Deciding whether to use a walking harness or a collar on your Newfoundland dog can sometimes be a tough decision.
Each walking device can offer pros and cons to the person and the dog so when deciding between walking harnesses and collars for your Newfie it’s important to take a look at each.
I prefer to walk my Newfies with a harness because I’ve had Newfs with neck and spine issues and I’ve had Newfs that needed more control when walking.
My harness of choice is a Duo Gear Adapt Harness which has offered me the confidence and security of walking Odin.
Why A Walking Harness Over A Collar?
Newfie’s are a breed that is known to pull.
A big dog pulling on a collar can put a lot of pressure on their neck, spine, and throat causing damage and pain to the dog.
Due to their big size and heavy bone structure, Newfoundlands are prone to neck issues.
These neck injuries could be hereditary or from an injury such as jumping out of the car or from extensive pulling when walking.
Not all Newfies will be big pullers so it’s up to you to decide if your dog would do best with a dog harness or a collar.
Should You Use A Harness For Your Newfoundland?
If you’re going between using dog harnesses or a collar for your Newfoundland there are a few things that you should take into consideration.
Collars and dog harnesses are training tools to be used in conjunction with a training program. They are part of the training process and not THE training process.
If you’re looking for a harness to stop your dog from pulling and not willing to implement the other parts of training your dog not to pull than you’re going to be disappointed and potentially cause injury to your dog no matter what type of tool you use.
Some people believe that Newfies are supposed to pull which is not false, they are draft dogs that can pull carts, but they’re not supposed to pull people.
But in my personal opinion, a Newfie should know the difference between when they are supposed to pull a cart and when they are not supposed to pull.
Some people will say that a walking harness promotes the Newfie to pull because they wear a harness to pull a cart.
Newfies are smart, they should know the difference between a carting harness and a walking harness.
Give them some credit. It’s work vs. play
They should know the process of putting on their carting harness and hooking up to a cart versus getting their walking harness on and going for a walk.
When Sherman and Leroy briefly dabbled in pulling a cart, I didn’t see any change in their normal leash walk behavior.
It is recommended that if your Newfoundland has any type of neck or spine issues that they use a dog harness over a collar to avoid further damage.
What To Look For In A Newfoundland Dog Harness
We asked several Newfie owners what they look for in a dog harness for their Newfoundland and here’s what they had to say:
A handle on the harness makes it much easier for an owner to grab hold of the talk when they need them to be near such as in crowded places or when in the water.
Front and back clips
Many Newfie owners prefer to have the option to use a harness where you can clip the leash to the front of the back
Since many Newfies spend their time in the water, it’s important that dog harnesses be waterproof and hold up to a lot of wear and tear and dry easily.
Think of the hair, dog slobber, mud and everything else that your Newf attracts.
Breathable material is a must when you have a dog like a Newfie that can be prone to overheating. You want the fabric to breathe and not hold in the heat.
A reflective surface is important, especially when walking your Newfie at night!
Before purchasing a walking harness for your Newfoundland
Before you purchase a dog harness for your Newfoundland make sure to measure their neck and chest area for a proper fit.
A harness that is too tight can impede a dog’s movement and be painful.
A harness that is too loose can rub and cause skin irritation.
How To Measure Your Newfoundland For A Proper Fit
To measure your dog for a walking harness you’ll need to measure two places on their body, their head, and their chest.
You’ll need a flexible tape measure to begin.
When measuring the neck, wrap the tape measure just below the narrow part where they normally wear a collar.
When measuring the chest, make sure to fit the tape measure around the widest part of their chest.
You’ll want to measure from the bottom of your dog’s rib cage.
Weight can also be a factor in finding the correct size so make sure to always refer to the sizing guide provided by the manufacturer.
For a harness that slips over a dog’s neck, you will also need to measure the circumference of their head.
This should be done at the largest section of their head.
Whether a Newfie is wearing a harness or a collar, never pull hard or force them to walk.
Here’s a list of some of the most common walking harnesses that Newfie owners have reported using.
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