Dog Harnesses, Leashes, and Collars Explained

Are you having a hard time choosing the right dog harness, leash and/or collar for your fur baby? You know, it’s super important to have done proper research before deciding which of the three to purchase. They all contribute a great deal to your pup’s well-being and happiness. 

It can be just as overwhelming as standing in the cereal section at a grocery store, however, there are too many options to choose from! 

Whether your pooch is a puller on the leash or super well-behaved, we’re going to break down the things to pay attention to in your research and the pros and cons of each piece of walking equipment to make the decision a little easier for you.


You can easily get confused between a collar and a harness, or at least while choosing from the different options available— flat collar, head collar, prong collar, martingale collar, etc.

In general, getting the right collar means making the walk more secure and delightful for both you and your dog. Each equipment piece serves a different purpose; nevertheless, it’s important to equip your pup with one that’s just right for them. 

This is the most widely used collar. It is simple and effective in achieving its purpose— to attach a leash and ID tag. All dog parents know about it!

Pros: It’s easy to use and gentle on your dog’s neck (if not pulled with leash).

Cons: Your dog can get choked if pulled with leash.

To learn the proper use of this collar, you can watch our tutorial video here.

Similar to a horse-halter, it goes over your dog’s nose and straps behind his/her ears. This enables you to control your dog very well and prevents pulling from occurring. No wonder it is also known as a gentle leader!

Pros: It helps prevent the worst kind of pulling; it calms your dog down and gives you a greater sense of being in control. The communication between you and your pup is strengthened and very clear.

Cons: Some dogs might not like to wear it and might scratch at their noses once it’s on as a sign of discomfort. If your dog is not pleased with the Gentle Leader, please assess properly (adjust tightness, research into other no-pull harness options, etc.).

For properly equipping this collar/harness, watch our video tutorial here

This collar is mostly used by vets and shelter offices to control untrained dogs for safety purposes. Owners also use this one during dog shows, to keep the best kind of control over their fur babies as they’re showing off their tricks and talents!

Pros: Can help control strong and untrained dogs.

Cons: Harms the dog if they lunge frequently.

This one is a combination of a flat collar and a slip collar. It works like a pulley system!

Pros: Your dog will not slip out of this collar. It prevents neck injuries and choking for the most part. It’s also a great option for breeds like Greyhounds because they have smaller heads in comparison to their necks. 

Cons: It typically does not have a place to hold ID tags. There is no limit as to how much the collar can tighten; so if a dog is pulling very hard in an opposite direction from which you’re pulling, the collar will tighten a lot and thus cause some choking.  

This type of collar is very controversial and is not recommended. Although it can be used for self-corrections, we at Hands N Paws don’t support its usage at all. Pulling a dog by the pinch collar can cause much pain to your dog’s neck and if anything might scare them from wanting to do their favorite activity- go on walks.

Pros: Has potential to correct lunging.

Cons: It can be seen as very inhumane. 

These collars are used to train dogs by giving them an electric shock when they go out of the premises of where they’re permitted, or if they do something unwanted such as excessive barking. Modern shock collars have adjustable shock levels. It is mainly for invisible fence use. The team at Hands N Paws does not always support the use of Shock Collars, but understands where they may be necessary for a dog parent to use/invest in.

Pros: It’s much easier and cheaper to purchase a shock collar (along with an invisible fence) than to get an actual fence installed at your house. This is a main reason why dog parents invest in shock collars- to train their dog to know boundaries in regards to poor behaviors as well as physical boundaries in yarded/dog areas. 

Cons: The shocks can make the dog fearful, which can then lead to something called “overcorrection.” This happens when the dog begins to see every behavior as potentially a misbehavior that will get punished. With this, the dog’s learning occurs on the basis of fear.


Have a dog who uncontrollably pulls or lunges on walks, or are you a dog parent who just wants to “play it safe” when it comes to your dog’s neck? Consider investing in a harness! We at Hands N Paws fully support the use of harnesses since they seem to be super effective in the benefits they have to offer. Read on as to why!

This is the most basic and most popular kind of dog harness. Most dogs feel comfortable in it. You should note that it does not necessarily teach your dog to not pull. A dog who is pulling already will still pull while wearing it.

Pros: Trained dogs feel more natural and less uncomfortable with a back-clip simply because there’s no pulling on the neck involved. Also, the leash does not get tangled in between the dog’s legs (because it is attached to D-rings on the dog’s backside!).

Cons: Does little help in teaching a dog to walk properly without pulling. It could cause pulling to worsen simply because the back-end resistance is going to make the dog want to naturally pull in the opposite direction.

Have a look at our tutorial video for how to properly equip this harness on your dog.

This harness mainly helps with leash pulling. With this harness, you can easily turn your dog away from something else and towards you through strong communication. We fully support the use of front-clip harnesses!

Pros: Helps you to easily steer your dog if he tries to pull, simply because the leash will pull his front end back and towards you. This pivoting communicates wonders to your dog, because it causes his entire front-end to be moved towards you, and thus the forward-pulling to be discouraged.

Cons: Your dog can still pull with this harness (that’s when we’d recommend utilizing the Gentle Leader on your pup, as mentioned above!).

Have a look at our tutorial video for how to properly equip this harness on your dog.


By now you probably have decided which type of collar or harness is safe and most suitable for your dog. But, you cannot only use a collar or harness to tame or walk your dog. Rather, you also need to have the proper leash to make sure your buddy is joyful and well-behaved.

Leashes are also available in different types like flat lead, retractable lead, rope dog leash, etc.

This is the “staple” and most popular dog leash, which measures about 4-8 feet in length. It is simple and easy to use as well as quite safe. It clips onto the thickest ring on the dog’s collar and/or harness and that’s all.

Pros: They are cheap, simple, and effective. Provides for great control over your dog.

Cons: They can harm your dog’s neck if attached to only a collar. That’s why we suggest attaching to a harness!  

These leashes are used for teaching recalls, but also for giving a dog some freedom to roam on his/her walk. We at Hands N Paws don’t necessarily recommend them; however, if you want to use a retractable lead for your dog, you should follow the rules of thumb- beware of your surroundings and don’t allow too much freedom to the point where you lose control over your pup!

Pros: Gives your dog more space to move around on walks. The leash lengthens and shortens based on where your dog goes.

Cons: You have almost no ability to control your dog if the leash is extended out too far. Especially if a dog is highly reactive to moving things, people, cars, etc. you will find it difficult and impossible to gain control over your dog that’s freely way ahead of you It can also cause burns if you instinctively grab the moving lead (to gain control) in the case that your dog goes running out in front of you quickly.

These leashes are comparatively more durable and easier to grip, being made of the same material used to make mountain climbing ropes. 

Pros: The quality is great, tear-proof, and gives you good control over your dog (in the same way that a flat lead does).

Cons: They are usually heavier (which is not suitable for smaller dogs) and somewhat awkward to hold/grip.

How We Use The Equipment

Dog walkers at Hands N Paws are trained to use each of the various leashes, harnesses, and collars mentioned above. Even when it comes down to holding certain leashes properly and rules of thumb for fitting harnesses on clients’ dogs, we don’t come up short! 

Our highly trained dog walkers follow the “two-finger rule” when it comes to harness-fitting. This rule says that there should be a gap of two fingers between the equipment and the dog’s skin once the harness is on the dog. Any more than that is too loose and any less than that is too tight, and thus needs to be adjusted. 

We also have a certain way of holding a flat lead leash, known as the “finger-lock method.” This method is best-suited for proper control on walks and also enables us to use the leash as the communication tool it’s intended to be.

We want our clients’ dogs to be healthier and happier, and we advocate for leaving situations better than they’re found. So, we only make suggestions about which equipment is the best for each dog after a thorough and individualized examination and/or whenever we notice something is “off” and can be fixed. For example, if we’re working with a dog whose got a back-clip harness, but seems to be a huge puller on walks, we definitely bring it to the owner’s attention and suggest getting a front-clip harness for the dog’s well-being and behavior correction.

Happy Dog = Happy Dog Parent

Now that you have an understanding of the various collars, harnesses, and leashes, you can make an informed decision on which to invest in for your pup based on his/her personality, behaviors, and needs. Feel free to reach out to our team for questions not answered within this article. We are professionals and so it is part of our mission to make you a happy and content pup parent!



Hello! Thanks for visiting our blog. I'm the proud owner of Columbus's own Hands N Paws, started in 2018 to bring joy to pet parents. See you in the next post!

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The terms of this agreement are as follows: “Client” refers to you, “Company” refers to us (Hands N Paws), “Team Member” refers to the person from our team providing services for  your pets, and “Team Members” refers to the Hands N Paws team as a whole.


It is important to inform Hands N Paws of any specific emergency instructions or medical conditions related to Client’s pets. This will help ensure the safety and well-being of pets during emergencies.

In case any of Client’s pets need emergency veterinary treatment, Team Member will contact the designated vet on file and/or a local emergency vet. Team Member will also communicate with Client and/or emergency contacts regarding the situation.

Client gives permission to Team Member to transport the pet(s) to a veterinary clinic and/or make treatment decisions (except for euthanasia), especially if it’s a life-threatening emergency and/or Client cannot be immediately reached. Client is responsible for any veterinary fees incurred. 

Client releases Hands N Paws from any liability for any damage or harm to pets or property that occurs beyond the reasonable control of Team Member during the provision of emergency veterinary care. 


To comply with local laws and ordinances, it is required that all pets have the appropriate vaccinations and licenses before Company begins services. For further information on these requirements, please visit the Ohio State Bar Association’s website at Client should also check with his/her veterinarian to determine which vaccinations/shots the pet requires. 

For safety reasons, we encourage all dogs and cats to wear an ID tag or collar that includes name and contact number while Team Member is working with them.


To ensure access to Client’s home during scheduled services, Hands N Paws requires that Client purchases a lockbox and places a spare house key(s) inside of it for Team Member to use. Client can purchase the lockbox on Hands N Paws’ website by clicking Buy Your Lockbox. Once it arrives, the lockbox should be programmed with a unique four-digit code. The lockbox should then be placed on the main door handle or in another secure location, and the lockbox code and location information must be entered in the Client’s account on Precise Petcare.

Alternatively, Client may elect to provide a code for entry via a garage door or electronic keypad and if so, must enter all necessary codes in Precise Petcare. Client is strongly encouraged to purchase a lockbox, however, to ensure that Team Member can access pets at all times during scheduled services, especially in situations where the power goes out or batteries die and Team Member need alternative access to the home.


All Team Members have access to Clients phone number, but are instructed to only use them when necessary or for urgent purposes during services with pets. Hands N Paws prioritizes the privacy and confidentiality of phone numbers as personal information.

All correspondence between Client and Team Member should be centered around Client’s pets and the services provided. If Client has inquiries regarding scheduling, cancellations, app-related matters, or any company-related concerns, these are to be directed to the Company via the office number: (614) 636-6644. The Company’s client support team is available during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. We are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays. The Company will make contact with Client outside of office hours should there be any urgent need for communication.


In order to provide the best possible service to pets, it is crucial that Client provides Team Member with detailed and up-to-date information regarding their pets. This information should be accurate, complete, and accessible through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Team Members can only work on the basis of the information that is available to them through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Likewise, Client acknowledges that the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the information they provide directly impacts the quality of the services delivered. Client, therefore, takes full responsibility for any consequences that arise from inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated account information.


Arrival times for services occur within a two-hour period. Team Members are unable to guarantee exact arrival times due to various factors that may affect scheduling and travel times. To accommodate these considerations, we use time blocks rather than specific times. Client will see this in the dropdown menu when Client selects Arrival Time in the request service form within their Client account.

While Team Members understands that Client may have preferences regarding arrival times, it is essential to acknowledge that Team Members cannot guarantee meeting those specific requests. Flexibility is needed in order for Team Members to accommodate for needs of other Clients on schedule.


For the most up-to-date and detailed descriptions on service offerings, please visit our website at


The following service surcharges may apply under certain conditions:

Last Minute Service: A fee of $15 per service will be charged for bookings made with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Holiday Service: A fee of $20 per service will be applied for services provided on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve.

Additional Pets: Base pricing for services includes up to 2 pets. For each additional pet beyond the initial two, an additional fee of $7 per pet will be added.

*Additional fees may apply, as discussed/negotiated between Company and Client. 


Hands N Paws strives to accommodate as many service requests as possible. However, the approval of service requests is subject to the availability of Team Members. Upon submitting a service request, Client will receive a confirmation or declination email/notification indicating whether Hands N Paws can fulfill the requested work. Sometimes, this may take up to 48 hours or more.

If a service request is declined, we encourage Client to explore alternative options or contact our dedicated client support team for further assistance. Company is here to help and find the best solution for all pet care needs.


To ensure a personalized experience for new Clients, Hands N Paws requires a virtual or in-person Meet N Greet before getting started with pet services. These meetings allow us to connect with and onboard Clients and discuss their pet care needs.

All virtual Meet N Greets are free of charge. All in-person Meet N Greets come at a $50 cost. Meet N Greets are no more than 30 minutes in length.

New Clients can book their Meet N Greet on our website at Existing Clients can book their Meet N Greet in their designated client account in Precise Petcare.


Payment Method: All services with Hands N Paws are to be paid for using a credit or debit card. All major cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover are acceptable. Client can securely add and store card information within their Client account. Adding and keeping a valid credit card on file is a requirement for requesting any services with Hands N Paws.

Ongoing Services: For services scheduled as ongoing, Client will be automatically charged every Friday for the previous 7 days’ worth of completed, canceled, and in-progress services.

Non-Ongoing Services: For services not scheduled as ongoing, a 50% down-payment will be charged on the day the services are accepted and confirmed. An invoice will be sent immediately. Client has until the date of the last confirmed service to manually pay the remaining balance on the invoice. If manual payment is not made, the remaining total will be automatically charged to the card on file on the date of the last service day on that invoice.

Declined Payments: In the event of a declined auto-charge, Client will be promptly notified. After the first declined charge, Client has a 24-hour grace period to rectify the issue. In the case of a second declined attempt, a late fee of 10% of the invoice total (minimum $10) will be added. Client must be attentive to emails regarding overdue notices.

Payment Terms: Hands N Paws will be paid the agreed-upon amount as discussed, with no exceptions, unless our Cancellation Policy (outlined below) applies and the Client receives a refund in the form of an Account Credit(s). In emergency circumstances, a refund may be issued as transferable credit(s) back to the Client’s card.

Additional Fees: Client may be charged additional fees if Team Members are instructed to, or determine the need to, purchase items for the pet(s) while under the care of Hands N Paws. These items may include pet food or treats, litter or cleaning supplies, transportation to the vet, or emergency expenses for the general care of the pet(s). Hands N Paws and/or Team Member will consult with Client before making any purchases, and will retain and share any receipts as proof of purchase.


When Client schedules services with Hands N Paws, the Company has likely turned down other work so as to devote our time to the work requested from said Client.

Client understands and accepts the Company cancellation/refund policy as outlined below:

– 100% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– 50% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– NO refund is issued for same-day cancellations/less than 24 hour notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Refunds are NOT transferable. Should Client be eligible to receive an Account Credit (based on terms above), that will be auto-added to his/her account and applied to the very next invoice with us.


Hands N Paws agrees to provide the services stated in this contract in a reliable, caring, and trustworthy manner. In consideration of these services and as an express condition thereof, Client expressly waives and relinquishes any and all claims against Hands N Paws arising out of or relating to the provision of services hereunder, except those arising from gross negligence or willful misconduct on part of Hands N Paws.

Client understands and acknowledges that the environment in which they are requesting Hands N Paws to complete services is reasonably sanitary and safe. If it is determined that home conditions are unsanitary and/or unsafe at any point in the working relationship, Company will make it known to Client. Action will be taken accordingly thereafter.

Additionally, Hands N Paws will not terminate during a period of scheduled service unless Hands N Paws determines, at their sole discretion, that a serious danger exists to the health or safety of Team Members or pets. If such concerns preclude Hands N Paws from providing further care for the pets, Client agrees to pay for their pet to be boarded at a boarding facility or taken under the care of another party until Client returns. All attempts will be made to notify Client and/or emergency contacts regarding such situations.

Client understands and acknowledges that he/she is responsible for letting Hands N Paws know of anyone who has access to their home during the duration of services booked. Client releases and holds Hands N Paws harmless of all loss, expense, and damage caused by any third-parties entering Client’s home at that time.


This contract will take effect upon digital signature by Client (clicking “Agree & Submit” below) and will remain in effect until terminated by either party. Client may make online reservations for additional services at any time during the terms of this contract, as subject to Hands N Paws availability. All scheduled services will be governed by all the terms of this contract.

Client acknowledges that by signing below, he/she is providing written approval for the provision of services by Hands N Paws during any service period scheduled by Client and confirmed by Hands N Paws. Upon service confirmation, Hands N Paws will be authorized to enter Client premises and perform services without additional signed contracts and/or written authorizations.