Harnesses

Some dogs do better with a dog collar while others do best with a dog harness. A harness differs from a collar in that it takes the strain off of your dog’s neck and distributes it either across his chest or back, depending on the design of the harness. A harness is the best choice for smaller dogs that might experience breathing problems with a collar or dogs that tend to pull on the leash. Most harnesses are adjustable and you can choose from step-in or vest style dog harnesses.
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A dog vest harness is commonly worn in conjunction with a collar and used as an alternative for a leash type attachment. Step in dog harnesses encircles the dogs torso as well as the neck whereas the typical collar surrounds the neck only. There are also connecting straps to reinforce the connection between the two which reduces pressure on either one or the other section. Distribution of the force applied reduces the possibility of inadvertently choking your doggie, and will simultaneously prevent him/her from slipping out of the neck only version.

Many pet owners, particularly those owning smaller breeds, are turning to the dog harness vest as its popularity has steadily been growing. This is true to such an extent that it is quite common for newer pet clothing to have an opening that will allow the leash to be attached to the dog vest harness underneath. There is even a growing trend toward step in harnesses that are designed to act like clothing while also reducing stress that your animal must endure during the course of a normal walk.

Harnesses for dogs found their beginnings with the sled, and racing dog, harnesses. The difference between the two naturally being whether the intent was to haul goods or to race. There is a variety of harnesses and the number of styles is increasing. The standard three varieties are the freight harness, x back harness and the H-back type. However, due to more aggressive racing designs the Y-back styling, distance and guard harnesses are also now quite common.

From these cold climate beginnings, harness use has entered the mainstream. They are commonly used in relation to dog handling but are now also frequently used for canine training as well. There is quite a variety of dog training harnesses which are frequently made of nylon or leather many of which have a designer custom feel to them. There are even some with padded chest plates for protective, attack and agitation-training routines – it's less likely you will be needing anything like this!

It is also worth mentioning that assistance dogs commonly wear a variety of harnesses. At times these harnesses, although not a requirement of the Americans with Disability Act, can utilize a customized harness allowing the disabled to place some weight on the service animal which can help maintain balance and offer counterbalance support.

All told, dog harnesses have proven to be highly useful means of restraining, protecting and transporting canines in a variety of scenarios for hundreds of years. This may very well be the ideal method for you to use with your pet.