Picking the Right Dog Collar/Harness

Picking the Right Dog Collar/Harness

Many pet owners will rely solely on a personal sense of style in picking a dog collar.

And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with a fashionable dog collar, some dogs may require more specialized types of collars or harnesses to better suit their needs. Here are some considerations to make while searching for the right collar or harness for your dog.


If your dog prefers to lunge ahead of you rather than walking at your side, you’ll want to avoid regular harnesses that connect to the leash on the back. These harnesses will help turn your lunger into a force to be reckoned with. Instead, consider a no-pull harness or head halter designed for dogs who pull.

Problem Skin

Dogs with sensitive skin can be tricky when it comes to finding the appropriate collar or harness. Look for padded collars or harnesses to help avoid chafing and also keep in mind any sensitivities to certain materials.

Water Dogs

Dogs spending a lot of time at the beach or in some other kind of body of water will need a more durable collar that won’t wear down easily after repeated exposure to liquid. These waterproof collars also often keep odor-free—a nice added benefit.

Escape Artists

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, as well as abilities for escape, so it may take a little trial and error to find the right fit. Dogs with a head smaller than their neck can often easily maneuver their way out of a collar if so inclined. Because necks are a sensitive area, opt for a well-fitted, comfortable harness over a snug collar or a collar that tightens. Also consider using two separate leashes, one attached to the harness and one attached to a collar as backup.

Dogs Who Walk in the Dark

If you and your dog do a lot of early morning and night walking, consider a reflective or lighted collar, or harness. Darkly coated dogs in particular will benefit from the added visibility. The more lighting the better to help alert cyclists, pedestrians, and other dog walkers of you and your dog’s presence.

Hot Dogs

Most dogs living in hot environments or during summer weather can benefit from a cooling harness. It’s a nice, functional two-in-one. There’s more to picking a dog collar or harness than aesthetic appeal. Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re out shopping for a new collar.

Jessica Peralta

Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for more than 15 years and an animal lover all her life. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. Her current children are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black kitten named Riot (and he lives up to that name). It’s because of her love for animals that she focused her journalistic career to the world of holistic animal care and pet nutrition. In between keeping Riot and Guinness out of mischief, she’s constantly learning about all the ways she can make them healthier and happier.
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