Collar or Harness: which is better for my dog?

Collar or Harness: which is better for my dog?

If you’re a new dog parent, or even if not, you may be wondering whether using a collar or a harness is better for your dog.  With so many options available in Australia these days, it’s hard to know just which way to go. Ultimately it depends on your dog’s individual traits and behaviors.


The types of dogs that typically should be using a hardness are:

  • Dogs in training: if you’re training your dog you will have better leverage and control with a harness, especially with a harness that has its lead attachment at the front/chest area. Harnesses with lead attachments at the back are less effective.
  • Dogs that pull: If your dog is a puller (we all know them!) using a collar can make them prone to neck injuries. You’re better off using a harness so that the force of their pull is distributed across their body
  • Bulgy eyed dogs: Some breeds of dogs, for example, pugs, are at risk of their eyes popping out if too much strain is applied on their necks, and should therefore always use a harness
  • Dogs that need assistance: Harnesses are a great tool if your dog needs a bit of help. For example for senior dogs that need help getting up there stairs. Or for dogs coming along on outdoor activities such as hiking or boating.
  • Scared or skittish dogs: If your dog gets nervous in certain situations, harnesses are the way to go, as they are very secure. A nervous dog is much more likely to slip out of a collar than a harness.


The types of dogs that typically should be using collars are:

  • Well trained dogs: If your dog is well trained on a leash and always walks by your side, collars are fine to use, as they are not putting any strain on their necks.
  • Dogs who dislike harnesses: Some dogs just don’t like the feeling of wearing a harness, no matter how much you try.
  • Dogs going on quick errands: Sometimes it’s  more convenient to slip a lead onto a collar if you’re in a rush. If you’re just going for a quick outing, there is no harm isleaving the harness at home for a long walk or trip

Even if you don’t use a collar for walking, it’s best practice to always have one on your dog to attach registration and identification tags