Restraints for Dogs

Head halters, prong collars, flat collars, collars of cloth, leather or nylon, choke chains, e-collars, no jump harnesses, walking harnesses and so forth.

Each of these methods of restraint can be used for good or ill with any dog. It depends a lot on the dog and a lot on the handler of the dog.

Every training aid can be used correctly but with the wrong dog.
Every training aid can be used wrongly with the right dog.
A person wanting to train a dog, needs to consider how this training aid will be used, for what length of time, and how will it affect your relationship with your dog.

For instance, many people use Choke collars to train their dogs, never considering that choke collars, if used incorrectly can strangle a dog, can damage a dog’s throat and surrounding muscles, BUT choke collars can be effective training aids for short term work, used by someone who knows how to apply it effectively. To use a choke collar effectively one needs to quick snap and release – never tightening too far, and never holding it too long. All you want to do with a choke collar is get the dogs attention … and there might be other options out there that will do the same thing with less hazard to a dog.

Head collars are used by more and more people it seems these days. They are often used to keep a dog from pulling while being walked on leash. And I have seen them used effectively by many handlers and their dogs. BUT they do need to be fitted properly (many are not). They need to be used with dogs on a short leash…not on the ever popular flexi leash. They need to used with a flat collar as a back up. AND for many dogs, they don’t have to be used forever. use it as at training aid to teach your dog to walk properly, and then stop using it. 🙂 For cautions on using a head halter, see here.

Prong collars are find are often misunderstood. They are not a horrid training tool. They can look horrid I grant you that but… a properly fitted prong collar will apply even weight distribution resulting in less throat and muscle injuries. They can be wonderful for getting the attention of big dogs who know they are big strong dogs. For the pros and cons of using a prong collar, see here.

I have to admit, I am not terribly familiar with the no jump harness. From what I understand about them though is they work very well for dogs that are persistent in jumping regardless of continued training to do so. Some dogs are just too big to have them be jumpers. These harnesses fit in such a way that it is impossible for the dog to jump up. For a picture and description go here.

Walking harnesses can be helpful for dogs. Used in the place of a collar, they change the impact points. Instead of the stopping point being the neck, it becomes the chest of the dog. This can be highly effective in stopping a dogs’ motion. You can lift their front body off the ground if needed to stop them continuing, without risking damaging their necks and throats.

Though I haven’t covered all the training collars/harnesses in an exhaustive manner, hopefully you have learned enough to consider what you need to train your dog. 🙂


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