Collar or harness? Important usage tips

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The dog in puberty

Collar or harness? Important usage tips

The question of a dog collar or harness is not that easy to answer. Both variants have their raison d’être and many factors play an important role in this decision. At best, the dog is used to both methods so that you remain flexible on the next walk and when romping outside. He should accept the lead and not pull on it wildly. In addition, the choice between collar and harness also depends on the breed and size of the dog. In the following sections you will find out what to look for when buying and when which model is suitable.

Dog collar as a health risk under strong pressure

A dog collar is quick to put on and can even be worn without a leash for a longer period of time. Many owners associate the products with a small tag in which the owner’s address can be found. If the dog accidentally runs away, it is quickly assigned again. The straps are closed with a buckle and must not be too close to the neck. However, if the dog is not used to the leash or if the dog pulls very hard when walking, health problems can arise. Due to the narrow band, the pressure is only distributed over a very small area. The neck and larynx are particularly sensitive areas here and are under a lot of stress. The consequences of very strong and frequent pressure are:

  • Laryngitis
  • chronic rattle
  • to cough
  • Back and cervical vertebrae diseases

However, the problem is not with the dog collar itself. Rather, it is the behavior of animals and humans that can lead to the damage to health.

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Some owners are of the opinion that they have to train the dog with a strong leash jerk. Veterinarians warn against a fallacy, because the four-legged friend gets pain, fear and pulls even more on the leash to get out of the situation. The aim is to get the dog used to the leash as a puppy and to practice with him regularly. As long as no pressure is exerted, the collars are harmless and offer the dog more freedom of movement than with a dog harness.

Note: Some dog breeds, despite a good upbringing, like to follow their hunting instinct or simply pull forward out of curiosity. In this case, a good dog harness is more suitable.

Advantages of dog harnesses – pressure is better distributed

In some situations dogs pull the leash strongly on their own and are better protected with a dog harness. The pressure is then distributed over the entire upper body and is not only located on the sensitive dog’s neck. At the same time, the harness offers more safety in difficult terrain and is easier for the owner to control. If your dog likes to move on the leash, the right dog harness is also recommended. There are different models that adapt to the dog’s chest size and are equipped with different straps. A detailed overview and comparison of the models can be found at For example, it also plays a role whether the dishes are padded and breathable.

Important: dog harnesses must fit properly

The dog harness is only a better alternative if it fits properly and has been correctly adjusted. For example, if the straps are too wide, the dog cannot move naturally. The result is a wrong posture, which causes problems for the entire musculoskeletal system. In addition, unpadded belts quickly chafe the skin or the animal sweats too much in the areas. If it is too loose, the line guide is difficult to handle. A good dog harness should therefore meet the following points:

  • breathable materials
  • soft and flexible processing
  • long back bar
  • adjustable length in the chest area
  • sturdy buckles as a fastener
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Conclusion – your dog determines the leash system

So there is no general answer as to whether the dog leash or harness fits better. It always depends on the dog’s behavior and of course the physique. If no exceptional situations are to be expected and your dog is correctly on the leash, the collar is much more comfortable. The dog harness is recommended for all other cases. It offers a little more security and distributes the pressure better. But: nothing beats an occasional free run. After all, your dog should be able to move sufficiently without a leash.