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We have a 13 lb. Chi mix (mostly Chi). We have heard about collapsed trachea in small dogs that can occur when you walk your dog on a leash with conventional collar. We had been using a collar, and then recently tried a harness, but our Chi did not do well with the harness. He was chewing at it, and refusing to walk. He even developed a skin irritation from one of the straps - we were fairly sure the harness was sized properly. Is there truly a risk in going back to using the collar, or should we purchase one of the fancy custom harnesses which we have seen on line?
 

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I'd recommend a harness. If he refuses to walk, wait him out. It is safer for him. I had a 12 lb Chi that my vet recommended that I use a harness with. With Toby, I leave a collar on him 24/7 except when he is in his crate. When he is walked, I put his harness on. That way it isn't on all the time to irritate him. And I promise, if you have patience and consistency, he will learn to walk on a harness.
 

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Try a soft step in harness like puppia.
Pico hates having a harness put over his head. A harness is the only way to walk a little dog.
 

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I'd definitely recommend a harness. He will get used to it. Even if he despises it at first, it's going to be much better for his health in the long run. Gemma hated her harness too for about a month but now she forgets it's even on when we're outside. Puppia is a nice brand. The step-in style is good for dogs that don't like things put over their heads.
 

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Harness all the way! You don't necessarily need to buy an expensive one, but if the one you're using now is causing irritation, I would try a different style. Switching to anything different usually takes awhile. If you want to use a harness, just stick with it and he'll get used to it!
 

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Yup a harness is much safer; even if ti does take a little time and patience for him to adjust to it! I would get either a Puppia or an Ipuppyone harness (I get mine from http://www.pupincloset.com/ and they often have great sales too, I've gotten some on clearance for $4 shipped!) and allow him to wear it around the house. By "allow" I mean put it on, and keep him distracted (a quick "CH!" or "NO!" when he tries to chew it, so he knows he's not allowed to do that) and eventually he'll get accustomed to it, just like wearing a collar. =) Good luck!!
 
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