When I first got my pug, we spent a lot of time walking, I mean a lot.
I took him for walks four to six times a day. I figured, I might as well get my exercise in as much as possible, and keep him healthy too, right!
Well, I didn’t know at the time about the differences between walking him with a collar versus walking him with a harness.
Having had no prior experience, I honestly didn’t know the differences between how a harness or collar would affect him physically.
So the first thing I bought for him were a bunch of seriously cute collars.
I learned quickly that he outgrew one collar after another.
I also learned quickly that the collars would be a difficult way to control him on the leash. Sometimes he would struggle a bit on walks when he would get excited and pull on the leash. And I could hear his breathing get compromised and he would snort and grunt a lot.
The bigger he got and the stronger he got, the more he wanted to GO GO GO, and he would pull on his leash with excitement and anticipation.
Then add to that the times when the weather was hot, and I started to see that he would struggle with the collar. I didn’t ever want to “yank” on his collar because I knew that pugs already have a tough time breathing due to pugs being brachycephalic. What that means is they have a face that is flat with a short snout. Because of this, the pug’s nasal and airways passages are compressed. Many pugs have some level of stenotic nares (narrows nasal openings). The soft palate located in the back of the throat is often elongated, causing some issues with breathing.
What is Best for A Pug – Harness or Collar?
Due to the structure of the face and the short neck of the Pug, ability to breath correctly is already an issue with this breed. If the leash is connected to the collar all pressure, force and tension is placed directly onto a Pug’s neck. And, they are really NOT comfortable.
This is specifically why I switched to a harness for walking my little guy. Once I switched from a collar to a harness for walking, it really made walking so much more enjoyable, not just for Rico, but for me too!
It is still good to have a collar on your pug for holding his tags. And also, because there are so many cute collars to be worn, it’s their outfit and defines their style and personality of course!
Again, because pugs are more susceptible than other breeds to respiratory problems if they become overheated, their collars must never be tight. You should be able to insert two fingers between the collar and your Pug’s neck.
Many pug owners prefer to use a harness rather than a collar for walking their Pugs because the harness does not put any pressure on the pug’s windpipe.
Just remember that you should not leave the harness on your pug all day like you can a collar. Once you’re walk is done, remove the harness. They are hot and can get dirt, and other stuff trapped underneath that can irritate your pug’s skin.
And we would never want to do anything that would irritate our little furry friends!