Dog Harness vs Dog Collar: Pros and Cons of Each

Dog Harness vs Dog Collar Pros and Cons

There are many things to buy to prepare yourself for a four-legged friend becoming a part of your family. Toys, treats, a bed, clothes – the list goes on of things you can buy your dog to make their lives comfortable and fun.

One of the most important things to consider is the gear you will use when it comes to going on walks. Your leash should be paired with the correct type of dog harness.

Neck collars were once the go-to leash hook-up, but chest harnesses have become more prevalent among dog owners.

There are merits and pitfalls to each.


There is a certain amount of control that goes along with each, though chest harnesses seem to win out.

An eager dog will pull, making it harder to keep them under control. Chest harnesses help with that thanks to the surface area they control on your dog, as opposed to the smaller area a neck collar covers.

Front clip harnesses go far for dogs that like to pull, as it prevents them from doing so.

In general, harnesses are a must for puppies to teach them how to go on walks properly early on to curb any bad habits from the start.


Collars are easier to use than harnesses. Often people keep a collar on their dog at all times and simply clip a leash on when it’s time to walk.

Harnesses require more finesse and can be difficult if your dog tends to wiggle around. You must ensure the dog’s legs are through properly and that it’s not twisted up before you set out on a walk.


Some dogs simply can’t stand having things wrapped around their chest area. In that case, a collar may be the better choice.

If you live in an area with a hot climate, harnesses may become uncomfortable for dogs while they’re outside.

For other dogs, especially those who are more likely to have back and neck injuries, a harness is a better option because of the way it prevents injury.


Dogs are more prone to neck and throat injuries with collars than they are with chest harnesses.

Constant tugging on a leash can injure a dog’s trachea, especially in smaller breeds that do not have thick necks.

The stress caused by a collar can also cause back injury in some pups.

Chest harnesses take the force that comes along with tugging on a leash and evenly distribute it among the upper part of the dog’s body, taking it away from one concentrated area that can become injured.


Enthusiastic dogs will try their hardest to wiggle out of whatever is holding them back when they see something they want to run after. A determined pup can easily slip out of a neck collar and may injure itself in the process.

Chest harnesses do a better job of holding dogs back, particularly big ones.

To that end, chest harnesses require more strength on the part of the owner.


Harnesses are great because there’s more surface area to work with when it comes to displaying your dog’s identification or having safety features in places like reflectors or lights for nighttime walks.