Some dog owners may be very surprised to know that a dog’s neck is equally vulnerable to injury as much as a human’s. The neck is a very delicate part of the body. Leash pulling dogs are at a high risk for neck injury. There is a method as to how to get your dog to stop pulling on the leash. Before you attempt to train your dog not to pull on the leash make sure you have the correct gear. A no pull harness and leash is a fantastic method in teaching your dog not to pull on a leash. So, follow me and let’s get into some detail about it.
Examine your own neck
Feel your neck and notice how sensitive it is and then go feel your dog’s throat. Imagine what you would feel with a collar around your neck if someone was to give it an abrupt pull. Well, that’s what a dog’s neck experiences each time the collar is jolted on a leash or even just grabbing the collar with our hand. It’s not in a dog’s nature to show pain when they’re hurt as it’s their instinct to always be in charge and not vulnerable.
The advantage and disadvantage of using a collar
There is only two advantages to using a collar for leash walking and that is:
It’s easier and faster to put on the dog’s neck and it’s great for ID tags.
The disadvantage is:
Neck injury. It can just take a onetime incident of the dog bolting at the end of the leash
receiving a bad jolt on the neck causing severe neck damages.
Halters that fit over a dog’s head could also cause neck injuries
but in a different way than a collar. It can cause the neck to twist to the side
or bend backward if the dog hits the end of the leash with an impact.
A misconception of a dog’s neck
We’re in a society having been taught that dogs are strong, and tough,
with necks designed to take harsh treatment from repeated
pulling, yanking, dragging, and high impact jolts.
The fact of the matter is “A Dogs Neck Is Equally Delicate As A Human’s Neck.”
The results of repeated jolting on the neck
Years later the accumulation of unnoticed injury starts to surface while we then think it’s old age that’s the cause when the target is really from neck injury or injuries. Neck injury can cause a number of symptoms resulting in some long term or permanent damages in a variety of ways.
A little about the anatomy of the dog’s neck
The neck is the center point of healing and prevention because
blood flows through the neck to the brain and also to all the parts of the body.
The neck is the main gateway for controlling the whole body.
The nerves in the brain stem and cervical and thoracic spine regulate most life-essential functions. This system is called the autonomous nervous system, or ANS.
If the brain is damaged, the body may survive, but with a damaged ANS, the patient will die because the organs depend on this system to function such as the heart.
The Captain Nerve
There is a nerve called the vagus nerve which is a bundle of nerves with many functions. There are two which are the longest and most complex stemming from the skull. It’s a two way communicator and is attached to all the organs which functions without you having to monitor or to worry about such as the heart and other major organs.
Some duties of the vagus nerve are:
This automatic function from the vagus nerve is called the parasympathetic nervous system as it has multiple branches that travel to so many organs.
The vagus nerve starts at the base of the skull and follows the neck. Any neck injury or pressure of the collar from yanking and jolting can have a serious negative effect on your dog’s life-essential organs.
When there is excessive pressure or impact on this nerve it pinches and can leave this nerve damaged.
It controls the heart beat, breathing, gallbladder, bile release in the liver and pancreas, glucose control in the kidneys, sodium excretion to lower blood pressure, tear production in the eyes, production of saliva and taste and much more.
There are other functions of the body which rely on the neck to stay healthy and functional such as:
Front leg movement and sensation
Trachea and esophagus
Jugular vein and carotid artery and so much more.
What is the Solution in avoiding injury to the neck?
If your dog never pulls or never causes pressure or impacts to the neck it might be safe to have the leash attached to a collar.
For the dog that pulls I recommend to use a harness which clips on the back. There is also the harness which are the no pull which are designed to put tension on the shoulder blades which discourages the dog from continuing the pull.
I like to play it safe and use the harness on all dogs whether they pull or not and never have to worry about any unexpected impact on the neck resulting in an injury. There is always a chance that a dog could get excited once in his life and react by pulling on the leash and collar. Why take a chance? We are the dog parent and should take caution at every given opportunity.
Keep Your Dog Smiling
Thank you for joining me in this. Please do comment as it’s very encouraging to hear the voice of others.