Dog Harness vs Collar: Which is Better?

Comparing the difference between dog harness and dog collars with 2 dogs

The debate between dog harnesses and collars has been ongoing for years, leaving pet owners wondering which option is best for their furry companions. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each, helping you make an informed decision for your pet’s safety and comfort.

What is a Dog Collar?

  • Traditional choice for pet owners
  • Worn around the dog’s neck
  • Offers control and identification
  • Wide variety of styles and materials
  • Can cause injury in some cases

Dog collars are a common and traditional choice for many pet owners. They are worn around the dog’s neck and provide a means of control and identification. Collars come in a wide range of styles, materials, and sizes to accommodate different breeds and preferences. However, in some cases, collars can cause injury or discomfort to dogs, especially if they have a tendency to pull or have underlying health issues.

What is a Dog Harness?

  • Worn around the dog’s chest and shoulders
  • Distributes pressure evenly
  • Can help with control and training
  • Reduces risk of injury
  • May be more comfortable for some dogs

A dog harness is designed to be worn around the chest and shoulders, distributing pressure evenly across the body. This design can help improve control, especially for dogs that pull or are still in training. Harnesses can also reduce the risk of injury, making them an ideal choice for dogs with health issues or those prone to pulling. Some dogs may find a harness more comfortable than a collar.

Benefits of a Dog Collar

  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Offers control for well-behaved dogs
  • Familiar and widely available
  • Can hold identification tags
  • Suitable for dogs with sensitive skin

For dogs that are well-behaved and don’t pull on the lead, a collar can provide sufficient control. Collars are easy to put on and take off, making them a convenient choice for everyday use. Additionally, they can hold identification tags, ensuring that your pet can be easily identified if they become lost. Collars are a familiar choice and are widely available in a range of styles and materials, including options for dogs with sensitive skin.

Benefits of a Dog Harness

  • Provides better control for strong pullers
  • Reduces the risk of injury
  • Ideal for training purposes
  • Can provide additional support for older dogs
  • May be more comfortable for some dogs

Harnesses offer a number of benefits, especially for dogs that tend to pull on the lead. They provide better control, reducing the risk of injury and making them ideal for training purposes. Harnesses can also provide additional support for older or injured dogs, offering a more comfortable option than collars for some pets.

Which is Better: Dog Harness or Collar?

  • Consider your dog’s size, breed, and temperament
  • Assess your dog’s specific needs
  • Take into account any health issues or concerns
  • Consult with a professional, if necessary
  • Trial both options to determine the best fit

Ultimately, the choice between a dog harness and collar comes down to your dog’s specific needs and preferences. Factors such as size, breed, and temperament should all be considered, as well as any health issues or concerns. If you’re unsure which option is best for your dog, consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for guidance. It can also be helpful to trial both options, observing your dog’s comfort and behaviour, to determine the best fit.


Both dog harnesses and collars have their unique advantages, and the choice between them depends on your dog’s individual needs and preferences. Assessing your pet’s behaviour, size, breed, and any health concerns can help guide your decision. Additionally, consulting with a veterinarian or professional dog trainer can provide valuable insight into the best choice for your pet. Ultimately, the well-being and comfort of your dog should be the top priority when deciding between a harness and a collar. By carefully considering your pet’s needs and preferences, you can make an informed decision that ensures their safety, happiness, and overall quality of life.

Dr. Sara Lam

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