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View Full Version : Harness or Collar?



islewriter
29th January 2009, 09:09 PM
When out for walks - what does your Cavalier prefer

A Harness or a Collar.

Karlin
29th January 2009, 10:29 PM
Please use a harness -- this is what vets and neurologist most recommend for this breed. :thmbsup: Only a collar for dogs that cannot tolerate a harness due to the location of syrinxes -- but it is rare that a collar is more comfortable. Some neurologists feel that collars used for walks, where the dog inevitably will sometimes (and even, frequently) pull, can potentially cause or worsen syrinxes in a susceptible dog.

Sabby
30th January 2009, 11:26 AM
All three of mine always had harnesses, even as puppies. I found they got used to the harness quicker then the collar. And for the reasons Karlin mentioned.

*Pauline*
30th January 2009, 11:47 AM
My neurologist said Dylan can never wear a collar. Even if your dog does not have SM, it's good to wear a harness, just in case. That was my reasoning before we found out he did have SM.

Ciren
30th January 2009, 02:39 PM
i use a harness when we are walking but she always has a collar on, i think there is a law here in england that says you must have one on with a identification disc on it.

i never attach her lead to it tho

Charlifarley
30th January 2009, 03:05 PM
I use a Puppia harness on both my dogs, but I find that one of them is inclined to twist his body to the left every so often while we are out, its a bit like a bunny hop to the side. I'm hoping that he is just finding it a little uncomfortable there, that there is nothing more sinister going on, but he also did that with a previous one, although he never does it when hes not wearing the harness.:dogwlk:

*Pauline*
30th January 2009, 03:19 PM
I use a Puppia harness on both my dogs, but I find that one of them is inclined to twist his body to the left every so often while we are out, its a bit like a bunny hop to the side. I'm hoping that he is just finding it a little uncomfortable there, that there is nothing more sinister going on, but he also did that with a previous one, although he never does it when hes not wearing the harness.:dogwlk:

I think it would be good for you to watch this film I made of bunny hopping. It's subtle but is SM in our case.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qceDmeViCPk&feature=channel_page

Charlifarley
31st January 2009, 06:39 PM
Thanks Pauline, Dylan is a great walker! Yes he walks a bit like that too, so I am going to take him out for a couple of short walks without the harness to see what happens, :xfngr:

islewriter
31st January 2009, 07:30 PM
Thanks All :)

Kirra always wears a harness - and always helps me by placing her paws through and likewise with her coat :dogwlk:

She also wear a red lighted collar - which can also flash - but I leave the permanent light on - due to where we live - safety in the dark is always important for our loved ones. The collar is never attached to a lead it just retains her ID tag.

Mindysmom
1st February 2009, 09:31 PM
I had this discussion with the trainer at my puppy class today. She had me try two different training collars on Max. Max co-operated beautifully by making little choking sounds even though I was holding the leash and knew the collar was totally loose on his neck:D (got to watch him he's obviously a good actor). Anyway she relented and let us use the harness. He really doesn't need correcting anyway since he pays close attention to me.

I suppose we will fail class if someday he decides to pull but since he already knows the commands we will be learning I wanted him to be able to practice with distractions as well as continue to socialize him with other dogs and people.

LucyDog
1st February 2009, 10:03 PM
I had this discussion with the trainer at my puppy class today. She had me try two different training collars on Max. Max co-operated beautifully by making little choking sounds even though I was holding the leash and knew the collar was totally loose on his neck:D (got to watch him he's obviously a good actor). Anyway she relented and let us use the harness. He really doesn't need correcting anyway since he pays close attention to me.

I suppose we will fail class if someday he decides to pull but since he already knows the commands we will be learning I wanted him to be able to practice with distractions as well as continue to socialize him with other dogs and people.


They do make harness that are designed dogs for dogs that pull. The D ring to attach the lead is at their chest, rather than at their back...so when they pull it turns them around. I use one of these on Lucy because she is a puller and it has worked quite well.

Mindysmom
1st February 2009, 10:48 PM
I'll keep that in mind - with the D ring attached to her chest I'm guessing the leash is somewhat behind you? Trying to visualize this.

So far Max isn't a puller but it's been so frigidly cold out here we haven't been out walking a whole lot and when we do I usually have both dogs on one lead with a coupler so they just walk side by side (Mindy still outweighs Max by quite a bit so he can't just take off lol).

Are their any articles or papers out there that advise that Cavaliers shouldn't wear collars for training at all? I would like to send some info to my trainer so she knows I'm not just being stubborn and unco-operative:dogwlk::dogwlk:

Sunflowerstar
2nd February 2009, 11:29 AM
I use a harness for both of mine they have collars that are worn with thier id tags on.

Charlifarley
2nd February 2009, 03:35 PM
Ok now I'm getting worried. I took my little man for a walk today and when we were nearly home I removed the harness to see what would happen. To my horror he did a lot of air scratching. I truly didn't expect to see this, thinking it was a reaction to the harness. I have just been reading up on the SM symptoms page here and understand why dogs with SM tend to air scratch more while on the lead, and I think we need to see the vet. He is only one year old, and the only other symptom that I can also see in him is that he often scratches himself in a general way, which I just put down to being a 'dog thing':(:eek:.

Charlifarley
2nd February 2009, 03:36 PM
On a different note, and much less trivial, can anyone explain why I am showing up as being invisible with a red dot, when I am logged in, thanks.

LucyDog
2nd February 2009, 05:15 PM
[quote=Mindysmom;306707]I'll keep that in mind - with the D ring attached to her chest I'm guessing the leash is somewhat behind you? Trying to visualize this.

So far Max isn't a puller but it's been so frigidly cold out here we haven't been out walking a whole lot and when we do I usually have both dogs on one lead with a coupler so they just walk side by side (Mindy still outweighs Max by quite a bit so he can't just take off lol).

Are their any articles or papers out there that advise that Cavaliers shouldn't wear collars for training at all? I would like to send some info to my trainer so she knows I'm not just being stubborn and unco-operative:dogwlk::dogwlk:[/quote


http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/diagnosing/diagnosing/symptoms.html

The neck is often sensitive because this is where the brain protrudes into the spinal column of affected dogs and is also where syrinxes (fluid pockets) form in the spine due to CSF pressure. In rare cases, a collar actually may be more comfortable than a harness due to the location of syrinxes or neurological damage. Note that several neurologists feel all cavaliers should be walked and trained on harnesses, not collars, as pulling on a collar could possibly cause undiagnosed syrinxes to worsen.


That is what I found when I did a google search. I am sure you can find more.

HA! I just realized that is Karlin's website...oops...well I don't think it matters you can still show it to your trainer. And, FTR my breeder and my vet BOTH told me to never use a collar on Lucy and Charlie just in case of SM.

Mindysmom
2nd February 2009, 05:35 PM
Thanks - I have forwarded that to her. I read that last night but somehow missed the paragraph about the neurologist recommendations.

Mindysmom
8th February 2009, 12:31 AM
Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone I suppose:oops:


I had Max on a Holt halter - it was serviceable but not so fashionable. I also was a bit concerned that the nylon rope would dig in behind his front legs. Today I got him a Puppia harness. He had what I can only describe as a hissy fit when I put it on him:bang: He sits perfectly still when I put on his Holt harness. The girl in the pet store referred to him as a Tasmanian Devil:confused::confused: to which hubby said "I'm surprised that you would actually buy something from a place that insulted your baby!". He was no better with it at home. Hubby says he (Max) is embarrassed because it looks like he's wearing a man bra............

Mindy of course just wagged her tail when I tried it on her and acted like it was a garmet fit for a princess:D.

jasperpaw
8th February 2009, 09:02 AM
I used to use a lead when my boy was younger, but he pulled so much someone suggested a harness, which improved him so much, he does still pull a bit and can sometimes learch forward, especially when windy, we always leave his collar on with his ID tag though.

chloe92us
8th February 2009, 02:11 PM
I think in general trainers are opposed to harnesses because it makes pulling easier for them to do since there isn't any strain on their neck. I use harnesses on my males, but my female who I believe has SM can only wear a collar. If I put a harness on her, she air scratches like crazy. However, she is NOT a puller- EVER. If she pulled, I would make her wear a harness. If she does have SM, I believe her syrinxes must be further down her spine, past the neck.

Mindysmom
8th February 2009, 06:35 PM
Well puppy class was today and I guess that's it for the puppia harness and back to the less fashionable but functional Holt. Max was a real pill and wouldn't do a thing I asked. He doesn't pull with the other harness but today he decided that's all he wanted to do - except for when he was chewing his leash (which is another thing he never does). I also noticed that instead of applying the pressure to his chest like my other harness does it's like all the pressure is around his waist.

Cookiemonster
8th February 2009, 07:46 PM
We use a Puppia harness. She has had it since she was 8 weeks of age, and we got her used to it by having her wear it indoors before taking her out walking. We were told by a dog trainer to never walk a cavalier using a collar. You do need to have an identity tag on your dog here in Ireland though, so she does wear a collar - we just wouldn't ever dream of attaching the lead to it.

We correct her every single time she pulls on the lead, and at 16 weeks she is now very much inclined to walk side-by-side with us. I will correct her every two seconds if I have to - she'll never learn unless I persevere. But we're getting there!

mjones5
9th February 2009, 02:03 PM
I had to convince our class leader that Annie must use a harness. She pays close attention to me and I am able to correct her without pulling or tugging. The goal of my obedience is to train Annie off lead anyway so they should not be leash dependent. We are a long way away from that, but Annie LOVES class and loves doing well so I will continue. On her harness she never scratches (she did on a collar) and so far there is no bunny hop. She has a great many sypmtoms of SM and has seen a neurologist.

TKC
9th February 2009, 06:17 PM
The goal of my obedience is to train Annie off lead anyway so they should not be leash dependent.

Well done you! This is so important. We train this way and it works out very well indeed.

*Pauline*
9th February 2009, 07:00 PM
I had to convince our class leader that Annie must use a harness. She pays close attention to me and I am able to correct her without pulling or tugging. The goal of my obedience is to train Annie off lead anyway so they should not be leash dependent. We are a long way away from that, but Annie LOVES class and loves doing well so I will continue. On her harness she never scratches (she did on a collar) and so far there is no bunny hop. She has a great many sypmtoms of SM and has seen a neurologist.

That's wonderful if you can train off lead. I wish I could do that with Dylan, he does air scratch on a harness but usually only when he pulls. We are having a job to stop him doing that as it is! Well done you :thmbsup:

Mindysmom
9th February 2009, 10:28 PM
My biggest problem at puppy class is that Max does everything we've learned so far I do off lead so a harness isn't really a training issue - just a puppy class issue. When I walk the dogs I walk them together. When Max is on the lead himself and I'm not walking him - (i.e. I'm telling him "down" he things its' fun to chew on the lead which he doesn't do when we are actually walking). I guess I'll take some bitter apple spray with me next week.