Identification! A less well known fact is that the Control of Dogs Order from 1992 states that all dogs must wear a collar and identity tag in a public place. This tag must show the owner’s name and address. Dog wardens can enforce this law and fines of up to £5000 can be given by the courts for an offence. Surprisingly there are a number of exceptions to this rule, these include police dogs, army dogs, rescue dogs, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, working packs of hounds, sporting dogs, working farm dogs and any dog working to capture or destroy vermin.
Aside from identification, collars can be great for dogs which don’t pull on a leash. They are light and non-restrictive and they enable you to quickly pop out for a quick walk with your dog.
The major potential problem with collars comes when they are used to take dogs for lead walks. Even slight pulling can cause injury to your dog’s neck including damage to their windpipe (trachea) or their thyroid gland. Stronger pulling can cause damage to the bones of the neck and increased pressure within their head. Collars should especially be avoided in dogs like pugs, which have naturally larger and more protruding eyeballs, as any increased pressure in their head can risk causing damage to their eyes.
There are numerous potential benefits to using harnesses for lead walks. These include better control, reduced chances of neck injury, discouraging pulling and helping with training. Particularly for dogs that are constantly pulling with a collar on, changing to a harness causes the dog to get lifted up in the air which gets them no further forward, as opposed to pulling with a collar on where they can get their head down and move forward more quickly.
There really aren’t many cons to using a harness, some dogs don’t like the feeling of a harness and finding a well-fitting harness is key to keeping your dog comfortable. Everyone knows that dogs come in all shapes and sizes so it is impossible for every harness to suit every dog.