View Full Version : please, harnesses not collars for walks/training!

23rd August 2005, 12:17 PM
From an email posted to the main cavalier breeder's list. This well known show breeder asked the neurologist running the North Carolina study, Dr Olby, if dogs could be walked on collars (note: NORMAL collars, not choke, prong, or slip leads, which are far worse at putting pressure on the neck area). Her response:

We asked Dr. Olby about whether we should use harnesses exclusively for our
cavaliers. She said yes, in her opinion, that would be a wise thing to do.
That "just in case," the use of a harness might not "add insult to injury."

In other words, she thinks all cavaliers should be walked on harnesses all the time. This advice was not given for dogs *diagnosed* with SM -- she is advising this for ALL cavaliers because of the very high incidence of SM in the breed, and the chance that using even a regular collar for walks (setting aside jerks/leash corrections, which should obviously not be used at all for the same reasons) may exacerbate any existing SM condition.

23rd August 2005, 07:12 PM
I have always used a harness for Molly, and Penny had one too. I think they are more responsive on a harness, and they do not seem to tug as much, while they are learning the art of loose leash walking. Of course, I have had a slippery puppy slide right out of one, and had to learn how to get it just right, not too loose, not too tight. I have learned that I cannot leave them in the harness all the time, as little knots and snarls tend to develope under Mollys' front legs, once she got her full coat at about 18 months.

Harry & Heidi's mom
24th August 2005, 08:25 PM
I bought harry a harness for the car, a seatbelt thing, and we now use that for walks also as it looks much more comfortable, is it safe to use this???

Also remember in the UK it is a legal requirement for all dogs to wear a collar with some form of identity

24th August 2005, 11:58 PM
Good reminder about collars -- we have the same law in Ireland. Some of those seatbelt harnesses are designed for walking as well, though I'd check that they aren't chafing. If not designed for walking as well, my only concern would be that it might be kind of bulky, but if it fits well then I'm sure you are fine! I think they look far more comfortable (harnesses that is) than having someone pulling you around by the neck. Plus I think they are kind of cute! :)

26th August 2005, 12:43 AM
I looooove Rory's new Puppia harness! (Thanks, Andrea!) It fits great (Rory is 17lbs, and I got him a medium,which is adjustable and should fit most average sized Cavs, I think), and it's soft and easy to take on and off. I've always hated harnesses because they're so hard to get on and off and orient yourself around. This one is made so you can easily tell which side is up and which is down, so you're not left fumbling around putting it on wrong. :roll:

US source:

Rory loves it too. Totally unbothered by it! :)
Here he is showing off his new duds:


obviously unhampered!

Cathy T
26th August 2005, 01:26 AM
I've ordered a pink one for Shelby and a royal blue for Jake. Can't wait to try them out. I feel awful when they tug on their collars on walks and this will definitely help.

26th August 2005, 03:47 AM
Yay! Can't wait to see pics of the kids in their new harnesses. Did you get the dark blue or light blue for manly Jake? ;)

Cathy T
26th August 2005, 03:15 PM
The royal blue for my royal man!

26th August 2005, 03:59 PM
Thank you for the help information re: harnessess. I've ordered the Puppia on line.

26th August 2005, 04:00 PM
Welcome, Steve! You know that once it arrives, we will expect a picture in the Photo Gallery... 8)

26th August 2005, 04:26 PM
I ordered one for Sadie. It should be here today. I cant wait!

26th August 2005, 04:30 PM
Mine in the replacement sizes should finally be here on Monday. I was really hoping they'd come today!! Now it will be Monday before package deliveries again and that should be long enough from the UK. I can;t wait either, I swear I get more excited about some new dog stuff than I do about ordering things for me... :lol:

26th August 2005, 05:13 PM
I ordered one for Abbey this week as well. I got a red in a size medium...she's got 4 pounds left to loose so it should fit perfect after she's made her goal. In the meantime, we're using her regular harness that we use with her carseat, and I can tell she doesnt' scratch as much when we're walking her. The bad thing though, she associates the harness with the car, so she gets super excited when you put it on her and then races out the door to the garage... :lol:

26th August 2005, 09:35 PM
Jen - you may be able to fit the medium on her as is if you expand it all the way. It's very adjustable. Try and see! :)

1st September 2005, 03:48 PM
Hi Karlin / Rory and everyone else,

Just joined this a couple of days ago as I'm a new owner (5 months ago) of a male cav. Having read alot of other sites on this and seeing the recommendations of this one, I just ordered a puppia harness and lead ... can't wait to get it as my little one loves walking and the current lead we have (extendable for small dogs) keeps wrapping around one of his front legs! Think this will be much better. :p

Thanks and keep up the good reviews

1st September 2005, 06:07 PM
Hi and welcome! I think we will have to create a little Puppia gallery in the pics section with all these cavaliers now wearing them!! :lol:

2nd September 2005, 08:55 AM
Yeah I know what you mean ....wanted to put the avatar as my puppy but have no internet access at home at the mo and can't access the photobucket etc sites in work! Will change it as soon as I can and of course will post pics of the harness at work!

Just heard there's a delay in receiving it but not to worry, at least I know it's on it's way ......

5th September 2005, 06:24 PM
Well, I knew all this popularity would wipe out their supply! :lol:

Rory got a hold of his harness while I was out and chewed on the plastic clip - breaking it. :roll: So I had to order a new one and they had JUST sold the last medium red! ;) Should have his new one tomorrow.

How's everyone like their Puppia harness? Anyone have pictures yet?

The sweet lady who runs www.bowsawowsa.com said she will be starting her own line of harnesses because Puppia can't keep up with the demand! Her new line should launch in October. She said that if Rory keeps chewing his clip, she'd make me a special one w/ a metal clip so he couldn't break it. :lol: