Why is a Collar Better Than a Harness?

Why is a Collar Better Than a Harness?

As a pet product expert and someone who’s seen every kind of dog walking tool under the sun, I’ve had many clients ask, “Why is a collar better than a harness?” It’s a great question that opens up a debate as lively as a dog park meet-up! While harnesses are often touted for their benefits, there are several reasons why sometimes, the good old collar can still be king.

Yes, in many cases, collars can be better than harnesses, especially for training purposes, ease of use, and maintaining a dog’s comfort.

Let’s delve into why some dog trainers and veterinarians still recommend collars over harnesses and identify which scenarios make a collar the superior choice.

Why do dog collars have an enduring appeal to dog owners and trainers?

Collars are not just a traditional choice—they are often a practical one. They serve multiple purposes from holding ID tags to facilitating easy leash attachment, making them an indispensable part of a dog’s life.

Simplicity and Efficiency:

  • Ease of Use: Collars are straightforward to put on and take off, making them convenient for quick trips outside.
  • Durability: Designed to last, collars are made from materials that can endure the rigors of daily use without much wear and tear.

Training and Control:

  • Direct Communication: Collars allow for nuanced control and immediate feedback during training sessions, which can help correct behavior more effectively.
  • Preferred by Trainers: Many professional trainers prefer collars because they foster better communication between the dog and the handler during training exercises.

Why Choose a Collar Over a Harness?

When debating whether to use a collar or a harness for your dog, consider the following points that highlight the advantages of collars:

1. Better for Training:

  • Immediate Corrections: Collars are effective for teaching leash manners because they allow for quick and gentle corrections.
  • Focus on Training: They help dogs learn to pay attention to their handler’s cues rather than pulling against the restraint, as some might with a harness.

2. Less Cumbersome:

  • Lightweight: Collars are lighter than harnesses, which means they are less likely to cause discomfort or interfere with a dog’s natural movements.
  • Better for Hot Weather: Collars do not cover as much of the body as harnesses, allowing dogs to stay cooler during hot weather.

3. Ideal for Well-Behaved Dogs:

  • Minimal Restriction: For dogs that do not have issues with pulling or respiratory concerns, collars provide enough control without the extra bulk of a harness.
  • Quick to Equip: For dogs that are calm on walks, collars are easier and quicker to put on for spontaneous outings.

Top Collar Recommendations Over Harnesses

Choosing the right collar is as important as deciding between a collar and a harness. Here are some top picks that offer superior benefits over harnesses:

  • Leather Collars: Known for their durability and classic style, leather collars are gentle on the fur and strong enough for both training and everyday use.
  • Martingale Collars: Excellent for training without the choking effect of traditional choke collars. They tighten just enough to prevent a dog from slipping out without applying excessive pressure.


While harnesses are often recommended for dogs that pull, collars can be a better option for many dogs, offering ease of use, effective training capabilities, and comfort. Especially for well-behaved dogs or those undergoing training, a good quality collar can be the perfect blend of functionality and simplicity.

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FAQ about dog

Do Vets Recommend Collars or Harnesses?

Veterinarians generally recommend harnesses over collars, especially for dogs with respiratory issues, neck sensitivity, or prone to pulling. Harnesses distribute pressure more evenly around the body and reduce the risk of injury to the neck, which can occur with collars if the dog pulls or if force is applied suddenly.

Do Dog Trainers Recommend Collars or Harnesses?

Dog trainers often recommend harnesses for training and walking because they provide better control over the dog without risking injury to the neck. Harnesses are particularly favored for dogs that are still learning leash manners or tend to pull. However, the choice can depend on the specific training situation, with some trainers preferring collars for specific training tasks that require more precise control over the dog’s head and mouth.

What are the Pros of Collars?

Collars have several advantages:

  1. Convenience: They are easy to put on and take off, making them convenient for quick outings.
  2. Identification: Collars are ideal for holding ID tags, registration details, and rabies vaccination tags, which are important for compliance with local laws.
  3. Training: Some training methods require a collar because it allows for direct, gentle corrections that can be communicated through the leash and collar setup.

Why Do Dog Trainers Not Use Harnesses?

Some dog trainers might choose not to use harnesses for several reasons:

  1. Reduced Control Over Head Movements: Harnesses, especially those that clip at the back, do not provide control over the dog’s head, which can be crucial in certain training scenarios where directing the dog’s attention immediately is necessary.
  2. Potential to Encourage Pulling: Particularly back-clip harnesses can make pulling feel more comfortable for the dog, potentially reinforcing the pulling behavior rather than discouraging it.
  3. Less Precision in Corrections: When precise, minimal corrections are needed during training, a collar might offer better sensitivity and immediate feedback to the dog than a harness.

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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