There are many reasons that walking a dog from its collar should be, and are, obsolete. The basic idea of walking a dog from the neck should be considered immoral due to the fact that the anatomy of a dog’s neck is basically identical to that of a human’s. So when you tug your dog by the neck across the street, yes it is similar to if you were to be pulled by the neck across the street as well.
A possible reason dog owners are naive to the health issues they could be causing their best friend is because of the fur coat dogs grow. Many people assume that dog fur is so impenetrably thick that the rubbing of the collar with each jerk of the leash could not possibly be having any negative repercussions through all that dense fur. Unfortunately, multiple studies on the effect of dog collars show that extensive pulling of the leash can cause fur to fall out and greatly irritate the dog’s skin beneath. The pulling can cause soreness and redness of the dog’s skin which in turn irritates the dog.
On an even more serious note, yanking on a dog’s leash when attached to the dog’s neck could have detrimental effects on the bloodflow to the dog’s head. More specifically, dogs experience problems with their eyes and ears when their bloodflow is being altered by the use of a leash. Owners have reported lessened issues after switching their dogs to a harness.
Another rather severe issue associated with walking a dog from its collar is the permanent effect it could have on the dog’s thyroid gland. The thyroid gland, an endocrine gland responsible for regulating metabolic processes, is located in the dog’s neck which is, as aforementioned, similar to a human’s neck. When a dog wearing a collar is jerked by its leash from behind, the thyroid gland is being effected. Constant tugging of the leash could result in an inflamed thyroid gland, and ultimately causes issues with basic cell function in dogs and, in more serious cases, organ failure.
There are no excuses for continuing this barbaric method of walking dogs. Vets across the country have warned against walking dogs from the neck to avoid future injury and health problems. Some dog owners who are reluctant to invest in a harness, the recommended replacement for a collar, justify continuing with their methods by claiming that if the dog were in pain, it would stop pulling on its leash on its own. The reasoning behind this claim is faulty and laden with misconceptions about the brain of a canine. Dogs do not reason similarly to humans and are more driven by instinct than reason. This being said, it is up to owners to protect their dogs from injuries they may be inflicting upon the animals themselves.
(Sources: Dogster, Domantics)