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Harness vs Collar: Which is better for your Beagle?

When you first get a puppy, you might wonder whether a harness or collar is better for your beagle. I’ll cut to the chase, we use a harness for our beagle, it’s safer and more comfortable for them.

If you want to understand the why and get some pros and cons of each, recommendations on sizing and a few product recommendations, read on.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • The Pros & Cons of a Harness
  • The Pros and Cons of a Collar
  • Discuss which I think is better and why
  • Product Recommendations for both Collars & Harnesses

With that said, let’s jump in to the Pros of a Harness:

Pros of using a Harness for a Beagle:

They remove pressure on the neck:

A typical collar will put a lot of stress on the neck of your beagle when they pull, and trust me they will pull. Beagles love to sniff, and when they get on the scent their nose takes over, no matter how well trained your beagle is, it’ll probably pull a fair amount on a walk. 

A harness is great on these occasions to reign in your dog without hurting them as the pressure is spread across the back, tummy and shoulders, instead of just the neck.

Harnesses are more secure:

As they fit around the stomach and sometimes feature more than one clip, they’re often more secure for your dog and tend to fit a bit more snugly. Which not only helps when they pull, but means they are less likely to be targeted by dog thieves or slip out unintentionally.

Cons of a harness

They’re probably not going to like it, at first.

You may need to introduce the harness slowly, especially if your dog is used to a collar. This is due to the fact that they’re often more restrictive than a collar and in the summer months, definitely hotter.

They’re inconvenient and bulky

Not only for the dog, but for you. If you’re out and about with your dog, a collar is much smaller and easier to slip into a bag if you take it off, whereas a harness is fairly large and bulky.

Harnesses are more costly

No beating around the bush here, they will cost you more than a collar although this isn’t much more, but can you put a price on your beagle’s health?

Our picks for Beagle Harnesses

Best overall: Julius-K9, 162P0, K9-Power harness

Why I like it: This is the one we use for Bella. It’s great quality, comfortable for her and appears extremely durable.

Cheapest: Funfox No Pull Dog Harness

Why I like it: This one might be on the cheaper end but doesn’t lack in quality, if you need to save a few pounds/dollars but want your pup to be comfortable then go for this one. (I also like the wide range of colours!)

High end: RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness

Why I like it: This one is expensive, but you’re getting brilliant quality and some neat features that both you and your dog will love, such as an ID pocket (which is often missing on harnesses), two attachment points and a reflective trim for low light conditions.

Pros of a collar

Easy to use

Collars are undoubtedly easier to use than a harness (not that harnesses are that hard to use). A collar can be simply clipped around the neck and strapped on, versus a harness that usually has to go over the head and clipped under the body, which can be challenging on occasion. Collars can also be slipped into bags or pockets when not in use, something that isn’t possible with a bulky harness.

Less restrictive for the dog

A collar is far less restrictive for a dog and they’ll likely find it more comfortable (provided they are not pulling). Where a harness goes all around the body, it can restrict movement slightly compared to a collar. They are also cooler on a hot day versus a collar, as it has less contact with the body.

Cons of a collar

Neck Pressure & Strain

Beagles are a particularly headstrong breed and love to pull as their nose takes them on a scent. 

Whilst I’ve stated that collars are less restrictive for a dog, they will undoubtedly cause your dog neck strain and pain due to excess pressure caused by a collar when they pull.

A collar only has one point of contact (the neck) versus 3 points on a harness (back, tummy and chest), these three points of contact spread the load more evenly across areas that can handle the pressure much better.

Which is better, a collar or harness?

For a Beagle we strongly recommend a harness over a collar this is due to the stress and pressure that a collar will put on your beagle’s neck – however, for short walks or situations where a bulky harness is unsuitable, a collar will do just fine. 

We’ve listed some of our top recommendations for a harness above should you wish to purchase one for your pup.

Our Picks for Beagle Collars

Here’s some of my top picks for beagle collars:

  1. Best Overall: Fida Padded Dog Collar, Reflective Strong Dog Collar with Double-Layer Webbing 

Why I like it: We have this one for Bella for when we’re not using her harness. It’s made of a soft material, is easily adjustable and feels durable. 

  1. Cheapest: Umi Reflective Dog Collar, Adjustable Basic Dog Collar with Safety Locking Buckle – Amazon Brand 

Why I like it: This Amazon brand collar may be cheap, but still packs in features. It’s adjustable, comfortable and is also reflective for low light conditions.

  1. Best Quality: RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Collar

Why I like it: Made of premium webbing, which is not only comfortable but extremely durable and hard wearing. It also features separate points for an ID tag and leash attachment, with a silicone tag silencer that reduces tag noise when your dog is on the move.

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