeed pull. Do not tolerate it.|
How do I get my dog to not pull too much on the lead?
If this is your case, experts advise you against using retractable leads, as these give freedom that your dog cannot have during training. Very short leads, on the other hand, will oppress your pet. Remember that, while you ultimately set the rules, you should also try and walk at their pace. This is their happy time, so don’t stop too often.
If your dog pulls more than it should, stop until it calms down before continuing your walk. If you can’t get it to obey, simply change direction to reconnect and capture their attention. Keep in mind that you should always be calm, if you are nervous your dog will sense this and and will be nervous too.
Are harnesses suitable for dogs of all weights and sizes?
Very small dogs are lighter and easier to control, so a harness is more of a nice accessory. It is a great tool to train larger breeds in the beginning: it allows you to direct their movements and make them understand what they can and cannot do ensuring you are in control.
Can harnesses make my dog pull more?
This is why it is not evident whether a harness will make your pet pull more or not. In fact, the market offers certain models designed to teach your dog not to pull on the lead. It’s also interesting to know that a harness will cause less physical harm to your dog than a collar if it has the tendency to pull a lot during walks due to the overall weight distribution being more even.
What advice should I follow when taking my dog for a walk?
After you’ve given your pet some fun time, you can go for a walk together. This is when you want to set some proper rules. You can still allow it to smell or mark its territory from time to time, but you don’t want this to be so frequent that you can’t walk.
What happens if I just take my dog out so it can relieve itself?
Taking your dog out just to go to the toilet will impact on future walks. When you decide to go out for longer, your dog will struggle to keep up with you, thinking he or she will be going home soon so will constantly be marking its territory making the walk very difficult and tiresome. Remember this isn’t your pet’s fault, but rather what you’ve been teaching it every day.
How long should I walk my dog for?
These animals need to discover new smells and interact with dogs and people alike to get their minds working. If you always go out for a good 20 to 30 minutes of walking every time, your canine friend will know that it has the time to do everything it wants. This will mean that it is also more obedient to you.
Can I take my puppy out with a harness?
Puppies will need to have a suitable place at home to do their business. Experts say a dog will learn everything you teach it between the age of 3 and 14 weeks. This is therefore a crucial time in terms of education. In that regard, you can start putting a harness on your dog and walk together inside your home so it is prepared for its first outing.
What vaccinations are required before my dog can go out?
- The first round of vaccines is given between 10-12 weeks of life.
- The final vaccineis not given until your dog turns sixteen weeks.
- Your puppy will be ready for the street after you check one last time with your vet.
- It is now UK law to chip your dog before going for the first walk, in case it gets lost, escapes or is involved in an accident.
Do all harnesses prevent my dog from pulling?
You are advised to opt for a no-pull harness if your pet is particularly big, strong or still learning to follow your orders. These specifically-designed models will slightly close up on your dog and restrain its legs if it pulls on the lead. In that case, the lead is attached to the animal’s thorax.
How should I use a no-pull harness with my dog?
The harness is adjusted to the dog’s body, and generally features several grips so that you can control it and decide the direction to take. These harnesses have a ring on the chest and another on the back, so you can choose which one suits your use best.
How will my dog react the first time it goes out with a harness?
You are advised not to force your dog on its first walks, or expose it to the outside world for long if it is not comfortable. Let your pet smell around and find its own rhythm while getting accustomed to the surroundings. Don’t force it to interact with other dogs or people. Your animal needs to do what it wants to gain confidence.
Should I also muzzle my dog?
Dog harnesses aren’t only useful to make walking your pet more comfortable, it is likely you will need one of these accessories t some time and you want to buy one that is fit for both you and your dog. To help you make the right decision, we’ve discussed the following key criteria in the next section:
It is very important that you measure the size of the harness so that it fits your dog’s head without disturbing it. This is also true for the lower part of the harness, which goes around the thorax. If it’s loose, it may chafe its body while walking, and your dog will be able to escape. Overly large harnesses also make it more difficult for you to control the animal.
On the other hand, your dog will feel oppressed and may even have difficulty breathing if it’s too tight. Most models sold on the UK market come in different sizes to fit all breeds. You can naturally adjust the harness using the straps to make it wider or narrower depending on your dog.
A wide array of materials are used to manufacture these accessories. You can even buy harnesses designed specifically for winter or summer. One of the most important things is that the product be resistant enough to withstand your dog pulling on it. Pay particular attention to this if you have a large dog. The straps connection each part of the harness tend to be made from nylon, a very strong material.
During the summer months, or if your dog enjoys a swim, you may want to opt for a mesh model. It will help your dog to breathe and will dry quickly. Nylon webbing products are also useful for the heat. In winter, a padded or fleece model may be preferable to help keep your dog warm.
The climate will naturally influence the material you choose, but you also want to ensure that the one you opt for won’t damage your dog’s skin. Nowadays, most harnesses are made from products that respect canine skin. We strongly encourage you to pay attention to this criterion, as poor quality materials may lead to wounds.
Dog harnesses come in different shapes and designs, each performing specific functions. They can adapt to different bodies and sizes to perfectly fit each animal. We’ve listed the main harness designs available right now on the UK market, so you can choose which is best suited to your pet:
- Y-harness:Made with nylon straps, it generally wraps the chest and legs of the animal, closing near the ribs. Other materials are also used for the straps, such as leather. They give little control, so they are ideal for smaller breeds or dogs that have learnt to walk without pulling on the lead. These models keep your dog cool in summer.
- Safety harness:This model is also called a three-point harness. Similar to the Y-harness, it features a waist strap to prevent your dog from turning back. It is most commonly used with breeds like hunting dogs and greyhounds. That third point on the waist will make your pet feel more protected.
- Training harness: Also known as no-pull harnesses, these accessories are designed for you to stop your dog from pulling on the lead. They have a ring to hook the lead in the centre of the chest, and sometimes another at the top of the back. Also made from nylon straps, they are particularly helpful during training.
- Vest harness:This type of harness is usually padded and more comfortable during the colder months because it covers a greater part of the body. The Julius-K9products has made them very trendy. You can also use them for summer if they made from light mesh. Fearful animals feel more protected with these models, and it allows you to better control your pet.
Today, many harnesses are visible in the dark. They will allow you to find your pet in case it gets lost at night or starts running in dark places. There are two main types of harnesses that will let you keep an eye on your dog in almost any situation. They are made with the following straps:
- Reflective straps:They are made with a material that sends light back to its original source. This means that they are only visible when light hits them. Otherwise, you will not be able to see the harness. In other words, models with reflective straps are useful to find your dog if there are lampposts, cars circulating or if you’re using a torch.
- Luminescent straps:These models of dog harnesses are less common than those mentioned above. The material they are made from receives and stores energy, later transforming it into a light source in dark environments. This basically means that you will always be able to see the harness, even if there is absolutely no light around.
As you now know, you have to take your dog out several times a day. These animals needs to stretch their legs, have fun and do their business. Harnesses have become particularly trendy, due to the fact that they are very comfortable to use, both for the dog and for its owner.
You’ll realise that a harness is a great tool to take your dog out, to train it, to guide it and to control its movements. These accessories are also mandatory to use with the seat belt when you’re travelling with your pet. You will find a wide range of models on the market, manufactured with different materials and in all sizes to fit the needs of your dog and yourself.
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(Source of featured image: Jaromir Chalabala: 32461779/ 123rf.com)