Are Harnesses Bad For Dogs Than Collars? What Do The Experts Says?

Is a collar or harness better for a puppy/dog?

 

Are harnesses bad for dogs than collars? What do the experts says

INTRODUCTION

On the market, there are multiple tools available for anyone who wants to walk or work on a leash with their dog. This leash must be attached to a tool which itself is attached to the dog’s body: flat collar, choke collar, head halter, martingale, spiked collar, electric collar, harness with dorsal attachment, harness with frontal attachment, etc.

What do the experts say about these tools? collars and harnesses?

What do those who have conducted studies on the effectiveness and psychological and physical effects of all these tools say?

So here is a summary of what we now know about this thorny issue that is igniting debate.

Why should your dog be kept on a leash?

-For his own safety.
-Because in public places, we must keep our dog on a leash.
-For the safety of humans and other animals.
-To frame him in his behavior.
-Keep it close to you.
-For training.
-For the walk.

What your dog is looking to do during a walk?
-Expend his energy (run, up, down, walk quickly). To spend physical energy and as an occupational activity.
-Revitalize your muscular, articular, respiratory, and cardiac system.
-Explore your territory or a new territory.
-Spot odors.
-Memorize what he sees and feels in order to find his way back.
-Know if there are congeners in this territory.
-Know if new congeners have traveled this territory.
-To relieve oneself.
-Mark its territory.
-Enjoy.
-Spend quality time with you!
*** Note that the search for smells has a particular connection with this walk ***

Walking is surely the main activity that requires the use of a leash attached to a collar or harness. But… what does walking at the foot (on a leash) mean for a dog? In fact …. nothing at all!
-In nature, dogs do not often walk side by side.
-In a group of dogs, they come and go randomly across each other.
-In territorial exploration, they smell on the ground, follow tracks, and do not follow a specific pattern of walking (as we do when following sidewalks and streets). They are often guided by their nose, not their sight.
-So, you just understood why our dog does not follow you on the walk? Why does he mark his territory by walking? Pull-on the leash to go faster to an olfactory target?

THE OPPOSITION REFLEX: the primary reason for refusing to walk tied up:
♦ Any dog ​​who starts on a leash will tend to refuse to move forward.

♦ No matter how hard you pull, and harder and harder, Pitou for his part is determined to make your ski on the road.

♦ Did you know that this is not your dog’s intentional fault? And that is his neurological constitution leads him to pull on his leash while walking with certain walking tools placed on his throat?

At Pavlov, who was the first to unveil the opposition reflex. The reflex was discovered by Ivan P. Pavlov in 1927. It was he who discovered classical conditioning. At the time, it was called the “freedom reflex” or the “freedom reflex”. According to him, a dog simply cannot stand still on its own when forced. Any attached animal will tend to want to go in the opposite direction to the attachment, this being a survival reflex. That’s why if you pull on the leash with an untrained dog, it will tend to want to go the opposite direction or freeze. He is in reflex defense mode.

In fact, if your dog pulls while wearing a flat collar, choke collar or even a harness with the attachment on the back, it is a great stimulus to pull more and more. This comes from the instinct of survival in the dog. The tension will bring the dog into a fight or flight mode, in an effort to save his life. If you desire to force a dog in one direction, it will tend to freeze, back up, or struggle. It is the opposition reflex, And with time, passing from puppy to adult, the dog becomes excellent in this resistance.

In addition, some humans reward the dog who pulls by letting him pull and go towards what he wants to reach (the behind of another dog, a person talking to him, etc…) A choke collar or even a harness whose attachment is located on the back, it is greatly stimulating to pull more and more.
Ultimately, these dogs learn that freedom comes with pulling and never experience the pleasant feeling of walking without neck strain.

The opposition reflex and its consequences on canine health, because this action causes the collar to put pressure on the dog’s neck:
-Problems with eye pressure.
-Crushes the trachea.
-May cause syringomyelia or compression of the spinal cord and sometimes can form cysts
-Increases the sensitivity of the trachea.
-Can cause disorders of the thyroid gland.
– Negative effects on the lymphatic system, blood circulation, and the neurology of the walking pattern.

 

 

Are harnesses bad for dogs than collars? What do the experts says?

 

Distractions that your dog encounters while on a leash, which can cause a pulling action, regardless of the tethered tool used:
– Odors.
-Moving objects (rolling leaves, cars, bicycles, joggers…).
-The other dogs.
-Other animals (cats, birds, squirrels, etc.).
-The people.
-Noise (cars, trucks, sirens, barking dogs…).
-Your reactions.
-Your movements.
-Your requests.
-The requests of other people.

THE TOOLS

The flat collar
-Allows identification of the dog.
-Is comfortable for the dog.
-For walking: can induce the opposition reflex.
-May also cause injury if kicked.
-It should be placed tight to prevent the dog from sticking its head out of the collar.

Halter

-The halter is a tool that uses positive punishment in order to stop a behavior.
-Put on the dog’s nose.
-The halter hugs the dog’s nose and lowers the dog’s head to stop a behavior.
-Reproduces reprimands from mother or peers.
-Dogs don’t like to wear it.
-May injure the dog’s face.
– Often mistaken for a muzzle.

The Electric Collar Garmin Delta XC, Are harnesses bad for dogs than collars? What do the experts says? electric shock collar

-The Electric Collar is a tool that uses positive punishment in order to stop a behavior. Frequently and still used by hunters on their dogs.
-The collar is equipped with a lever that triggers an electric shock of varying intensity.

According to Schilder and van der Borg, 2003, “Training dogs with help of the shock collar: short and long term behavioral effects”, the University of Utrecht:
-The use of punishments (electric collars), therefore negative stimuli during dog training, leads to learned inhibition (same results also in Seligman, 1971).
-Shocks are not only a nuisance but are really painful. The dog associates the presence of the guide with pain and shock.
-The dog can also associate the order given with the shocks.
-In the presence of the guide, the dog has learned to expect something aversive (negative).
-The use of the electric collar causes intense stress in the dog, even outside “working” conditions, for example during the walk, even if the collar is no longer used.

According to Richard Polsky, 2000, “Can aggression in dogs be elicited through the use of electric pet containment systems?”, Animal Behavior Counseling Services Inc.
-Pain is considered to be a primary stimulus that can cause the release of unconditioned aggression.
-In this study, 80% of the dogs were never aggressive before the attack (therefore without a history of aggression). The attacks took place in familiar surroundings and the electrical system was working at the time of the attack. The dog assaulted the owner or a known person (entourage, family, neighbor) in 80% of cases.
-Pain from shock, can cause a dog to react aggressively to a nearby target (a person or another dog).

According to Richard Polsky, 2000, “Can aggression in dogs be elicited through the use of electric pet containment systems?”, Animal Behavior Counseling Services Inc.
-Bites are repetitive and uninhibited in all dog attacks, or electric collars have been used. The attack is a response to the pain of shock.
-In all cases, no warning of behavior: barking, growling, growling, growling while showing the teeth, was given to the victim before the attack.
-Also the other studies that have been done: Renfrew (1997), Ulrich et al (1964), have noted the intense and vicious nature of the aggression that a shock elicits.

According to Roger Ulrich, 1966, “Pain as a cause of aggression”, University of Michigan.
Mentioned in this study that pain causes aggression.

The Spike Collar or “Prong”

– The Spike Collar is a tool that uses positive punishment in order to stop a behavior.
– Squeezing the dog’s neck should stop a behavior.
-Some dogs become very resistant to this kind of collar and the handler has to hit harder and harder for it to have a deterrent effect.

The Strangler

– The Choke Collar is a tool that uses positive punishment to stop a behavior.
– Squeezing the dog’s neck should stop a behavior.
-Some dogs become very resistant to this kind of collar and the handler has to hit harder and harder for it to have a deterrent effect.

According to Madison, Pauli et al. , 2006, “Effects of the application of neck pressure by a collar or harness on intraocular pressure in dogs”, University of Wisconsin:
-The use of chain collars (choke) increases intraocular pressure at the eye level. In dogs with glaucoma, with a thinned cornea the increased intraocular pressure can be harmful, and the use of the collar can even lead to blindness.
– Intraocular pressure was significantly increased from baseline when force was applied to the neck by a leash or collar, this effect was not noted for a harness.

According to Overall Karen, 2007, “Considerations for shock and training collars: Concerns from and for the working community”, University of Illinois:
-When aversive (negative) methods are used on dogs for these behavioral problems, they become more anxious, more pathological, and potentially more aggressive and dangerous, depending on their problem.
-These tools (electric collar, choke) combine to engender fear, pain, and mistrust, and in doing so, they cause long-term damage that makes dogs more responsive, less confident, and less able to reach their full potential in their partnership with humans.

According to Overall Karen, 2007, “Considerations for shock and training collars: Concerns from and for the working community”, University of Illinois:
-The negative effect of these tools has been proven on cervical (neck) instability and Degenerative osteoarthritis in dogs, but also recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy, which can affect the voice and swallowing.
-They can aggravate instability syndrome (Wobbler’s syndrome) and osteoarthritis of the cervical spine in dogs.

Climbing Aversive Tools

-When you see a dog with an electric collar, this is often not the first collar you have used with it.
-Often, we started with a flat collar which created an opposition reflex.
-Then we put a choke on him.
-Some dogs get used to the shock of the strangler and increasingly resist the opposition reflex.
-We went to the spike collar and then to the electric collar.
-These dogs are considered bombs and they become very dangerous without their collar.

 

Harnesses

-A harness is a set of straps placed on the dog’s chest in order to control the dog’s walking and jumping.
-The harness uses the principle of negative punishment to increase guidance when walking and jumping.
-The dog is comfortable if the harness is well adjusted.
-It requires a minimum of training to function.

The Use of Harnesses

According to Nelson, Couto, “Small animal internal medicine”:
-The harness, for dogs with cervical disease, can improve attitude and promote early use of affected limbs.
-Dogs with cervical disc disease should wear a harness instead of the collar when walking.
-The harness should be used for dogs with Wobbler’s syndrome (cervical instability syndrome).

According to Dr. Bardet, “Laryngeal paralysis”.
-It is advisable to avoid collars and use harnesses instead of animals with laryngeal palsy.

According to Clare Rusbridge, European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology, London, the article on the Cavalier King Charles / Health website:
– Neurologists researching syringomyelia or its treatment in cavaliers king Charles recommend the use of a harness for all English dwarf spaniels.
-The pressure of a collar, and / or a show lead, or jerking on the neck during growth can at best cause unnecessary pain and possibly could worsen syringomyelia by irritating the sensitive area of ​​the neck, or the brain often protrudes and forms syrinxes (cysts), which is the first sign in affected dogs.
-It is recommended that education collars, and spike collars not be used at any time.
-Many veterinarians regularly see damage to the trachea for dogs pulling on their collars. It is therefore recommended to use a harness on small breeds due to the small trachea and neck.

According to Dr Cauzinille (Center Hospitalier Vétérinaire Fregis) on the Cavalier King Charles / health site:
“I am very favorable to the harness given the physical – pathology of syringomyelia (poor circulation of cerebrospinal fluid between the cranial box and space. under cervical arachnoid). ”

Harnesses

-Attaché back
-Comfortable
-Immediately accepted by the dog
-Stimulates however to pull ahead as a team of sled
-Attaché in front
-Comfortable
-Immediately accepted by the dog
-Give a heeling with a minimum of training
-Rotate the dog going forwards -To
turn around
-Can be used to prevent the dog from jumping

-No force required

Note: some types of harnesses have both front and back attachments.

CONCLUSION

For the comfort and health of the dog, to train with the lowest possible level of stress, to walk in a pleasant way for both dogs and humans, all other tools than the harness with front or back attachment are to be avoided.

Science says it!

 

Bibliography
♦ Schilder and van der Borg, 2003, “Training dogs with help of the shock collar: short and long term behavioral effects”, University of Utrecht.
 Madison, Pauli, et al., 2006, “Effects of the application of neck pressure by a collar or harness on intraocular pressure in dogs”, University of Wisconsin.
 Richard Polsky, 2000, “Can aggression in dogs be elicited through the use of electric pet containment systems?”, Animal Behavior Counseling Services Inc.
 Roger Ulrich, 1966, “Pain as a cause of aggression”, University of Michigan.
 Overall Karen, 2007, “Considerations for shock and training collars: Concerns from and for the working community”, University of Illinois.
 Dr. Bardet, “Laryngeal paralysis”
 Nelson, Couto, “Small animal internal medicine”
 Dr Cauzinille (Center Hospitalier Vétérinaire Fregis) on the Cavalier King Charles / sante site.
 Clare Rusbridge, European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology, London, article on the Cavalier King Charles / sante website.
 Dr. Becker, Why I Don’t Recommend Retractable Leashes, June 11, 2014.
 Kikipop, Émile Lharlam
 Donna Hill

 

 

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