Harness or dog collar: What Should I choose for my dog?

You’ve probably seen a lot of dogs pulling on the leash and nearly choking themselves on their collars. You might think that getting a harness would solve this problem. But there is more to it than meets the eye.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to choose the right gear, accessories, and supplies for your pet. With all the available things that we can find on the internet and in the shops, how could we not be?

Imagine going to the flower shop to get some beautiful flowers for your mom. It’s not a fast decision you can make on the spot. It’s all so beautiful and they all smell so nice that the decision gets harder with every minute you spend there.

It’s the same with everything we want or need to buy.

Buying a Dog collar or a harness is no different. Mainly you need to understand what is the difference between them.

Do you have a puppy or a fully-grown dog? It doesn’t matter. The choice depends on your preference and opinion.

To help you to make this decision I’m going to clarify some important questions that you probably have.

1. What is the difference between Harness and a Dog Collar?

  • Dog collar

They are usually made of a hard fabric – most commonly leather or nylon webbing. They have a few elements attached to them, such as D-ring to which a leash can be fastened and a buckle to keep the collar together, like a belt. 

You have to put it loosely around dog’s neck.

There are various Dog collars for a different kinds of usage. A collar may be used for restraint, identification, fashion, or protection. Some of the collars are used for training like the Martingale dog collar, for tracking your dog’s location, and for medical reasons, such as flea collars.

  • Harness

They are usually made of the same material as dog collars, consisting of straps of webbing that goes around the torso of a dog. They are usually fastened together with side release buckles. Harnesses also have a D-ring for the leash.

The straps are placed on the chest in front of the forelimbs, and a strap around the torso where the rib cage is. There is one more strap that connects those two between the forelimbs. 

They are different from the usual dog collars. They’re much larger for every dog size, meaning they have much more fabric because they go all around the dog’s torso.

Many harnesses are used for a physical restraint, because many pets tend to pull on their leash.

They are designed to reduce pressure on a dog’s trachea and to decrease the risk of strangulation, and they have a much lesser chance to slip out of the harness than from a collar, which can lead to dangerous situations.

Dog harnesses are also used for assistance dogs, sled dogs and a simple help for health issues in dogs.

2. Is Dog Harness better than Dog Collar?

On the one hand, a dog harness is better for the dog’s safety if he hasn’t yet learned how to walk by a leash properly. It keeps him safely raped in the harness and it’s not that easy for him to slip out of it either.

For dogs who tend to pull on the leash, it’s a great choice for protecting their throat from collapsing because if your dog has a collar the neck is unprotected by the pressure which is made by pulling on the leash, which can make serious health issues in the long run.

On the other hand, dog collars are much better for you and your dog overall. Dog trainers always recommend using a dog collar.

It’s the best tool through which you can communicate to your dog.

It’s very important to train your dog to walk on the leash and to behave in any situation. If your dog pulls on the leash it is clear that you need to work with your dog more.

Instead of a harness, which is made for pulling (because dogs are comfortable pulling things, like, for example, sled dogs), a dog collar is much more uncomfortable to pull. This is why it is more recommended to use a dog collar instead of a harness for your dog to teach him manners. 

Using a harness on a bad mannered/untrained pup can only lead you to more issues in the future.

3. Is a Dog Collar or a Harness better for a puppy?

For puppies who are still learning to behave and walk on a leash, it is better to use a harness for everyday potty training and socialization. A harness will help you to control him easier while he is still little and running like crazy everywhere.

But, when in training, use a dog collar, it is easier to train your puppy.

As I mentioned before, collars help you to communicate better with your own doggy.

4. What age can you put a harness on a puppy?

You can put a harness on a puppy from day one, but remember that he’s still little and you have to think about if it’s really necessary or not.

He is still growing, so when you buy your first harness for your puppy buy something that he can still wear for a few weeks or months. Every harness is adjustable, when choosing to take something that can be adjusted to the smallest size for the first days or weeks, depends on how fast he’s growing. Afterward, just adjust it and make it larger as he’s growing bigger.

That would help you from buying a new harness every other week.

5. What should I choose for my French bulldog?

As you probably know these are the brachycephalic breeds. They have slightly different structure than a regular dog.

Because of the shape of their head, muzzle and throat they are prone to difficult, obstructive breathing. Brachycephalic means “short-headed”.

Common examples of brachycephalic dog breeds include the English bulldog, French bulldog, Pug, Pekingese, and Boston terrier.

The better choice for them is to have a harness because they make less pressure on the neck and reduce the risk of injuries. Collars can also cause certain breeds’ eyeballs to protrude from their sockets if too much pressure is applied on the neck.