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Lola, my 7-year old Vizsla went for a walk sporting her new harness. I was surprised that our neighbours asked me why I switched to a harness. “But Lola doesn’t pull on the leash”, one person commented. “Is there something wrong with Lola?” another asked.
There is nothing wrong with Lola and she doesn’t normally pull, unless there is a particularly wet piece of tissue on the ground, or a snack laying near by (that’s an issue for another article). So, to avoid any potential issues with Lola’s random whiplash pulling, and to avoid leash tangling while walking her with a group of dogs, I decided it was time to switch to a harness.
The strain put on your dog’s neck from pulling on a collar may lead to many issues such as lameness, thyroid issues, nerve damage and even problems with your dog’s eyes and ears. As a dog walker and trainer, I often recommend a harness for puppies learning to walk on leash or any dog that pulls. Now, I think that a harness, even if your dog knows how to walk well on a leash, is still the better option to prevent any sort of damage. One good pull is all it takes to create a physical problem.
If your dog pulls, is learning to walk on a leash or you also want to switch as a preventative measure, there are quite a few harnesses to choose from. Zen Dog Pet Services has a wonderful selection of high quality harnesses. William Ayers, Owner and Trainer, says “There are variety of harnesses we carry from brands such as Canada Pooch, Hunter, Treponti, Buddy Belts and more. These brands make great products that last, are safe for your pet to wear, and are comfortable. We first ask owners questions about the dog, if he or she pulls on the leash, is the dog an escape artist, etc. This gives us important information to recommend the right product.”
The key to finding the right harness is to assure that it is comfortable for your dog, it serves the purpose that you need it to and it fits properly. The best way to assure this is to bring your dog to the store and try a few on, and William agrees, “I always tell customers to make sure they are attentive to their pup, every dog is different. Not every product will be the right fit for all dogs. We focus on customer service and ensure we educate our customers.” Harnesses range in price, but you get what you pay for. “Harnesses range from $30-$100 depending on the size and brand. I am a big believer in quality, and ensure we have products that will last a long time. We get a lot of customers that come back after their harness fell apart as they purchased something low priced.”
If you are looking for a harness, William and his amazing team at Zen Dog will be happy to find one that you and your pup likes. Visit them at 584 Church St. www.zendogservices.com