As I watched the women ahead of me, I cringed. The little dog with them was receiving collar corrections for pulling; lots and lots of them. "That poor dog's neck," I thought to myself. I thought it to myself until Elsa and I caught up to them. Then I shared my thoughts out loud. Of course it didn't go over well, it seldom does. The woman puffed her self up in defense of her acts, typical. That was several months ago; but I see the same thing happening on a regular basis.
Just yesterday at a different park, there was an adorable little miniature doodle being dragged and yanked around by his neck. As they passed us he hopped around wanting to see Elsa which made his owner yank on him. People just don't think about dog necks. We humans have been dragging our dogs around by them for so long that it seems like a perfectly natural thing to do, right?
Lately I've been reading articles from trainers and Vets. saying that the easy walk type harnesses are bad. "Dang, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't." I throw my hands in the air when I read them; how on earth are regular dog Mom and Dads to know what to do? Honestly.
As far as I am concerned, a harness is far safer than a collar. A body can take much more abuse than a neck. Have you ever given your dog hug around the neck and then your dogs coughs? Dog necks are far more sensitive than we consider. Humans have been yanking dogs around by their neck for so long that it is just what we do. But now we need to stop.
There are people who love to be right all the time; they will always find something wrong with everything. These type people want to be the ones who saved everyone while they stand up on their pedestal. By claiming that harnesses are now bad for our dogs, we do a disservice to our dogs. Many may read these articles and go back to dragging their dogs around by the neck again. Collars are for hanging ID tags on and even then they should be removed in secure areas like home or when playing with other dogs.
I do not want to see on a dog:
A choke chain/collar
A prong/pinch collar
An extension leash
Collar of any type inflicting neck corrections
Nothing is perfect, no dogs are perfect, people, trainers, leashes or collars. The evolution of moving away from the neck as an area to attach a yanking device to is a good one. Of course as new harnesses come out I will have a look at them. I love trying out new equipment. For now I am happy with a couple of different harnesses that I use.
Hmmm, maybe time to create my own human/canine connection system. It's a thought.
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