Dog Harness Vs Martingale Collar – Choose Wisely

dog harness vs martingale collar

As a dog owner, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right equipment to keep your furry friend safe on walks.

With so many options available, it’s daunting to decide between a dog harness vs martingale collar. 

A dog harness is worn around the body of a dog, while a martingale collar is worn around the neck. A harness can provide better control over the dog and distribute pressure more evenly, while a martingale collar is designed to prevent the dog from backing out of the collar.

In this article, I will explore the features, benefits, and considerations associated with dog training collars and harnesses, allowing you to choose the best option for your dog’s needs.

Dog Harness Vs Martingale Collar – What’s The Difference Between 

Harnesses offer enhanced control and weight distribution, ideal for dogs that tend to pull during walks. Meanwhile, martingale dog collars prevent escape and aid in training, making them suitable for dogs prone to slipping out or with neck issues. 

When it comes to choosing the right collar between harness and a martingale collar, there are a few key differences to consider. Let’s break it down:

  1. Control And Leash Attachment:
    • Dog Harness: A harness provides better control over your dog’s movements, distributing the force across their body instead of just the neck.
    • Martingale Collar: A martingale collar is designed to prevent dogs from slipping out of their collar, offering a secure fit and control.
  1. Safety And Comfort:
    • Dog Harness: Harnesses reduce strain on the neck, making them a safer option, especially for dogs with respiratory issues or delicate neck structures.
    • Martingale Collar: Martingale collars can be gentler on the neck compared to traditional collars, but they may not distribute forces as evenly as a harness.
  2. Training And Behavioral Issues:
    • Dog Harness: Certain harness designs, like front-clip or no-pull harnesses, can be effective training aids, discouraging pulling and other unwanted behaviors.
    • Martingale Collar: Martingale collars are commonly used for training purposes, offering gentle control and correction for dogs that need guidance.
  1. Suitability For Different Breeds:
  • Dog Harness: Harnesses are generally suitable for most dog breeds, but it’s important to choose the right size and style based on your dog’s body shape and behavior.
  • Martingale Collar: Martingale collars are particularly popular for sighthounds and dogs with narrower heads, as they provide a snug fit without the risk of slipping off.

In the end, the choice between a dog harness and a martingale collar depends on your dog’s specific needs, behavior, and comfort. 

  1. Dog Harness

Pros Of Dog Harness

Dog harnesses have become increasingly popular among dog owners in recent years, and for good reason. They offer several advantages over traditional collars that make them a great choice for many dogs.

  • Even pressure distribution for comfort and reduced strain.
  • Greater control with multiple leash attachment points.
  • Front attachments discourage pulling behavior.
  • Specialized options available for specific breeds and activities.
  • Adjustable straps ensure a comfortable fit.
  • Consider what works best for you and your pet.
  • A well-fitting harness offers advantages worth considering.

Cons Of Dog Harness

While dog harnesses have their benefits, they also have some cons to consider.

  • Harnesses can be bulky and challenging to put on.
  • Some dogs may find the sensation uncomfortable or restrictive.
  • Poorly fitting harnesses may interfere with natural movement.
  • Front-clip harnesses can inadvertently reinforce pulling behavior.
  • Transitioning from collar to harness may reduce owner control.
  • Consider pros and cons based on your specific needs.

Types Of Dog Harness

When it comes to dog harnesses, there are many different types available on the market. The type of harness that is best for your dog will depend on their size, breed, and behavior.

Front-Clip Harnesses

For dogs who pull, we like the newer generation of front-clip harnesses for your dog. This type of harness has a clip at the front of the chest which helps to discourage pulling by redirecting your dog’s attention back towards you. It can also be helpful for dogs who tend to lunge or jump.

Back-Clip Harness

Another option is a back-clip harness which attaches at the top near your dog’s shoulders. This type of harness can be great for small dogs or those with sensitive necks since it takes the pressure off their trachea.

Anti-Pull Harness

For larger and stronger breeds, a no-pull or anti-pull harness might be necessary. These typically have multiple attachment points and tightening mechanisms that help prevent your dog from being able to pull away from you while out on walks.

Vest-Style Harnesses

Some people prefer step-in or vest-style harnesses which wrap around your dog’s body like a vest rather than sliding over their head like traditional styles do.

Choosing a specific type of dog harness will depend largely on what works best for both you and your furry friend during walks and other outdoor activities together!

  1. Martingale Collar

Pros Of Martingale Collar

Martingale collars are popular among dog owners for a variety of reasons.

  • Provides control without being harsh like choke collars.
  • Prevents dogs from slipping out while walking.
  • Ideal for breeds with smaller heads like Greyhounds.
  • Evenly distributes pressure, helpful for pullers or trachea issues.
  • Stylish options available in various colors and patterns.
  • Offers safety and style benefits for training best dog training.

Cons Of Martingale Collar

Martingale collars are excellent for dogs who tend to pull on their leash. However, they also come with some drawbacks that you should consider before using them.

  • Improper use can lead to discomfort and injury.
  • Limited effectiveness in addressing behaviors beyond pulling.
  • Some dogs may find them uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing.
  • Separate attachment point needed for identification purposes.
  • Benefits of martingale collar require careful adjustment and usage.
  • Consider proper techniques for adjustment and usage.

Types Of Martingale Collar

There are different types of martingale collars available in the market. 

 Limited Slip Collar 

The first type is called a limited slip collar, which provides more control than a traditional collar and prevents choking or injury. 

Chain Martingale Collar

Another type is a chain martingale collar, which uses metal chains instead of nylon loops for added durability.

Martingale With Buckle 

A third type is known as “martingale with buckle,” which combines the tightening action of a regular martingale with easy-to-use buckle closure. This type of collar allows you to quickly put it on and take it off your dog without having to adjust it every time.

Choosing the right type of martingale collar depends on your individual preferences and needs as well as your dog’s behavior and size. It’s important to choose one that fits properly so that it doesn’t cause discomfort or harm to your furry friend while walking or training them.

Factors To Consider Dog Harness Vs Martingale Collar

When choosing between a collar versus harness, there are several factors to consider.

  1. Control: Evaluate the level of control you need over your dog’s movements during walks or training sessions.
  2. Pulling Behavior: Consider if your dog tends to pull on the leash and if a specific tool, such as a front-clip harness or a martingale collar, could help address this behavior.
  3. Breed and Body Type: Take into account your dog’s breed and body type. Certain breeds may benefit more from a harness, while others may find a martingale collar more suitable
  4. Fit and Adjustability: Ensure that whichever option you choose fits properly and can be adjusted to your dog’s measurements for optimal comfort and effectiveness.

Remember, every dog is unique, so it’s important to weigh these factors and choose the option that best suits your dog’s needs, behavior, and your own preferences as their loving owner.

Whats Better Option Dog Harness Versus Martingale Dog Collar

When it comes to choosing between a collar or a harness, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The best option depends on your individual dog’s needs.

If your dog pulls on the leash or has neck issues, then use a harness is definitely the better choice. A harness distributes pressure across your dog’s chest instead of just its neck, which can prevent choking or trachea damage.

On the other hand, if you have a well-trained dog that doesn’t pull on their leash and only needs minimal correction, then a martingale collar might be more suitable. These collars are designed to gently tighten when your dog pulls but still allow them to breathe normally.


After evaluating the pros and cons of dog harness  vs martingale collar, it’s clear that each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the choice between a dog harness or a martingale collar will depend on your individual needs as a pet owner.

Regardless of which option you choose, always make sure to properly fit the collar or harness onto your furry friend to ensure their comfort and safety. 

With proper use and care, both types of collars can provide effective results in helping train your furry friend and keeping them safe during outdoor activities.


Should I use a collar or a harness for my dog?

It depends on your dog and their individual needs. A harness can be better for dogs who pull or have respiratory issues, while a collar may be more appropriate for well-trained dogs who do not pull on the leash. I think every dog should wear a collar.

Can I train my dog to wear a harness instead of a collar?

Yes, you can train your dog to wear a harness instead of a collar. Start by letting your dog sniff and examine the harness, and then gradually introduce it while providing positive reinforcement. Make sure the harness fits properly and does not cause discomfort or irritation to your dog.

Should I put an ID tag on my dog’s collar or harness?

It’s important to have some form of identification on your dog at all times, in case they become lost. While a collar may be more convenient for holding an ID tag, you can also attach a tag to the harness or use both for added security.

Can a harness be better for a dog’s overall health than a collar?

A harness can be better for a dog’s overall health by preventing choking or injury to the neck, especially for dogs who pull on the leash.

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