How to choose 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.
- 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.
- If your dog pulls whilst walking, you could get a multi-purpose 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 and 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.