Dog Collars and Harnesses: Which is Best for your Dog?

If you’ve been around dogs for a long time, you’ve definitely walked a dog that tugged on the leash very hard at some point. They pull at the tension, sometimes choking on their collar, and you would think that having a harness will fix the issue.

You may be right, but there are important factors to take into account before deciding whether to use a collar or a harness.

There are many fantastic dog collars and harnesses available for training, so how do you know whether you want a collar or a harness?  Which is the better option for your dog? Check out this article to know which one suits your dog the best.

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Dog Collars and Harnesses: Which is Best?

There’s no one definitive answer whether dog collars or harnesses are best. It all depends on your priorities, the form of your dog’s body, and personal interest.

Collars and harnesses are used and owned by many professional trainers. For the most portion, We prefer well-fitting and comfortable harnesses. There is no one-size-fits-all option, so let’s look at why a collar or harness could be best for you and your dog.

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You might prefer to use a dog collar instead of a harness if:

Your dog is sensitive to pressure on her sides or shoulder blades. Any dogs are very sensitive to the pressure of a belt or are afraid of the harness falling over their heads. Although you should focus on getting your dog used to the feel of a harness, a collar might be a safer choice in this case.

Your dog has an odd body shape, similar to that of a greyhound, and it is difficult to find the right fit harness. Although harnesses, such as the SureFit Harness, are extremely adjustable for unusually shaped dogs, they may be difficult to fit correctly at first, and a collar can be more secure.

Your dog is well-trained, so there is no need for the additional ease of a harness. A dog that does not pull on the leash will not be hurt by the pressure of a collar.

We suggest using a collar with Barley in training environments and a harness while running, hiking, or otherwise enjoying ourselves.

You might prefer to use a dog harness instead of a collar if:

Your dog pulls on the leash, and the collar strain can cause harm to her trachea or larynx. While a typical back-clip harness helps your dog to pull more quickly, it also prevents her throat from tracheal collapse. Purchase a front-clip harness such as the Freedom Harness, or a head halter to use when teaching the dog to walk professionally beside you.

Remember that no tool will teach your dog how to walk politely on leash. Only training can do that!

Your dog is an escape artist and can quickly wiggle out of collars. Some dogs pull out of correctly fitted collars, creating a major safety risk near roads or in the wilderness.

Check out martingale collars or the Ruffwear Webmaster harness for Houidini dogs. Martingale collars tighten to a predetermined amount when there’s pressure on them, making them harder to escape. The Ruffwear Webmaster has two straps behind the front legs, making it almost impossible to wriggle out of.

Your dog is on the smaller side. Tiny dogs can be quite fragile, and a harness is a safer option. Small dogs are at higher risk for tracheal collapse, and you might not notice their pulling as much as with a large dog who drags you down the street.

The Mesh Wrap N Go Harness is an extra-comfy and extra-secure option. Its velcro is incredibly strong, keeping your pup safe – but keep an eye out to ensure you don’t Velcro her hair into it!

Your dog, like pugs, boxers, and bulldogs, has a short snout. These dogs are especially prone to overheating, and any air constriction induced by collar pressure can be dangerous. These dogs should still be walked in a nice, comfortable collar that relieves pressure on their necks.

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You’re involved in a heat activity or movement. And if your dog walks well on a leash, it’s safer to use a harness if you’re going on an off-leash run, hike, or other major adventure. A decent harness that does not limit shoulder movement can keep your dog secure when doing intensive activity. Whether you’re off-leash, you should use a collar.

If your dog is pulling you in some way, such as in canicross or skijoring, make sure you have a harness designed for this purpose. Harnesses built for pulling are not the same as your average walking harness.

A well-fitting harness is typically a safe bet. I never use a belt on a dog if the dog is afraid of it, we can’t find a harness that works perfectly, or the dog has an injury (such as a rash on her stomach) that makes harnesses uncomfortable.

Otherwise, in my opinion, the advantages of harnesses often exceed the advantages of collars.

Best Training Collars to Buy for your Dog

1. Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar

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For dog owners who want an alternative to a standard shock collar, this collar from Educator is perfect. It relies on “blunt” stimulation technology instead of using a “sharp” static shock, which has an effect that feels more like a hard tap. This is characterised by the instructor as less stressful for dogs, but equally successful in encouraging them to comply. It also has a Pavlovian Tone function (named for the famous study of conditioning), where dogs learn to respond to the sound rather than the stimulus itself before the stimulation.

An ergonomic, stopwatch-style controller is also part of the Educator E-Collar, which also controls a tracking light to help keep your dog visible after dark. Shoppers agree that the whole kit is well crafted and particularly useful for pet owners of super-smart dogs who are still dealing with some dangerous behaviours.

2. WOLFWILL Humane No-Shock Remote Dog Training Collar

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Not all are drawn to the shock factor of certain training shock collars. That is understandable, and for pet owners who want to encourage healthy behaviour, but are concerned about causing their dog pain, there are other choices. This Wolfwill collar uses tones and vibrations exclusively to provide input to your dog and is still highly successful. There are 16 strength levels of the vibration feature, and the collar works at a range of up to 660 yards. The transmitter is built with blind users in mind, made with touch-distinguished buttons, but the device is not specific to seeing-eye dog owners.

Customers agree that the product works exactly as described, and does a fantastic job of getting dogs to avoid jumping on tables, chasing squirrels, and exhibiting various other behavioural problems. They also like that since it only uses vibration and sound, and it does not have the annoying prongs that are typical to other training collars.

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The Best Five Escape-Proof Dog Harnesses

1. CosyMeadow Escape-Proof Dog Harness

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Since the chest strap is made to fit behind your dog’s rib cage, the CosyMeadow Escape-Proof Harness depends on a clever build to keep your dog safe in his harness. This makes it more difficult for the dog to free himself by sliding his elbows out.

Made with a combination of nylon webbing and neoprene, the CosyMeadow Harness is a very secure-fitting harness. It also has tough components to ensure your dog’s protection, such as heavy-duty quick-release buckles and welded stainless metal rings.

The CosyMeadow Harness is built to be a “no-pull” harness with a handle to help you control your dog in tight spaces or assist him with navigating obstacles. The stitching has reflective thread to help make your dog visible in low-light environments.

2. Ruffwear – Web Master Harness

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The Web Master Harness from Ruffwear is one of the safest options for owners of escape-prone dogs. This harness is very secure while also being simple to put on and remove, thanks to three separate straps that encircle your pup’s chest and belly.

When dealing with an escape-prone dog, having a secure fit is half the battle, but the Web Master Harness makes it possible with an additional belly band and five different points of adjustment. The belts are also padded to keep your dog secure but also spreading out the force of the leash.

On the top of the belt is a padded handle, and an aluminium, webbing-reinforced attachment ring provides a safe spot to tie the leash. To make the dog more recognisable, reflective stitching is used on the harness.

Since the Ruffwear Web Master Harness isn’t machine washable, you’ll have to hand wash it and air dry it.


The bottom line is that deciding between a collar and a harness is a matter of personal preference. Your choice can change based on the day and your activity. We suggest to use Ruffwear Front Range harness while hiking, on casual walks, and in Nosework class.

However, when we are in agility or obedience classes and working on leash training, we use his flat buckle harness.

What are your thoughts? It is preferable, harnesses or collars?

Your dog is on the smaller side. Small dogs can be very delicate, so a harness is a better choice. Small dogs are more likely to suffer from tracheal collapse, and you do not feel their pulling as much as you may for a big dog dragging you down the street.

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