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Dog collar vs harness: know what's right for you & top safety tips

Published on 2 Feb 2022

Labrador Retrievers guide dogs wearing harness sitting in park.

Know What's Right For You & Top Safety Tips

Walking your dog is a key part of establishing a healthy routine and we suggest you always take them out and about with proper safety gear. Hard tugs from the excited pooch may lead to neck injuries and sores. 

For a better approach to safety, consider getting a dog collar or a harness. To help you narrow down a good choice, we have highlighted a brief guideline on dog collars vs. harnesses.

Dog Collars

The most popular choice of training gear for dogs has to be collars. Dog collars come in a variety of styles, types and each has their own purpose.

Traditional Collars

Traditional Collars are a relatively better choice if your dog is trained and does not pull on the lead. Such collars also offer exceptional comfort, do not constrict your dog's neck and can be left attached for long periods of time.


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Slip Collars

Slip Collars are constructed for dogs with either thick necks or slim heads like bulldogs and greyhounds. If your dog is prone to letting loose its traditional collars and slip out easily, slip collars are a good consideration. They do not choke, constrict or slide off your dog's neck. 


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Flat Collars

Flat Collars are good for everyday use. Their lightweight structure offers comfort and convenience. Another good choice is the Breakaway Collar which unbuckles under pressure. A great consideration if your dog likes to run free or prey upon squirrels. 


Training Collars

Training Collars like prongs and choke collars are designed to limit harsh tugs on the leash when on walks to help reinforce smooth walking and reduce choking accidents. However, the constriction may be a discomfort to your dog. Consider a purchase only if it suits your dog's breed, size and health. 

The Advantages of Dog Collars

  • Dog Collars allow you to securely attach identification tags on your dog at all times.
  • A wide variety of dog collars are available to help you choose the right one customised to the size, breed and health of your dog.
  • Dog Collars are lightweight and widely available. Most dogs don't even notice they have a snap or flat-buckle collar on - just remember to use the two finger rule to make sure the collar is neither too loose nor too tight. 

The Disadvantages of Dog Collars

  • Small sized dogs like chihuahuas may not feel comfortable in a collar and slip out easily.
  • Dog Collars may get jammed into random items or collars/jaws of other dogs during roughhousing in the park.
  • If not fit properly, incorrect sizing may lead to protrusion of the eyes, suffocation or choking.

When Should I Use A Dog Collar?

We recommend using a collar for identification, a fashion accessory and only walking on a lead if you're comfortable controlling your dog. If you are training your dog for loose lead walking or have issues with pulling we recommend a front-attached dog harness. 

The Fuzzyard Dog Collar is lightweight and best to use if your dog likes to jump into puddles for fun and the All Weather Dog Collar is best if you're looking for an eco-friendly dog collar that works like a charm in all weathers.

Dog Harnesses

A popular choice among dog parents, a harness offers comfort and control of your pooch without the risk of choking or constriction as some collars might. When fitted properly, they can help your dog with leash training and encourage proper behaviour.

Dog harnesses are of two types i.e front-attach and back-attach harness.

Front-attach harnesses

Front-attach harnesses are great if your furry friend is a larger size. Such harnesses have a front lead and offer better control on walks. This shoudl be your starter harness for training or dogs who have issues with pulling on the lead.

A front-attach harness discourages pulling by turning the dog with each pull. 


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Back-attached harnesses

Once you and your dog are comfortable walking on the lead without exessive pulling, a back-attached harness offers more freedom.


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The Advantages of Harnesses

  • Dog harnesses prevent tugging and pulling on the leash which reduces neck injuries and respiratory problems.
  • Help ease walk training in newly born puppies.
  • Harnesses have an extensive sizing available and can fit any dog breed.

The Disadvantages of Harnesses

  • A wrongly fit harness has a bad impact on your dog’s movement and gait.
  • Excessive use can cause elbow chafing, harnesses are not built for long periods of wearing.
  • Long-coat dog breeds are prone to getting their hair tangled in harnesses.
  • The wrong harness during training can encourage pulling. We suggest a front-attached harness for training your puppy for leash walks.

When Should I Use A Harness On My Dog? 

A dog harness is constructed for better support, reducing neck strain and easing control on daily walks. The best use of a dog harness is during car rides and since securing your dog in cars is necessary by Australian law as well, adding a harness helps restrain your pooch and prevents the risk of being fined. The latch on a car dog harness does not get stuck unlike dog collars and your dog is seated comfortably. 

Good harnesses include EzyDog Chest Plate Black Dog Harness if you're looking to drive around with your pooch or the Halti No Pull Dog Harness if you are looking to train your dog not to pull on the harness.

Your pets are your family and providing the best care to them, finding the best products and investing in good choices helps them lead a happy life.

Check out more of our pet articles

Always consult a professional if you have serious concerns or save time and consult the best doctors on our VetChat.


Chow Chow brown dog close up portrait.

JK Growling

JK Growling likes the finger things in life (except wizards, don’t get her started). She only eats the bougie treats, loves showing off her tricks to the humans to get her bougie treats. 

She has one human: Delores, who she has wrapped around her little paw.

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