Dog Collars, Harnesses, and Leashes

by Anne-Marie Smith
dog collars

Walking your dog regularly is an important part of responsible pet ownership, so that’s why it is necessary to invest in the right equipment. There are a number of different dog collars, harnesses, and leashes available, but their suitability will depend on the size of your dog and its individual requirements. It is a good idea to take your dog along with you when buying a collar, harness, or leash to ensure that the items you choose are right for your dog.

Choosing the right dog collar, harness, or leash for your dog is important, as it will ensure an optimum level of comfort and security while walking your dog. You will find that these items come in a range of designs, colors, and fabrics to suit all dog breeds and lifestyles. This article aims to help dog owners understand more about dog collars, harnesses, and leashes.

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Dog collars

Dogs have been wearing collars for hundreds of years, but new research shows that there are a few things to consider when choosing a collar for your dog. A collar that is too tight, for example, could cause hair loss and skin infections around the neck area. When you are choosing a collar for your pet, make sure that you can fit your thumb easily between the collar and the dog’s neck – it is important to remember that a collar will fit differently when your dog is in different positions. You should also consider taking your dog’s collar off at night to give its neck a chance to air out.

Types of dog collars

  • Flat collars – Flat dog collars are the most common type of collars, and they fasten securely with a plastic clip or buckle. They are generally made of nylon or leather and capable of housing an ID tag. However, these collars can be hazardous if a dog gets its mouth caught on another dog’s collar during play.
  • Headcollars – Head dog collars have a fabric strap that fits neatly around the dog’s head and muzzle. The dog’s leash then clips onto the fabric underneath the dog’s chin. When you need to exert control on the dog, you pull on the leash to force the dog’s head and muzzle to face you. Pulling on the leash enables you to regain the dog’s focus by distracting it from whatever has grabbed its attention.
  • Choke chains – Choke chains were originally used by professional dog trainers to enable the handler to give a sharp jerk on the collar to bring the dog into line. When using these collars on a dog, it is important to make sure that they are put on correctly.
  • Martingales – A martingale is similar to a flat dog collar, but it tightens when the dog pulls. Martingales are preferred by some dog owners because, when correctly fitted, they are less likely to slip over the dog’s head.
  • Pinch collars – Pinch dog collars, also known as prong collars, are made up of several metal links that can be removed or added to adjust the length of the collar. Prongs are attached to the links and rest neatly against the dog’s skin. Used correctly, these collars are thought to be a useful dog training aid for large, strong dogs. However, if used incorrectly, especially on small dog breeds, these collars can inflict unnecessary pain.

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Dog Harnesses

Harnesses are preferred by some dog owners, as they are usually padded and spread the pressure over the dog’s upper body. If your dog has never been used to wearing a harness, you can make the transition by putting both a harness and a collar on your dog at the same time. You can then gradually reduce the amount of time you use the collar until your dog is used to wearing the harness all the time.

  • Nylon strap dog harnesses – Nylon strap harnesses are usually well tolerated by dogs. Some of these harnesses are designed to follow the dog’s contours and movements so that they tighten at certain pressure points when the dog pulls on the leash. These harnesses are often much better for controlling a dog than a collar, especially where small breeds are concerned.
  • Webbing and buckle dog harnesses – The webbing and buckle harness is a sturdy harness that is made from thick nylon webbing and has strong plastic buckles that click securely into position. These harnesses can be used to restrain dogs while traveling, and some even have reflective strips along the sides to enable the dog to be seen clearly in low light conditions.

Dog Leashes

Leashes come in a variety of styles and materials, so you will need to choose one that best fits your dog’s lifestyle. Some leashes are designed specifically for training purposes, while others enable your dog to have a little more freedom.

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  • Nylon dog leashes – The nylon dog leash is the most commonly available dog leash, and it comes in various colors, lengths, and styles. Nylon leashes are particularly suitable for puppies and small dog breeds.
  • Retractable dog leashes – If you want to allow your dog more freedom, then a retractable dog leash may be the answer. These leashes are particularly good for small dogs and those with lower energy levels. It is worth noting that retractable leashes are not recommended for training purposes, as they encourage the dog to pull on the leash.
  • Leather dog leashes – Leather leashes are not as popular as nylon leashes, but they are just as durable. They come in either flat or braided designs and tend to soften with use. Leather leashes are also easier to grip if you have a strong dog that tends to pull on the leash.
  • Cotton dog leashes – Cotton leashes are not commonly seen. However, these leashes hold up well underwater and are therefore perfect for dogs that love to swim.


Finding the perfect dog collar, harness, or leash for your dog may take a little time. It is a good idea to buy the best quality items you can afford, as high-quality products will generally last longer and provide your pet with a better level of comfort and security. It is also important to get your dog microchipped to ensure that it can always be easily identified.

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