Imagine a scenario where your Border Collie dashes off in the park because of a broken leash, and you have to spend the whole day looking for it; that is surely every dog owner’s nightmare. Dog walking is an important bonding experience for dogs and the owners but do you have confidence in the restrainer or harness. What is the best harness for a Border Collie to avoid embarrassing situations, this article explains in detail?
What is a dog harness?
A dog harness is a type of restrainer used for controlling and guiding dogs and can be dated back to the Bronze age.
Parts of a harness
- The shoulder strap: It runs from the shoulders to the belly region.
- The belly strap: It runs from the left/right torso, underneath the belly to the next left/right torso.
- The neck strap: It straps the neck/ thorax through the armpit to the torsos.
- Side buckle: They are clips located at the side and beneath the dog’s belly used for tightening the harness to the dog’s body.
- D-ring: It is a leash connector. It can either be located at the front of the top. It is used for controlling dog’s movement, speed, and direction.
- O-ring: They serve as intersect between straps such as the belly, shoulder, and buckle.
Uses of dog harness
- For restraining: The main use of dog harnesses is to restrain dogs while performing outdoor activities.
- For safety: Some harnesses are designed for safety in the car; they are usually used in the car with seat belts to restrain the pet from escaping and distracting the driver.
Other types of safety harnesses are those worn by the police dogs that are sometimes padded with bulletproof.
Why is a dog harness better than a collar?
- Harnesses help in weight and strain distribution: Dogs with bad pulling problems will benefit heavily as harnesses help in distributing strain around the body; unlike collars that concentrate the strain on the neck region.
- It is ideal for leash training: Before getting your Collie pup adjusted to a leash, you will want to make sure it is comfortable as poorly trained leash dogs produce reactive and aggressive dogs.
- They are perfect for long hikes and walks: Dog mountaineering involves steeps and long pathways and are stressful for dogs, it can cause neck injuries when too much strain is applied, but harnesses create a very comfortable experience for your dog as the strain is evened out to all parts of the body.
- Gives you more control: The harness sits between the forelimb and the hind limb of your pet; this gives you more control when directing him as the leash directs the whole body planetary, unlike the collar that only controls the head.
Categories of harnesses
There are two main categories of harnesses; they are the straps and the vests:
- They don’t cover large areas of the body and are perfect for hot weather.
- They have lesser weight than the vests.
- They cause chaffing at the neck and shoulder for Collies with pulling problems.
- They are confusing to put on as the under and top straps look alike.
- They cover larger areas of your Collies body and can make the dog feel more secure due to the sensation they give; the downside is they are not suitable for hot weather.
- This bulky feeling can cause constraint to some dogs.
- Other categories include the Step-in harness, Halti no-pull harness, Roman harness, etc.
Types of dog harness
There are three main types of dog harnesses;
- Front-clip dog harness: It is also known as the non-pull harness. It gives total control to the owners during walks as the D-ring is located at the front; it prevents pulling and tugging by turn their direction around you rather than forward. They help in correcting dog pulling problems as the D-ring is placed in front mount pressure on their chest while they pull; so it is instinctual to stop.
Some have a martingale system despite the presence of a D-ring to emphasize pressure on the neck; this is to condition aggressive pulling dogs.
It can cause a lot of chaffing when not placed perfectly on the dog and loosely tangled leash can easily mess up your dog’s movement because the leash is drawn from the sides and can be difficult to exchange while moving.
- Back-clip dog harness: The D-ring is at the shoulder/wither of the dog and gives you more leash control compared to the front-clip. The location of the D-ring helps in reducing back and neck injury as they are located further away from the dog’s chest. They are perfect for non-aggressive dogs or dogs with no pulling problems.
The downside of the back-clip harness is it worsens pulling problems because it was originally used in dogs for efficient sled pulling. Dogs move in the opposed direction of pulling and make the dogs pull harder.
- Dual-clip harness: They are the combination of a front-clip and a back-clip harness, this having two D-rings which will either serve as a back or front clip harness when one leash is used. The use of a double-ended leash is recommended as it increases flexibility for the owners and you have maximum control over dogs.
It is more expensive and may feel bulky for some dogs and some dog owners have not mastered the use of a double-ended leash.
Best harness for a Border Collie
Rabbitgo no-pull harness:
It is a step-in, vest-like, anti- pulling dog harness with buffering strap and adjustable points. This is a perfect harness for matured Border Collies with big statures as the least size is Medium. It is rated top 2 on Amazon amongst the best dog harness, it has been reviewed over 83,000 times and has a rating of 4.5 out of 5. It has a customer’s rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 in security which makes it perfect for hyperactive Border Collies and it is under $20.
Its key features are the 2 metal leash rings available for your flexibility, its extra adjusting straps for an easy fit, its fast release buckle for easy removal, and the breathable mesh cushioning neck strap for your dog’s comfortability.
Embark Adventure Dog harness:
it is a vest-like dual clipped harness with strong D-rings of pulling strength 750lbs. It has highly adjustable longer straps with extra space adjustment to give your pet a snug fit. It is very lightweight to reduce the feeling of bulkiness and stylishly looking. The material is made from high-quality military-grade nylon exceeding the standard pulling strength by 130lbs. To is under $30 and has a very impress 4.5 stars out of over 3000 reviews from customer.
The company of animal pets harness:
It is a strap-like, double-ringed, Halti harness made from high-quality webbing and double-ended lead material for durability. It has adjustable straps and strong buckles to provide ultimate security. With a patented front control system, this harness steers the dog from its chest rather than its head to reduce pressure and strain. The back ring acts as a brake system while the front ring acts as a steering system.
It has neoprene padding at the shoulder region for your dog’s comfortability and very lightweight bro reduces the feeling of bulkiness. It has a rating of about 4.1 stars out of 5 and comes in three sizes, but only comes in one color; red.
IOKHEIRA Dog Seatbelt harness:
This is a type of car safety harness used for protecting dogs and drivers during car rides. This dog’s seatbelt is designed with two different types of safety buckle, one to latch into the child safety seat and the car trunk and the order into the seatbelt buckle (the normal human seatbelt buckle) for all car types.
The buckles are lightweight and sturdy made from aviation aluminum and have a tensile force of about 900lbs. It has a curved design for effectiveness while locking the D-ring. The seatbelt harness is made from thick wear-resistant nylon sewn with reflective threads for easy dog location at night. The length can be adjusted from 20 to 30 inches by sliding the metal hardware and it has a very elastic bungee jumping cushion to prevent your dog from being injured during bumps or accidents. It has a durability rating of 4.6, a sturdiness rating of 4.7, and an easy-to-use rating of 4.8.
Puppia soft dog harness:
This is a perfect harness for small Collies as it only comes in an extra small size. It is made out of 100% polyester and has a comfortable neck opening with an adjustable chest belt and a quick-release buckle. It is great for warm weather. It is machine washable but hand washing is recommended. It has a rating of 4.4 from over 14,000 customer reviews and it is very lightweight to reduce the feeling of bulkiness on dogs.
How to choose the best harness size for your Border Collie
When choosing a harness, the style and shape depends on your dog’s personality. Collies are known to be free-spirited dogs, hence, harnesses that restrict their motion will not be suitable for them. They are double-coated dogs that need to expel heat constantly; vest-like harnesses will cause heat so go for the straps ones.
In the absence of your dog at the pet store;
- Start by Measuring your dog your dog’s width and weight: Measure the broadest part of your dog with a measuring tape to get an exact measurement. Make sure the tape is not tightly resting on the body but make it snug on the body. Weigh it on a scale to check its exact weight.
- Go to a pet store or the vet with the measured information: Ensure you get a harness that is 2 inches larger than your measured value as most of them to have adjustable straps to eventually for your dog.
- Place the harness on your dog and adjust properly and you use the two-finger method to check for any discomfort.
In the presence of your dog at the pet store
The pet store attendant will measure and weigh your dog; you can direct your dog to choose his strap. Use the two-finger method to ensure it fits well and it is comfortable.
The two-finger method
The two-finger rule is one of the oldest method to get the best size for your Collie. After fitting and strapping your dog into the harness, put two fingers between the spaces of your dog and the harness, ensure the two fingers go in easily, properly adjust if it does not. The harness should not disturb your dog’s movement or rub against his skin.
How to attach the harness to your Border Collie.
After picking the best harness for your Border Collie based on its taste and personality, it’s time to fit it in;
- Unpack the harness from the package and read the manufacturer’s manual.
- Unbuckle all the straps to make sure there is no breakage or rusting in the rings.
- Put on the harness on your dog. This depends on whether the harness is step-in or a put-on.
- If it’s a put-on, the slide is carefully over your dog’s head until it is resting on its shoulders; but if it’s a step in, position your dog properly over the harness and drag it up to the belly region before strapping it.
- If it is a back-clipped harness, the D-ring must rest on the dog’s withers(shoulders) but if it’s a front clipped harness the D-ring should be on the chest region.
- Adjust the strap to fit accurately on your dog’s body.
- Buckle up the sides for a snug fit.
- Finally, use the two-finger method for additional adjustment.
I know you have picked the best harness for your Border Collie and they look cute and stylish in it, but your dog acts the opposite; remove the harness as it may be uncomfortable. It will not grow into loving it if it does not love it at first sight.
Dog harnesses are not everyday outfit; ensure you remove them after you’re done. Always double-check the straps before taking them for a walk as you never can be too sure.
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