There are many different types of leashes and harnesses on the market today. Before picking up your next leash or harness, evaluate your dog's behavior while on a walk so that you can make the best choice.

Let’s break down your wagging walker into three categories from easiest to walk to most difficult:  Calm Canines, Perky Pooches and Hyper Hounds!

Calmer Canines are pups that can handle themselves on a leash. They have good walking manners. Ordinarily, they do not pull and are happy to walk beside their master. Calm Canines don’t feel the need to chase a sneaky squirrel or run after other dogs. Calm Canines also respond easily to your commands during a walk. They are generally content to walk and sniff.  For a dog that is well behaved and attentive to their human, a basic leash is usually all that is needed. These leashes simply attach to their collar and allow you to have moderate control of your dog . Leashes certainly come in all different colors and patterns now, but if you frequently walk your dog when it is dark, a reflective leash is best.

Perky Pooches are dogs that are generally good on a walk but can get very excited or distracted over a few choice things. Not all stimuli can cause a reaction in this type of dog, but you need to be able to redirect your pooch. For this type of dog, a harness is a good choice. A harness is different than a leash because it goes around the dogs’ shoulders and torso. There are two types of harnesses- basic and no-pull. A regular harness is meant for dogs that pull. The harness tightens around their body and gives you more control. A  no-pull harness is different. These are recommended for pups with flat faces, such as a pug, or those with breathing problems.

Hyper Hounds are almost impossible to control on a regular basis. They are referred to as “leash pullers”. Anything can distract them and usually does. Hyper Hounds can also have issues with other dogs so if you live in a populated area walking can be a challenge. But have no fear! There are options available that can make walking possible, if not moderately enjoyable.  The suggested choices for a hyper hound are head harness, choke chain, martingale collar and a pronged collar.  For a daily wild walker, many people recommend the head harness. This is thought to be be better for daily management of tough pups. While some people say it might be a little awkward for the dog at first, they do get used to it. Also available are the choke chain and pronged collar. When used appropriately and correctly they can be helpful for the toughest pullers. A martingale collar is recommended for pups who like to slip their leash.

Walking your dog and providing exercise are important elements of dog ownership. It is important to select a good leash or harness to make these experiences enjoyable for both dog and human. Knowing your dog’s walking personality will help you make an informed decision on which product to buy! Happy Walking!