What’s Better For My Italian Greyhound – Collar or Harness? The Pros & Cons

This is one of the topics you will often hear dog owners argue about. What’s better for Italian Greyhounds – a collar or a harness? While some people would never use anything other than a collar, others prefer a harness and apparently those two opinions are so different that there can never really be peace about it. 

But does it have to be that way? And what’s really the best choice for Italian Greyhounds? Read on to find out more!

Italian Greyhound Collar – The Pretty Allrounder 

So let’s have a look at Italian Greyhound Collars first. What’s good or bad about them?

Pros of Italian Greyhound Collars:

  • Lightweight – Italian Greyhound collars are generally super lightweight and therefore very comfortable to wear.
  • No Restricted Movements – They don’t restrict the dog’s movement at all. Your Italian Greyhound can run almost like they are “naky”. 
  • Pretty Look – Collars look super pretty and are a great addition to the beautiful sighthounds physique – kind of like a pretty necklace. They are available in lots of different colors and materials, so everybody should be able to find a style they like. 
One of our favorite collars

Cons of Italian Greyhound Collars:

  • Might Hurt Your Dog – If your Iggy likes pulling on the leash, then collars are not the best choice as pulling can cause injury to the neck.

What Kind of Collar Is Best For Italian Greyhounds?

So if you want your Italian Greyhound to wear collars, training them to walk on the leash is super important. 

For fully grown Italian Greyhounds we recommend to get a collar that is

  • Wide Enough – Classic sighthound collars are wider at the front and narrow at the back. At the wider part they should be at least 4 cm wide (1.5 in).
  • Soft – Soft materials like leather or collars with extra padding are perfect for Italian Greyhounds’ skinny swan-like necks. Most Iggies are very sensitive in this area and some materials may irritate their skin and cause them to lose hair.
The typical shape of a sighthound collar

Do Italian Greyhounds Need a Martingale Collar?

As Italian Greyhounds have narrow heads that aren’t much wider than their necks people often recommend buying a martingale collar. 

Nello wearing a martingale collar

A martingale collar is a special type of collar that is supposed to prevent dogs from slipping out of their collars. It consists of two parts:

  • one part that goes around your Iggy’s neck and
  • one smaller part where you attach the leash.

When your Iggy pulls on the leash, it will cause the collar to tighten around the dog’s neck (but without choking them), making it impossible to slip out.

This is how a martingale collar works

From our experience, this kind of collar is a great choice as it’s super convenient to put on (you only need to slip it over your dog’s head) but it’s not necessary to get this type of collar.

Any other collar will also be a great option – as long as it has the right measurements!

However, we would not recommend buying a martingale collar for a puppy as it’s not ideal to practice walking on the leash. Wait to buy a martingale until your dog is at least a year old.

Italian Greyhound Harness – The Go-To for Active Iggies

Let’s have a closer look at harnesses next. Are they the better choice?

Pros of Italian Greyhound Harnesses:

  • Better Control – When your Iggy wears a harness, you will have better control over them.
  • Safer for Dogs Who Are Pulling – It’s safer for dogs that are constantly pulling, which is actually quite common for Iggies. If they are pulling on the lead when wearing a harness, they won’t injure their delicate neck.
  • Good for Fast Activities Like Running – The extra safety provided by a harness is perfect for fast activities like running or bike rides. It reduces the risk of injuries as stopping abruptly won’t hurt them as much. 
  • Safe for a Long Leash – For the same reason it’s also the right choice when using a long leash. 
Nello wearing a sighthound harness

Cons of Italian Greyhound Harnesses:

  • Restricted Movements – Depending on the type of harness it may restrict the dog’s movements. Sometimes, harnesses will cover your dog’s shoulders or they are too tight under their arms, even to a point where your dog can get really sore from it. 
  • Sometimes Easy to Escape – Because of their big chest and skinny physique it’s hard to find a harness that really fits. Most Iggies manage to escape out of all kinds of harnesses. 
  • Not Always Pretty – Harnesses sometimes look huge and bulky on Italian Greyhounds and kind of “ruin” the pretty sighthound look.
  • Not Ideal for Playing – Keep in mind that harnesses are not the best choice for playdates. Other dogs may get caught in it with their legs which can cause serious injuries for both dogs! We would not recommend harnesses for off leash activities.

What Kind of Harness Is Best for Italian Greyhounds?

As mentioned before it’s quite challenging to find a harness for Italian Greyhounds that really fits well and still looks good on them.

To ensure your dog won’t be able to escape, we recommend to get a Y-shaped harness that is specifically designed to fit the slim sighthound body. 

One of our favorite harnesses for Italian Greyhounds

This model is one of the best fitting harnesses we found for Italian Greyhounds. It’s not only super functional, but also very fashionable with the rosé gold hardware and marble design.

  • The shoulders are not covered which leaves your Italian Greyhound with enough range of motion.
  • The soft mesh padding ensures the highest comfort for your Iggy.
  • The tight fit around the waist makes it nearly impossible to escape.
  • The Y-shaped chest part fits perfectly around the big sighthound chest and ensures the harness stays in its position.
Closeup of the harness’ Y-shaped chest part

Do Italian Greyhounds Need a Three-Point Harness?

Alternatively, if you absolutely want to ensure your Iggy can’t escape out of the harness, you can buy a three-point harness that has an extra attachment point by the back.

Nello wearing a three-point harness

Most three-point harnesses you will find in stores or online are quite bulky for Italian Greyhounds though. From our experience, a normal harness, that really fits well, will be just as secure.

Conclusion on Collar vs. Harness for Italian Greyhounds: Get Both!

So there really is no better option, just get both! In any case, make sure that you get a model that fits your dog well. Everything else is just a matter of personal preference and what your dog is like.

We usually pick an outfit depending on what our plans are. For long walks on the leash, sightseeing trips and sporty activities we use a harness, on most other days we use a collar. And our collection is growing and growing… 😉

Find out what things to get for your new Iggy puppy here →