When it comes to finding the perfect accessory for walking your dog there's always the debate between dog harnesses and dog collars. The question "which is better, collar or harness?" continues to be a hot topic of discussion with pet owners. In reality every dog is unique and there is no "one-size fits all" solution! The final decision will depend on your dog's unique needs, physical characteristics, age, behaviour and your choice.The Paws Up team have created this simple list of pros and cons for both dog collars and dog harnesses to help you decide which would be the best for your next walk with your pup!
Dog Harnesses: Pros and Cons
Pros of Dog Harnesses:
1. Your Dog's Comfort
Reducing the strain on your dog's neck is one of the biggest avantages when it comes to harnesses. If your dog pulls, a harness distributes the pressure evenly across the chest and back versus focusing on their back and neck when pulling whilst wearing a collar. Collars can lead to choking and coughing when dogs pull on their leash. In contrast, harnesses eliminate this risk. The distribution of this pressure can be important and very beneficial for certain dogs that are more prone to tracheal issues, brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds or those that tend to pull during walks.
2. More Control on the Walk
Harnesses give you a lot of control when out walking your dog which makes them a great choice for dogs that are excitable, strong, or in training. With a harness you can guide your dog more effectively which can be crucial in specific situations where you need to redirect their attention or behaviour.
3. Safety and Security
Is your dog a skilled escape artist? Harnesses are a great way to secure your dog as they are a lot harder to slip out of! Certain breeds, especially those with smaller necks or silky-sleek fur, can find themselves slipping out of a collar when over-excited or surprised. A harness helps keep your dog securely attached when out and about.
4. Kinder to your dog's fur
Some collar designs can cause hair breakage or matting around the neck whereas harnesses do not have this issue, making them a preferred choice for long-haired breeds.
Cons of Dog Harnesses:
1. Can be Tricky to Put On
Some dogs may resist letting you put the harness on them, especially if they are not used to it, causing delays and frustration for both you and your dog.
2. Not a Great Choice for All Dogs
Whilst harnesses are usually a great choice for the majority of dogs, there are exceptions! There are some dogs who can use the extra support provided by the harness to pull even harder!
3. Comfort and Overheating
Some harnesses can be a lot bulkier than collars, which can be uncomfortable in hotter weather especially if your dog has thicker fur. It's always important to choose a harness that suits your dog's walk style and comfort.
The Pros and Cons of Dog Collars
Pros of Dog Collars:
Collars are very easy to put on and take off making them a simple choice.
2. Practical for ID Tags
Attaching an ID Tag to a collar is an easy way to ensure your dog can be easily identified if they get lost.
3. Useful for Training
There are different types of collars which can can be effective tools for training depending on where you are in your leash training journey!
Cons of Dog Collars:
1. Can be Hard on the Neck
For some, the main disadvantage of dog collars is that they can put pressure on your dog's neck if they are not adapted to your dog's size/power. The risk of a neck injury is to higher especially if your dog is prone to pulling or is a particularly strong breed. It's essential to select an adapted collar for your dog and to monitor their behaviour and physical well-being when using a collar.
2. Not Suitable for Certain Breeds
Collars can be dangerous for dogs with respiratory issues or neck problems, especially brachycephalic breeds like pugs or bulldogs. Ask your vet if you have any questions.
3. Limited Control on the Walk
Some collars offer less control over strong or rowdy dogs which can be a safety issue. Losing control on a walk can be challenging for owners especially if the dog is not well-trained.
Harness or Collar? Choosing the Right Option for Your Dog
Ultimately, your choice may also come down to personal preference and what you feel works best for you and your dog. Some owners prefer the simplicity of a collar, while others value the added control and safety of a harness.
At Paws Up Shop we carefully select brands and products that we use and love! We're on an endless quest to find products that are fun, stylish and original, with a practical side.
Discover our Walk Collection with a handpicked selection of collars, harnesses and leashes (and more) for your pooch!