Small dogs like Yorkies, Maltese and toy poodles should not have a collar that is used on a leash. First, the collar may come off. Second, the collar may damage the small dog's neck, thus causing injury to the trachea. Collars should be used for identification and if desired for it's beauty. When using a leash it is best to use a harness that fits around the body. It is advisable to use a harness when small children want to take the dog for a walk, and they tend to yank the leash rather vigorously, your dog may be hurt. Harnesses are basically restraints that are placed over and under the body and through the legs to hold the body in place. It pretty much hugs the dog's body, giving them all the support they need without danger of injury. However, no matter what, small dogs, and for that matter, any size dogs need to be handled with care. There are pretty harnesses that come in different colors and designs, so your baby can still be in style. There are fancy harnesses and jeweled harnesses that fit any body size. If you are into dressing your small dog (which I think is rather cute for short periods of time), there are dress harnesses available, and a leash attachment on the dress. There are matching leashes, sun visors and 'tennis' shoes for the dog. I am not quite sure about shoes for a dog. It looks rather awkward to see those little paws in shoes. But I am all in favor of dress and vest harnesses and will go as far as saying the sun visor may be fun. The vest harnesses are also quite comfortable for the little dog. Harnesses are used for various sizes of dogs, and can be used for your larger dogs to protect their necks too. Sometimes a harness is used to help the dog when he is ill or handicapped. The harness can be used as a way to lift and support the dog that is unable to stand on it's own. I have seen where a dog's back legs were paralyzed and the resourceful owner with the help of some professionals, made a harness attached to wheels, (like a 2-wheeled cart) allowing the dog to use his front legs to propel himself around. Once the dog got used to the wheels, they found that the dog could move quite as well, or even better than their healthy counterparts.
Evangeline Samuel PhD. is a retired nurse who enjoys her daughter's dog, Kate's company, and loves dressing her up in designer clothes, pretty harnesses and jeweled hair accessories.
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