While not a necessity for all dog owners, puppy harnesses do have their advantages. Not only are they a great tool when it comes to training and learning how to walk on a lead, but they also offer greater control to you as an owner. Harnesses also prevent puppies from getting tangled up in their leash - both important considerations, especially if you find yourself on a busy street with many people. They are also an excellent solution for preventing any accidental and unwanted escapes, keeping your dog safely and securely by your side.
Benefits of a puppy harness
Harnesses discourage pulling by redirecting your puppy and providing no reward, unlike a regular leash and collar, where moving forward can make your dog feel like he is succeeding. They are also perfect for puppies who are particularly prone to injury from pulling, dispersing pressure over a larger area instead of focusing on just the neck and back. Furthermore, if your dog needs a little friendly encouragement to get back up after sitting or lying down, a puppy harness will gently provide the signal to move, without causing any pain or discomfort.
Not only preventing injuries in dogs, if you have a puppy that is on the larger side, a harness will provide you with added security, putting you firmly back in control while also being easier on your arms and back.
How to introduce your puppy to their harness
Most puppies will take to their harness well and can be taught to wear one from roughly around eight weeks old, which is when you will be able to take your puppy home. Once they have settled into their new home and surroundings, you can start to train them using the harness.
First, let them smell the harness while giving them a treat to associate it with something good. Put the harness on their back and repeat this process, leaving it on longer each time. Fasten the harness while providing more treats and leave it on to see how your puppy reacts. Repeat the process several times if need be until they are happy and comfortable to wear it.
Choosing the right harness for your puppy
There are different puppy harnesses available on the market, all with a different style and fit. While the style and look of a harness are up to personal taste, it is essential to note that it is vital to get the correct size. If too loose, your puppy can escape, but if the harness is too tight, then this can be painful and even cause health issues further down the line. To find the perfect size for your puppy, measure around their ribcage, and check the harness before buying to ensure that you purchase the correct size. Other factors to consider include:
All good harnesses will allow you to adjust the fit, perfect when you have a growing puppy.
Puppies are famous for chewing, especially when teething, so it is important to get a harness made from chew-resistant materials to ensure longevity.
Your dog will not stay a puppy forever and will grow fast. Therefore, while it's always good to get a harness made from high-quality materials, there is no point in going for the most expensive purchase when your dog will grow out of it soon, even if adjustable.