Collar vs. Harness: Which One Is Best For Your Dog?

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Is your dog a puller and constantly coughing? Does he chase after every squirrel or leaf that blows by? Collars and harnesses are tools to use for walking your dog but will not fix the problem of pulling. To properly teach your dog how to walk on a leash, you need to train your dog with positive reinforcement.

Maybe you just adopted a dog and headed to the store to get all the essentials. You froze in the dog accessory aisle with glazed-over eyes, staring at all the options. No matter what personality or breed of dog, there is a perfect harness for each one. Use these pros and cons to find it.

dog with collar


Collars are very popular and the original way to walk your dog. However, now there seem to be more cons for walking with one. Collars can be useful for identification. Choke and prong collars should never be used. They only inflict pain and a negative feeling towards walking. Positive reinforcement and proper training are the avenues to take with a dog who pulls.

– They are a way to identify your dog by attaching the ID tags with your number and dog’s name.

– They choke dogs that pull on a leash. The pulling can lead to neck issues.
– The pressure on the trachea can cause permanent damage. The constant pulling can cause a collapsed trachea with a raspy cough.
– Intense eye pressure on short-faced dogs like pugs. The pressure around the neck can make their eyes pop out!
– Not a useful training tool. The collar only pulls on the neck of the dog and does not allow for proper training when teaching the dog how to properly walk on a leash.
– Dogs can escape or slip out of them.

Front Latch Harness Dog


Walking dogs with a harness has increased as owners are becoming aware of the dangers of collars. There are multiple types of harnesses like a front clip, back clip, and head harness. They are better than a collar because they do not put pressure on the neck. Instead, a harness attaches around the torso and pulls on the body. The head harness attaches over the muzzle and gently turns the head of the dog to face you.

– Made of breathable and comfortable fabric.
– Designed to fit all shapes and sizes.
– Puts pressure on the body, not the neck.
– Allows your dog to breathe freely without constriction.
– Provides more control to keep your dog from jumping.
– Cannot escape or slip a harness. They are safer and are nearly impossible to escape.
– Great training tool. A harness does not reward pulling and allows you to start training a puppy correctly.

– Some dogs may take some time to adjust to the feeling of it on their body.

Rugged Dog Harness

Learn more about each type of harness at Vet Street by clicking here.

With all the choices out there, it can be hard to decide. Each dog is different and will require a different solution depending on size, manners, breed, and training. It is worth the effort to find the perfect harness so your dog can enjoy the walk without harm. No matter which you decide, be sure you attach identification tags in case your dog gets away.

If you are thinking you need tips on how to walk your dog properly, click below.
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Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who lives in West Michigan. Her horse and 3 dogs are her children. She loves to write and share her knowledge of equine and canine nutrition. In her spare time she likes to volunteer with animal rescues, camp with her husband and dogs, and trail ride with her horse.
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