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Dog Harness vs. Collar: Which is the Better Option?

By Canada Pooch on Oct 3, 2023

As a dog owner, the comfort, safety, and control of your pet should be paramount. If you've been using traditional dog collars and your experience has been less than ideal, especially if your dog pulls, it's time to consider a pet harness. A well-designed dog harness puts less strain on your pet's neck and distributes pressure more evenly across their body. This makes for easy handling and prevents potential health complications like throat damage. 

How Does a Dog Harness Benefit Larger Dogs? 

Larger dogs can often be stronger, more boisterous, and thus trickier to manage, especially during walks. A dog harness allows for better control and manageability without causing discomfort. It discourages pulling and encourages better leash behaviour, making it a go-to choice for many dog owners. 

What are Important Factors to Consider when Choosing a Dog Harness or Collar? 

Selecting the right tool for walking and training your dog requires careful consideration of their unique needs and your goals. When deciding between a collar or harness, keep these key factors in mind: 

Size and Age 

Consider your dog's current size, projected adult size if a puppy, and any age-related issues like arthritis that may affect comfort. Opt for adjustable styles to accommodate growth and fluctuations in size. 

Breed Traits 

Brachycephalic breeds, dogs with short snouts, require more neck clearance than other breeds. Very powerful muscular dogs benefit from harnesses dispersing pressure across the chest and shoulders. 


Excitable dogs prone to pulling and lunging may walk better on a front-clip harness that redirects their energy. Shy, anxious dogs need very gradual desensitization to new gear, and may want to stick with what they are used to. 

Activity Level 

Highly active athletic dogs that run and work outdoors benefit from durable all-weather designs with reflective trim for visibility at night.

Hair Coat Density 

Short, fine coats do better with padded harnesses. Long, thick coats shed debris easily caught in some harness styles, requiring frequent cleaning. 

Primary Use 

Daily walking and training calls for versatility. Activities like running or hiking demand durable construction and a snug anti-slip fit. 

Considering factors unique to your dog leads to the optimal harness or collar choice for comfort, control, and keeping your bond strong. Put their needs first during selection. 

Do Pet Owners Prefer Clip Harnesses or Traditional Collars for their Dogs? 

Clip harnesses are pet harnesses that have clips to easily put on and take off the harness. Quite a few dog owners prefer clip harnesses due to their convenience and comfort for the dog. However, traditional collars continue to remain popular, particularly for dogs that are calm and well-trained. 

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