Harness vs. Collar: Which Is Better For Your Dog?

What’s best for your dog – a harness or a collar? Well, there are a number of things to take into consideration when deciding if you want your dog to wear a collar or harness.

If your dog is young, or new and you are training him to stop pulling during walks, then a harness is a handy training tool. Puppies can easily get tangled up when wearing a collar so a harness might be the best choice initially.


If a dog pulls forward with a harness, the action will pull his feet off the ground – so it’s not productive. Pulling with a collar, on the other hand, does move the dog forward so it feels effective.

It stops your dog jumping up. Here at Swapaw, we’re dog lovers and we don’t mind a dog jumping up on us at all, but not everyone feels the same. You can use a harness to stop your dog jumping on others without worrying about choking her.
collar vs harness

If you are walking more than one dog at once, harnesses are useful too as they give you more control. That control aspect might be needed in other situations, such as if you walking your dog is a very busy area, or near heavy traffic.

If your dog is easily distracted, a harness can help prevent injury or your dog from getting lost.

Certain medical conditions also benefit from use of a harness instead of a collar. A collapsing trachea for instance needs a harness as a collar will put too much pressure on the throat.

If your dog needs a little assistance getting up or during walks a harness is useful so it can be good if your dog is older

Certain dog breeds should be walked with harnesses instead of collars. Pugs need harnesses as their eyeballs can protrude from their sockets if they are walked with collars.

A harness is very unlikely to come off accidentally.

But a harness is not a replacement for a collar. Some dogs do not like the feel of them, so allow time for the dog to adjust.

The main purpose of a collar is identification. Even if your dog is microchipped, you should always have a tag with ID and contact information on it. If your pet goes missing without his collar he might be mistaken for a stray initially. A collar means faster identification and you’ll probably be reunited with your doggie quickly.

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