Should I Always Walk My Dog in a Harness?

Should I Always Walk My Dog in a Harness?

Should I Always Walk My Dog in a Harness?

Navigating the world of dog walking gear can be like finding the right pair of shoes for a marathon—not just any will do. As a dog owner, you might wonder whether it’s better to always use a harness or if there are times when a collar might be more appropriate. This guide will help you make informed decisions based on safety, comfort, and the activity at hand.

Harnesses offer distinct advantages over collars, distributing pressure more evenly across the body, making them safer and more comfortable, especially for dogs that pull.

Let’s dissect the pros and cons of harnesses and collars to understand why choosing the right type is crucial for your dog’s health and your peace of mind.

Harness vs. Collar: What’s Better for Your Dog?

Understanding the nuances between harnesses and collars can dramatically affect your dog’s walking experience. Let’s explore the benefits and drawbacks to ensure you choose the right equipment for your furry friend.

Advantages of Dog Harnesses:

  • Safety First: Harnesses mitigate the risk of neck injuries by distributing leash pressure across a larger area.
  • Control and Comfort: They provide enhanced control without discomfort, making them ideal for training and managing dogs that pull.
  • Suitable for Puppies and Seniors: Harnesses are great for dogs at any life stage but are especially beneficial for those that might need gentle handling.

Disadvantages of Dog Harnesses:

  • Fit and Complexity: Some harnesses can be complex to fit correctly, and a poor fit can lead to discomfort or escape.
  • Potential Restriction: Incorrectly fitted harnesses might restrict a dog’s natural movement, especially around the shoulders.

Advantages of Dog Collars:

  • Ease of Use: Collars are simple to put on and take off, which is convenient for quick outings.
  • Less Restrictive: For dogs that do not pull, collars are lightweight and less cumbersome than harnesses.
  • Identification: Collars are essential for holding ID tags, which is important for identification and legal purposes.

Disadvantages of Dog Collars:

  • Risk of Injury: Collars can exert dangerous pressure on a dog’s neck, potentially leading to tracheal or spinal injuries.
  • Limited Control: They offer less control over dogs who haven’t mastered leash manners, which can complicate training efforts.

When to Use a Harness or a Collar?

Choosing between a harness and a collar often depends on the specific activities you have planned with your dog. Here are some guidelines to help you decide based on various scenarios:

Harnesses Are Best For:

  • Vigorous Activities: Such as hiking or running, where control and safety are paramount.
  • Training Sessions: Where pulling might occur, and you need to manage your dog gently without risking neck injury.
  • Dogs With Health Concerns: Particularly those with respiratory issues or prone to injuries.

Collars Are Best For:

  • Casual Walks: In safe, low-distraction environments where your dog walks calmly by your side.
  • Quick Trips Outside: Such as bathroom breaks in a secure area where little to no pulling occurs.
  • Well-trained Dogs: That do not pull on the leash and respond well to commands.

Practical Tips for Harness and Collar Use:

The right gear can transform your walks from stressful outings into enjoyable adventures. Here are some practical tips for using harnesses and collars:

  • Check the Fit Regularly: Whether you choose a harness or collar, ensuring a proper fit is essential to prevent escape and ensure comfort.
  • Inspect Gear for Damage: Regularly check your dog’s gear for any signs of wear that might affect its functionality or safety.
  • Adapt to Your Dog’s Needs: Consider your dog’s health, behavior, and the nature of your outing when deciding whether to use a harness or collar.


Ultimately, whether you choose a harness or collar may depend on a variety of factors including your dog’s behavior, health, and the type of activity. Understanding both options allows you to make choices that enhance your dog’s safety and enjoyment during walks.

QQPETS is the leading wholesale dog harness manufacturer of adjustable harnesses for dogs and other items that people may use when walking their dogs. Our goal is to make dog walking easy for pet owners by providing valuable accessories. We offer a variety of customization services including custom logos, custom graphics, custom products and more. If you want to start your dog products business, check out our website and contact us today.

FAQ about dog

Should You Walk Your Dog with a Harness?

  • Recommendation: Yes, walking your dog with a harness is often recommended, especially for dogs that pull or have respiratory issues. Harnesses distribute pressure more evenly across the dog’s body than collars, reducing the risk of neck strain and injury, and providing better control during walks.

Should a Dog Wear a Harness All the Time?

  • Recommendation: No, it is not advisable for a dog to wear a harness all the time. Continuous wear can lead to skin irritation, discomfort, and even injury, especially if the harness rubs or if it is not perfectly fitted. Harnesses should be removed after walks or training sessions to allow the dog’s skin to breathe and to prevent any discomfort or injury from prolonged pressure.

Do Dogs Behave Better with a Harness?

  • Observation: Many owners and trainers find that dogs can behave better with a harness, especially during walks. Harnesses discourage pulling and can make it easier to manage the dog’s movements. They can also make training sessions more effective by providing the trainer with better control and the ability to guide the dog more gently and clearly.

Are No Pull Harnesses Bad for Dogs?

  • Consideration: No-pull harnesses are not inherently bad for dogs and are designed to help teach dogs not to pull on the leash by applying gentle pressure. However, they must be used correctly and fit properly. Poorly fitted no-pull harnesses or incorrect use can lead to discomfort or restrict movement. It’s important to ensure that the harness is adjusted properly for your dog and to use no-pull harnesses as part of a broader training approach that includes positive reinforcement.

Article by

Kyra Luo

Product Design Manager

Kyra is the Product Design Manager at QQPETS, where her expertise in developing high-quality, customized pet products and keen insight into market trends has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals, save money, and satisfy consumer needs.

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Kyra Luo

Product Design Manager

Kyra is the Product Design Manager at QQPETS, where her expertise in developing high-quality, customized pet products and keen insight into market trends has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals, save money, and satisfy consumer needs.

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