Dog Harness vs. Dog Collar: Which Is Best For Your Furry Friend?

One thing is for sure with whatever type of dog you have: It has to go out for walks. During walks, you need to keep your dog on a leash if you don’t want to deal with a zigzagging or jumping dog. There are two types of leash attachments to use; dog harness and dog collar.

If you are not sure which of them is better or you want to switch things up, it is critical to know the pros and cons of both. Such information will help you know which is better for your furry friend and make an informed decision. Below is the information you need before choosing the better leash attachment for your dog.

What Is a Dog Harness?

A dog harness is equipment made of straps that surrounds the torso of a dog. The function of a harness is to lift, hold and guide the dog. A dog harness reduces the tension on the dog’s neck when it pulls and allows for free-breathing during walks.

Pros of Harnesses

If you have one of the many aggressive dogs, a dog harness is a better fit vis-a-vis a collar. Dog harnesses are associated with many benefits, as explained below.

Reduced pulling

Since harnesses cover the upper back, shoulders, and chest of your dog, they distribute pressure over a larger surface area. The dispersion of pressure gives you better control over your dog.

If you want to reduce pulling to a greater extent, you can opt for the no-pull harness. The no-pull harness works in a way that when the dog pulls the tension on the leash, it makes them look back at the owner. With such a harness, dogs cannot go forward unless when moving at a slow speed.

No Pressure on the Neck

A harness is fastened on the chest of a dog and not its neck. This prevents them from pressuring the trachea. Harnesses are, therefore, ideal for pets with restricted airways, collapsing tracheas, and neck problems.

With a harness, the possibility of occurrence of such issues is also low. If your dog has such a condition, you should look for an awesome dog harness and leash set.

More Secure

Harnesses fasten around the body of your dog more securely. When using harnesses, accidents are rare.

Unlike dog collars, dogs can slip out of and run to another person’s yard or into the traffic. The best dog harness securely fastens around your dog’s torso.

Cons of Harnesses

Dog harnesses might not be the best if you want your dog to be comfortable. Below are the reasons why you should not use dog harnesses on your dog.


Harnesses require a longer time to fasten. If you are using a dog harness for the first time, fastening might be a task for you. Dog collars, on the other hand, are slip-on and are easy to fasten.

Lack a Place for ID Tags

Most harnesses lack a place to carry dog tags. If yours doesn’t have a label, get a ring, sew it in the harness and use it as a tag. Alternatively, you could use both a harness and a collar with a label when taking your furry friend for a walk.


Harnesses are bulkier than dog collars. Their heaviness makes them uncomfortable for dogs.

Some dogs hate wearing harnesses and might become unruly whenever it’s time to wear it. Even for the few that agree to wear them, they took time to get used to wearing them.

Situations to Use a Dog Harness

Some situations require your dog to use a dog harness instead of a collar. You should use a dog harness if your furry friend is a brachycephalic breed.

This breed of dog has flatter faces. Flatter faces are associated with respiratory issues, which are managed by harnesses. Examples of dogs from this breed are bulldogs and French bulldogs.

If your best friend also has had a tracheal collapse before, you should use a dog harness on it. Tracheal collapse is a medical issue where the trachea folds in on itself.

By doing so, breathing becomes complicated, and the dog coughs severely. Using a collar on a dog that has experienced a tracheal collapse worsens the condition because the collar applies pressure on the trachea.

Lastly, consider using a dog harness if your dog breed has risk factors for spinal problems. Dogs from breeds with long bodies like dachshunds are more susceptible to the slipped risks. Using a harness to take pressure off the back and neck can help in preventing damage.

What Is a Dog Collar?

A dog collar is a material put around the dog’s neck. A dog might have a dog collar on for protection, fashion, restraint, or identification.

A collar can be in the form of a dog bandana collar or plain collar.  Collars can be harmful to the trachea if the dog pulls against the owner.

Pros of Dog Collars

Many dog owners prefer dog collars to dog harnesses because of the various benefits associated with them. If you are looking for a comfortable, convenient and durable leash attachment for your pooch, this is it.

More reasons for you to choose a dog collar are explained below. 


You can leave your dog with its collar on at all times. This is contrary to the case with dog harnesses which are only fastened during walks. Still, even if you don’t feel like leaving your dog with the collar on at all times, it is easier to fasten a dog collar than a harness.

Carry ID Tags

Nearly all dog collars come with metal rings. The metal rings are used to attach your pet’s identity, together with your phone number and address, in case it gets lost.

Cons of Dog Collars

As is with everything, dog collars too have a downside. They are no the best to use with some breeds of dogs as explained below.

Unsafe for Dogs With Medical Problems

If your dog has medical problems like spinal malformations, neck injuries, proposed eye, and glaucoma, don’t use a collar on it. If you have to use a collar, confirm with your vet whether it is safe for your pet to wear one.

Shouldn’t Be Used by Some Breeds

Dog collars are not recommendable to use on brachycephalic and toy breed. Examples of dogs in the brachycephalic breed include boxers, pugs, Boston terriers, French bulldogs, and bulldogs. Dogs falling under the toy breed include Chinese crested, chihuahuas, Italian greyhound, and Yorkshire terrier.

Situations to Use a Dog Collar

A dog collar is your better option if you are stepping outside with your dog quickly or if you are going for a short walk. If you find the green light to do so from your vet, feel free to go for long walks too with the collar.

So, Dog Harness or Dog Collar?

There is not a better option between the two. The decision of whether to use a dog collar or dog harness depends on the health and breed of your dog.

These, together with other factors like comfort and security, help in determining which leash attachment is suitable for your dog.

If you found this article helpful, there are more that could interest you. Check them out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!