Why Dogs Should Wear Harness?


For your dog, going for a walk is undoubtedly the best part of the day. Spending half an hour in a park with their favorite person – a dog couldn’t ask for more.

However, there’s something you might be wondering about. Should your dog wear a harness or a collar? Which is better – and safer for your furry friend? This dilemma doesn’t only trouble first-time pet owners, but those who’ve been dog parents for years. This guide will explain why dogs should wear a harness and how to choose between a harness and a collar.

Should My Dog Always Wear a Harness?

There are several reasons why dogs should wear a harness when you take them out for a walk.

If you’ve trained your pooch, they’re more likely to respond when you call for them. But if your dog isn’t appropriately trained, they might run in front of a car and get hurt, or run away and get lost. A dog should, of course, have a daily dose of running freely around the park, but you can exercise them in a recreation area with a fence, or a huge field where there are no roads or small children.

This brings us to the second reason you need to be careful and always have a harness. Some adults and children are afraid of dogs, especially large breeds. You need to understand and respect that. Keeping your dog in a harness will prevent them from, for instance, jumping on a kid and startling them, even if they just want to play.

Harness vs. Collar: Which One’s Better?

The fact that both harnesses and collars do the same job more or less successfully doesn’t mean one of them is better for your dog.

Here are the main benefits of choosing a harness over a collar:

1. It Doesn’t Harm Your Dog’s Neck

This one might be the most important reason why dogs should wear a harness. Wearing a collar can put a lot of strain on your dog’s neck. Restless dogs tend to yank and pull the leash continuously, and this can cause injuries because of the pressure on the neck. You may not even notice this injury right away because it will gradually worsen until your dog starts experiencing pain.

Harnesses distribute this pressure evenly as the leash is typically attached to a hook on your dog’s shoulders. This way, you don’t need to worry about the constant pulling damaging their neck or trachea.

2. It Gives You More Control

First of all, collars are sometimes too elastic or too loose. If a collar doesn’t fit tight to your dog’s neck, they may able to wriggle out of it while playing with other dogs or pulling at the leash. But if your dog is wearing a harness, that’s less likely to happen. There are too many straps, and they don’t only go around your dog’s neck, but also the front legs and the upper part of the body.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that you’ll find it easier to control the dog this way. If your dog is too excited about your walk, the harness will give you more control over keeping the pooch by your side. It discourages pulling and stops the dog from tangling in the leash around your legs or nearby trees, and so on. Harnesses enhance security.

3. It’s Suitable for All Dog Sizes

One of the most significant advantages of using a harness is that they come in plenty of sizes. You’ll undoubtedly find one that your furry friend feels comfortable with. Whether you have a small or a large dog, harnesses are still more convenient than collars.

Small breeds like Dachshunds or Miniature Pinschers are delicate. Their bodies are prone to injury, so a harness keeps them safe. On the other hand, if you have a German Shepherd or a Bernese Mountain Dog, you might find it hard to control them when they’re determined to dash off somewhere. It’s easier to keep them on the leash when it’s attached to a harness than to a collar.

4. It’s Convenient for Puppy Training

Harnesses are also available in puppy sizes, which is great if you’re planning to do puppy training. It’s simpler to train a baby than a grown dog, but puppies are typically more playful and pull more than adult dogs. Using a collar for a puppy might be too dangerous – it can even represent a choking hazard.

That said, you’ll have more control with a harness, and your puppy will feel more comfortable. The dog won’t choke every time they pull the leash, so they’ll associate the harness with walks and playtime and won’t develop an aversion towards the leash.

Are Collars Any Good?

Harnesses have numerous advantages, but it doesn’t mean collars have no benefits at all.

They’re very convenient if your dog gets lost, as it’s pretty hard to attach a name tag on a harness. Also, the dog might not feel comfortable having the harness on all day long, but they get used to wearing a collar quickly. Some collars can also detach on their own if under too much pressure. This is essential in case of an accident.

Comfort and Safety Come First

We’ve covered why dogs should wear a harness instead of a collar. Still, your choice may depend on multiple factors, like your dog’s personality or age. An old dog probably won’t pull as much as a young puppy, but a harness might still work better if they need help climbing the stairs.

Harnesses have multiple benefits for all dog breeds, sizes, and ages. They feel more comfortable both for dogs and dog owners. They also provide more safety for your dog than a simple collar. The only downside is that you should take the harness off when you get home. If you disregard this small inconvenience, harnesses are absolute winners in all other categories.

***SmartlyPet is supported by readers. If you click one of my links, I may earn commissions. I am also participant in the Amazon affiliate program and I will also make a commission from qualifying purchases. Thank you***

Field Dogs 300 x 600
Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated
Is Chicken Breast Good For Dogs?

Is Chicken Breast Good For Dogs?

If you have ever read the composition of different food brands, you may have noticed that chicken is a primary ingredient in all feed formulations made for dogs. As far as “Chicken breast” is concerned, YES, chicken breast is good for dogs; in fact, it is the...

What Causes Dog Diarrhea At Night?

What Causes Dog Diarrhea At Night?

As a dog owner, there is nothing more annoying and frustrating than if you have to clean up dog diarrhea after you wake up in the morning. In fact, it's never good for your dog to have diarrhea; however, diarrhea at night is a worse scenario. Diarrhea is an indication...

Can Dogs Eat Corn Starch?

Can Dogs Eat Corn Starch?

Corn starch is one food ingredient that most dog owners have never agreed on whether it's good for dogs to eat.  Some corners say corn starch contains no nutritional value to a dog.  While others, mostly dog food manufacturers, disagree since it is a great...

How To Stop Dog From Begging For Treats?

How To Stop Dog From Begging For Treats?

It can go without saying that people tend to enjoy being able to give their dogs treats throughout the day. Not only do the dogs enjoy it, but they tend to be cute and their reactions have their humans coming back to give them more treats. At least, that is ideally...

How Do You Calm a Hyper Dog In a Car?

How Do You Calm a Hyper Dog In a Car?

Driving is a task that requires immense concentration, and the more distractions you have in the car, the more complicated it can become. In cases such as these, you may dread the idea of bringing your pet into the car, especially dogs that become agitated once they...

Do Dogs Get Cranky When Tired?

Do Dogs Get Cranky When Tired?

One of the most accurate comparisons that people make to their pets is when people compare their dogs to young children. There are many similarities between the two, ranging from both of them being able to learn words and concepts to behavioral issues that both young...