Collar Versus Harness: A Dog Owners Guide

Have you ever noticed that reactive-high-energy dogs can pull on a collar and remain unaffected by your command to stop or heal? Why is it that a harness is more effective when it comes to controlling your dog? Two major factors can be outlined.

First, when your dog is wearing a collar your human response is to pull to stop forward movement, but you are limited to redirecting your furry friend because too much of a tug of war can be dangerous or cause injury. So what do you do? Give in. So what does that teach your dog? A tug means to go. You're enabling the behavior. A collar offers limited control. This leads us to factor two, a harness controls your dog at his center of gravity, at its core, without harm or injury. If you are dealing with a dog that is still being voice trained or is reactive to outside stimulus, a harness is the safest option and best for ultimate control. Remember, a harness doesn't solve the problem, it aids in the solution. You must properly train your dog in the harness. Start at home with voice commands and once your dog responds well, test him in other environments. This article by FitBark highlights 7 tips for harness training your dog. For training, and controllability, when it comes to a collar versus harness the harness proves to be safer, and a better training tool.

How about the freak on a leash, or should I say the freak off the leash? We all know a Houdini dog type. Some dogs, try as we might, are masters of escape. This is mostly because some dog breeds have a thick neck almost equivalent to their skull size. Some Have a more narrow skull shape. These dog shapes give these specific breeds the advantage of a sneaky getaway because they can easily pull a collar off over their head. Not only is your dog gone, but he’s also left behind valuable information as his dog tags are typically left behind on his abandoned collar. When tethering a dog outside, collar versus harness seems to lean in favor of the harness because using a harness restricts his chances of escape and ensures his tags stay with him.

What about size and comfort? Even though harnesses are marketed in various sizes and weight categories, not all dogs are comfortable in a harness. Unfortunately, a harness might not be a practical solution for your dog long-term, or for everyday wearability. It’s also been noted that not all dog harnesses have a good place for dog tags. When it comes to collar vs. harness, the collar can be placed on your pet and left, without a second thought, all day every d