During our walks with my Indy we have recently come across quite a few owners who kept their dogs on harness with no collar. No harm done there, if it weren’t for the fact that the dogs did not have an identity tag on the harness. The owners kept telling us their dogs could not bear anything around their neck since pups, and their handler have never managed to train them to have a collar.
Your dog must wear an ID tag
At least in UK and in the States it is compulsory by law that your dog wear an identity tag whenever in public places. In UK under the Control of Dogs Act 1992, any dog in public place must wear an ID tag on their collar showing name, address inclusive of postcode and possibly (but optional information) telephone number of their owners. This law has been created specifically to combat pet theft, or more simply to enable a dog that may have got lost and found to be successfully returned to his/her owner.
You might be thinking your right to privacy is not preserved. But as a responsible dog owner, I believe it is your duty to preserve the safety of your dog before your own privacy – you would give your personal details when it comes to your child, so you should equally be prepared to release information about yourself if it is to do with the security of your dog. For this very same reason, the UK has recently introduced also to the compulsory micro-chipping of all dogs by the age of 8 weeks.
My dog does not like collars
Unfortunately wearing a collar should become part of the training plan for your dog. I can’t advise much about getting your dog used to wearing a collar, other than with the use of treats, perseverance and patience. My Indy has never had problems wearing a collar, nor has ever bothered him the fact that sometimes the actual tags can become noisy as your dog walks or run, as they tinkle.
I expect it is equally acceptable for your dog to wear his/her ID tag on their harness, so long as the harness is not removed during their walks. But I have actually found on the market army ‘dog’ tags which are a little dearer than the regular ID tags for canine, but can of course be engraved with your personal details and can be transferred from one collar to another, if like me you are in the habit of swapping and changing collars on your dog regularly. At least in UK, the compulsory micro-chipping does not replace the need to wear the ID tag, I am afraid – in fact dog owners will be fined if their dogs are found not micro-chipped and not wearing an ID collar.