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Dog Collar or Harness? – The Pros and Cons

January 15 2022

If you enjoy walks with Fido as much as he does, then it’s important to ensure his attire is comfortable and maneuverable. While collars may be the more traditional and convenient option, some dogs are better off wearing a harness. Finding the right fit can help make your daily adventures together all the more enjoyable. Read on to find out the pros and cons of dog collars vs harnesses and see which one is best for your canine pal.

Things to Consider

Most every avid dog lover has probably walked a pooch that liked to tug hard on the leash at one time or another. Some dogs even end up choking themselves on the leash as they try to drag you along. In these instances, a harness may seem like a logical solution to the problem, but this isn’t always the case.

There are a few key things to consider when choosing a device that’s best for your dog:

  • His comfort level
  • His size
  • His behavior

By knowing the pros and cons of harnesses and collars, you’re better able to choose the one that works best for you and Fido.

Pros and Cons of Dog Collars


  • Can be worn throughout the day
  • Work best for dogs who don’t usually pull on the leash
  • They come in a variety of styles, such as:
  • Slip collars that prevent dogs from slipping out of the collar
  • Prong and choke collars, which work well for dog training purposes


  • Increased risk of choking for dogs that like to tug on the leash
  • May be uncomfortable for dogs with respiratory problems
  • Can cause neck injury, especially for smaller dogs
  • May be difficult to control your dog if he pulls hard on the leash

Pros and Cons of Harnesses


  • Decreased risk of neck injury
  • Work great for training puppies to behave on leash
  • Gives you more control during the walk
  • More comfortable for dogs with respiratory problems


  • Not made to be worn all day
  • Fur can become tangled and wrap around the straps of the harness, especially in the case of dogs with long fur
  • Some dogs dislike wearing harnesses, which makes more work for you
  • Can irritate the skin on your dog’s legs

Our Advice on Dog Collar or Harness in 2024

What are the key considerations when choosing between a dog collar and a harness?

When choosing between a dog collar and a harness, key considerations include your dog’s comfort level, size, and behavior. Collars may suit dogs that don’t pull on the leash, while harnesses can offer better control and reduce neck strain for those that do. Consider also any respiratory issues your dog may have, as harnesses can provide a safer option. Lastly, think about your dog’s daily activities and training needs to determine which option supports a positive walking and training experience. If you’re in Rialto, CA, our clinic is here to offer personalized advice for your canine companion.

What benefits do dog collars offer?

Dog collars offer several benefits: they’re convenient for everyday wear, ideal for dogs that do not frequently pull on the leash, and come in various styles to suit different training needs, including slip collars for preventing escape and prong or choke collars for specific training scenarios. Collars also allow for easy attachment of ID tags and leashes, which is essential for identification and safety during walks. Their wide range of materials and designs can also complement your dog’s appearance while ensuring comfort and control.

What are the downsides of using a dog collar?

The downsides of using a dog collar include an increased risk of choking for dogs that tend to pull on the leash, potentially leading to discomfort or injury, especially in smaller breeds. Collars may also exacerbate respiratory problems and can cause neck injuries. For dogs that pull vigorously, collars offer less control, making walks less enjoyable and more challenging. Additionally, for dogs with certain medical conditions or predispositions, a collar might not be the safest option, highlighting the importance of considering each dog’s specific needs and behavior.

What are the implications of using a collar or harness for dogs with respiratory problems?

For dogs with respiratory problems, using a collar can exacerbate their condition, especially if they tend to pull on the leash, leading to increased pressure on the throat and potentially worsening breathing issues. A harness is generally a safer option for these dogs, as it distributes pressure more evenly across the chest and shoulders, reducing strain on the neck and improving comfort during walks. Choosing the right type of harness can significantly improve the quality of life for dogs with respiratory issues, making activities like walking much safer and more enjoyable.

Why is it important to choose the right type of collar or harness based on a dog’s behavior?

Choosing the right type of collar or harness based on a dog’s behavior is crucial for ensuring their safety and comfort during walks and training sessions. Dogs that pull on the leash can benefit from a harness, which offers better control and reduces the risk of neck injuries. Conversely, a well-behaved dog that doesn’t pull might be more suited to a collar. The right choice can prevent potential behavioral issues and health concerns, making walks more enjoyable and stress-free for both the dog and the owner.

If you have more questions or need to schedule an appointment for Fido with the vet, please don’t hesitate to call our office in Bloomington, CA, anytime!

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