Dog harness or collar?

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by FoxRedLab, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. FoxRedLab

    FoxRedLab Registered Users

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    Hi,

    We pick our dog up in a few weeks and wondering if we should get a harness for him or just a normal collar? We've got a 6ft lead so we can start recall training etc.

    If we get a harness does anyone have any recommendations for which would be the best and which size?
     
  2. Ruth Buckley

    Ruth Buckley Registered Users

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    Harness is better for dog's neck and a good one with a front clip will help prevent pulling. With a tiny puppy I don't think you need it though, other than just getting them used to wearing one, maybe just put it on, feed them take it off again. I've got no puppy experience but do have a rescue that came to me with such a lead phobia, I think from being dragged around by the neck by children and use of a choke chain, it took months of work to be able to put a lead on him without a lot of snarling and biting.
     
  3. Ruth Buckley

    Ruth Buckley Registered Users

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    Also, read the recent thread started by sunshine86 - there's a lovely photo of @5labs walking 2 pups off lead. I had to teach my dog to heel off lead before I could walk him on lead - this would have been so much easier if I'd had him when small.
     
  4. Debs

    Debs Registered Users

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    You don't need a harness, a collar and clip lead is all you need. Spend time at home teaching heal off lead and get pup used to the feel of the lead but without any pressure of having to go on an onlead walk. Recall can be taught from the day you bring pup home, no need for a long line as the pup will stay close to you. A long lime really is only needed if you encounter problems as the dog gets older and you need to reinforce the recall.
     
    5labs likes this.
  5. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi congratulations on your new pup.

    Our vet and our training school both recommended that we use a front clip harness for our lab pup. The vet said he had seen horrible injuries on collar led dogs because of how they pull on the lead until loose lead training takes affect.

    Hope this helps
     
  6. jbg

    jbg Registered Users

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    You need a collar and a harness. Depending on the age of puppy when it gets home you won't really need the harness for a little while but I found that as soon as puppy began to "pull" on a walk the harness was so good for training without any "choking" A harness that has both a back and a front hook is important. When they are first beginning to pull and you are teaching the command "no pull" or what ever you use, use the front hook. It automatically makes them turn back to you if they pull. my pup learned with little issues and now I don't really need the harness but still love it. Also for belting her in the car. If you are in the U.S. you can get a Rabbitgoo harness found on amazon. They are only $20. We are on our second size now. a med. Bought a small to begin with :)
     
  7. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    Harnesses really are the best option for the vast majority of dogs, the vast majority of the time.

    However - puppies grow fast and good harnesses can also be expensive. I usually recommend that you buy a puppy collar to use until your puppy has finished vaccinations and you are regularly going out away from the house with the pup on leash. You also need to purchase a 2.5m puppy house-line or tagline. Clip this to your pup's collar and let your pup trail it indoors around the house, so you can take the pup out when you need to without grabbing the pup himself. When you first use a harness and go out away from the house, the 2.5m puppy house line is great then as well as it gives a young puppy more room and space to explore the world.

    When your pup has finished vaccinations and is going out on the ground: For a small or young puppy, I don't necessarily recommend a front-fastening harness - simply because we want to give the pup space and time to explore the world. It's not about loose-leash walking or training - it's about socialisation. So I actually prefer a back-fastening harness at this time. In addition, pups are so small and close to the floor that they will routinely get front paws hooked on the leash attaching to the front of a front-attaching harness. Of course you can get one with front and back clips and just use the back clip...

    When your pup reaches about 6+ months old and is getting bigger and more boisterous, then a front attachment might be really useful.

    My current favourite brand of harness, is the DOG Copenhagen Comfort Walk Air. (Not Comfort Walk Pro, which is a different harness.) That is a front and back fastening harness. I also like the Haqihana - which is back-fastening only. For very strong dogs and people struggling with control physically (ie - with stopping the dog pulling them forwards), the Freedom harness works best - but since the strap barricades the front of the dog's chest, it's not my choice unless people do have real control issues. (It is preferable to headcollars, pinch or prong collars, choke chains etc.)

    For more info and an in-depth dive into harnesses, you might want to listen to this recent episode of my podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podca...-and-gundog-work/id1461455322?i=1000439214412

    Lastly, to practise recalls, you will need a lead much longer than 6ft - you will need a 10m long-line.
     
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