Dog Collar Vs Dog Harness: which is best?

Walking is a huge part of daily life with a dog, and making sure they have a comfortable and well fitting collar or harness is important to keeping them happy and healthy. But have you ever found yourself wondering if one is better than the other?

Collars have been a staple among the dog accessory world for many many years, providing a simple and effective way of securing a lead to your dog while also signifying that they are not a stray and likely have an owner who loves them. But over the years more and more dogs can be found strutting the streets with their lead attached to a harness instead. So when it comes to clipping on your lead and heading out for a walk, which one is better?

dog wearing a green collar with lead attached

Collar vs Harness. The pros and the cons

The main difference between the two is simple: a collar fastens around the dog’s neck, typically with a buckle or clasp, whereas a harness covers a wider surface area (the chest, shoulders, and upper back). Both can often be adjusted to ensure a secure and comfortable fit, and they can now be found in various different colours and styles to suit your aesthetic desires, so if like us you love to switch up your accessories, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Dog Collar

blue leather dog collar


  • Convenient, and less intrusive. Collars are lightweight, easy to take on and off, and comfortable enough to be left on at all times.
  • D ring to hold ID tag. UK law requires all dogs to wear identification tags in public places, and the D ring of a dog collar is the perfect place for it to sit.
  • Different styles to try. From the flat collars you may most commonly see, to the martingale collar seen on Whippets and Greyhounds, there are different styles of collars to suit different needs, and breeds. Making sure you have the correct fit for your dog’s collar is a necessity no matter what style you have.


  • Some dogs can easily slip out. If the collar is too loose, or your dog’s head is a similar size to their neck, then you may find they’re more likely to slip out of a regular flat collar.
  • Puts added pressure on a dogs trachea. The neck is a sensitive part for all dogs, so any form of pulling (whether that’s a quick tug of the lead or the consistent pulling of your pup) can cause damage to their neck, airway, spine and back. Because of this, it is not safe for dogs with certain medical conditions, such as glaucoma, eye proptosis, neck injuries or spinal malformations, to walk with a lead attached to their collar.
  • Not safe for dogs that pull. Because of the above, it is not wise to walk your dog on a collar if they have a tendency to pull constantly and not walk by your side as this can cause injury and reduce airflow.

Dog Harness

dog harness collection from barc london


  • Reduce pressure on neck and trachea. A harness distributes pressure over a larger surface of the dog’s body (the chest, shoulders and upper back) as opposed to the neck, therefore reducing the risk of injury to this area. Linked with the above, a well-fitted harness can also help to reduce back pain in dogs.



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