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Dog Harnesses vs. Traditional Collars

For years, the traditional collar and leash have been the standard for keeping dogs safe and secure but, as we learn more about pet health and proper control, new products and designs have hit the market, including the dog harness.

According to the American Kennel Club, harnesses have many advantages. For starters, they can save smaller dogs from injuries that pulling on a traditional collar can cause, by dispersing the strain and reducing the pressure on the neck. Harnesses also give owners more control over dogs with less-than-perfect leash manners or large dogs, by putting less strain on owners’ arms and backs. Control is also improved because the harness discourages pulling. A traditional collar allows a pulling dog to move forward, giving the dog the feeling of success while a harness redirects the force, eliminating the reward for the dog.

With these benefits, harnesses have become popular with pet owners, making them a must-carry item for many retailers, especially those in urban areas. However, there are harnesses to cover a variety of needs, with many materials and design options, including simple nylon harnesses that are reasonably priced and adjust to fit all dogs; soft mesh harnesses that are breathable, lightweight and good for dogs with sensitive necks; and reflective or cooling harnesses that come with reusable cooling packs to keep furry pets cool in hot weather.

For large dogs, there are no-pull harnesses that come with an easy-to-grab handle and a padded shell for comfort, and heavy-duty harnesses that are double-layered for durability. For small dogs, there are harnesses with five adjustable points for a custom fit and padded chest plates to prevent stress on small dogs. And, don’t forget to include a few fashion harnesses, available in a variety of fun fabrics. The American Kennel Club offers more harness options.

About Liz Lichtenberger

Liz is the special projects editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and trends, visits retailers, and attends industry events. She graduated from Xavier University, where she earned a degree in English and Spanish and was a member of the swim team. Liz is a Louisville, Kentucky, native who lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two children. She enjoys swimming, reading, doing home improvement projects around her house and cheering on her two favorite basketball teams, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Xavier Musketeers.

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