My dog goes on a tie-out. Should I use a collar or a harness?
We say: neither. We don't recommend any Lupine product for tie-out. An animal tied to a fixed object can put tremendous force to the hardware (and it's own body), far more than when it is hand walked on a lead. With harnesses and leads, a pet can chew through the webbing in a matter of moments, and then be free to roam. A pet on a tie-out is also at increased risk of entanglement (hanging) or attack by at-large animals.
How do I pick the right size collar for my dog?
Picking the right width and size range for your dog depends on the dog's age, neck size and, to some extent, the size of the dog. 1/2" products are appropriate for pets up to 20 pounds or so.
A 1/2" collar for a new puppy is a great way to introduce the concept of wearing a collar. It's lightweight and will give you a way to quickly attach a lead for those frequent trips outside during house-training. Early on in life, the dog has to be taught about being on a lead, and what it means. The 1/2" leads are going to keep the pup' connected' to you, but not be so heavy as to be annoying.
There are many full-grown larger dogs (like Labs and Retrievers) that wear a 3/4" width collar at maturity. It's important to remember that with the rapid growth rate of all young dogs, what fits in the beginning will almost certainly be outgrown before it wears out, much like kids' clothes! Buying with room-to-grow is OK to a point, but a collar set to it's smallest size has the most webbing doubled back and becomes somewhat bulky.
To determine collar size, use a dressmakers tape to measure around the middle of the neck. Measure snugly, against the skin, not how you'd like it to fit. Whatever that measurement is, add in 5% extra for wiggle-room. This gives you a good approximation of the current size of the dog.
Should I get an Adjustable collar or a Combo collar?
For small dogs (1/2" patterns) we only offer Adjustable collars. We make two types of collars in 3/4" and 1" patterns: adjustable collars (aka 'flat' collars), and Combo collars (aka 'martingales' , 'limited slip chokers' or 'half-check collars'). They do different things.
The Adjustable collar is the best all-around collar. The dog can wear it all the time, although many dog pros recommend removing any collar when the dog is crated.
The Combo collar is designed specifically to prevent a dog from 'backing out' of its collar. It has a 'martingale' loop of webbing. When tension is applied via the lead, the martingale reduces the size of the collar. It's not an infinite amount of closure, as with a choke chain, but enough to prevent the dog from slipping out. The Combo collar should not be left on when the dog is off-leash or unsupervised. Wearing a Combo collar off-lead increases the potential for getting caught on some object, or even another dog's jaw.
To determine what size of Combo collar to use, measure around the widest aspect of the head and jaw, as well as the mid-point of the neck. Take whichever measurement is larger, and add in an additional 5% to ensure a comfortable fit.
My dog pulls like a train! Should I try a harness?
A harness does one thing really well. It will reduce pressure on the dog's throat and neck. It doesn't stop a dog from pulling, it just makes it more comfortable for him to do so. It may actually cause a dog to pull harder!
What's the difference between an H-Harness and a Roman Harness?
The H-style is a really good cat harness that also can be used on small dogs. We especially recommend it for cats because it is harder to escape from. As long as the collar portion is snug enough not to pull over the cat's head, it is very unlikely the cat will get out of an H-harness.
If you are considering a harness for a dog, and your main objective is to relieve pressure on the trachea, neck and spine, the Roman style is best. This harness relieves pressure from a dog's throat, and puts it on the shoulders and chest.
All harnesses should be removed when the outing is over as they are too accessible for chewing for dogs and may present an additional risk of entanglement or injury for cats. We do not recommend any of our products be used for tie-out.
How do I know what size harness to buy?
Harness sizing is based on the adjustability of the girth. If you don't have a dress makers tape, use a piece of string around the animal's ribcage, just behind the front legs. Measure snugly, not how you want it to fit. If you are using string, and don't have a ruler, you can use the known size of a standard piece of paper (8.5" by 11") to get a good idea of the pet's actual circumference. Whatever that measurement is, add in an extra 5% for comfort. If the cat measures 12" around, 10% would be 1.2", and half of that would be about 1/2" (5%). For this cat, a 9-14 size Harness would be purrfect (sorry.)
My dog can wear a 12"-20" Harness. Should I get a 1/2" wide or a 3/4" wide Roman/Adjustable Harness?
We use a body-weight of about 20 lbs. as the maximum size for 1/2" products. While 1/2" is light and easy to carry around, it does focus pressure on a smaller area. For this reason, some small dogs will find 3/4" wide products to be more comfortable.