A Boston terrier can be identified as a small, compact yet muscular dog. With a broad chest, boxy appearance, large round eyes and trademark white markings in the shape of a tuxedo, the breed stands out on its own! While they are usually reasonably lively and energetic, a Boston terrier can be hyper and persistent, tugging on their leash at their own will.
As a result, every responsible owner needs to have the relevant equipment for the daily walks that are mandatory in light of the Boston terrier’s ravenous appetite and tendency to put on weight. Owners are constantly caught between the choice of whether to buy a collar or a harness for their flat nosed pooch.
While most ignorant owners settle for a collar taking in the terrier’s small size and temperament, a harness actually comes much more recommended for the training needs of the dog and adapts well to the health concerns and body structure of this adorable breed as well.
Collar vs. Harness
Usually, collars and harnesses are made of the same material and perform the synonymous job of attaching the dog to a leash for enhanced trainability and control. However, a general rule that separates the two is that the use of collars is widely discouraged for dogs that are prone to respiratory and trachea problems and a harness is actually promoted for dogs to avoid this health concern.
Now where does the Boston terrier stand amidst this?
As explained previously, Boston terriers can potentially have respiratory problems due to which tugging and pulling on the collar to control the dog is not advised.
Additionally, Boston Terriers are highly intelligent dogs, extremely sensitive to your tone of voice and actions. Hence, while training them, you should be extra careful not to be overly assertive, a risk posed by collars, in order to keep the breed motivated.
Moreover, the Boston terrier is a well behaved dog with occasional spikes of playfulness which can be easily monitored with a gentle harness instead of a choking collar.
Lastly, Boston terriers are characterized by their endearing, bulging eyes. As cute as this feature is, it poses certain eye health risks for the breed. To avoid eye problems due to fluid buildup common in Boston terriers, avoid pulling too hard on collars that may cause the dog’s eyes to water up due to discomfort or pain. And since your dog can always plunge forward unexpectedly, there is an imminent risk of it receiving a gripping ‘choke’ by the collar.
Boston terriers are also at a risk of eye bulges caused by blunt trauma or when the facial skin is pulled on too hard. Both these aggravators of an eye bulge can be caused by collars when tugged on too tightly.
Now let’s elaborate a little more on why collars are the more outdated choice in front of harnesses for small breeds like Boston terriers.
Usually made of leather, cloth or nylon, a collar fits the dog like a necklace. Due to this, all the force that the dog’s body is receiving is accumulated on its neck, causing and exacerbating the ‘choking’ effect. There is always a major safety breach with the use of collars. The next time your dog sprints to chase a cat or lizard, it’s at a threat of receiving a major blow of force on its neck.
Proponents of collars say they keep the collar loosely tied around the dog’s neck due to safety concerns. However, when you’re out on the road, you need to have firm control over the dog in case a car speeds by. A loose collar can always slip off the dog’s neck, causing the dog to escape or possibly get hurt.
Hence, unless you’re fully trained to use the collar the proper way, avoid endangering your precious pooch with one!
A harness is usually made from nylon, leather or fabric. Unlike collars, a harness goes around the neck of the dog, in front of its shoulders and behind its front legs. Due to this structure, it distributes the pressure evenly around the terrier’s small frame, instead of putting force on its throat. It is due to this reason that harnesses come highly recommended for Boston terriers with respiratory problems. Since the harness goes around the dog’s body, it allows you to firmly control the dog in case it sprints forward, without causing irritation or coughing from tugging and pulling.
Best harness for Boston terrier
Declared a much safer option in comparison to collars, let’s see the best dog harness for Boston terriers.
1. EcoBark Maximum Comfort & Control Dog Harness
An environmental friendly, no choke design harness made from recycled water bottles, this product comes in a variety of colors and sizes. This is my top choice for Boston Terrier harnesses. I often get the “Air” brand locally, but it is often hard to find and this harness would be the closest to it. I like them because they are gentle on the dog and easy to wash (long lasting as well).
- Highly durable
- Ultra Soft
- No choke design for dogs with respiratory problems
- Allows dog’s natural movement
- Adjustable belt
- Breathable harness
- For walking, running and hiking
- Non-Breakaway quick release clasps
- The attractive part of the harness goes underneath after wearing
2. Gooby Choke Free Comfort X Soft Dog Harness
Specifically designed to protect your dog’s neck from insistent pulling, it comes in a variety of colors and also protects your dog’s sensitive skin from abrasion without compromising style.
- Made from micro suede trimming to protect your Boston terrier’s skin
- Lighter hardware
- Easy to wear and secure
- Choke free design
- Dries up quickly after becoming wet
- V neck opening eradicates pull on the neck
- Relatively large buckle
3. PetSafe Easy Walk Harness
This harness allows you to control your Boston terrier’s excessive pulling habit without giving in to collars. It is engineered in a way to prevent the choking effect as well.
- Front leash attachment steers dog in your direction
- Discourages pulling
- No choke harness
- Takes pressure off dog’s throat
- Best to train a dog to quit pulling
- A bit challenging to figure out how to use
- Not padded and may cause slight skin irritation
Based on your Boston terrier’s individual temperament and health concerns, choose the option most suitable for it among the list of best dog harness for Boston terriers.
If you liked this article, check out our recommended clothing for Boston Terriers