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Dog Collar vs Harness: What Is the Best Option for Dog Walking?

By Canada Pooch on Dec 17, 2020
Dog Collar vs Harness: What Is the Best Option for Dog Walking?

Taking your pet for a walk is a rewarding experience. Not only does your precious pooch get to go out and explore the world around them; their human also gets an opportunity to stretch their legs and take in the fresh air. But all of those good vibes could be disrupted if your pooch hasn’t been appropriately set up for your stroll. Walking your pooch on a leash is a logical first step, but choosing between a harness or collar to accompany their leash can be challenging. As a devoted dog owner, you only want the best for your pet, which means deciding which pet accessories will keep them happy and thriving during outdoor activities. It is completely normal to ask yourself if a harness is better than a collar.

Understanding the differences between a collar vs harness will help you determine which is the best fit for your pooch. In this article, we will walk you through the differences between these two dog-walking necessities and help you decide which one is a safe and secure choice for your pooch’s next quest out in the world.  

What is the difference between a dog harness and collar?

Searching for the best items for your pooch is a part of your duty as a pet owner, but decision making can feel overwhelming when there are multiple options before you. It’s not just about the product itself. You need to consider design, size, longevity, and value for your dollar. When it comes to choosing between a dog harness vs. collar, consider the following. 

The Size of Your Dog 

The size of your pooch matters when it comes to the accessories you include in your dog walk. Dog breeds with slim heads or thick necks may benefit from slip collars, while other breeds could easily wiggle their way out of a basic collar. The same can be said for a dog harness, as you will want to choose a style and fit that will match your specific pup.  

The Level of Dog Training 

It’s important to consider how much training your dog has received before you choose between a collar vs harness. For example, if your dog has received very little training, they could be more likely to jump up on people or things while you walk. Alternatively, they may challenge you as an owner when pulling on a harness or collar. In this case, you need to think about which option will be less harmful to an untrained pup. 

The Length of Your Dog Walks 

When it comes to answering the question “is it better to walk a dog with a harness or collar?”, the answer will have a lot to do with how long your typical walks are. If you have a small dog that you just take out for a quick zip throughout the day, you might be able to get away with a collar. However, if you enjoy long walks with your pooch, investing in a durable harness could create a more comfortable stroll for you both. Additionally, if you love going on runs with your dog, consider a hands-free dog walking belt that can attach to a collar or harness.

Is it Better to Use a Harness or Collar? 

Before you can make any sound decision for your pet, you need to be equipped with the right information. If you’re debating between a dog harness versus a collar, there are a few things to consider before you make a purchase. This chart easily breaks down the difference between these two dog-walking accessories and the benefits of dog harnesses and collars.

Dog Harness


- Provides better control of your pet while walking

- Discourages pulling because your pup won’t succeed in their actions

- Provides lifting assistance (if necessary) without causing pain or discomfort

- Helps to stop dogs from jumping up on people or things

- Unlikely to accidentally come off or get tangled up in a leash

- Ideal training tool for puppies

- Reduces the risk of injury, especially to the neck of smaller dog breeds

- Works well for all pet sizes

- Durable and easy to fit any size pet


 - Could be difficult for your dog to adjust to since it adds more restriction on their body 

    Dog Collar


    - Best for dogs that don’t pull on their leash

    - Most collars can be worn all the time

    - Wide variety of collar styles to choose from


      - A potential risk for a neck injury, especially for dogs prone to pulling on a leash

      - Not ideal for dogs with respiratory issues

      - Some dogs could potentially wiggle their way out of a collar

      - Retraining may become more of an issue depending on the size of your dog

        The 3 Main Types of Dog Harnesses 

        Of course, it can’t be as simple as picking up any harness and placing it on your pooch. There are a range of styles available, each with their own specific details based on the size and behavior of your pet. 

        1. Back-Clip Harness

        The back-clip harness includes a D-ring further down your dog’s back, which is great for preventing tangling but can potentially increase pulling. Connecting the leash to the back of your pup means you have a lot of control, but if your dog begins moving in the opposite direction of where you’ve applied force, it could make pulling problems worse. Choosing a back-clip harness means you will be connecting your leash to the back of your pup. Similar to a back-clip harness, sled dog harnesses are designed to connect at the top because it makes the dogs want to pull harder. So, that’s certainly something to consider before you take the plunge

        2. Front-Clip Harness 

        The front-clip harness includes a D-ring that is positioned nicely on your dog’s chest. For pets that tend to pull more often, the front-clip harness is an excellent option to help keep them in line. This is because a pooch will feel an increased pressure in the front as they pull, which will naturally force them to slow down because they want to oppose the pressure. As a result, the front-clip harness will also provide you with more control. 

        3. Dual-Clip Harness

        If you’re looking for the best dog harness in the biz, the dual-clip harness is the way to go. The D-ring is attached to both the harness's front and back, providing versatility for you and your pup. For those who want to enjoy maximum control over your dog walking experience, you could use a double-ended leash and connect to both D-rings, but note that this option will take some practice to master.

        Dual-clip harnesses can be a bit bulkier in size, but the Canada Pooch No-Pull Everything Harness comes well-equipped with everything you need, sans bulk! In addition to the front and back D-ring attachment, the No-Pull Everything Harness features adjustable clips, allowing you to customize neck and girth fit. It also includes the added convenience of a seatbelt loop, which acts as a functional assistance handle for situations where you may need to lift your pouch up by the harness. With all of these features in mind, you can rest easy knowing your pup will be comfy no matter how long you walk, while taking advantage of dual-clip harness functions. 

        Dog collar vs. harness: Choose an option that will make your pup happy 

        Whether you walk your dog for extended periods of time or just a few quick trips throughout the day, nothing is more important than making them happy. Eliminate stressful decision-making by considering the pros and cons of a dog collar vs harness to determine which leash accessory is best suited for you and your pet. Comfort, quality, and safety should be of mind when selecting items for your pet. Canada Pooch is here to help you select the best pet accessories for your lifestyle. We’re here to support pet owners throughout their shopping experience, long after the last dog walk of the day is over. 


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