This is a question we get asked all the time. Let’s see if we can help solve the dilemma of figuring out what’s best: a collar or a harness?
What Is Better?
The real question you should be asking yourself is: “What is better for my dog?”
Every dog is different, and what may work best for one may not work as well for another. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and each has their own distinct personality. Evaluating these factors is the first step in determining whether a collar or harness is best.
In this article we’ll go into some of the pros and cons of collars or harnesses. At the end, we want you to be informed and most importantly, be confident and happy about what you choose for your dog.
Advantages and disadvantages of a collar
A collar is a great option for dogs that do not pull on a leash. You know your dog’s temperament the best. If you’re confident that they won’t lunge or pull, then a collar is a good choice for your dog. For smaller dogs, you need to be especially sensitive to pulling as you do not want to use one for walking if your dog has any tracheal issues. A collar can be more comfortable for your dog, especially in a climate like ours where a harness may feel stifling in the summer (Note: Mesh harnesses offer a breathable alternative). Finally, a collar can carry your dog’s identification, rabies, and license tags.
Advantages and disadvantages of a harness
For a dog that tends to pull or lunge, a harness can be helpful while you are trying to correct the issue. Harnesses can discourage pulling or lunging, but you are unable to get your dog to eventually stop pulling, we recommend enlisting the help of a professional trainer.
As mentioned above, if they lunge ahead with a collar, it can put dangerous strain on their neck and throats. Certain breeds may benefit more from using a harness for this reason. A toy breed like a poodle or Chihuahua might be better off in a harness since they have delicate necks. Short muzzle breeds like pugs or bulldogs will also benefit due to their predisposition to breathing complications and even tracheal collapse.
Finally, smaller dogs may benefit from a dog harness as they are less likely to slip off than a harness.
To Collar or To Harness?
Like we said at the beginning, it’s a complicated question and dogs need to be evaluated on a one by one basis. The choice may also vary depending on what stage of life your dog is in, so although there is no exact answer we can give you, we hope that we’ve provided you with enough information to make the best decision for your dog.