Today's Paper Obits HER Sports Latest News Newsletters Viewpoints Lifestyles Weather Dear Abby Horoscopes Stocks 2019 Progress

— By Dr. Betty Rigby,

Maul Rd. Animal Clinic

Harnesses have become very popular in the last couple of years. Commercials on TV and social media boast about how great they are!


As a person that is super grateful for a well-behaved dog, I can tell you that harnesses are NOT a good training tool. All a harness teaches the dog to do is PULL!

That is the original purpose of a harness for animals, such as, sled dogs, draft horses, oxen, and plough horses, etc. If you don’t have any control over the animal’s head, then you cannot train it properly.

A choke collar may seem harsh on a dog, but it gives you the control you need. Even a pinch collar may be needed for a short period if the dog is super hyper. It really gets their attention. These are common tools used to train a dog for basic obedience.

When you are done with a training session, put the dog’s regular collar back on. A choke collar is not meant to be worn all the time, only when training.

For a dog to “heel” by your left side as you walk, you also need a leash that is not retractable. A sturdy 4-6’ leash is all you need.

Retractable leashes allow the dog to run way ahead of you and pull.

You have absolutely NO control of the dog if a situation occurred where you needed an immediate response from your dog. Please don’t follow the trend of harnesses and retractable leashes.

If you want a well-behaved dog, you need to train it properly.

They don’t come into this world knowing how to behave. You have to teach them.

Sponsor Content