Puppy Harness or Collar – Pros, Cons & Alternatives

puppy harness or collar

Have you recently adopted a new puppy? Congratulations! With all you’ve had to do to get your puppy settled in, maybe you haven’t even thought about collars and harnesses. But you should certainly think of these things soon: puppy harness or collar?

You’ll have to decide whether you will use a puppy harness or collar. Can you use both? Yes, your dog can certainly wear both a collar and harness. In fact, many experts recommend that. Let’s talk about harnesses, collars, and the pros and cons of each. 

Puppy Harness or Collar – Understanding a Harness for Puppy

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Harnesses come in different designs and materials, but one constant is that they have straps that hold your dog around the middle of the body.

They stand in contrast to collars, which hold your dog at the neck. Many dog owners prefer harnesses because they feel uncomfortable with attaching a leash to their dog’s collar. They worry that they might end up distressing or injuring their dog by leading it around on a collar

Instead of attaching the leash to a collar, you can attach it to a harness. To use one, you should start getting your puppy adjusted to wearing a harness at the same time that you would normally start thinking about leash training.

Don’t wait too long to do this, as you want to start while your puppy is quite young. You can gently and gradually begin this when they are only about seven weeks old. Don’t make the mistake of waiting months to start leash training. You’ll find it a difficult task if you do. 

Different Kinds of Harnesses

There are several different kinds of harnesses on the market. You’ll need to understand each of these and decide which one is best for your dog. There are: 

Dual-Clip Harnesses

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If you want to combine the perks of front-clip harnesses and back-clip harnesses, check out dual-clip harnesses. There are also multi-clip harnesses available. 

Front-Clip Harnesses

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If you want maximum control from the harness, choose a front clip harness. When you put a front-clip harness on your puppy, the leash connection clip is in the chest area. One potential downside of front clip harnesses is how they’re a little more likely to tangle. 

Back-Clip Harnesses


A back-clip harness is the most common type of harness. If you use a back-clip harness, be prepared for not having as much control as you would with other kinds of harnesses. Back-clip harnesses are best for dogs that are already well-trained with the leash

Over the Head Harnesses


There are also head halter harnesses. These are quite different from other kinds of harnesses. Whatever kind of harness you decide is best for your puppy, ensure it is the correct fit. An incorrectly fitted harness is potentially hazardous for your dog

Puppy Harness or Collar – Exploring Collars

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Your puppy’s collar must fit correctly and be comfortable. The collar’s width should increase with the size of your dog. The most important collar use is for holding your puppy’s ID tags. While many experts recommend against connecting the leash to a collar, your dog will still need to wear one for this purpose. 

Never use shock collars, prong collars, or choke collars on any kind of dog, and especially not on puppies. 

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Collars for Your Puppy? 

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Many dog owners are more familiar with collars than they are with harnesses. However, there are some significant potential drawbacks to connecting the leash to your puppy’s collar. If you have a smaller and more delicate breed of dog, pulling him too briskly may cause serious medical emergencies. For example, this may cause a collapsed trachea

Other kinds of dogs (for example, dogs that have heads the same size as their necks) may be able to squirm their way out of the collar. Yes, that is possible. And on top of all this, even dogs that seem fine being led by the collar may end up with medical problems in the long run. 

So, to summarize, here are some disadvantages of collars: 

Below are some advantages of collars: 

  • A well-fitted collar is great for wearing around the house.
  • You should hang your dog’s ID tags and other required items (such as license and rabies vaccination verification tag) from a collar. 

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Harnesses for Your Puppy? 

A correctly fitting harness is essential for your puppy. Get your puppy used to wearing a harness early on, so they can enjoy more comfortable and controlled walking outdoors. There are many advantages to using a harness for your puppy. These include: 

  • Better leash-control
  • No risk of neck injury for your puppy
  • Greater comfort for your puppy

As helpful as harnesses are, however, there may be disadvantages to using a harness. Here they are below: 

Why Should a Dog Wear Both a Harness and Collar? 

As touched on earlier, your dog will need a collar for wearing its ID tags. You should also have a harness, as that’s what you should attach the leash to. Get your puppy used to a properly fitting collar and harness early on. When your puppy is just at home, it won’t have to wear a harness. However, when you go for a walk a leash attached to a harness is ideal. 

When you connect the leash to a harness instead of a collar, your dog will be more comfortable. You will also have better control, and you’ve eliminated the risk of neck injury for your dog. 

Puppy Harness or Collar – How to Get Your Puppy Used to Harnesses

Give your puppy plenty of time to slowly get used to the feeling of wearing a harness. Never try to rush getting your puppy accustomed to harnesses and collars. This is a process that will take time. Introduce the harness to your dog in a gentle and subtle way, and slowly get the puppy used to the feeling of having the harness against his skin. 

Gradually put the harness on the puppy. Take care that the puppy never associates the harness with something unpleasant or negative. Try putting some dog toys or treats beside the harness and let your puppy see that. Make getting used to the harness a part of playtime or treat time. Make sure your puppy associates the feeling of the harness with positive things. 

Once your puppy is used to the harness, don’t make him wear it too much. Never make your dog regularly wear the harness when just at home. As mentioned earlier, wearing the harness too much can lead to skin issues. Also, when a dog wears a harness unsupervised, it may get caught on things in the environment. 

Puppy Harness or Collar – Enjoy Training Your Puppy! 

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  • 𝗙𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀 : The quick release buckle is fully adjustable with a side release buckle to fasten around your pet’s neck and...
  • 𝗘𝘅𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗗𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻 : Give your dog some style with a Regal Dog Products Navy/White Striped Bowtie Dog...

Now you understand the differences between harnesses and collars, and you know how to use each. Good luck with training your puppy! 

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