For almost every pup, the best part of their day is their regular walks. There is no better way to give your pup a treat than to make their favourite part of the day just a little bit more comfortable. The question is: which is better - a dog harness or collar?
Well, the answer to this is that it depends!
In the battle of dog harness vs collar, it is important to know that collars and dog harnesses are useful for different purposes, and depend a lot on the kind of dog you have. Let’s find out when you should use a collar and when you should use a dog harness!
Characteristics of Collars
For most first time pet parents, collars are the go-to dog walking solution.
They’re simple, easy to put on and are generally a great way to add some pizzazz to your dog’s regular outfit, since collars can be worn for much longer periods of time. Plus, collars are also a great place to put some identification just in case your dog goes missing.
However, some collars can pull off easily, especially if they’re not the right size for your dog. This can make for some hairy situations, particularly for more eager dogs who pull a lot more on their restraints.
While collars like choke and prong collars are sometimes used as a means of training, they are built to cause discomfort when a dog pulls on their leash and are not recommended. Instead, use positive reinforcement and plenty of training time indoors before you send them outside. Red Dingo Martingale’s Choke Prevention Dog Collar is also a great alternative that’s comfortable and safe.
If your pup has any respiratory issues, you may also want to avoid collars as they can worsen your dog’s condition. In this case, a harness would probably be a much better choice.
Characteristics of Harnesses
Compared to a collar, harnesses wrap around your dog’s front legs and upper body. They’re great tools for teaching your dog how to behave while on leash and give their walkers a lot more control. Thankfully, even for dogs that pull on their leash, an easy walk harness shouldn’t cause choking or discomfort.
For more delicate and smaller breeds of dogs, a no pull dog harness is also a great way to avoid neck injuries as they pull on your pup’s upper body rather than just at their neck. This makes it a lot more comfortable for your pup while on walks. Red Ding’s Padded Dog Harness is a super snug and comfortable dog harness that’s easy to put on and take off, making preparing for walks a piece of cake! And if you want an added sense of security while walking your small dog, try FREEDOM No-Pull Harness & Leash (Reflective Red) that can be helpful while you’re taking night walks.
As mentioned, a no pull harness is much better for dogs with breathing problems, especially for breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs. Collars can also sometimes put too much pressure on your pup’s neck, so a nice harness is always a good tool to have on hand.
Coming in almost all sizes, Sputnik Harness + Leash Set for dogs is a steal! For puppies just learning about leash handling, this no pull harness is comfortable and comes with a control loop that tightens gently around your pup’s chest to discourage pulling - making training a breeze!
Harnesses like FREEDOM No-Pull Harness & Leash can be front-attaching or back-attaching, which are both useful for different breeds. Some harnesses may also have either both clips for front and back attachment, or a head halter which is a strap that goes around their neck and snout.
For larger dogs that often lead from the front, front-attaching harnesses are great as they allow walkers to have much needed control. It also gives your pup more guidance, helping to manage their pulling on their leash.
On the other hand, back-attaching harnesses are great for smaller breeds of dogs. Because of how small some of these dogs can be, back-attaching dog harnesses don’t put a lot of pressure on your poor pup. In fact, front-attaching harnesses can sometimes be painful for small dogs.
Dog Harness vs Collar?
In general, if you’re able to get both a collar and harness for your dog, you should.
Collars are important for allowing your pup to have identification tags. This way, if your dog ever bolts out the door, you know there’s a reliable way for people to identify your dog, other than through their microchips.
But for the most part, harnesses are a lot more comfortable walking tools, for both you and your dog. However, harnesses shouldn’t be used for daily wear as they can get uncomfortable over time. To maximise your pup’s comfort, make sure to get an easy to adjust harness like Haqihana’s Multicolor Dog Harness that adjusts at 5 different points to fit snugly on your dog.
Most of all, make sure to train your dog in leash etiquette as it’ll save you a ton of trouble, especially if you have a curious pup who’s always sniffing around and going toward other people. You want to have plenty of control over your pup at all times, to avoid any incidents!
The choice between a collar or dog harness is an important one to make as it impacts your pup a lot. Make sure to take careful account of your pup’s characteristics, and their likes and dislikes. You and your dog will be out on comfortable walks in no time!
Some of our GDP crew particularly enjoy the Fuzzyard Step-in Dog Harness range because of its comfort and it's easy to wash. Otherwise, the cuteness of the range itself is worth a look!
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Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog.