We used to use traditional neck equipment like flat collars and choker chains many years ago, until we started seeing a link between increased aggression cases, and the equipment being used.
Research from Europe and the United States was also finding that neck equipment (flat collars, choker chains etc) was contributing to a huge number of muscular and spinal injuries when training.
In a number of cases, some dogs were becoming suddenly aggressive due to thyroid damage caused by improper neck equipment use.
When training, we like a well fitted harness to distribute any pressure over the body and to not create concentrated pressure on the neck. It’s easy for dogs and puppies to get excited and perhaps pull about while they are training, and while this behaviour can be trained out, the period of time between learning to not pull or jolt about, and to understand that behaviour is not acceptable, can put your puppy or dog at risk of injury. We’d just prefer to avoid that, and learn correct and appropriate behaviour using safer equipment.
We do often hear that “harnesses encourage pulling” which is simply untrue. In our experience pulling is a learned behaviour, regardless of equipment, that can be trained out to more appropriate behaviours like loose-lead walking, social walking or formal heeling.
Read more about which harnesses we recommend here.