As a pet owner, you may have wondered: collars vs harnesses for your dog? Which is the best option? Well, we’ve come up with a few things to consider to help you make the best choice for your pet. 

Collars Vs Harnesses For Your Dog: Consider Breed and Physiology

There are certain breeds that would do better off with a harness and others that would benefit from a collar. For example, Malamutes or Husky breeds are bred for sledding and as such, can be predisposed to pulling when on a lead. Harnesses, which can encourage the instinct to pull, may not be the best option for this breed. So, a collar may be the ideal choice. In fact, you may want to consider a special muzzle lead if your pet is a particularly strong puller who requires a bit more leash training. On the other hand, brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds, such as English and French Bulldogs, Pugs, and Shih Tzus typically do best on harnesses, so as not to compromise their breathing issues.

What should you do if you have a short-nosed breed that is also a puller? There are some modified harnesses that allow your leash to clip at the front or that tighten around the torso instead, thereby discouraging pulling. Additionally, you can take your pet through specialized leash training, if this is an area they are struggling with. 

Age And Temperament

As mentioned above, pulling can be an issue that determines the answer to collars vs harnesses for your dog. Leash reactivity is also another behavior that may determine which option you go with.  Does your pet lunge at other dogs or attempt to chase after every squirrel it sees? Are you unsure of their temperament because they are recently adopted from a shelter or rescue? In these cases, specialized leads like those discussed earlier might be best. However, if your pet is well-behaved and non-reactive towards other dogs or their environment they may do well with either a collar or harness.

Another thing to consider is the age of your pet. New puppies may need more structure and establish good habits from the start may require a harness or lead that gently keeps them in check. Or perhaps you have a senior dog that has become mellowed out with age. You may be able to transition them from a front lead harness or a muzzle lead to a collar. 

Identification Purposes

Collars can typically be worn all day long. As such, it makes them an excellent choice for owners who want to put identification tags on their pets. Owners usually use harnesses just for walks and similar outings and so may not receive the same benefits as from collars. For owners of brachycephalic breeds, this can be a bit of a conundrum. Some have found a compromise by putting collars on their pets and also a harness for walking. Others rely on options such as microchipping as a means of identifying a lost pet. 

Generally speaking, we don’t typically recommend choke collars or pinch collars, as these options may cause damage to your dog’s throat. but regardless of whether you choose a collar or a harness for your dog, our professional dog walkers will be sure to keep them safely on their lead for each and every outing. Visit our website today to get more information!