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Can A Dog Wear A Collar And A Harness? 3 Dangers

Can A Dog Wear A Collar And A Harness At The Same Time

You’re concerned as your pooch is such an escape artist…

And it’s a challenge to look after your tornado of a dog during walks.

With that, you’re thinking of doubling your control tactics…

How about making them wear a collar and a harness?

Will that be safe and effective?

Continue reading to discover:

  • 5 collar and harness types that work best together.
  • 3 dangers when your dog wears a collar and a harness.
  • 3 pros and cons of using a collar or a harness in your canine.
  • Whether wearing a collar and a harness at the same time is safe.
  • And many more…

Can a dog wear a collar and a harness at the same time?

A dog can wear a collar and a harness at the same time. But, you must choose the best collar and harness that work well together. Moreover, consider if the situation needs your dog to wear both. All in all, wearing both can give you more control and ensure more safety for your dog.

Should a dog have a collar and a harness?

A dog should have a collar and a harness. But, you must be mindful of when you’re going to use both on your pooch. Moreover, pick the right combination of collar and harness for your canine.

Making your dog wear both of the restraints can help you be more in control.

How so?

Those equipment provide many benefits for your pooch. 

And the two have the same goal of ensuring your dog’s safety.

By attaching the collar or harness to a leash, you keep your pupper near you.

Sure, they’re still bound to jump on you while you walk. 

Regardless, that’s a more desirable scenario than them wandering off. That can be concerning as they can be hit by a car.

So to explain further, let me break down the benefits of a collar and a harness individually…

Pros of using a collar on your dog

Buying a collar is on the top of every dog-parent-to-be’s buying list…

But what exactly does this product bring to the table for you and your pooch?

Pro #1: Wearable identification

Using A Collar On Your Dog Provides Wearable Information

A collar is a strap that your dog wears around their neck. 

But it isn’t just a way for your pooch to make a fashion statement.

You can also attach ID tags to their collars. 

They can have an engraving of their name attached to the ruff. Then, that tag can also contain your phone number and address.

So if Fido wanders off, a good samaritan can reach out to you using that info. 

With that, your pup will come back to you safely.

Moreover, it’s getting techier these days…

That’s why there are smart collars available now. 

Those have encrypted GPS on them that help you track your pupper’s movements. With that, their location is just one tap away on the corresponding app or website on your phone.

Pro #2: Further information

Those I mentioned aren’t the only things that a collar can carry.

Your pooch can also take their vaccination history and license anywhere they go. So it’s all in their collar to see…

Pro #3: Requires less effort

You can control your pooch better when they have a collar on.

I know I already said such…

But this time, let me expand the idea.

That’s because, in terms of exerting physical effort, you can rely on this one.

It’ll be much easier to handle your dog on a collar than when they are on a harness.

It’s due to the ruff’s placement. 

As it is on their neck, it’ll need less effort for you to walk them. The weight you’ll handle will only be from that part.

Therefore, a collar will make your pooch seem lightweight to you. Thus requiring you to exert less physical effort.

Pros of using a harness on your dog

Now to dog harnesses…

This type of equipment is a strap that you clasp around your canine’s torso.

Pro #1: More comfortable

Compared to collars, your pooch might be more comfortable in a harness.

That’s because a harness distributes pressure on a larger area. 

Unlike in collars, the neck will receive most of the force.

But with a harness, the constraint is spread around their back and shoulders.

Pro #2: It’s secure

There’s no way your pooch can slip out of this one…

However, they must be wearing the right size first.

And once they are, congratulations to you as your escape artist has got no chance anymore…

Pro #3: Won’t injure your pooch

Using A Harness On Your Dog Won't Injure Them

Wearing a harness can minimize injuries in your pooch.

I’m talking about possible throat damage (I’ll explain it further under ‘Cons of using a collar on your dog‘).

Moreover, using this can also lessen back pain in your pooch.

Put those together…

You or Fido won’t have to choose just one between those equipment…

That’s because you can put a collar and harness on your pup together. 

Note: You won’t attach a leash to both of the equipment simultaneously. Doing so might cause extreme discomfort to your pooch.

Then, what would you do?

So, for the collar, you’d use it for your dog’s identification.

As I said, it can carry their name and your contact info. 

Moreover, if you use those smart collars, you can easily know Fido’s location anywhere and anytime.

As for the harness, that’s where you’ll attach the leash.

With that, it’ll be more comfortable with your pooch.

And if they pull, they won’t be tugging on their neck.

Instead, their center of gravity is much more secure. And as I said, pressure is well-distributed around their body.

With that, they’re also less likely to tug and hurt themself in doing so.

Is it safe for a dog to wear a collar and harness?

It’s safe for a dog to wear a collar and harness if you pick the right combination. That’s because collars or harnesses don’t always work well together. Moreover, it’ll also depend on the situation.

Despite the many great benefits of both pieces of equipment, they’re not all that perfect.

I say so as they still pose some risks to your pooch.

And as always, let me mention them one by one…

Cons of using a collar on your dog

Such a device for your pooch seems harmless…

But collars can hurt your dog in ways you might or might not expect.

Con #1: Can cause throat issues

Unfortunately, some dogs will tend to pull on their leash.

And if you won’t correct such a behavior sooner…


Then all the pulling can cause the throat damage I said I’ll mention…

A specific example is a tracheal collapse.

VCA Hospitals say this condition occurs when the trachea loses rigidity and strength. 

That loss of strength results in the tracheal rings flattening. Therefore, it causes your pooch to breathe with difficulty. 

Moreover, some breeds are often more affected by this. Research tells us that it’s common in toy and miniature dog breeds. 

And their age is a factor as well. Based on the same paper, most of the affected dogs are middle-aged.

However, another study reveals that this condition’s survivable. 

According to their data, 98% of dogs with collapsing trachea were discharged

Regardless, be mindful when you’re using a collar to restrain your canine.

And as much as possible, train them not to pull on their leash.

Con #2: Aggravate back pain

Using a collar in your pooch can give them back pain. 

Or, if they already have it, the collar can make the pain worse.

But, how do dogs get back pain from collars?

They get it from the forced posture that they make. Such is most obvious when they’re pulling on the leash.


Tugging presses the collar on the back of their head. Then, it causes muscle strain, and eventually, back pain.

Con #3: Easy to escape on

Collars Are Easy To Escape On

Unlike a harness, a collar is the perfect partner of an escape artist.

You see, just a little wiggle or jump…

And woah-oh…

Your fur baby gets free from their leash.

Warning: Make sure to use the right-sized collar in your canine. It won’t just prevent the scenario that I mentioned. 

It can also prevent your pooch from choking from trying to escape.

Cons of using a harness on your dog

Although it’s a much safer choice than collars, harnesses can also bring some harm.

Con #1: Requires more of your effort 

When you’re walking your dog, and they’re wearing a harness…

Oh, get ready…

Why should you?

That’s because such equipment will make you exert more physical effort.

As the harness carries your dog on their torso, you’ll be supporting more weight as you walk them. 

Therefore, you’ll need more force to be in control.

Moreover, putting a harness on and off your pooch can be a challenge.

All in all, using this one requires more work than using a collar.

Con #2: The wrong size can create problems

Let me emphasize the importance of the right-sized harness…

Because something tight can hurt your dog’s body. It can cause a terrible body ache for Fido.

And a harness that’s too loose will fall off your pooch. Thus, the escape begins…

Con #3: Uncomfortable in hot weather

Harness is wrapped around your dog’s body.

There’s also one that looks like a vest.

But no matter what kind, a harness can cause discomfort during warm weather.

So, if you’re putting Fido on a harness and collar during a hot summer day…

I suggest that you watch them closely. You have to see how they react to the warm weather. 

One sign of heat distress is excessive drooling. And when that happens, refreshing water would be best, so make sure that you bring some.

When is it safe to use a collar and a harness to your dog?

As I said, the use of this combination depends on the situation.

And what are those acceptable circumstances?

Here’s a table that shows when should a dog wear a collar and a harness:

Binge-watching TV shows on the couch or bedNoNo
Staying indoorsNo No
Playing in the yardYesNo
Having fun in the dog parkYesNo
Walking and runningYesYes

3 dangers when your dog wears a collar and a harness

#1: Discomfort 

Sadly, some dogs would rather show up as they come…

What I mean is that they don’t like shoes, clothes, hats, and even collars or harnesses. In other terms, they’d rather be naked.

With that, they’re going to be uncomfortable wearing a collar and a harness.

And when they feel that way, your pooch is gonna do everything…

Yep, they’ll try everything just to remove something they dislike.

So if your pooch is one of ‘em…

That’s where the real danger comes in…

First, you gotta get ready to deal with chewed collars or harnesses. 

Moreover, you should also prepare to stop attempts of getting away.

“Is there a way to avoid this?”

Fortunately, there is…

AKC suggests that you start leash training during their puppyhood. 

Moreover, you must begin by using a flat collar.

And with a little time and lotta patience, your pooch will be used to the devices.

For further help, here’s an instructional video on how to get your pooch used to such:

Continue reading: The Ideal “Puppy Harness Age” (9 Benefits & 9 Tips)

#2: Entanglement

Oh, yet another problem that might arise…

And it’s the entanglement of the collar and harness together.

If, by chance, both of the restraints your pooch is wearing get jumbled to each other…


Your pooch is up for a lot of discomfort then.

Moreover, their trial to escape can also cause the knotting of the two. Then, it also poses a risk for choking for your doggo. 

And what more if the weather’s hot? Then, the discomfort can add to the increase of body temperature in your pupper.

#3: Skin irritation

Skin Irritation

Say that your pooch has been wearing both for too long…

Oh no, that’s not good…


That’s because such a habit can lead to your dog having skin irritations.

You see, when they’re wearing a collar and harness, those press against their body. 

And when they move around, friction is applied against their coat and skin.

With that, it might lead to skin irritations and rashes.

For further reading: Help, My Dog Is Constantly Scratching And Biting Himself!

Why some dog parents use a collar and a harness

Some dog parents use a collar and a harness for better control. They also use it to ensure that their pooch won’t go far from them.

A harness is most useful in keeping your dog on a leash. It’s the best device to be attached to the latter.

Then, a collar can help with your dog’s identification. Sometimes, dog parents treat it as a subtle fashion statement on their pooch.

Furthermore, your pupper can carry information on their collar such as their:

  • Name.
  • License.
  • Vaccination history.
  • Your contact information.

Moreover, some parents are switching to smart collars. Those are equipped with GPS trackers.

Collars that set a perimeter for your pooch are gaining popularity, too. They’re best known as invisible fence collars.

When you use those, it’ll be easy to find your pooch in the event that they break free.

Collar types that work best with a harness

This is something that’s not known to some dog parents…

Yes, collars come in different types. And it’s that way because dogs have different needs from each other.

That’s why some collars will be safe for your pooch, while others aren’t.

Moreover, you’d have to be mindful of the collar type if you wanna work it with a harness.

And what are those indeed?

Flat collars

These collars are easy to strap on your pooch.

Also, flat collars are the most common collar type. And it’s the one you can attach identification and other information to your pup.

Moreover, some flat or rolled collars have the option for adjustments.

With that, you can set it on your dog’s specific size. Therefore ensuring comfort.

Flat collars + GPS tracker (smart collars)

Flat Collar With GPS Tracker

Upgrade your doggo’s flat collar by putting a GPS tracker in it.

This will let you easily oversee your dog’s whereabouts.

So, in case Fido gets away…

They won’t get too far as they’re wearing a collar with a tracker.

Invisible fence collars

A more techy choice would be invisible fence collars.

This type of flat collar has a transmitter in it. Then, it sets an alarm whenever your pooch steps beyond a limit you set…

Hence the name for it: invisible fence.

Harness types that work best with a collar

As I mentioned, a harness is more comfortable for your pooch.

Moreover, it’s much safer for your pupper to wear.

But when you’re using a collar with it, what harness works best with one?

Back clip harness

This type of harness is the most common one. A back clip harness is also one of the safest types to use with a collar.

Based on its name, you’re gonna clip the leash on the back of the harness.

Front clip harness

This one’s also a dog-parent approved type of harness…

A front clip harness has its metal loop on the front. That’s where you’ll attach your dog’s leash.

Moreover, this harness is also safe to use with a collar.

Not only that, but its clip placement discourages pulling.