Check Chain or Harness


The decision to use a check chain or harness is one that continues to be discussed. I use the check chain on our beagles. I find it effective in controlling our beagle’s behaviour when out walking and showing.

Evidence I have seen is that a harness does not provide effective control at times of need, i.e. when stress, fear or fight situations arise. If a dog is constantly pulling, a harness will not stop this from happening. For this reason I find the use of a harness for walking purposes to be unsatisfactory.

When used correctly the check chain rarely needs to be tightened around the neck of the dog and should never be used to hurt a dog. When used correctly the dog responds quickly in a positive way. The only time it needs to be tightened is to correct inappropriate behaviour.

It is important when out walking a dog to have effective control. Lack of effective control makes taking a dog out for a walk most unenjoyable. In many cases this results in the dog not being taken out for exercise, which is not a good result.

Some people prefer a harness for their dogs and will not use a check chain believing they are dangerous to the dog’s well being. In over 40 years of using a check chain I have never witnessed a dog hurt by one.

Harnesses are good for restraining your dog in a car where in an accident, the largest part of the dog (the body) takes the force of restraint. Using a check chain for this purpose is most unacceptable and most likely would result in severe injury.

I have experienced a high impact, high speed collision with roll over with an unrestrained beagle on board. This was pre harness days and seatbelts had only recently become compulsory. Thankfully the beagle was not injured, looking back this would not have taken much for anyone of us not to have made it out alive. We are talking all the stars aligning and tenths of a second between a good and bad result. These days my dogs always travel in the dog trailer or in pet packs in the back. Apart from the occasional trauma of experiencing beagle flatulence all is good.

My opinion
Gordon G