Are you wondering why are dog harnesses better than collars? This is a common question among pet owners.
With the popularity of dog harnesses, more and more are transitioning from using traditional collars.
Still, they might not be the solution to every situation.
Why Are Dog Harnesses Better Than Collars?
At their core, harnesses are a fantastic training tool. However, they can also be beneficial in the later stages of your dog's life.
Some of the most notable advantages of using dog harnesses include:
1. More Control
The majority of pet owners consider harnesses because they allow them to have better control.
By wrapping around your dog’s chest, you can easily pull them to safety without harming them.
Also, the best harnesses help to discourage dogs from pulling as often as they would normally.
2. Less Tangling
By opting for certain types of harnesses, you can prevent leash tangling.
For example, back-clip harnesses have the leash attached behind your dog, so it doesn't tangle in their feet.
3. Reduced Neck Injury
In small dogs, the likelihood of neck injuries from collars increases. On the other hand, harnesses cover the heftiest part of your dog and won't cause them to choke.
If you have a dog that's hard to handle, you'll be able to lessen their chances of injuring themselves if you use a dog harness.
You'll find that harnesses are preferred by pug owners mostly, as it helps to reduce respiratory distress.
The Disadvantage of Harnesses
There is one primary issue with harnesses to consider: it is not easy to size.
Pet owners who don't size their harnesses properly are bound to experience plenty of challenges.
If it's too large, it can cause chafing on your pet's skin and rashes. Whereas, if they're too small, it can impact your pet's breathing and lead to injury.
You'll likely have to take them into the pet store to find the perfect size, regardless of breed.
It can also be challenging to get your dog to accept a harness if it's improperly sized. If they feel like their natural movements are inhibited, they're likely to reject it.
Different Types of Harnesses
There are four main types of harnesses, each with benefits that help them outperform leashes.
1. Back-Clip Harnesses
Back-clip harnesses are equipped with a D-ring on the back where you'll connect the leash.
When you choose a back-clip harness, you'll find more control over your dog than with a collar.
It's also useful for dogs who get tangled in their leash, as it helps to keep it upwards and away from their legs.
Pet parents also like these harnesses because it keeps the leash away from their dog's neck.
On the other hand, if your dog is prone to pulling, back-clip harnesses are one of the worst options for them.
They'll be more likely to pull forward, and as the leash is on top, it gives them plenty of pull.
2. Front-Clip Harnesses
On a front-clip harness, the D-ring is located on the chest of your dog. In comparison to back-clip designs, they are a good option for dogs who tend to pull.
The relatively awkward positioning of the leash attachment will discourage the instinct to pull.
You also gain full control over whether you want the leash to be on your dog's left or right side.
Many pet parents find these harnesses offer more control than most types of collars.
The most massive issue with these harnesses is that the leash is likely to get tangled in your dog's legs.
You'll also need to take special care when sizing it, as you won't want it to cause chafing.
3. Dual-Clip Harnesses
If you're someone who likes the best of both worlds, dual-clip harnesses are a great option. They allow you to choose whether to clip the leash to the front or back of your dog.
The versatility of dual-clip harnesses is what makes them one of the most used designs.
You can reduce your dog's pulling instinct by using the chest-facing D-ring. There's also the ability to let them roam freely using the back-facing D-ring.
However, dual-clip harnesses are bound to be more expensive and will feel a little bulkier on your dog.
4. Head Halters
With a design that falls in between a harness and leash, head halters are ideal for pullers. They give you the utmost amount of control over your dog without exerting a lot of force.
One of the most popular brands of head halters is a Gentle Leader.
Because a head halter is located around the muzzle of your dog, they cannot lunge.
If you know that you'll need the most control over your pets, they are the top recommendation.
Typically, the leader has a pressure point on your dog's jaw to be the most effective.
Still, head halters can often be dangerous with dogs that act out of control, especially as most don't take well to wearing one.
It will require plenty of positive reinforcement and training to get your pet used to it.
You might also find chafing around the muzzle and neck if they pull a lot.
The Advantages of Collars
The alternative to harnesses are collars, and they have their array of advantages, including:
1. Simple Identification
One of the most considerable benefits of collars is that they're useful for identification.
Since they don't have to be removed when indoors, like harnesses, you can have your pet's ID readily available.
If they run away, you can guarantee anyone who finds them will know where they belong.
You can guarantee your dog will be able to know that it's wearing a harness. On the other hand, most collars are relatively undetected by your dog, especially if it's a flat-collar design.
Whether they are on or off their leash, a collar feels more natural because their body can move freely.
3. Special Detachment
Depending on the collar you choose, you can increase your pet's safety.
Some models allow for immediate detachment if too much pressure is put on the collar. This feature ensures your pets don't accidentally suffocate themselves.
The Disadvantages of Collars
There are a few disadvantages of collars that pet owners need to consider.
1. Excessive Pull Stress
Collars shouldn't be the only tool used for walks with dogs who like to pull. Because the collar is located around their neck, pulling can cause substantial injury.
Some pets have experienced crushed tracheas, choking, and bruising around their necks from their collars.
2. Challenging to Use
You might find that getting your dog to wear their collar is relatively impossible, especially if they're an escape artist.
More often than not, you might find that small-headed dogs can easily escape from their collars.
Different Types of Collars
There are many different types of collars to choose from, depending on your needs.
1. Flat Collars
Flat collars are the most common and easily accessible types you're bound to find.
Every dog should have a flat collar, whether you also decide to use a harness or not. They're an exceptional choice for displaying their ID tags if they get lost.
You can also use flat collars to quickly walk your dog if you don't want to deal with putting on their harness.
However, dogs that tend to misbehave won't do as well when being walked with a flat collar.
Having control over your pets is essential for their safety and yours. If they're likely to pull, you'll want to consider a harness to protect their neck and trachea.
2. Martingale Collars
These collars have a unique design that features a ring that tightens the strap when it detects pressure. It's a good option for dogs that pull but should also be used cautiously.
The most massive advantage of Martingale collars is they help to prevent pulling by adding pressure.
As your dog pulls, the straps will tighten, which will signal them to stop what they're doing.
You might even find that they're the best option for small-headed dogs to stop them from escaping.
Still, although collars are designed to be as safe as possible, they're not for persistent pullers. If you have a particularly rowdy pet, you might find it will do more harm than good.
3. Choke Chains
The premise of choke chains is similar to Martingale collars, but they have a couple of differences.
You'll find that choke chains will continue to tighten without any limitation to their power. Also, they are designed to cause more discomfort and pain compared to other collars.
When used by a professional, choke chains can be a useful training tool. However, they are sometimes misused, which makes them highly debatable.
4. Electric Collars
Another debatable type of dog collar is an electric collar. They have two probes that rest on the neck of your dog that is controlled by a remote.
When the remote is pressed, the collar will send an electric sensation through your pet.
Even though they can be controversial, when appropriately used, they can be useful.
You'll want to make sure you choose an appropriate setting for your dog without being painful.
It's important to remember that these collars are meant for communication, rather than punishment.
When used correctly, your dogs will see their shock collar as a way for you to get their attention at a distance.
There are several ways to answer why are dog harnesses better than collars.
First, you'll have optimal control over your dog, especially if they are prone to pulling. You will also be able to ensure your dog is safe and controlled when out for walks.
In the end, the choice rests on your shoulders and the needs of your dog.