December 20, 2021
Dog Collars and Harnesses – Pros vs. Cons

There is always a debate about dog collars and harnesses, but people have different opinions about them. So, here we’ll discuss the pros and cons of collars and harnesses so that you can decide which one is best for your dog. Remember, both are good options because some dogs feel well in collars and others in harnesses.

Dog collars have remained essential training equipment for decades, but now harnesses are becoming more popular than collars. Due to these changing trends, new pet owners are confused about which one is best for their canine companion. So here we’ll compare collars and harnesses in terms of their pros and cons so that you can choose the best one.

Pros and Cons of Using Dog Collars

Regardless of the dog breed you have, you need to take them for a walk. You can use two types of leash attachments. One is a dog collar, and the second one is a harness. When choosing between these two, you need to ensure the safety and comfort of your dog. Let’s discuss the pros of collars first:

  • They’re available in all shapes and sizes
  • Collars are easier and more convenient to put on
  • When dogs wear a collar, they tend to be more comfortable
  • Collars are good for a well-behaved pooch that doesn’t jump and pull around
  • Collars can hold your dog’s personal information, like identification, city tags, and owner name

When using dog collars, you can leave them on your dog all the time. As you can attach identification tags with collars, it means whenever your dogs are escaped lost, people can help your dog get back home.

Cons of Dog Collars

  • They’re not the right training tool
  • There is always a risk of neck injury
  • They can create unnecessary pressure on the eyes
  • Dogs struggling with respiratory conditions shouldn’t wear collars
  • Due to neck pressure, they can even contribute to long-term eye and ear damage

So, when dog collars are not used properly, they can lead to neck injuries. Some dogs tend to pull more, so the prolonged pressure on the neck can result in neck injury. Moreover, dogs can lose the side of the collar and escape. So, due to that reason, the collars can’t ensure the safety of
your dogs.

Some dogs pull constantly, so for such dogs, collars are not safe. Excessive pulling can reduce the airflow. Don’t use collars on toy breeds like Maltese, Poodle, Yorkshire terrier, Chihuahuas and Chinese Crested.

When to Use Dog Collars?

When you go for a short walk, you need to use collars. If your pet is comfortable wearing the collar, you can go on long walks as well.

Pros and Cons of Dog Harnesses

Let’s discuss the pros first:

  • It is a great training tool
  • Harnesses provide more control over dogs
  • Reduce the risk of neck injuries due to pulling
  • When you use it as a training tool, it prevents leash pulling
  • There are only a few chances of your dogs getting tangled up in the leash

Harnesses come in different shapes and sizes, so they’re good for extra small and large dogs. Harnesses are different from collars, and they put pressure on the dog’s chest, upper back, and shoulders. It means the pressure is dispersed over a large surface area. Therefore, you can enjoy
more control. You can use a no-pull harness to avoid or reduce pulling. The leash tension will force the dog to turn back towards the owner whenever the dog tries to pull.

By using a harness, you don’t put pressure on the dog’s neck. So, the harness is a great choice for dogs with neck problems. A harness can prevent issues like restricted airways and collapsing trachea.

Since harnesses are fastened more securely around the dog’s body, so they’re good for preventing accidents. When wearing collars, dogs can easily slip out and escape to someone else’s yard or collide with a running car. Therefore, for more safety and security, you should use a harness.

Cons of Dog Harnesses

  • Dogs don’t like wearing a harness, so first of all, you need to ensure your dogs that they’ll feel comfortable in the harness
  • Dogs take time to get used to harnesses
  • There is no place to add ID tags in the harness
  • Dog’s long fur can be tangled around the harness straps, and it can be painful
  • Harnesses can irritate the underside of your dog and cause major discomfort

Harnesses are not convenient because they take more time to fasten than collars. More importantly, harnesses are bulkier than collars, and they may be uncomfortable for dogs. A Poor-fitting harness can put pressure on the wrong area, and it can be detrimental to your dog’s health. It’s tricky to put a harness on nervous dogs because they don’t like putting their heads through it.

When to Use Dog Harness?

In the following situations, you must use a harness without looking for any other option.

When Your Dog Breed Is Brachycephalic

These dogs have flatter faces, and they’re more prone to respiratory issues. These issues can be managed better by using a dog harness. Examples of this type of dog breed are French bulldogs and Bulldogs.

When the Dog Has a History of Tracheal Collapse

This medical condition further leads to cough and difficulty breathing. When you use a collar, it applies pressure on the neck and worsens the condition.

When There Is a Risk for Spinal Problems

Some dog breeds have long bodies, and they’re prone to slipped disks. So, when you use a harness, you can take pressure back of the neck and prevent further damage.

When the Dog Has a History of Orthopedic Disease

When dogs have a long history of the orthopedic disease, they find it difficult to walk when they wear dog collars. But when they wear a harness, they can easily move around.

Dog Harness vs. Collar – Which One Is Better

Most pet owners prefer dog harnesses over dog collars because they provide some benefits over traditional dog collars, such as:

1. Better Control

You need better control over your dogs when you walk around busy streets and parks. Luckily, harnesses provide you the much-needed control.

2. Discourage Pulling

When dogs wear a harness and try to pull but don’t get any advantage, it will discourage the pulling behavior. When dogs put on a collar and pull, they move forward, and it encourages them to pull.

3. Stop Your Dog From Jumping

Some dogs jump on people, and harnesses can be the best option to stop this aggressive behavior. More importantly, there is no risk of choking.

4. Perfect Choice for Puppies

Puppies can easily tangle up when they wear collars or a regular dog leash. But it will not happen when they put on a harness.

5. You Can Control Dogs That Can be Easily Distracted

When you hike with your dog, and they’re distracted by anything that comes around, it can result in injury. So, if you want to prevent your dogs from being distracted, use a dog harness.

6. They Don’t Come Off Accidentally

It’s perhaps the biggest advantage of a dog harness over the dog collar. When dogs pull so hard, the collars will come off, and dogs can easily escape. But when you put harness, the pulling will not have any impact on your dog.

Things to Consider When Choosing Harness or Collar for Dogs

You can’t choose a collar or harness based on your personal preference. You need to choose one based on the following things.

Comfort and Convenience

If you want your dog to be on a leash every time, then get a collar. Collars are easy to put and remove. They’re comfortable to wear. Moreover, they’re good if your dog remains at home all the time. If your dog spends more time outside, then buy a harness to restrict movement and

Size of Your Dog

For bigger dogs, the harness is the best choice because of the control it offers. For large and aggressive dog breeds, a collar is not a good choice.

Dog’s Personality

If your dog is well-behaved, then don’t restrict his freedom and movement and use a collar. On the other hand, if your dog always finds a way to run away, use a harness. More importantly, you can use a harness as a training tool. When you feel your dog is properly trained, you can switch to a dog collar to see which one is best for your dog.

All these factors can help you choose the best equipment for your dog.

Final Words

After reading the pros and cons of collars and harnesses, you must have found the right choice for your dog. If you want to know our opinion, we would prefer harness over dog collars. But you need to consider your dog breed before making any decision. Whatever decision you make, ensure that you choose the right equipment keeping your dog’s behavior and needs in mind.

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