Have you recently searched for a good training collar or harness?
I have, and it blows my mind at how many options there are available.
My friend, Sarah, just got a new dog from a dog rescue group and wanted help selecting the best training collar for her new dog, Jack.
Jack starts his basic obedience training classes next week, and Sarah wanted to have everything she needed to be successful.
However, this is an excellent time to mention that, when it comes to training collars and harnesses, there isn’t just one option that will work for all dogs, which is why there are numerous choices on the market.
And, like with all things, collars and harnesses each have their pros and cons.
This article is designed to aid you in choosing the best training collar or harness for your dog.
Best Collars and Harnesses to Use When Training a Dog
Best Overall Collar for Training – PetSafe Gentle Leader Head Halter
The Gentle Leader head halter was designed by a veterinarian who realized there was an easier way to walk and control a dog on a leash.
Also, the Gentle Leader applies minor pressure to calming points on the back of the head, which can aid excited dogs.
And the PetSafe head halter is safe to use; it will never choke or damage your dog’s throat.
The Gentle Leader is the ideal training tool for dogs learning basic obedience and how to walk on a leash. It is also an excellent tool for dogs who lunge at the end of their leash.
Below I have listed five types of collars and harnesses people use for training.
This list is not complete and does not include aversive training collar options.
Aversive training collars include things collars like prong and shock collars.
These collars are designed for strong corrections, and they should be used under the guidance of a certified dog trainer before attempting to use them on your own.
Flat collars are your standard collar with either a buckle or clip closure.
These collars often are used to display your dog’s identification tags and are generally safe to be kept on 24/7.
Flat collars are best for dogs who have basic obedience skills and are not escape artists.
The primary difference between a no-pull harness and a standard harness is that the leash clips to the front, not the back.
Sometimes these are referred to as a front-hook harness.
Clipping your leash to the front of the harness instead of the back allows you more leverage and control of your dog.
No-pull harnesses are best for dogs that need assistance learning to walk on a leash without pulling.
Head halters were designed based on a horse halter, giving you control of their head; and where the head goes, the body must follow.
Additionally, head halters are an excellent choice for those with large breed dogs.
Head halters give you the best control of your dog and are an excellent tool for dogs who tend to pull or even lunge when out and about1.
Martingale collars look a lot like flat buckle collars but have an additional loop that, when pulled, tightens the collar2.
Although the collar tightens up when pressure is applied, it should not be mistaken for a choke chain. The martingale loop limits how tight you can pull the collar, protecting your dog from being choked.
However, the martingale rests on your dog’s neck and could damage a dog’s throat if excessive pressure is used.
Martingale collars are the best option for dogs who escape from their regular collars or harnesses. They work best for dogs who do not pull too hard when out on a walk.
Body harnesses are the perfect option for smaller dogs. They often have two rings, so you can choose to attach the leash to the top or front of the harness.
The body harness can help prevent your dog from harming their throat when pulling and can also aid in reducing the chances of your dog getting tangled in their leash.
Body harnesses are best used for dogs who have some basic understanding of how to walk on a leash since the back leash hook does not provide much-added control.