Sean Hyden Dog Trainer-min



gog training - harness or lead

Harness Or Lead: Which Is Best?

Taking the dog for a walk is one of the biggest pleasures in life and there’s nothing quite like seeing your pup out and about in the fresh air, exploring the big wide world and all it has to offer.

As well as giving you a wonderful chance to bond more deeply with your dog, going for walks is a great way to keep them stimulated, get some much-needed exercise and tire them out so you can relax at home later on.

But how best to keep them under control?

There are various options available to you when out in public with your dog, whether you choose to use a harness, a collar and lead or to let them run free. If your dog has excellent recall and you know you can trust them, letting them off leash is fine to do but there will still be times when a harness or a lead will be necessary.

So which one is the most appropriate for you and your dog?

As with anything, there are pros and cons to each so it’s a matter of sitting down and working out which would be best for the breed of dog you have.

Collar and lead

Dog collars make it very simple to identify your pet and to clip a lead on and off with ease, but they can put a lot of pressure on your pet’s oesophagus, thyroid glands and trachea, especially if they pull on the lead a lot, so this is something to bear in mind. Be particularly cautious if your pup has neck sensitivities or respiratory concerns.

If you have a particularly small or slight dog like a whippet or a dachshund, it’s also possible that they could slip their collars quite easily on walks, leaving them to their own devices in a split second. 

Furthermore, if your dog pulls on the lead a lot, they will likely find it easier to do so if you use a leash rather than a harness, which can make walking a difficult and stressful experience for both of you. That said, if your dog is well behaved and walks well on the lead, it may be the perfect choice for you.


Unlike leads, harnesses can help to distribute the force of the lead across a greater surface area, protecting your pup from physical injury while walking. 

If your dog likes to pull on the lead or if you have a bigger dog, a harness could be a great alternative to consider as they offer you a greater level of control and you won’t have to worry about them slipping their collar. There are even harnesses out there that have been designed with training in mind, so this could be something to consider.

Just make sure that the harness is well fitted and doesn’t hinder their mobility or movement in the legs and shoulders. You may also find that it takes your dog a bit of time to get used to wearing it, but persevere and they’ll soon get with the programme.

If you’d like any further help or advice, get in touch with Sean Hyden today to see how he can help.