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

This is one of the topics you will often find people arguing about in facebook groups. 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 for dogs.
  • Don’t restrict movements – Also, they don’t restrict the dog’s movement at all. They can run almost like they are “nakey”. 
  • Pretty – 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.
Our favorite collar at the moment

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 – A soft material like leather or with extra padding is perfect for their skinny swan-like necks. Most Iggies are super sensitive and other materials can cause them to lose hair around their necks.

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. 

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 – It’s safer for dogs that are constantly pulling with a collar on, which is actually quite common for Iggies.
  • Good for fast activities like running – The extra safety is perfect for fast activities like running. It reduces the risk of injuries as stopping abruptly just won’t hurt them as much. 
  • Long Leash – For the same reason it’s also the right choice when using a long leash.

Cons of Italian Greyhound Harnesses:

  • Restrict movements – Depending on the type of harness it may restrict the dog’s movements, even to a point where they can get really sore from it.
  • Easy to escape – Because of their big cheast and skinny physique it’s hard to find harnesses that really fit. Most Iggies manage to escape out of all kinds of harnesses.
  • Not so pretty – Harnesses sometimes look huge and heavy on Italian Greyhounds and kind of “ruin” the pretty sighthound look.
  • Not ideal for playdates – 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. We recommend to get a Y-shaped one like this:

The shoulders are not covered which leaves them enough range of motion. Also it’s hard (but not impossible) to escape from it.

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

So there really is no better option, just get both! It just depends on what you want to do and what your Iggy is like. For long walks on the leash and sports activities we use a harness, any other day we use a collar. And our collection is growing and growing… 😉

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