By Monday, November 7, 2016 17 No tags Permalink

The great dog harness debates between Doodle Dad and I take place almost every time the four of us leave the house. We’re civil and courteous to each other, but we just can’t seem to agree on the pros/cons when it comes to using 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. The main benefit of a harness, then, is that it prevents injuries to your dog’s trachea, especially if he has a tendency to pull on the leash. Another benefit of the harness is that it gives you greater control over your dog – this is also a benefit if your dog is big or overly active. Source: Petguide

Jaxson is an equal opportunity puller! The things that excite him are unpredictable to me. With a regular collar, I’m headed wherever he wants to go! #leashslave

Walks became easier when I switched to a harness.


We’re a society of choices and dog harnesses are no different.

There are several types –

  • Roman – the most common. They attach around the girth of the dogs chest and have a collar like component that fits around the dogs neck with material that connects the two.
  • Step In – these generally have a figure eight configuration. Your dog steps into the harness with their front legs and straps go around the girth and front of your dogs chest, with the buckle of snap connecting to the top.
  • No Pull – used to offer greater control for dogs that want to pull hard. It has a girth strap that attaches around the dogs check behind the front legs but also has a chest strap that connects across the breast of your dog. When he tries to pull, he’s forced to turn and face you, which discourages him from pulling.

Jaxson uses a “no pull” harness..

DOG HARNESS DEBATES…for me – the harness makes a tremendous difference. I no longer go where I don’t want to go! #doodleincharge

But for whatever reason, Lee never cared for it, and was openly vocal,


Jaxson found the water fountain at Marion Square


Almost 70lbs now, he’s what my grandmother would describe as “thick.”


He’s –

  • solid
  • built like a brick house
  • mac truck

When he decides he wants to go somewhere, you’re going. Whether you want to or not!

A traditional collar prohibits you me from having much control. I also worry about his neck.

He loves water and when he’s fixated on something – he seems to develop super powers…



a person who is fascinated by water, intensely attracted to water, or loves to play in water.

Change the word “person” to “Doodle” and you’ve got Jaxson…


And Lee found this out when Jax saw the fountain.

Holding him back wasn’t easy…


…but with the harness, they both didn’t end up in the fountain. #mycamerawasready

Lee no longer complains about how he’d prefer a regular collar and leash.

He recognizes why I reach for it often.

He understands it’s not only helping break his “pulling” habit without hurting or harming him, but it also gives us more control when we see things like water!

On occasion I test drive a traditional collar. Just curious to see if the harness (along with my commands) are working together correcting this behavioral impulse to pull. Some days I see improvement. Other days? I’m going places I don’t want to go #itsaprocess


Harley doesn’t pull. He also has no real interest in water. So while Doodle Dad struggled with the #dolphindoodle, Harley kissed and played with the babies…



Did you know dogs with special needs also benefit from using a harness –

  • Pushed in faces (Pugs, Bulldogs)
  • Delicate Tracheas (Pomeranians, Miniature Poodels
  • Elongated Necks (Greyhounds, Whippets)
  • Medical Conditions
  • Respiatory Disease
  • Neck Injuries

But please make sure you choose the correct size.

Also be aware – using some types of harnesses can encourage some dogs to pull, which can be counterproductive to their overall training. Anti-Pull Training Harnesses are also available for dogs that need correction while wearing a harness.

What’s your preference – collar or harness?

It’s Monday – time to sparkle & shine ❤️


Good reads –

Harnessing the Walk

Picking the Perfect Collar


  • Emma
    November 7, 2016

    We always use a collar and leash for walking, but we have our seat belt harnesses, then we each have a nose work harness, and we each have a tracking harness. Each of them has a design for the purpose we are using them for. Some harnesses are good for walking but right now Mom prefers to stick with collars.

    • Cathy Bennett
      November 7, 2016

      I like the look of a collar and leash for photography but I need the harness when I am just out and about.

  • Monika & Sam
    November 7, 2016

    We always use harnesses on our twice daily squirrel patrols, er walks. Otherwise, I’d end up being a human kite with lady Elsa who has NEVER seen a squirrel she didn’t want to catch. 😉

    • Cathy Bennett
      November 7, 2016

      I know exactly what you’re talking about Monika – I never knew a dog could be that strong until I started walking one – #wow

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    November 7, 2016

    My dogs all have a harness. It took forever to find a harness that works for all four dogs – I needed something that was easy to put on them and adjust when on the fly and I found them. I just wish they were all no pull harnesses.

    I have three pullers and one girl who just wants to walk by my side (Sydney).

    So now I”m on the hunt for no-pull harnesses that are quick and easy to put on and adjust.

    Jax has the water. My dogs are attracted to anything that moves fast. Damn rabbits.

    • Cathy Bennett
      November 7, 2016

      HA! – Haven’t seen any rabbits yet – but I’m sure if Jaxson saw one, I would be flying!

  • Jan K
    November 7, 2016

    Ever since we got our first beagle, it’s been harnesses all the way! They will pull until they are choking themselves and hacking away and I hate that! I also like the control a harness gives me. If they act up I can just grab them by the back of the harness, not by the collar.
    Now, if you ask me which harness I swear by, that’s another whole story! Each dog has a different type. We’ve been through a lot of different ones trying to find the perfect one. I’m not even sure I’ve found it yet!

    • Cathy Bennett
      November 7, 2016

      I like the fact that when he tries to get too far out in front of me, I can stop walking and the pull harness re-directs him back to me. Love that feature.

  • Lauren Miller (ZoePhee)
    November 7, 2016

    We like harnesses, too! Both of my dogs have sensitive necks so we use them whenever possible.

    There are also studies out there about how pressure on the neck can be very harmful and even causes extra stress hormones to be released into the body. Dogs who are prone to reactivity should wear a harness.

    • Cathy Bennett
      November 7, 2016

      Another reason to wearing one that I wasn’t aware of. Thanks Lauren. I was actually feeling sharp pains from my upper arm when I used a traditional collar and leash with Jaxson, it was too much abuse to me!!!

  • Claudette Pope
    November 8, 2016

    You taught me about the “No Pull” harness when Ziggy was about 10 months old. I could tell back then that I was in for Trouble. I am eternally grateful. He is Still in a No Pull cause even at 22 months old, He Still pulls, with a collar:-(

  • Rebekah
    November 9, 2016

    I occasionally use an Easy Walk on Faolan, and it works well for us. I can’t imagine using a standard on my dogs, who have pulling in their blood.

    • Cathy Bennett
      November 13, 2016

      MY arm and chest ached for weeks before I got the harness. It was the best thing I ever did!

    November 9, 2016

    How cute Jaxson loves water so much! 😀 Happy is so scared of water! I’d love to and I really want to use harness on Happy but he escaped harness 3 times before.
    Ever since then I just use collar but he still pulls a lot. Recently I’ve been thinking about trying different types of harness than ones that I used before. This post has been really helpful! Thank you! <3

    • Cathy Bennett
      November 13, 2016

      Hazel – go to one of those individually owned pet stores and talk to them about harnesses. Have them fit Happy for the right one before leaving the store. That way you’ll have the right one for Happy and it will be the correct size. Give it a try.

  • Monica Dingess
    November 10, 2016

    You’ve got two wonderful doodles, for sure. They are so adorable. About the no-pull harness, I think your choice is perfect. With this kind of harness, these pets shall be prevented from injured and they are discouraged to pull. Thanks for your sharing.

    • Cathy Bennett
      November 13, 2016

      Jaxson would pull so hard with a traditional collar and leash, I used to worry about him injuring his neck. And that was when he was a puppy. The harness is so much better for him, and me.

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