Dog Harness vs. Collar: Which is the Better Option?

Dog Harness or Collar: Which Should You Choose?

Dog owners often have an internal debate on which is better for their dog, a dog harness or dog collar. When searching the internet you'll be faced with a little over 19 million search results. The amount of information on the web that compares the pros and cons of using either a dog harnesses or dog collar, the most common answer to this question is - it's complicated.

Why is it complicated? There are a lot of things to consider before deciding on which is the better option for your dog. Factors such as breed, age, behavior and environment should be taken into account when deciding if a dog harness or collar is the right choice for your pooch. 

Pug on a couch

Breed and Build

Dog harnesses aren't just for show, they provide health benefits for certain breeds. Pugs and French Bulldogs have a flat face which makes it difficult for them to breathe due to their narrow nostrils. Chihuahuas are another breed that has can suffer from breathing problems as a result of their facial anatomy. Harnesses are a safer option for those breeds and they tend to be more comfortable wearing a dog harness as opposed to a collar. 

Another dog breed that benefits from wearing a dog harness is the Dachshund. Their long spine makes them susceptible to Intervertebral Disc Disease, or IVDD, a condition that causes back pain, and in severe cases, paralysis.

Other dog breeds that do well with dog harnesses are Miniature Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers. Wearing a harness allows them to breathe better and provides comfort especially while on walks.

Pulling and Jumping

It's no secret that dogs like going on walks. They get to explore the world around them, take in all the different smells, it's a great way to socialize younger dogs and get them acclimated a new environment. If you have a dog that wears a collar and tends to pull or jump while on walks, it can be damaging to their neck, especially when they get excited.

Harnesses can help prevent certain behaviors. Don't think just because you have your dog on a harness that all pulling and jumping will stop immediately. Proper training and the right behavior modification techniques can help change their behaviors. Remember that dogs act on instinct and respond to commands. Working on correcting bad habits and behaviors early can save you time, and money in the future. 

Woman Holding Measuring Tape

Harnesses & Collars Need to Be Fitted Correctly

As a dog owner, you probably have a story or two of when your dog escaped out of their collar or harnesses. This can occur if the collar or harness is not fitted correctly.

A properly fitted collar should allow you to insert two fingers just under the collar. Dog harnesses, when properly placed on your dog, should allow them to move all limbs without being restricted. If your dog can easily back out of its harness, it is too loose. 

Before purchasing our dog harnesses, we highly recommend you measure your dog, twice, according to our size guide. When measuring your dog's chest, measure directly behind their front legs for the most accurate measurement. 

Puppies and Harnesses

Puppy owners tend to spend a lot of money on supplies before and after taking their new fur baby home. One of the most commonly purchased items for puppies is dog collars. Collars are beneficial because they allow you to place their dog ID on them and the majority of the time, puppies' necks can be smaller than an extra small dog collar.

Puppies will pull when learning to walk. Wearing a harness or collar won't prevent this behavior. However, a proper training regimen and positive reinforcement will help to eliminate their pulling behavior.

We hope this article helped you start to think about what is the best option for your dog. Making your decision on whether a dog harness or collar is better for your dog requires you to consider multiple variables.

Our dog harness sets are great if you are starting to train your dog to walk properly, or a great accessory for your well-trained pooch. Be sure to check out our page on wethrift for the latest promo codes and savings.


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