Harness vs Leash for Dogs

Harness vs Leash for Dogs
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Dogs can sometimes be unpredictable, and if you are caught off-guard, they can come free of the leash and bolt. Plus, they quickly get distracted and wander off to whatever piques their interest.

The choice of whether to use a harness or a collar with a leash solely depends on your preference and your dog’s behavior.

There are advantages that come with using either and disadvantages too. Let’s take a look at each option, respectively.


Collars are easy to put on a dog as compared to harnesses. They are a quick solution to when you just want to take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood.

There are different varieties available with some designed to purposefully constrict or cause discomfort to your dog when he pulls on the leash. They are generally used as a method of training.

However, such collars are not recommended. Instead, use positive reinforcement when training your dog.

Traditional collars are great on dogs that don’t have breathing problems or ones that are not likely to pull on the leash. They can also be comfortable with your dog even when you don’t take them off.

However, avoid using them on dogs that pull hard when you take them out for a walk. They expose your dog to risks of neck injuries. For such cases, a harness is a better solution.

Slip collars are specially made for puppies that are prone to slipping out of the standard collars. They prevent them from getting loose without choking them. These collars come in handy if you own a greyhound or a bulldog.


The popularity of harnesses has been soaring over the years because they offer far superior features as compared to collars. Nowadays, they are used as excellent training tools to teach puppies how to behave when they are on a leash.

Harnesses offer more control over your dog while providing increased comfort even when they pull. The risk of a dog getting tangled in its leash is also significantly reduced with a harness.

There are many advantages of using a harness over a collar, some of which include reduced chances of neck injuries and minimalized air passage restrictions.

Harness vs Leash for Dogs

Below are more advantages:

  • They offer better control which is necessary when walking your dog through crowded places
  • They are easier on your arms and back especially for a big dog owner
  • They discourage pulling
  • Excellent for training pups
  • They are gentle on your dog

Examples of different types of harnesses include:

  • A nylon dog harness
  • Cooling reflective harness
  • Heavy-duty dog harness
  • Webbing and buckle harnesses

With harnesses, you can attach the leash at the front or the back. If you have a big dog, fastening it at the front is ideal. Smaller dog breeds are sensitive to pressure hence the need to use the back ring.

Which One Should You Use?

Take into account all the factors discussed above before settling on whether to get a collar or a harness. You can also use them both based on your dog’s behavior or the number of dogs you have.

Always ensure you have an identification tag around your dog when taking him out for a walk. Its good to be prepared since you never know when something might happen that will distract your dog or make them bolt.

Dogs can also get out of the house and wander off. Training your dog on walking behavior will significantly improve your experience using a collar or harness with them. This will reduce their pulling and jumping rates and make the activity of taking him for a walk a breeze.


There is another option that some people consider when they feel a collar or a harness isn’t working out for them, the head halter.

This device encloses itself around the head and the muzzle of the dog without hurting them. It will not interfere with their barking. The goal is usually to curb mouth movement.

However, it’s essential to learn how to use them effectively before buying one. Learn how they are applied in training and what their advantages and drawbacks are.


The traditional norm of using collars is slowly fading into oblivion. Harnesses are being used more because they are better, and more research is done to improve their designs. They have ergonomic designs and are more comfortable with the dog’s pressure points. Their effectiveness in control is also far superior. It's therefore safe to say that it would be better if you used a harness more than a collar.