Collar vs Harness: How To Decide Which is Best for Your Dog

Collar Versus Harness: How To Decide Which is Best for Your Dog

As the owner of a canine companion one thing is for sure; walks are part of everyday life and you may wonder which gear is best for keeping your dog close when you venture out into the world. Since there’s an overwhelming variety of dog accessories available, let’s take a closer look at the dilemma of collar versus harness: how to decide which is best for your dog.

The main points to consider are your dog’s needs, their breed and their behaviour.

Tell me about collars

Dog collars are the traditional choice when it comes to walking your dog and they offer convenience and security via the attachment of identification tags. 

  • Traditional flat collars are a perfect choice for dogs who don’t pull on leash.
  • Martingale collars are a great option for puppies who are Houdini-like in their ability to wriggle out of flat collars, as they tighten when pressure is applied. To ensure it’s a good fit on your dog, check that the large rings do not touch when pressure is applied. Martingales are also handy for dogs who have skinny necks, small heads or as a training tool when teaching about leash pressure.

Collars are not a great option for brachycephalic dogs, such as pugs or bulldogs as they are at a higher risk of obstructive airway syndrome. If these dogs are pulling on leash whilst wearing a collar then this may cause breathing difficulties or add strain the the airway.

Overall collars are an easy and convenient option for many dogs who walk well and don’t pull on leash, however there are some for whom a harness would perhaps be a better option.

So what about Harnesses

The most popular reason for using a harness is to move pressure from the neck to the body, which is safer option for dogs who pull or may display some reactivity and require more control. 

  • Harnesses may also be a more suitable option for older dogs who need a little help standing up up lying down or for dogs who need assistance out on the trail - the handles on our all terrain harnesses are perfect for this!
  • Some harnesses are designed to discourage pulling by offering a front clip that works by restricting shoulder movement and causing the dog to swing to the side when pulling which works as an interruption to prevent them going forward. 

Harnesses have been shown to cause issues with gait and shoulder movement and can be uncomfortable when not fitted properly. Here at RMD we love helping to fit harnesses on pups visiting our store, so please come and see us if you’re looking for help!

One or the Other: How About a Duo?

Your final answer in the decision between a collar or harness doesn’t have to be one or the other. Many professional trainers use both products depending on comfort and convenience.

Assess your dog’s needs and keep in mind that all dogs are different; choose the accessory that keeps your canine companion moving freely and happily.

Here at Rocky Mountain Dog, we believe in being wild, being different, and joining in the adventure of life. Our durable dog collars are perfect everyday accessories inspired by the great outdoors and our all-terrain harness is the best adventure dog harness in the Rockies! Browse through our collection of all-weather collars to use on your next expedition today. Happy adventuring!