Dog Harness vs Collar | Which Is Best For Your Dog?

Harnesses and dog collars are very important tools for any pet owner to own.

They are always recommended to have on the pets, to keep them from bolting out of reach at a moment’s notice. 

dog harness vs collar
dog harness vs collar

There are variations of harnesses and collars. And adding to that, each harness and collar have their own advantages and disadvantages. And often pet owners, especially newbie pet owners wonder about which is better. 

There are various sites and shops like dog leash Canada, which sell harnesses and collars. But as a consumer, you need to understand what is best for your dog before randomly buying one. 

Some dogs are better off with a leash than others. While some dogs need you to make sure they are harnessed at all times, for their betterment. Any mistake on your part can have a long-lasting effect on your dog. 

The ultimate showdown will decide which tool you will use as a dog owner from now on. Harness vs Collar | Which Is Best For Your Dog? 

Collar and harness

Before we delve into what is better, let’s find out more about our subjects of interest. Both have a unique history and plenty of uses. 

The history of dog collar

The first recorded collar depiction was found in Saudi Arabia. Stone tablets depicting large hunting dogs that were on some sort of leash with a man. 

These were the earliest signs of dogs on collars by a civilization that could portray them through language or art. The Shuwaymis had these tablet portraits, and some of them dated over 8000 years old. 

The first known collar or leash for dogs used by a civilization comes from the Sumerians of the Mesopotamian region. 

Egyptians, Mayans, Greeks, and Romans valued their dog-like spirit animals or gods at times. Their collars were usually inlaced with ornaments and jewelry depending on who owned these dogs. 

Which gave scientists the notion, that collars were not just only used to control the dog’s movement. But it also acted as a symbol of status and had quite a bit of value. 

The history of dog harness

Harnesses for dogs have existed for a very long time. It might not be as long as a dog collar, but longer than most people would be able to guess. 

The oldest evidence of harnesses is found by scientists on arctic islands. Some rings and parts connect to sleds for dogs to pull them. These artifacts are about 10,000 years old if the scientists are correct. 

This shows how important dog harnesses were even back then. Horses couldn’t be always counted on in many parts of the world. 

Similarly, buffalos or reindeer, or any deers were not domesticated. And the lack of food for the people left them no choice but to leave that idea behind. If you cannot feed yourself, how could you feed a large horse or a buffalo in the deserted tundras of the artics?

This left people at that time in dire need of a strong and loyal animal. Which could pull heavy loads and could help in hunting. Also, this animal needed to survive on low amounts of food.  Dogs were immediately elected to be on top of the list for such a companion. 

The capability of dog harness and dog collar

Now we know a bit more about dog collars and harnesses. We can learn about the perks and quirks of each of these tools. 

This helps us weigh their pros and cons and compare them to find out which is best for your dog. 

Harness for dogs

Harnesses are tools that are used to help dogs be guided, hold them stationary, help convert their pulling power to transport loads, and lift them safely without injuring them. 

The harness is unique in that it lets the dog breathe while doing any of the actions that are shown above. And due to the large contact area, the force utilized is more effective. Either by the dog or if it’s fitted to go against the movement of the dog to help the owner guide it. 

Harness types

Harnesses come in many shapes and with different work benefits. Each is unique and helps different dogs to get the most out of their niche. 

Sled harness

Sled harness is the oldest use of harness known to us. It is currently used by cyclists, sledding, pulling heavy loads, and transporting people. There are different sled harnesses available to helps dogs make the most out of what they are pulling. 

Spreader bar harnesses help dogs to use more power as the harness is spread over a larger surface area, which helps them pull weights more efficiently.  Half-harnesses are made to keep dogs get less sport-related injuries, as sledding is a big sport in the upper parts of the world. 

Tactical harness

The tactical harness is used by the military and police to use the dogs as a form of extra aid in combat or dangerous situations. These have a layer of a bulletproof vest, many handles, and pockets to carry the necessary equipment. 

The equipment on these harnesses is usually custom-made for each situation, GPS tracker and flashlight are the most common tools on them. 

Anti-pull/no-pull harness

No pull or anti-pull harness works against the movement of the dog, to stop them from straying away. They usually have mechanisms that tighten slightly if the dog goes against the direction of the leash that the owner is pulling.  The person pulling the leash can use little pressure to guide the dog.

This tiny discomfort is a way of telling them to move the way the owner wants. It’s often best used to teach puppies and erratic dogs to learn how to behave. 

Assistance or service dogs harness

Assistance and service dog harness has very unique and identifiable patterns or capes to help people identify them as an assistance dog. They have rigid handles for the owner’s comfort and can pull the owners where it’s needed. 

Dogs that serve with an assistance harness, serve people with disabilities and problems. This helps dogs guide the owners safely and accurately. 

Rehabilitation harness

Dogs that have any sort of disability or are amputated need aid to move around. Rehabilitation harness helps them move with minimal issues. 

These have supports or rods that help take the weight off the areas that the dogs cannot support themselves. The supports are attached to the leash the owners have, which makes the owners responsible for shifting the weight of their dogs. 

Collars for dogs

Dog are fitted with collars to identify, restrain, protect, or is fashion for them. But collars are often known to cause damage to a dog’s trachea and pressurize the neck. Dogs rid themselves of collars if they have nimble neck muscles. 

Types of dog collars

Dog collars have different uses depending on the owner’s choice and type of dog niche. 

Normal collar 

The most common collar is the buckle collar that is made to go around the dog’s neck with a belt buckle to keep it from getting off. 

Safety stretch collar

Safety stretch collars are made to help dogs get free if they are about to be strangled by the collar or leash.  It has a stretchable elastic that releases itself if too much pressure is applied to the dog’s neck. 

Breakaway collar

A breakaway collar is also made to help the dog get loose of the collar in times of danger. It detaches itself if the pressure on the dog’s neck exceeds a certain limit, freeing the dog. 

Reflective collars

Reflective collars are used as a way to find dogs or see dogs in the dark. This is usually really helpful inroads, where the cars upfront can see dogs if they are on the roads often. 

Studded collars

Studded collars are used to keep dogs safe from any predators or other animals from injuring/biting the dog’s neck. The studs are usually riveted on the collar and have spikes or domed studs depending on the need.

Elizabethan collar

Are a reverse cone that is fitted around the neck of the dog to stop it from scratching its head with its paws. Or to stop the dog from licking any wounds on its body, as dogs usually can infect the wound on its body with the germs collected in its tongue. 

Flea collar

Flea collars are made with flea repelling chemicals and properties to keep fleas away. 

Which is better?

The harness is definitely is the better. They have way more perks and usability and keeps the dogs from harming their trachea or strangle it with the leash. They also can help injured or disabled dogs to get support where needed. 

Overall you might want to keep your dog harnessed.

To conclude

We finally learned and found out which is better to restrain and keep your dog safe. Hope this helps future, current dog owners to move away from conventional and unsafe collars to harnesses.

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