Important factors about a collar or harness



Written By:  Lisa R. Whiteaker

Primate ownership carries with it a huge responsibility.  Safety of the primate, and those who may have contact with the primate when it is out of its cage, must be a priority.

Monkeyzone recommends all uncaged primates wear a harness or collar and a leash.  This gives control of the primates actions to whom ever accepts the responsibility of releasing the primate.   With proper taming and training techniques most primates will allow a collar or harness to be put on and a leash attached before exiting the cage.  We do however, realize there are those who bolt and run whenever the cage door is opened.  Owners of the "bolting" primate may decide to leave a harness or collar on the primate 24 hours under supervision to get the primate use to wearing a harness or collar.   Primates will soon learn the harness or collar is a part of them and won't become afraid, instead trust you and we have been told they won't bolt out of the cage.

A Harness or Collar worn inside of the cage creates a potential problem if it becomes entangled or hooked on the cage or its contents.  This subject has been covered in other articles.  Monkeyzone recommends training and behavior modification techniques be applied instead of the 24 hour collar or harness. 

We do feel it is necessary to address another potential problem seen in primates wearing their collar/harness 24 hours a day.

When these primates are bathed their collar or harness remains wet and the underlying skin does not dry out.  Bacteria grows and the skin cells deteriorate.   The constant rubbing of the wet collar or harness quickly chafes the stressed skin.   If this area is not given proper care the condition escalates.  We have seen cases where the Collar or Harness has cut deep into the skin.  The infection along with the friction applied creates a nasty incision requiring prompt medical attention.

For those owners who feel a 24 hour collar or harness is necessary we recommend the following guidelines be followed:  Purchase a collar or harness used only when bathing your primate.  After bathing thoroughly dry the area and re-apply a clean dry collar or harness.  If you use a collar or visa versa you might want to bathe using a harness so you have full access to the covered area.  All areas that come in contact with the harness or collar should be inspected for signs of chafing or skin developing sores.  The collar or harness should be clean at all times.   Regular washing and disinfecting will reduce bacteria growth.  Having more than one harness or collar available allows you to rotate use easily.  Check the fit of the collar or harness when you apply it to your primate.

If you should notice your primate tugging or scratching at any area around the collar or harness immediate inspection is necessary.  If you should notice a peculiar smell around the collar or harness remove it and inspect thoroughly and seek veterinarian help.

Our primates comfort and health must be given priority.  The time and expense spent to ensure both is our responsibility as primate owners.  If you have questions or comments about any of the information provided do not hesitate to contact Monkeyzone. We are always available for your concerns. does not directly deal with the sale of animals.

Copyright 1994 All rights reserved.  We or our content providers own all of the content on our website, including text, customized graphics, photographs, data, images, audio, video clips and software