Pointers for Choosing the Best Harness and Lead for your Dog
Choosing the correct harness and lead is a crucial part of being a dog owner. Given your dog’s unbridled passion for the outdoors, these items are the essentials when equipping your dog to walk the varied terrains of the landscape throughout his life – from pup to full-grown adult.
Pet industry specialist, Amber Jordan at Canine & Co, has created some simple pointers to bear in mind when choosing a suitable lead and harness for your precious pooch. These may help solve common issues you have when getting some exercise with your pup. Plus, Jordan gives a few tips when training your dog to walk on a leash.
1. Generally speaking, harnesses are more comfortable for dogs as they do not press up against their throats. There are a wide range of different types of harnesses available, from your standard H fit through to specialised, technically designed harnesses.
2. If your dog pulls whilst walking, you could get a multipurpose harness to assist with preventing this bad habit. Look out for a function where you can clip the leash to the loop on ideally, the front of the harness making it the perfect non-pull harness. An example of a harness which meets these requirements is the Ruffwear Front Range Harness. There are also many other training harnesses and head collars on the market, so it’s worthwhile doing a little homework to find what would best suit your dog. Another useful tool for non-pull training is to make use of a training lead which offers multiple lengths and a double clip (one for the front of the harness and one for the “normal” leash attachment).
3. If you have a smaller dog, you may be naturally inclined to choose a traditional neck collar however, a harness usually makes for a better choice. If you’ve avoided harnesses for your little dog as you think they might be too cumbersome, there’s a brilliant low-profile, lightweight harness which is available for XXXS sizes called the Ruffwear Hi & Light Harness. Another good option is the Ruffwear Webmaster Harness – it clips in two places and has adjustable straps allowing the perfect fit, while preventing the escape artist from pulling out of the harness. It also has a useful handle for easily picking up your little dog; or is great for big seniors with mobility issues too.
4. Practice walking your pup on a leash indoors first and reward him for good behaviour. Keep some treats with you - a handy gadget for ensuring these are not squashed in your pocket is a treat bag. They can clip on or, have belt loop fittings for easy attachment to your waist and can hold your keys or poop bags too.
5. If you have a pup who misbehaves whilst on a walk, never pull or tug on his leash. If he pulls, remain completely still and wait for him to come back to you – reward him with a treat when he does. Walking on a leash is a trained skill so, do employ a level of patience on your dog’s first few walks. Reward him with treats when he gets walking right and encourage him by using verbal commands in the correct tone of voice.
6. If you’d like to allow your dog more running space, a retracting lead is the way to go. These can extend up to 30 feet and can be locked into place at your desired length. There are plenty of options available to suit every budget, but be sure to choose one that is suitable for your dog’s size. If a situation arose where you very quickly had to put the brakes on, you want to ensure the leash is strong enough to withstand your dog’s weight.
7. A dog donning a harness means he is less likely to get tangled in his leash whilst on a run with you – harnesses allow more control in tight situations like road running and there are specific belt worn leads which work well for this kind of activity, like the Ruffwear Roamer Bungee Dog Leash.
8. When walking your dog in the winter or, in the dark, choose a reflective lead and harness for added safety. If there’s a harness & lead that you really love but is not reflective, you can also purchase a safety light to clip onto your dog’s collar or harness.
If you’re on the hunt for a broad range of different leads and harnesses plus expert advice on what suits your pet’s stature and personality, pop into a Canine & Co store or take a look at the different brands and options like Ruffwear on the Canine & Co website. Make sure you’re getting the advice you need from animal lovers and experts who care!