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Harness Vs Neck Collars for Training Small Dogs

Hi John,

Our dog is called a Morkie a cross between Yorkie and a Maltese and at 2.5 years she is just over 7 lbs which is a lot smaller than your minimum wait for one of your WadeCollars so what should we use. My wife says we should use a harness because she thinks the collar pulls to tight but I think a collar gives some control even with care, not that she needs a lot of control it just seems with a harness you more or less just kind of pick her up, not controlling her movements. I want to do what is best for the both of us.

Please help us all

James – Guelph, Ontario

Hi James,

I agree with you regarding the impact of a harness from a dog training perspective. Unless the harness is designed to pinch underneath the dog’s “arm pits” as some are, a harness makes it easier to pull and them harder to control. I think there’s also a psychological connection that a neck collar provides, perhaps because it is an area targeted by other dogs. All in all, I don’t like harnesses if I need some physical leverage.

Fortunately with a Morkie, there should be no need for physical leverage and there are good reasons to use a harness instead of a neck collar of any kind. It’s fortunate because with toy breeds due to the unnatural fragility of their bodies, with some, their oesophagus and tracheas in particular it’s usually safer to use a harness.

I suspect if you are having control problems with this dog it has less to do with equipment and more to do with some aspects of the training. You might find my e-book helpful. It’s short, and inexpensive and I think will help. The Beautiful Balance – Dog Training with Nature’s Template


– John Wade

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