Though collars are much more common attire for dogs than harnesses, many trainers, veterinarians, and dog experts are beginning to see the benefits of using a harness in some instances. It can be confusing deciding which is more appropriate for your dog and activities, so here are some tools to help you decide which makes more sense for you.
Uses for a Harness
Use a harness for leashed activities, especially if your dog pulls, is not well-trained to ignore distractions, for extra control, or if your dog has respiratory or trachea problems (common in small dogs and short-nosed dogs).
Advantages of a Harness
Safe Leash Attachment. Because a harness secures around the dog’s body and distributes the pulling force on stronger parts of the dog’s anatomy, the likelihood of injury on the neck, spine, and windpipe are greatly reduced. Even if your dog is not a puller, he or she could be injured wearing a collar if they make a quick move to chase a squirrel, dog, or person.
Security. Unlike a collar which can come undone or the dog may wiggle out of, a harness such as the Web Master™ Harness, has five points of adjustment which make it difficult for even a Houdini dog to get out of.
Control. A harness can offer a bit more control depending on where the leash attachment is located.
Lifting Assistance. If you opt for a harness with a handle, such as the Web Master™ Harness, not only will you have control over your dog while they’re on-leash, but you can use the handle to help them up and over obstacles such as boulders, out of water, onto boats, and into trucks and automobiles.
Uses for a Collar
Use for identification and comfort for on and off-leash activities for dogs that don’t pull, are under voice command, and have no respiratory problems, trachea issues, or injuries.
Advantages to a Collar
Comfort. Less is more where comfort is concerned. A collar allows you to keep your dog identified and in control with minimal amounts of “clothing.”
Ease. Easy on, easy off. Collars are great if you take your dog’s accessories off daily, or if you want a quick way to attach a leash.
Identification. A collar’s number one purpose is identification. A good collar should hold your dog’s tags and identification. If you don’t like the “cling, cling” sound of the tags, opt for a collar with a separate tag holder and leash D-ring, such as the Hoopie™ collar.