Bunny at 3 months old
Photo courtesy of Bonnie Olivier
Harness instead of leash? Yes! The Shih Tzu is happy?Yes!
The Shih Tzu is protected from neck injury? Yes!
1. My Shih Tzu will (or does) put up a fuss with a harness.
Anything that is new to a dog may cause an initial fuss. However, to give proper care, we must not tiptoe around the whims of a dog. When an owner makes the decision to have their Shih Tzu wear a harness, and the right one is obtained, the puppy or dog will get used to it. It can take 1 to 2 weeks for a Shih Tzu to get acclimated to it.
Proper type (more ahead) and proper fit will make things much easier. In addition, there is a learning curve for owners too; after the first few days, it’s a much easier process.
2. My Shih Tzu is so small, not much pressure is put on the neck. So is a harness really needed?
When you think about the force that is put on a dog’s neck, it is all relative. The force would not seem much to you, however you must look at the force and pressure relatively speaking to the size of the dog
. The tracheal tube and windpipe of a toy breed dog is fragile. Small dogs do not have thick muscle to protect the area.
Having the neck restricted in any way can cause issues and it only takes one jump or lunge to cause damage.
3. Will the harness be detrimental to the coat?
A breathable harness, when fitted properly, will not damage a Shih Tzu’s coat. As always, we suggest using a leave-in spritz to protect the hairs from contact friction and static.