Should I Use A Dog Collar or Harness?

Is your dog's harness or collar suitable for its needs and walking habits?

Pros and Cons Of Collar and Harness

Should you choose a dog collar or dog harness? If you find yourself in this dilemma, don’t worry. You are not alone; millions of dog owners are in the same situation. When it comes to what is best for your dog, you may wonder which is the best – a collar or a harness. The fact is that some dogs do better with a collar while others do best with a harness. Before making the choice, Lets go over some of the pros and cons of each of the options in order to choose the most suitable one for your dog.

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The Pros of Dog Collar

Collars are the usually used when walking a dog. They come in a wide range of styles. Some of them have been deliberately designed to limit or cause discomfort when a dog pulls on leash for training purposes. Commonly, a traditional collar that does not tighten is fine for dogs who do not have breathing problems. It may also be more comfortable for some dogs, especially if you plan on leaving it on all the time.

The standard collar is the most common option for dog owners, mainly because it is convenient – you can leave the collar on your dog at all times, and carry your dog’s identity tags. Also, if your dog has long hair, it can get caught in the harness. A collar does not have this problem.

Cons of Dog Collar

The main possible problem with collars comes when used for walks. Even a slight pull can cause injury to your dog’s neck, including damage to the trachea or their thyroid gland. Stronger pulling can cause damage to the neck bones and increase the pressure inside the head. Avoid collars particularly in dogs such as pugs, which have naturally larger and more protruding eyeballs, since any increased pressure in their head can risk causing damage to your eyes. Another great flaw of the collar is that it can contribute to neck injuries if not used properly. If the dog has a propensity to drag on the leash, protracted pressure on the neck can lead to injury. Also, if your dog is wearing a collar and abruptly start pursuing something, when he get to the ending of the strap he will be jerked back, putting all the stress on his neck.

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Pros of Dog Harness

A harness differs from a collar as it takes tension off your dog’s neck and distributes it either across the chest or back, depending on the design of the harness. The most important advantage of the harness is that it avoids injuring your dog’s trachea, especially if it has a tendency to pull the leash. Another advantage of the harness is that it gives you greater control over your dog – this is also a benefit if your dog is big or very active. There are many potential benefits of using a harness for lead walks. These include better control, lower risk of neck injury, discouraging pulling and helping in training. Especially for dogs that are always pulling with a collar on and changing to a harness causes the dog to get lifted up in the air which gets them no further forward, unlike pulling with a collar on where they can get their head down to move forward faster.

Cons of Dog Harness

On the con side of the harness, it does not provide much control if the dog has behavioural problems. These problems include pulling on the leash, jumping up or showing aggression.

There really are not many disadvantages to using harness, and some dogs do not like the feeling of harness! It is important  to find the right harness as it is the key to keeping your dog comfortable. Everyone knows that dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so it is impossible to find a one size fits all harness!

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Updated: May 15, 2017.

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