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Dogwood Animal Hospital

2050 Sugarloaf Parkway
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045

Dog Collar or Harness? – The Pros and Cons

January 15 2022

There’s a big difference between dog collars and harnesses, and your dog knows this firsthand. Your pup’s comfort, his ability to maneuver, and your ability to control the walk depend a lot on the type of collar you use. When Fido is wearing the right collar, your daily walks together become all the more enjoyable. Read on to find out the pros and cons of dog collars vs harnesses and see which one is best for you and your canine pal. 

Things to Consider

At one time or another, almost every dog lover has walked a pooch that liked to tug pretty hard on the leash. Some dogs even go so far as to choke themselves on the leash, trying to drag you along. Getting a harness for Fido may seem like a logical solution to the problem, but not always. 

Here are a few basic things to consider when choosing which device is best for your dog:

  • His comfort level
  • His size
  • His behavior

Knowing the pros and cons of collars and harnesses can help you choose the one that works best for your walks with Fido.

Pros and Cons of Dog Collars


  • Can be worn all the time
  • Works well for dogs who don’t usually pull on the leash
  • Available in a variety of styles, such as: 
  • Slip collars – to prevent dogs from slipping out of the collar
  • Prong and choke collars – can be used when training your dog


  • May pose a choking hazard for dogs that like to tug on the leash
  • Higher risk of neck injury, especially for smaller dogs
  • May be a problem for dogs with respiratory problems
  • Can be difficult to control your dog when he tugs hard on the leash


Pros and Cons of Harnesses


  • Work great for teaching puppies how to behave on leash
  • Gives you more control over the walk
  • Lower risk of neck injury 
  • More comfortable for dogs with respiratory problems


  • For dogs with long fur, their fur can become tangled and wrap around the straps of the harness
  • Some dogs won’t tolerate harnesses, which makes more work for you on the walk
  • May irritate the underside of your dog’s legs
  • Shouldn’t be worn all day long

If you have more questions or want to schedule an appointment for your pooch with the vet, please don’t hesitate to call our office anytime!

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