Training for Dogs - Solutions and Support for You

Call Katharine on: 07369 251682

Why do dogs need collars?

It is important for your dog to wear a collar so there is somewhere to hang your dogs ID tag with your name, address and telephone number just in case your dog gets lost.
This became law in 1992 under The Control of Dogs Order 1992 if your dog was on a highway or in a public place. In 2016 every dog also now needs to be microchipped, but it is important to have the ID tag as well.  
Another reason to wear a collar is in case you need to grab your dog in an emergency.

Why walk your dog on a harness?

Think of a dog harness like safety equipment, something they can't pull out of but something that needs to be comfortable to wear. Having a harness will not always stop your dog from pulling, but if they do suddenly pull the pressure is spread over the body, rather than just around the neck if they only wore a collar. My favourites are the TTouch Harness and Perfect Fit Harness.

Your dogs neck is a very vulnerable part of its body and when the dog pulls on their lead, the collar can exert pressure and could risk damage to your dogs neck.

Down the front of your dogs neck is the Oesophagus, where food goes down along with veins and arteries for blood flow. Slightly higher up the front of the neck is the Thyroid Gland, Mandibular Gland and Lymph nodes. If you have a dog that pulls on their collar this could cause or exacerbate some physical conditions and could have a negative effect on the lymph system, blood flow and neural pathways. 

Running down the front of your dogs neck there is the Trachea (windpipe), which is why pulling dogs struggle to breathe as pressure is exerted against their windpipe basically squashing it.

Using a harness and two points of contact with a lead helps to bring you and your dog into balance, physically, mentally and emotionally. It encourages a more balanced posture for the dog, rather than pulling forward. A harness gives the dog more freedom of movement in his head and neck, to sniff and explore it's surroundings.

Change the Posture: Change the Behaviour (Robyn Hood)

What to look for in a Harness:

Every dog is unique in size and shape, a good harness will not affect your dogs gait (how it walks), it should not affect shoulder movement and should be as comfortable as possible. The harness should be adjustable in all directions to be able to get the best fit possible.


When looking for a harness firstly look for a ‘Y’ fronted design. This means that the straps will not restrict the movement in the dogs shoulders and this is where the front attachment for the double ended lead should be.


The H shaped back of the harness means that there is a length of material along the dogs back, which allows greater space for movement of the shoulders. On the back is the second attachment for your double ended lead.


The harness should be adjustable around the dog's rib cage, around the neck, and the section that runs from the neck between the legs to the chest —adjusting all parts so the harness does not rub under the front legs.


TTouch have developed a Harmony Leash with clips on each end and a Harmony Handle which can slide along the lead with the dogs movement. This handle also makes it easier if you walk more than one dog.

Still not sure what harness to get?

Harness Fitting Support

  • Are you still confused what harness to get or unsure if your current harness is suitable? Feel free to email me some photo's of your dog wearing their harness, from the side, above and from the front. I will happily look over these for you and give you feedback on how I think it fits.
  • Are you about to introduce a harness to your dog for the first time? Every new experience your dog has needs to be a positive one, so introducing a harness is no different. A slow introduction is really important, especially if you have a sensitive dog or young puppy. If you would like support with introducing a harness to your dog, please feel free to contact me.
  • Harnesses can be accessorised with a TTouch double-ended lead and freedom handle for the most effective connection with your dog.
  • I always recommend the TTouch Harness and Perfect Fit Harness which are fully adjustable.

Contact Katharine to book a harness session, for introducing a harness or how to use your harness and two points of contact. Canine Support also has a toy dog to practice your new skills on, before transferring them to your dog.
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Harness designs that might restrict movement

There are many brands of harnesses out there and I hope this guide helps you to choose one that is most suitable for your dog.

Chest harness; can restrict shoulder movement or move up putting pressure across the throat/neck on small dogs.

Chest harness; which cannot be adjusted so sits really close behind the armpits, restricting movement and could rub.

Step in harness; which sits very low across the chest and over the shoulder. Very restrictive across the shoulder.

Soft fabric harness; a lot of material which isn't adjustable causing it to dig in behind the front legs.