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Discussion Starter #1
We always put a harness on Gilligan - mostly because he uses a car seat and we strap him in. We also use it for walking around, etc.

But it's summer. The poor guy gets hot really fast and I'm sure the harness contributes a lot to it. He's covered nearly from his neck down to his breastbone. I have a collar and have been using it. He's not used to having something around his neck, so he coughs a bit until he remembers he shouldn't be pulling.

What do you use in the summer? Is there a summer weight harness? Are collars really that bad for tpoos?
 

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I only use my harnesses for car safety. Otherwise my dogs are wearing collars all year round for the most part. For any size dog collars are just fine so long as dogs have been taught loose leash manners for using them.
 

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I don't use a harness but one of my neighbor who has a 4lb Chihuahua does, and she uses a step in type cat harness that she bought at Petco, as the dog ones were too big...... Another neighbor who lives here has a Tpoo, but she walks her on a flat collar. It actually sounds like your dog is learning to walk on a flat collar as you say he stops pulling when he feels that pressure on his throat, so maybe you can practice 'loose leash walking' til he 'gets it'! Good Luck!
 

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My standard wears a collar. My chihuahua can only wear a harness. He once ruptured his neck with a collar however he was on a flexi lead. I got him when he was 2 and that is what he came with and I didn't know better. $3000. later the vet said he could never ev er wear a color in his lifetime. That was 12 years ago. The problem lies in too much lead line where they can suddenly run and come to an abrupt stop.
 

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There are lots of light weight harnesses that are just straps like a collar not wide pieces of fabric.
I don't use a harness on my oversized toy but he is a very sturdy dog without a soft trachea and generally isn't a puller.
I always use a harness on my 4 pound pom. He has a fairly soft trachea and though he generally doesn't PULL he will sometimes be at the end of the leash or he can pull if he's being a bit reactive. We don't walk on leash very much so I really don't feel like bothering with taking extra effort to train him to walk on a perfectly loose leash. I prefer to go to private off leash areas for exercise and such. So on the rare occasion we walk on leash the harness serves us just fine. His harness isn't super light weight so I can't recommend it to you.
A wider collar will generally be gentler on the throat than a thin one as it spreads the pressure more rather than concentrating it in one area.
 

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The advantage of a harness, to me, outweighs a collar for toy breeds. You can use the leash to do a 'snatch n' lift off the ground very quickly if you have too, w/o injuring it's neck or throat.

Say for example you spot you poodle ready to take a bite of something on the ground. You could give your 'NO!' command, but what if your poodle's mouth is already open and ready to eat it? Snatch him away.

Or another dog appears from out of nowhere and is aggressively rushing toward your dog. Snatch him/her up into your arms and yell at the bully dog. Or you're chatting with someone when you dog breaks into a sudden run toward a squirrel or bird; it would hurt their throat to pull him back since he's in motion, but that's not a problem with a harness.

It all sounds silly reading it, but I've experienced all three situations.

These examples of cool, light weight harnesses here and here.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow.... Thanks everyone. Seems we're almost evenly split on a collar versus a harness.

I'm going to look at all of them more closely.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071LS9M2T/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I didn't check if the link worked before I posted my bad.

This is what my gang wears
Thanks. Is it easy to get on? Gilligan hates his harness. I'm guessing because it covers so much of his little body.

As well, we purchased the 6 foot leash from this brand and I'm happy with it. I quickly learned that a standard 4 foot leash simply was too short when the dog is only a foot tall. He could hardly walk away from me. :)
 

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Something I've noticed with my boys and harnesses is that the less there is to the harness, the less resistance and the less the tendency to pull. That's good for walking in the neighborhood but I feel better using a more secure and substantial harness for riding in the car.

I can walk them with collars individually and they walk nicely, but if I walk them together with collars they get competitive which causes them to pull and choke themselves.

I haven't done this in a while but have used a harness plus collar on each pup with a bungee style coupler attached, one end to the collar and the other to the harness. It worked for me as a way to help them adjust to a collar with a lower risk of choking themselves. I may try that again to work on the competitive pulling. It's a process :).
 

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it's like putting a bra on your dog
Hahahaha! :laugh:
I'll point that out to Navy the next time I'm putting his harness on him.

I've used the Gooby harness which is comfortable, and a front clip harness ("anti pull") which is less comfortable but is useful to bring out at times when Navy forgets his training. I really can't have him pulling on his collar because his neck is small and could easily be damaged. The same no-pull harness can also be used with a car seat belt but I usually prefer a crate for car travel.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I ordered both harnesses. I wanted to get Gilligan a new outfit, so I ordered the shoulder padded harness to match his blue outfit, and the bra-like harness suggested by Twyla in purple.

He was getting tired of the blue stuff :)

thank you again!
 

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I’m a big fan of Puppia harnesses. They are pricey but I get them for less through a site called Mono pet. I fostered a dog a while ago with a collapsing trachea. She was a Yorkie, not a poodle, but it that experience made me aware of the issues small breeds have with this.

I have lots of different brands of harnesses, we have a wardrobe for sure! Newport, I bought Gracie a Gooby harness at Petco and it is very nice. Not the selection Puppia has, but half the price.

I also have a lot of collars and martingale leads I use for training. Rush to tug is a great company. I like their leash/collar combos and they make them to order based in your dog’s measurements. They even do embroidery.

The only thing with harnesses is that a young energetic dog can use it as a mechanism to just pull more effectively...kind of like a sled dog. Training is the key No matter what you choose to use.
 

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That’s how we wound up with a wardrobe- lol!
 

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I use a flat collar most of the time, and I work with my dog to walk beside me with a loose leash. Still a work in progress, but he's doing pretty well with it and doesn't choke himself on the collar like some dogs seem to enjoy doing. Prong collars also work well to prevent that sort of thing, but then the dog only learns not to pull when the prong collar is on.

I also use a front-clip harness when my wife takes the dog for a walk with her friend. She and her friend like to chat, walking side-by-side, while the dogs are in front dragging them down the sidewalk. I've learned not to question these things. I got him a harness for that to create a different context so that he won't think it's OK to pull when he wears his collar.

My wife's friend uses a back-clip harness with her dog, as if she's training him for the Iditarod. I suppose she has very strong shoulders by now.
 
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