Collar Vs. Harness for Dogs – The Long Running Dispute

There has always been a long-running dispute over whether to buy a dog collar or a dog harness.

So which one is better?

To be honest, there is not a definite winner as there are more than one aspects to be considered while investing in these products. But here is our attempt to get to a conclusion over Collar Vs. Harness for Dogs.

Well, it’s not about whether you like to see your dog in a collar or a harness. There is more to it than just the visible appearance. Both dog collar and harness serve different means. They both provide various features to the dog.

A dog collar has been used for the dogs for hundreds of years. The oldest dog collar found by archaeologists in Waterford city was from the 12th century. Which also tells us that dogs have been men’s companions for years.

While on the other hand, dog harness is the product of the technological revolution. After being men’s companions for hundreds of years, the dog breeds have also evolved to be more human-friendly.

As a result of cross-breeding, many apartment dog breeds have evolved. Some of these breeds require more care and comfort compared to those of their ancestors.


Collar Vs. Harness for Dogs

Collar Vs. Harness for Dogs

Let us discuss out the factors that will help you to find a solution to whether invest in a dog collar or a harness.

Medical Conditions

Below are the medical conditions to consider while choosing an accessory for your dog.

Respiratory Problems

Some dogs suffer from respiratory problems. A respiratory problem refers to breathing issues in dogs.

i.e for Pugs and Bulldogs.

A dog collar, when pulled, puts excessive pressure on the neck of the dog. It is designed such way to stop the dog from chasing away and pull you towards it.

While a dog collar may or may not stop the dog from pulling, it will surely create a breathing problem for your dog. Especially if it is already suffering from respiratory issues.

Thus a dog harness might be a better solution in this case.

Collapsing Trachea

medical conditions

Collapsing Trachea is a condition commonly seen in small breeds. It’s a chronic disease. Here, the dog suffers from sudden dry coughing.

If suffering from Collapsing Trachea, a dog collar may worsen the situation and make the problem severe. Thus you should look for a dog harness. Choose a harness that does not put excessive pressure around the neck of the dog.

Mobility Needs

Many senior and large breed dogs suffer from joint and bone issues like arthritis, hip dysplasia etc. Here, such bone related problems cause problems in mobility of the dog.

As the condition worsens, the dog becomes weaker and loses the ability to move independently. To support such dog, you can use the mobility harness available in the market. Such harness supports the aching body parts of the dog and helps them in mobility.

Mostly, the pet owner has to lift such dog harness and help the dog to move by supporting its aching joints.

The behavior of the Dog

The behavior of the Dog

Mostly, the dogs are cheerful and calm natured creatures. But often some of them needs special training in order to make them people friendly.

Tends to Pull the Leash

How pleasant is your experience when you take your dog for a walk? Is your dog really a good boy that walks beside you calmly? Or does he outburst on any other dog that he sees outside?

Some dogs are born chasers. From an annoying cat to a pesky squirrel, they want to chase them all. The moment such creature comes in their sight they are going to chase it and of course pull you towards it forcing you to pull the leash.

Now pulling the leash is natural in order to control the dog. But if your dog is wearing a dog collar, he might be in danger. A dog collar, when pulled, puts extensive pressure on the dog’s neck.

Large dogs, that wield a considerable amount of strength, can also get hurt pretty bad if the dog walker puts extensive pressure on the leash.

Sometimes, the dog walker himself can get hurt by the pulling of the dog. With pulling of powerful dogs, the arm muscles can get hurt quite badly. The shoulder muscles are also susceptible to long-term issues if you deal with a puller dog every day.

Thus for dogs that pull, a dog harness is a must. Especially a no pull or front leash harness. Such harness is great to train your dog to walk beside you and obey your commands.

Not Friedly towards Strangers

Everyone loves a people-friendly dog. And most dogs love to be around people, such as family dogs like Labrador. But some breeds, especially the guard dogs like Rottweiler can be rough around strangers. These dogs need to be trained to be calm around unknown people.

Though they may not be a threat to other people. But because of their dominant body structure, people are obviously going to get afraid. And sometimes such dog may end up hurting someone unknowingly.

To train these dogs, a no pull dog harness is a must.

Calm Walker and People Friendly

For the good boys that keep calm around strangers and kids, you don’t need to worry much. Just a dog collar will do fine.

Although do choose a voguish one!

Based on Purpose

control the dog effectively

Here are some of the purposes that you might want to choose the harness for.

For All-Day Use

Most high-end dog harness comes with soft padding to keep your dog comfortable. They also come with a breathable design for enough airflow. But the truth is that no harness is great for all-day use. Harnesses are like an extra burden on the dog’s body.

They might be comfortable for a short duration but for a long time, they are annoying for the dog. They do not allow the dog’s skin to breath easily and hence may produce an itchy feeling.

For all-day use, a dog collar works just fine. They are also great to tie your dog as they make the pup seem like there is no extra burden on its body.

For Walking

Now if your dog is not a puller dog then the no pull or front leash harness is out of the question. Yet you have to make sure that your dog and you both enjoy the walking session.

Such a functionality is provided by the back leash harness. Here the leash is attached to the top of dog’s back. The back leash harness gives more control to the dogs. Hence it allows the dog to walk or run without much hassle.

On the other hand, the collar is also a good choice to walk your dog. But it does get pulled sometimes while running with your dog which can result in a less comfortable feeling for your dog.

Thus for walking purpose, our preference is a back leash dog harness.

For Dogs with Long Fur

A harness covers the most of the front parts of the dog’s torso. Though it can be great for most dogs because of soft padding and so on. But the most harnesses are not great for dogs with long fur. Such dog’s long fur gets tangled in the dog harness. And as a result, causes discomfort for your pup.

Thus for a dog with long fur, if possible, do use a dog collar. And if you need to use a dog harness, make sure you use it for short sessions.

Comparison between Dog Collar & Dog Harness

Now, let us take a look at a few characteristics of dog collar & dog harness

Dog Collar

dog harness that compliments
  • Great for all-day use. Gives comfort and is less annoying for the dog that does not like the sensation of a harness.
  • You can use it to tie your dog to any place.
  • Hassle-free to put on and does not need to take off often.
  • You can use it to carry the dog id tag.
  • A dog collar is great for all the dogs regardless of the size of their fur.

Dog Harness

  • Great for dogs with a short nose, like a Bulldog or a Pug.  These breeds have a thicker neck and hence can slip off from a collar.
  • It takes time for a dog to get used to wearing a harness.
  • Great for walking and running.
  • A front leash harness is great to train your dog to walk under your command.
  • Large dogs like to lead during a walk, thus a front leash harness can be excellent.
  • While a back-leash harness is great for smaller breeds as they get enough control of themselves with such harness.
  • Not great for all-day use.
  • Most harnesses do not come with a spot to put a dog id tag.
  • A poorly fitting harness can cause cuts and wounds on the pup’s sensitive skin.
  • For medical purposes and for dogs that are suffering from bone issues, a dog harness can help significantly.

The Verdict

Whether to use a dog harness or a dog collar can be puzzling if you do not know what your pet needs.

We have tried to cover all the possible aspects of choosing between a collar and a harness. Firstly, determine your pet’s needs, then make a wise choice based on the requirements.

Though make sure to choose a quality product as no product can be reliable for your dog if it is not built precisely.

Do check out more on petlovesbest to make sure you invest in a quality product.

Meanwhile, if you need any kind of help with determining between a collar and a harness, let us know. Because at petlovesbest, we are always happy to help you!

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