Harness or collar for german shepherd: What’s the Best Type of Equipment?

Harness or collar for german shepherd

Some German shepherd owners prefer harnesses for their dogs, whereas other prefer collars.

So between a harness and a collar, which is the best gear for a German shepherd puppy or adult? And can you use both of them all at once? That’s all about this article.

By the end, you should know what is the best dog gear between a collar and a harness.

Which Is Better, A Collar or Harness

You probably know your German shepherd well. If he’s a good boy who doesn’t pull the leash, he doesn’t wriggle out of the collar, and never have you ever seen your fur friend jump on people; then a collar is the best fit for your GSD. However, if your GSD is a puller and cannot stop wriggling out of the collar, the harness is the best alternative.

For example, when you opt for a front-attaching no-pull harness, it gives you a lead in controlling your dog’s direction without injuring his neck or causing much discomfort. If you opt to use a collar to redirect your dog, you may injure his neck or cause much discomfort whenever he pulls.

Harness for German Shepherds

A harness for German shepherds can be of varying designs and made of different materials. Their versatility and ability to control leash pulling behavior in dogs has seen most people opt to use a harness rather than a collar.

Advantages or Benefits of Harnesses

The harness has its advantages which have made most people fall in love with it. Here are the key highlights of why most dog parents prefer a harness.

A Great Training Tool for German shepherd Puppies

Harnesses are great training tools for puppies learning how to walk on a leash.

A Harness Discourages Pulling

Harness with the front clip attachment help in controlling the behavior of leash pulling. This harness redirects your dog without harming his neck or causing discomfort. Such is one of the essential features that the harness wins over a collar.

Stops Your Dog from Escaping

Some German shepherds are great escape artists who will wriggle out easily of a collar. However, you will have outwitted your dog when you opt to use a harness. With the harness comfortable on your dog’s body, it becomes difficult for him to wriggle out with ease.

Help Stop Your Dog from Lunging or Jumping

Some dogs are fond of jumping or lunging at people. And the collar is never that effective in controlling such behavior. However, with the harness model and leash clip attachment point, it often becomes easier to control a dog who loves lunging at people without tiring your muscles. With most dog harnesses having a control handle on the top, you get additional control of your dog.

No-Risk of Choking Your Dog

A harness is made to rest on your dog’s chest area rather than the neck area. Such gives your dog a space to breathe and feel comfortable. Even if your dog pulls, the harness will not press the air passage, thus leaving your dog gasping for air.


Any regular harness can also have drawbacks if you choose the wrong size or fit and use it for the wrong purposes.

A Harness Can Be Difficult To Put On Your Dog

Some harnesses have many alloy metal buckles and adjustable straps, which can overwhelm a first-time dog owner.

A Harness Can Pinch Your Dog’s Skin

Such a scenario can occur if you choose the wrong size of harness for your GSD. This harness’s wide straps and strong buckles will press the dog’s rib cages and chafe the skin around the armpit, the belly area, and such can be comfortable.

With that, it’s always advisable for one to get the correct harness size.


Some of these harnesses for German shepherds are made of quality material; as a result, they tend to be expensive than collars.

Types of Harnesses for German Shepherds

This section highlights the types of German shepherd harnesses that you can find in your favorite pet shop. The two essential factors determining the type of harness you choose are your dog’s behaviors and your preference.

No-Pull Harness

The no-pull harness is a type of harness designed for those heavy pullers, German Shepherds.

Such a no-pull dog harness has a leash attachment front clip where you attach the leash. Anytime your dog pulls, the clip helps steer your dog towards you. Also, the chest or belly strap on this anti-pull harness help spread the tension all over your dog’s body, thus reducing the risk of neck injury.

K9 Tactical Vest Harness

German shepherds in the police or army department have one gear that they never leave when doing their job. And it is the tactical harness. Such a tactical vest is sturdy, and it is made of strong, durable material. Even though these tactical harnesses are strong, they have been precisely made not to distract the dog when it’s doing its job. Such a heavy-duty harness has molles where one can attach the dog’s necessary accessories. Top tactical vest harness include the ICEFANG Tactical dog harness and the Auroth Tactical Dog training harness.

Car Harness

A car harness has a seatbelt attachment point, all important in keeping your dog safe as your drive.

Training Harness

Such a harness is made of leather, nylon, or neoprene. Additionally, this durable harness is made so it won’t distract your dog as it continues with its training sessions throughout the day.

Reflective Harness

A reflective harness has reflective material or reflective stripes that reflect light at night or when your dog walks in low-lighted areas.

Collars for German Shepherds

Collars are also essential dog gears you cannot skip talking about. If not helping you control your dog, a German shepherd collar will carry the dog’s vital details when using the D ring that most collars have.

Advantages of Collars

  • Easy to put on your dog
  • It helps attach your dog’s identification tags
  • Cheap compared to a harness
  • It helps control your dog


  • Can injure your dog neck area, especially if he pulls a lot
  • Prolong use can irritate the area this collar is sitting

Like a German shepherd harness, these collars come in a variety of designs and materials. You can find a collar made of –

  • Nylon – most dog collars are made of this material as it is readily available and strong. Nylon collars are cheap and are durable.
  • Neoprene – other collars are made of neoprene. Neoprene is best for German shepherds who love swimming as it is water-resistant.
  • Leather – leather is a classy material used to make collars for most showline shepherds. Leather gives your dog a class; however, it’s costly.
  • Cotton – yes, you can find collars made of cotton – these collars are not usually strong, and most of them don’t last long
  • Metal collars – such collars can be made of aluminum or steel. Such collars should be used cautiously as improper use can inflict pain on your GSD neck.

Dogs on such a collar look like no-nonsense badass dogs ready to tear up anyone who infiltrates their personal space- Although often that’s not the case.

Also read: What size collar for German shepherd puppy?

Types of Collars

Pet collars come in a variety of types. Your preference and your dog’s traits will determine which collar for German shepherds you will use.

Here are the various types of collars—

Standard Collars

Standard or flat collars have no intricate design and are best suited for dogs who don’t pull the leash. Besides their simple structure, the buckles on these collars are simple for easy opening and closing. Such a regular collar is not that expensive.

Martingale Collar

The martingale collar is more of a training dog gear to control the leash pulling behavior. Whenever the German shepherd pulls, this martingale collar tends to tighten and loosen anytime your dog stops the pulling behavior.

Reflective Collars

Reflective collars have a reflective material sewn on them, best for walking with your dog at night.

Spiked collar or prong collar

A spiked collar has tiny spikes on the interior, and these spikes tend to dig into your dog’s skin whenever he pulls. Such a type of collar should be used with great caution, as misuse can lead to behavioral issues on your dog or even injure the dog.

Shock Collars

A shock collar releases electric currents to train your dog against doing a certain behavior you dislike. Anytime your dog does bad behavior like barking, digging, or jumping, this type of collar releases the electric impulses to startle and distract your dog.

Gentle Leader Head Collar

This head collar sits on your dog’s muzzle rather than the throat area. Anytime your dog pulls away, the nose loop helps you steer him towards you without putting pressure on his windpipe.

Other shepherd collars that you can find in the market are head collars, slip collars, and vibrating collars.

Final Thoughts

If you didn’t know between a harness and a collar which is better for your German shepherd before reading this article, then we bet you are different now. After analyzing both the collar and a harness, it’s clear that the benefits of a harness are superior to those of a standard collar. However, whichever you settle on, ensure it’s comfortable on your dog throughout.

So between a harness and collar, which one do you use for your GSD? And which one do you think is far much better than the other one? Tell us here down in the comment box.

Related Questions –

Which Is Better For Leash Training, A Harness Or Collar?

A Harness is far much superior for advanced leash training. One of the objectives you want to achieve when leash training your dog is stopping the leash pulling behavior- and most collars are not the best alternatives as they encourage leash pulling.

Is Harness Good For German Shepherds?

Harnesses are good for German Shepherds if they are used for the right purpose and more so if they fit well on your dog. What you ought to know is that a harness should never be a tool to discipline your dog; instead, it’s a tool to help guide and humanely control your dog.

Is It Better To Walk A Dog With A Leash Or Collar?

Well, it will depend on your dog’s behavior on walks. If you have a calm dog who has never shown the behavior of escaping or wriggling out of a harness or collar, then a collar is a good alternative. However, if you have a German shepherd who is great at pulling, the no-pull harness is the best option. A harness is also the best dog gear to train your German shepherd puppy basic leash skills.

Can A German shepherd put a Collar and a Harness Together?

Putting your GSD on a collar and a harness altogether depends on the purpose of these dog gears. If one dog gear can do the job of the other, then there is no need to overburden your dog. You ought to know that don’t let your GSD stay with a harness and a collar together for long, as it can lead to discomfort and skin irritation.


Scroll to Top