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Even before I saw Chloe's mommy's pic of Chloe's nice new harness, I was thinking about getting a harness for Bridey (probably a reflective one for nighttime walks). So now I'm wondering about a harness for walks ('cause she pulls as she runs around and sniffs on the end of her flexilead and I can't imagine a collar is all that comfortable)and collar for training or if that's just too much back and forth or what and I'm all in a dither about a really small matter (there's lots else going on in my life now -- like finals!)

So I thought I'd take it to the experts -- y'all:

Do you primarily use a harness or a collar (I have always put collars on my dogs)? Why?

Or do you switch back and forth? When and why?
 

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In general I would prefer a collar. I feel I have more control over the dog, BUT! Beagles are prone to back problems and arthiritis, and taking under consideration that even if they know "heel", when they pick up a scent - you can forget it and they will pull towards that direction, well - I would want as little strain on their neck/back/spine/you name it.
I used a harness on Chloe when she was younger, but the nylon one irritated her skin, just under the front legs, so I stopped using it. I was looking for the right one to use on her, and not that I found this lady that made those kind of harnesses..... I got one for my baby.

They pull less on the harness, but they still pull. Using a harness won't eliminate the need to train them to walk properly on a leash, but at least it will cause less damage to their back!
 

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I vote a harness!! You have much more control and it is easier on their neck and back.

Ours wear just a collar in the house. But if we are going out the front door they have on their harness and leash.
 

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A harness will encourage pulling however I do use one on Spencer when he is on his retractable lead on hikes because he does the reverse sneezing from pulling so much. Just walking through town though, they are on 6 foot leashes the whole time so we use their martingales for that.
 

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The Bagel always wears his harness when out on a sniff adventure because it allows me to pull him back from hazards like the rattlesnakes he's cornered. He walks fine on a leash when I want him to and doesn't pull if I tell him not to. He has been wearing a harness for 10 ten years. I'm convinced it encourages me pulling him but not sure it encourages him to pull . I see no difference in his behavior wearing a harness or his regular collar. He will still heal with either if I make him!
 

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I prefer a harness but for now with Molly while she is leash training, I am using the collar. My beagle Benny had severe neck problems and the harness was the way to go with him.
 

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We use a harness fulltime. Luigi's a big tugger, and we were worried about neck problems. This way there's less pressure on the neck. Plus, it makes it easier to catch him when he has the zoomies. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/sick.gif
 

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Definately harnesses over here. I never use a regular collar for any walks although they do wear one with their ID tags on.

As Chloe's mom said Beagles are very prone to disc problems in their back and neck and using a harness diminishes the risks. My first Beagle Lilly hurt her neck badly when I was walking her on a collar and a retractable leash when she starting playing the fool on the end of it. She snapped her head back and was in agony for days. I have never used a collar since.

Rosa will heel whenever I ask and Sherry is not too bad. I haven't found that using harnesses makes them pull anymore. Pulling or not pulling is down to training not what walking gear you choose to use.
 

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Mine are naked inside. I don't like to leave even collars on in the home incase of an accident. Also leaving collars/harnesses on permanently does no favours to either your dogs comfort/coat or skin.
 

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I've recently started using the Gentle Leader and that has tremendously cut back the amount of tugging. In fact, Java has seemed so much more passive when walking with the Gentle Leader.
 

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Bagel wears his collar 24/7 and a harness most all of the time. He has a hunter orange harness and a blue harness. Some times one color is more appropriate than the other so I remove the one, we travel and when we get to our destination, the Bagel gets the other harness. He only doesn't wear one of his harnesses if we are going to an obedience class or somewhere a harness isn't needed, going to the dog park (if he was wearing his hunter orange) or going to hunt (if he was wearing his blue). Blue is more appropriate (in some other dog owner's minds) at the dog park, hunter orange when hunting, at a off-road race or a Wildlife Federation meeting /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif
 

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Great topic! Now that Maggie's had all of her shots and can go out on walks, I've been debating about whether to buy her a harness also. We used a choker chain when we had Molly, as that's what her obedience trainer required. Do they allow harnesses for training, or do most trainers want chokers or Margingales?
 

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When we are fishing or hunting she Dixie wears her harness.

Around the house and outside the house, she is on the collar.

Collar stays on all time with her ID tags.

Here she is with her harness, it's hunter orange so i can spot her in the woods better.
 

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For me, I let Boeing wear collar 24/7 as it's easier when I attach the lead to take him out on short walks so he can do his business. But I use harness when we go for long walks. It gives me more control when he pulls and it doesn't choke him.
 

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I definitely suggest a harness. Unless your dog is so trained that it would walk by your side without a leash, I wouldn't just use a collar. I think that I have more control of Maggie and can lead her without choking her. Also, she doesn't wear her harness all the time, only on walks.
 

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Our bunch wear collars 24/7. If it is a short trip out like to the dog park I don't put their harnesses on, but for walks or places where they might back out of their collars, they wear their harnesses. I have tried the gentle leader harness but they figured out how to turn around and back out of them. The best harness I have tried in terms of not pulling is the Sporn halter http://www.sporn.com/product_info.php?products_id=28 Even Blaze, who will practically kill herself to be in the lead on walks, will not pull. And the padding on the straps prevents the rub spots.
 
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