The collar vs harness debate is still ranging in the canine world but how does it apply to Doxies? Collar or harness for dachshund – which is better and why? Is it really that bad of an idea to leash your dachshund’s collar or is the harness really a must? Can you alternate between the two or use them at the same time?
Collar Or Harness For Dachshund Dogs?
Many people are still of the opinion that leashing collars is perfectly harmless for dogs and that even training or anti-leash-pulling collars are safe. While a conversation can be had regarding most other breeds, however, for a dachshund, leashing a harness instead of a collar is an absolute must.
The reason is very simple – dachshunds have very fragile necks and backs because of their unique body shape so they are susceptible to back health problems such as Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) or even just simple traumas. A harness doesn’t completely eliminate this risk but it reduces it greatly compared to a collar. This is especially true if your dog has a tendency for leash pulling as most hounds do. Even if not, however, the harness is still the superior choice by far.
As for training collars – those are ill-advised for Doxies too simply because, as a scent hound, dachshunds don’t care for negative reinforcement. This breed is motivated solely by positive reinforcement such as praise, pets, and treats. All negative reinforcement simply makes a dachshund dig its heels in and become even more stubborn.
Why Not Both? – Collar Or Harness For Dachshund
Of course, all of the above only applies to using collars for leashing or training. If you’re thinking of getting a collar for your dog’s ID tags or just for the style points, collars are perfectly fine for that. Just remember not to use them for leashing.
When To Start Using A Harness? – Collar Or Harness For Dachshund
Right from the get-go. Harnesses come in all sizes and are usually pretty adjustable. There is no reason to leash a puppy on a collar when a harness is just that much safer. Plus, the sooner you get your pup to the harness, the fewer issues will have going forward.
Different Types Of Harnesses And Which To Choose
Harnesses usually come in three or four main types:
- Standard body harness – It can be just strapped or it can cover the back a bit more comprehensively
- Back support harness – That’s what we’d recommend for all dachshunds, including healthy dogs
- No pull harness – Meant to prevent leash pulling
- Dog jackets and clothes with built-in harnesses – Most dachshund-specific winterwear will be able to function as a harness too
Harness Materials – Collar Or Harness For Dachshund
- Mesh harness – not very durable but good for hot weather
- Leather harness – stylish, durable, and effective, this is usually an expensive option
- Fabric harness – the standard choice for most people as it’s both affordable and easy to maintain
- Nylon harness – often looked down upon, nylon harnesses can be great when the quality is high
3 Measurements To Take For Your Dachshund’s Harness
- Neck girth at the widest point of the neck
- Chest girth measured vertically behind the front legs
- Back length measured between the base of the neck and the base of the tail
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So, Collar Or Harness For Dachshund – What’s The Right Way To Go?
Harnesses are 100% the way to go for all dachshunds – mini and standard, young and old, healthy and not. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get your Doxie a collar – those are still great for ID as well as for the style points. However, when it comes to walking your dog, a good harness is immeasurably better than a collar for protecting your dog’s neck and back.
Even if you think you’re being careful and your dog isn’t pulling on its leash, the support and safety provided by the harness are just unparalleled. Not to mention all the extra benefits such as the fact that many harnesses make it easier to pick up your dog or double as a dog jacket for the colder months.
Is it OK to use a collar on a Dachshund?
Collars used for decorative or ID purposes are perfectly fine as long as they are not too tight. If you are asking about leashing your dachshund on a collar, however, that is very ill-advised. Both the public and experts’ opinion is recently shifting away from collars and toward harnesses for all breeds anyway but that’s especially true for dachshunds. Because of their short legs and long backs, dachshunds are very predisposed to developing neck, back, and joint problems if you leash their collars. A good harness is essential for mitigating these risks.
What type of collar is best for a Dachshund?
Virtually any regular type of collar can work for dachshunds as long as it’s used purely for an ID tag and decoratively. Leashing a dachshund’s collar is a very bad idea regardless of what type of collar you’ve got – it’s just always bad for the dog’s neck and back health. As far as “training” collars – those also aren’t a good idea. Not only is the “negative reinforcement” principle utilized by training collars widely viewed as inhumane and ineffective but it’s especially ill-advised for hound breeds like the dachshund. These dogs are just much easier to train with positive reinforcement as the opposite makes them even more cagey and stubborn.
How do you put a harness on a Dachshund?
Different harness models will have different putting on and off methods which should be carefully explained in the product’s description. Most of the time you’ll be asked to either 1) put the base of the harness on your dog’s back and lock the straps over the neck, chest, and upper belly or 2) put the harness on over the dog’s head like a sweater and then tighten the straps.
What size collar should I get for a Dachshund puppy?
Standard dachshunds usually fall in the S or M size range for collars as their neck width tends to be somewhere between 12 and 16 inches (30 to 41 cm). Miniature dachshunds, on the other hand, are usually in the XS size range since their necks are typically 8 to 13 inches wide (20 to 34 cm). To measure the exact width of your dachshund’s neck you can simply use a tape measure. Remember to add a couple of fingers to the width as you don’t want the collar to be too tight even though it’s for ID only and not for leashing.