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We've just got our Frenchie Puppy and I could do with some advice on collars/Harnesses. During our search I got quite a bit of mixed advice from the various breeders, so not sure what is the right way to go. She's currently 8.5w old.

Some said get the Collar on sooner rather then later, so she gets used to it. Others suggested there was no need until she had her second jab and was ready to go out. Also some suggested to use a temporary light collar to begin with. Whilst others that you may want to get the collar you'll use, again so she gets used to it.

I quite like this Hunter Softie Colour:


But not sure if it will be too much for her right now. Also I quite like the collars with the ID plate riveted on over a clip on ID, although perhaps I could get a plate engraved and riveted on locally. She is microchipped as well of course.

I also got mixed advice on harnesses. All of them advised harness over collar and lead for Frenchies. But some said not to bother until she was ready to go out, whilst others said try it occasionally over the coming weeks so she gets used to it.

This is my first dog. My wife has had several when she lived with her parents, but they were larger and back then she said they didnt put so much thought into this sort of thing.

I'm probably overthinking this, but any advice greatly appreciated.

NB: My daughter has decreed it has to be pink.
 

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For a Frenchie - and any other breed prone to Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome or other breathing issues - I'd never attach a lead to a collar (though they're fine for putting tags on). Only a harness with a front that keeps pressure on the chest and shoulders, not the throat. That way, if (or when, haha) the puppy pulls, there's no risk of injury to her delicate trachea.

What I've done for my puppies is buy an inexpensive, adjustable H-style harness - they look something like this (I picked a pink one for you daughter):



You can see all the adjustable points. I like these because they have a lot of room to 'grow' with the dog, so I only need to buy 2-3 (I have smaller dogs, so your mileage may vary in how many harness upsizes you might need as she grows) before I spend some money on a quality adult-sized harness that'll last them a few years. I introduce them pretty much right away, making it as low-pressure and fun as possible to have their harness put on and worn. This video has some great tips!


My younger dog came to us with some serious aversion and discomfort to wearing harnesses, despite having never worn one before, so in the future I'll probably spend even more time on introducing and getting them used to it than I did with him. He tolerates a lightweight harness now, but we suspect it had to do with a traumatic incident at the breeder's (no one's fault, just one of those things that happens when you have a curious puppy doing stupid things) and a shoulder pain issue that's now been treated. But if you introduce the harness right away, and do it slowly and positively, you can be much more confident that she'll be happy and confident wearing it when she's ready for walks.

The h-harness is my personal preference, but there's other styles you can pick too! I've heard great things about Puppia harnesses, which have more of a soft mesh vest structure (in a lot of fun colors), and they're also on the more inexpensive side so you're not spending crazy amounts on harnesses she'll outgrow.
 

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The sooner she gets used to wearing both collar and harness the better. I'm not fond of hard "use this only" rules, and learning to walk politely on both a collar and harness are important. That said, I would probably use a harness when first starting out.

Also, the most important window for exposure to things is closing by the time most puppies get their second set of shots. You need to uses some sense, and avoid areas with a lot of "dog traffic", but just sitting on a bench and watching the world go by, or being taken to dog friendly stores (not pet stores, though) and being wheeled around in a shopping trolley are good options. They key is that they don't need to interact with every person or dog that comes along, but they do need to be able to see them and know that things are fine.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the detailed advice.

My daughter was sold on seeing the pink colour of the Harness btw :) She's an easy sell.

She made me buy the Petsathome Wagatude in Pink, when we did the preparation shopping. She wouldn't budge until I bought it (her training is a work in progress :D). But I was planning to return it as it seems a bit restricting as a starter. And not sure how adjustable it is.
 

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The wag-a-tude looks like it's not very adjustable (not familiar with the brand, just looked at pictures online), so its biggest issue may just be that she outgrows it in a matter of a couple weeks. Baby puppies grow way faster than you think!

But yes, that's Puppia's standard harness style. I think they have a couple other styles now, but that's their tried and true version that I've seen people speak well of.
 
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