We often take a dog’s neck for granted, but those necks, like ours, do so much. The main function of a dog’s neck is to support the head and protect the spinal cord.
The neck contains many important functions including: Thyroid Gland; Lymph Nodes; Trachea; Arteries and Veins; Oesophagus; Larynx; Vertebrae & Spinal Cord.
Every time we pull our dog we increase pressure to the trachea, larynx, thyroid, lymph nodes, blood vessels and even the spinal cord and vertebrae. Often a dog won’t understand why a lead jerks the head and neck, causing pain. This can lead to anxiety or even aggression in the dog.
Dogs pulling on their leads can cause damage to the thyroid causing inflammation and bruising. The immune system repairs this damage, but eventually can wear down the thyroid leading to hypothyroidism, slowing down the dog’s metabolism and can lead to dogs becoming overweight.
When a collar puts pressure on a dogs neck it can put pressure on the areteries and veins to and from the dog’s head. The build up of blood pressure in the dogs head can lead to glaucoma and even brain damage due to lack of oxygen.
Signs of a damaged trachea include a honking cough and trouble breathing. Sometimes a dog can faint or there may be a blue tinge to their gums. Damaging the oesophagus can lead to issues with swallowing food, vomiting or even acid reflux. Whilst collars are not known to be a factor in laryngeal collapse and paralysis, it is recommended for larger and prone breeds to wear a harness rather than a collar or anything else around a dog’s neck.
Yanking on a collar can cause whiplash type injuries leading to damaged vertebrae and even nerve damage. Nerve damage can cause a tingling sensation in the dog’s front paws leading to excessive licking. Damaged vertebrae in the neck can lead the dog to be in pain for the rest of its life.
By walking your dog on a front attach harness, you take all the pressure off a dog’s neck whilst also being able to control the dog relatively easily. The lead attaches at the front of the harness, under the dog’s head. When the dog tries to pull, the lead gently turns the dog towards you from the chest, taking all the pull out of the dog.