Dog Collar vs. Harness: Which One is Better?

You notice there are more and more people using dog harnesses instead of collars, and now you are wondering which one is better?

Well, to see which product best suits your four-legged friend, you will need to answer two questions, how does your dog behave and what you are trying to achieve?

Below we will explain how a harness and a collar can be useful, and which one is suitable for your dog depending on your answer.

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Benefits of a Dog Collar

Dog on Collar
Caption : Dog on a Collar
  • It can hold your dog’s identification tag.
    You can hang your dog’s ID tag on the collar, meaning people can easily reach out to you if your four-legged friend is lost. Though you might argue that microchip can help, you will need the person to take your dog to a vet clinic or a shelter to have them scanned, which people are less likely to do because there is a good chance that they may treat dogs without a collar as stray dogs.

    While you can also use a dog GPS tracker to locate your canine, some devices can only track up to a certain distance. There are also GPS trackers with unlimited tracking range, but they will require a subscription. Unless you are happy to pay for it, a collar with an ID tag is probably the best option.

  • It is ideal for dogs who hate wearing a harness.
    Some dogs are very reluctant to wear a harness as it covers a larger area of their body and makes them uncomfortable. And that is when a collar can come in handy.
  • It is easy to use.
    It is easier to put on and take off compared to a harness, which is great as sometimes you only want to quickly keep your dog on a leash inside the house without any hassles. 

Benefits of a Dog Harness

Dog on Harness
Caption : Dog on a Harness
  • It provides you with better control over your dog.
    Dogs have prey drive, and they love to go after everything they see, particularly when it comes to chasing squirrels, rabbits, and birds, and I’m sure you can relate. With a dog harness, it allows you to redirect your dog’s movement, and keep things that can trigger their prey drive out of their sight, hence safer.
  • It can prevent neck injuries.
    Another benefit of using a dog harness is that it can avoid unwanted neck injuries, especially if your dog is a puller. The reason is that it can distribute the strain across their body and chest instead of their neck when they tug.
  • It gives you the ability to train your dog.
    It is a great tool to train your dog how to walk well on the leash. It allows you to teach your furkid not to pull, not to lunge at other animals, as well as to keep them from jumping up on people. And thanks to the design, it can discourage undesirable behavior without having to cause them to choke.
  • It is a great tool to deal with escape artists.
    Some dog breeds are known to be escape artists, which they will try to slip out of their collar. And there are harnesses designed to deal with this problem to minimize the risk of them running themselves into danger.
  • It allows you to assist your dog.
    Many harnesses come with a top handle, which can be very helpful if your furry friend needs a little bit of assistance to get into the car or to go over obstacles when going on a hike. Also, some harnesses can support dogs with mobility issues due to age or injuries.
  • It can prevent tangling.
    Because of where the leash attachment on a harness is situated, it can prevent your dog from being tangled up in the leash, hence avoid injuries. 

Which One is Right for Your Dog? A collar or a harness?

Now, you know the benefits of using a collar and a harness, so how do you choose?

Remember the questions that we asked you earlier?

You need to understand how your dog behaves on the leash and what you are trying to achieve. And depending on your answer, below will conclude which one is right for your dog. 

Your Dog's Behavior / Activity Collar Harness
Has good leash manners Yes Yes
Calm Yes Yes
Loves pulling No Yes
Lunges at other animals or people No Yes
Jumps up on people No Yes
Easily distracted No Yes
Requires more training No Yes
Tries to escape No Yes
Traveling in the car No Yes
Walking Yes Yes
Running No Yes
Hiking No Yes
Rock Climbing and Rappelling No Yes
Biking No Yes
Skijoring No Yes