Is a Collar or Harness Better for My Dog? (UPDATED 2022) - Walking and Dog Tie Out Stakes

There are a number of suggestions across the board for whether a collar or harness is better for dogs.  Some trainers and websites advise that a certain type of collar is best and others say that a harness is best... So, now what do you do? Let's look into this further and help you figure out if a collar or harness is best for your dog.  

Are you walking your dog on a leash; or will your dog be using a dog tie out?

Using a Harness or Collar when Walking Your Dog:

Using a a harness for walking has become general practice, but not all dogs need a harness.  For example, if your dog is trained and walks like a champ, you don't need a harness, a collar will do just fine. However, if your dog needs to get used to walking on a leash, then a harness may be better when on walks through the park.  This will eliminate your dog from basically gagging itself and hacking down the trail through the park. 

Training your dog to use a collar should be your ultimate goal.  A harness is great for taking the stress off of your dog's neck, however, you don't always have access to a harness and will want to eventually ditch it as your dog becomes better trained on a leash.  This is why it is important to build a bond with your dog and work with them to listen to you and create a common trust while on walks and in general.  Build the bond, figure out what training method works for you when training to walk on a collar. However, some dogs become attached to their harness, and some just prefer a harness no matter what- and that is OK too! Again, it is all up to you!

Walking multiple dogs, comes with he same deal, however when walking multiple dogs, you will want to be sure the leash is the same length; meaning, you only want to use harnesses for both; or a collar for them both so that the leash ends at a similar length.  Attaching one dog to a collar and the other to harness, means that one dog will be in front of the other.  Depending on your pack, one dog may not like that too much, in addition, could cause more crossing and tangling while on the leash.

Like we said, it is your relationship with YOUR dog or dogs; and what you know about your dog that determines the decisions you make for your dog. Kinda like kids!

Using a Harness or Collar with a Dog Tie Out Stake:

Using a harness or collar for a dog tie out (a dog stake that you attach cables to for play and potty breaks) comes with the same type of principals.  Whether installing a dog tie out stake at home or while camping with dogs, a dog tie out is something that requires a more tangle-free aspect; in which case, a collar is always best.  A collar can turn and spin around the dog's neck, allowing for any cable that is near to your dog to freely spin out if, for example, your dog rolls around in the grass a bunch of times.  A collar can spin out and work with the swivel on the tie out cable to ensure a more tangle-free experience. Additionally, a buckle collar is suggested for use on tie out stakes. This is because a plastic snap collar can easily break.
A sturdy buckle collar is always best
, especially when using a tie out for multiple dogs, such as the Double Dog Run two dog tie out system.  Again, a collar on a dog tie out can spin out much easier, while a harness has fixed place on the back or chest of the dog. 

We wanted to get an expert opinion on this, so we called the owner of Double Dog Run, Rebecca Wherley, to get a definitive answer on whether a collar or harness is better when your dog is on a tie out stake and tie out cable:

"We have, actually, had customers use both collars and harnesses for their dogs; and testify that harnesses work just fine with our two dog tie out system. As a company, we will always suggest a collar while using a dog tie out specifically with two dogs. Having a collar basically just allows some more freedom of movement for dogs and the cables. But, each owners knows their dog best, and we trust our customers to give us good feedback. So, in the end we leave it up to them to know whether a harness or a collar is best." 

Using a dog harness with a dog tie out is good if your dog does not know the limit of the tie out cable; and may be using it for the first few times.  A Harness can eliminate the whiplash that can happen when the dog hits the limit of a dog tie out cable. However, once your dog learns the limits of the dog tie out cables, then switching to a collar is recommended if your dog is very active and rolls around a lot.  However, if your dog is calm and just walks around then basically either a harness or a collar can be used. 

So, what is the ultimate answer? There really isn't one- and anyone who "knows" 100% just does not have dogs; or is an incredible dog whisperer that probably doesn't have to deal with collars or leashes! We speak for the everyday dog owner just growing and living with their dogs and their funny quarks...which is most of us out there.

So, is a Dog Harness Better than a Collar?

No, a harness is not better than a collar; or vice versa.  Yes, there are pros and cons to both harnesses and collars. It all depends on you and your dog. Ultimately, you will always have a need for a collar or harness if you are going out anywhere since most places require all pets, especially dogs, be on a leash. 
For our list of recommendations on collars and harnesses - see our articles:

There are some articles out there that will say you are 'bad dog owner' because you don't use a harness... that is nonsense; and it pushes an agenda of shaming people into someone's point of view.  At, we do not shame anyone for how they chose to walk or tie out their dogs. We all know there is more than one way to do things in this world; and it is up to us to keep our pets safe, secure and happy. Remember, not all dogs are created equal and all come with their own personality, only you know your dog best and what is best for your pack family's health and safety... as long as you are a caring and responsible dog owner, that is how it should always be!


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