The Freedom Harness Exchange
The Harness Exchange Program is an advocacy program of Biggies Bullies that promotes the use of force-free pet equipment. We are asking pet guardians to swap out their choke or prong collar for a free harness! We want all pets and their parents to experience the huge advantages and long-lasting effectiveness of force-free training and pet care. When you mail us your choke or prong collar, we will send you a free Freedom No-Pull Harness.
The Freedom No-Pull Harness is a pain-free, comfortable, training harness!
This harness features a patented control loop on the back of the harness, which tightens gently around your dog’s chest to discourage pulling and makes walking your dog an easier, more enjoyable experience.
The Freedom No-Pull Harness is made with stainless steel hardware and four adjustment points to ensure that it is strong enough to hold any size dog, from 14 lbs all the way up to 250+ lbs. The chest strap is lined with Swiss Velvet, which helps prevent rubbing and chaffing sores behind the legs and the straps are all turned out to prevent sores and raw spots along the seams.
The harness also features a structural ring on the front of the harness. Connecting to this ring is optional but it does allow you to connect to the front and back of the harness simultaneously. The main connection on the back of the harness tightens gently around the chest to discourage pulling behavior, while the connection on the front of the harness allows you to redirect your dog’s attention back to you for training and treats.
2 Hounds Design is the exclusive manufacturer of the Freedom Harness, which is (proudly!) made in the USA!
- Why we love it: The Freedom Harness comfortably and easily reduces pulling, neck strain and escaping. Recommended by dog trainers as the ultimate in flexibility, control, and training.
- Multi-Functional: The harness can be used for discouraging pulling when attached to the front or for exercise when attached to the back. A leash can be attached to both the front and back of the harness or just the front or the back.
- Comfortable and Durable: The Freedom No-Pull Harness has a soft velvet lining on the strap that goes behind the legs to prevent sores that sometimes occur with harnesses. This well made harness will stand up to daily use by even the strongest dogs!
Stated quite simply, choke and prong collars are an aversive device that will cause pain to your dog. Sure, they can be a quick fix, but:
- Your dog is only walking nicely to avoid punishment.
- Your dog is not being taught WHAT to do, in that the old behavior will return when the prong collar is removed.
- Anything present in the environment when your dog experiences pain can take on a negative association, including other dogs, children and strangers.
- In NO WAY, does a prong collar emulate the correction of a mothers teeth to a puppy. This is a MYTH plain and simple, and is unproven in any scientific study.
Even if used without corrections, choke collars can still cause pain, discomfort, and injury to a dog’s neck, head and spinal cord.
- If you feel your dog’s neck with your hands followed by your own neck, you will see how similar they are.
- The trachea, esophagus, thyroid gland, lymph nodes, jugular vein, muscles and spinal column are all located in similar places.
- The only difference between a dog and a human neck is that under the fur, a dog’s skin layer is only 3-5 cells thick, while the top layer of human skin is denser, 10-15 cells thick.
What kind of injuries do choke collars cause?
The thyroid gland lies at the base of the neck just below the larynx close to where any collar sits. Just one yank can cause injury to a gland that controls many of the body’s vital functions.
- Studies show that the gland gets severely traumatized whenever a dog pulls on the leash and becomes inflamed.
- When this happens it is ‘destroyed’ by the body’s own immune system which tries to remove the inflamed thyroid cells.
- The destruction of these cells leads to hypothyroidism, which causes loss of energy, weight gain, skin problems, hair loss, ear infections and organ failure.
Choke collars also affect other areas of the body including the eyes.
- Another study reveals that when force is applied to the neck via a leash and a choke collar, pressure in the eyes is significantly increased.
- This type of pressure can cause serious injury to dogs already suffering thin corneas, glaucoma, or eye injuries.
- The same study was done with dogs that were wearing harnesses, which had no impact on eye pressure when force was applied.
Prong collars function similarly to choke collars, except they contain metal spikes on the inside that dig into and ‘pinch’ a dog’s neck if he pulls on the leash. Prong collar advocates believe that the ‘pinch’ action mimics the teeth of a mother dog grabbing a puppy’s neck during a correction.
There is no scientific evidence to back up this claim however, and it’s unlikely that dogs make a connection between the pinch of a collar and a correction given by a mother’s mouth, especially as no canine ‘mother’ is physically present.
Why should prong collars be avoided?
Dogs walked on prongs are also constantly subjected to pain and discomfort, which creates fear, anxiety and aggression on walks. Dogs that are already reactive on leash can become even more reactive due to frustration from collar discomfort.
- A study of 400 dogs concluded that pulling and jerking on the leash (with any collar) is harmful to a dog’s neck and throat.
- One of the clearest correlations was between cervical (neck) damages and ‘jerk and pull’.
- 91% of the dogs who had neck injuries had also been exposed to jerking on the lead by the owner or been allowed to pull hard on the lead for long periods of time.
How Do I Get My Harness?
- You must be willing to mail in your collar first.
- We accept choke chains and prong collars for exchanges
- You will receive a follow up email with shipping instructions on where to send your collar to, as well as how to size your dog for harnesses.
- Currently we have Medium, Large, and XL harnesses.
- Email us with any questions!