I'm sure we're all aware of the fact that our little barrel-chested, squish-faced bundles of joy cannot wear a 'normal' collar. Which really isn't a huge deal considering the alternative - the harness - is safe, comfy, and quite fashionable.
"So my dog has to wear a bra?" Mmmm, not exactly, but...kinda. That being said, buy your tough guy one with skulls and crossbones on it and I DARE some human to call it a bra! Let's dive deeper into the world of harnesses. Hopefully, by the end, you'll be well on your way to getting the perfect one for your pug.
Why a Harness & Not a Collar?
Pugs are a brachycephalic breed. Brachycephalic means "shortened head" and refers to the short nose and flat face of dogs like Pugs, French Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, and Chihuahuas. The flat face is the result of a smaller upper jaw, in which the tissues inside are bigger than the jaw can allow. All of the airway issues that can result from this overcrowding are collectively referred to as "brachycephalic airway syndrome."
What's BAS? Very simply, it's an airway obstruction that causes symptoms such as snoring, snorting, noisy breathing, and tiring or fainting during exercise. Granted, these quirks are part of the comical allure we love about this breed, but it's not necessarily a positive trait for our pugs.
Now that we know the anatomical background of our pug's face, we can discuss why a harness is necessary over a collar. Simply put, collars can pull on our pug's layrnx, making breathing more difficult, and also put strain on the face and eyes. This compression and constriction whenever your pug pulls ahead and the leash goes taut causes increased breathing difficulties. Moreover, if your pug lunges to the side or jerks his head, serious injury can happen to the windpipe which could lead to a collapsed trachea. A harness is also essential for pugs, who risk their eyeballs protruding from the sockets if too much pressure is put around their neck. Reason enough, right?
You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here’s how we make money.
A proper harness should be the apparatus that is used any time that a Pug dog is on leash. As opposed to a collar, the harness will distribute pressure, force and tension across the dog's shoulders, chest and back.
Let's list the pros of the harness, shall we?
Better control over your pug, which is especially important if you’re walking on a busy road, when surrounded by large crowds, etc.
Discourages pulling, because it teaches pugs that the action doesn’t give him any advantage. With a harness, pulling often does nothing but get the front legs off the floor – definitely not a result your pug will find effective.
Helps to stop jumping. If you have a pug that jumps up against people, a harness is a good way to stop the action without worrying about choking him in the process.
Ideal for puppies, which might get tangled or hurt themselves while pulling on a regular collar and leash.
Helps control pugs that are easily distracted. This is key when you’re walking with your pug or in areas where getting distracted could result in injury or getting lost.
The Fun Part - Choosing a Harness!
Harnesses can be purely functional, but let's be honest, you want your pug to look cool as well! In the world of harnesses,