Why Do Pit Bulls Wear Thick Collars? Harness vs. Collar Facts

Choosing the right collar for your Pit Bull is not just about fashion, but a lot to do with function. Sure you can buy something that looks awesome, but you want to be sure it’s the right tool for the right job. Often people see large dogs like Pit Bulls wearing thick collars and wonder if this is just to make them look tough or is there a reason?

Why do Pit Bulls wear thick collars? There are several reasons why Pit Bulls wear thick collars, the main reason being safety. Pit Bulls are very strong dogs. Wearing a thick collar reduces the risk of potential injury to the trachea and esophagus when they pull by distributing pressure across a wider area.

Thick collars have a variety of benefits for dogs such as Pit Bulls. Safety is always first and foremost. Even if you have a Pit Bull that walks nice on a leash, and doesn’t pull, it is still a good idea to use a wider collar. Or a good fitted harness.

In this post I will cover the main reasons why Pit Bulls wear thick collars, or at least should. As well as whether your Pit Bull should wear a harness vs a collar. Finding the best solution for your dog can help prevent injury, ensure better control, and give you the best tools available. Let’s dig in!

Why Do Pit Bulls Wear Thick Collars?

As mentioned above there are several reasons why Pit Bulls do, and should, wear thick collars. Safety, security, and control are the main reasons. For dogs like Pit Bulls that have large heads, thick necks, and amazing strength, thick collars are ideal. 

Wide collars or thick collars are not better for every dog. Smaller dogs like toy breeds can be weighed down by these large collars. Dogs like greyhounds with smaller heads can easily slip out. But we’re talking Pit Bulls here, so let’s move on to the main reasons they wear thick collars.


The strength of a Pit Bull is unquestionable. These dogs are incredibly powerful and with a thin collar attached to their neck this can cause serious injury if they pull or lunge. The wide collars allow pressure to be evenly distributed and can lower the risk of neck injury as well as damaging their trachea and esophagus.

A thick collar can also be safer when your Pit Bull is playing with other dogs. Especially when engaged in play fighting. Thicker collars not only protect a large area of your Pit Bulls neck, but it is also harder for other dogs to grab onto compared to the typically small and medium thickness collars. 


Using a thick collar can provide an added layer of security when out with your Pit Bull. The thick collar prevents your dog from slipping out of their collar and running free, and possibly injuring themselves or others. The large head and thick neck of most Pit Bulls is harder to pull through a good thick collar.

The risk of collars breaking is also reduced when you get a good thick collar. Again, Pit Bulls are strong dogs and a medium or small collar may not stand up to a Pit Bull that pulls too hard or suddenly. A quality thick collar will ensure the security of your dog by keeping the collar on their neck, and avoiding possible breakage.


A thick collar will also allow for greater control of your Pit Bull while on walks. The combination of the two points mentioned above will allow for safe and secure walks. By having a collar that is distributing pressure more evenly, and runs a lower risk of slipping off or breaking, you can better manipulate your Pit Bull on leash.

Of course none of these factors compare to training. Having your dog well behaved, calm, and obedient on leash is a top priority. That being said, even the most well mannered dogs can get spooked, triggered, or over excited, and having the right tool in place can avoid many potential problems.

What Kind Of Collar Is Best For A Pitbull?

As a general rule the best kind of collar for a Pit Bull is 1.5”- 2” thick and is made from top quality material. Preferably a padded and breathable interior for your dogs comfort, and a tough nylon or leather material for durability. Features such as reflective stitching for night walks are ideal.

There are some amazing options available online to get a top quality, and high fashion collar for Pit Bulls. These are just a few of my top choices. You can see more options over on my Resources & Reviews page of all the best collars for Pit Bulls.

OneTigris Military Adjustable Dog Collar

One Tigris’ simple and straightforward Military adjustable dog collar is both ultra strong, and ultra comfortable. The built in super comfortable padding, 1.7” width, and 5 adjustable points make the One Tigris Military Collar perfect for your Pibble.

Available in Medium and Large sizes with 5 different color options.


  • Tough yet comfortable thick nylon
  • Soft padded inside
  • Heavy duty 5 adjustable points
  • 1.7″ width collar


OneTigris Adjustable Tactical Dog Collar

OneTigris makes some of the best dog gear on the planet. The OneTigris Adjustable Tactical Dog Collar provides safety, comfort, and style all in one. Their soft padded design comes with reflective striping and a 2” wide collar to offer maximum comfort and safety.

Available in 3 sizes and colors, and space for a custom Velcro patch. OneTigiris is the quality you need at a price you can afford.


  • Adjustable double prong buckle
  • Breathable mesh inside padding
  • 2″ wide collar
  • Custom patch space


Bestia “Classic Padded Leather Dog Collar

Bestia makes some of the absolute best dog collars for dogs on the market. The Bestia “Classic” is made with your dog’s comfort in mind. These 2” wide collars are safe, and comfortable for your Pibble, and made from 100% genuine leather.

Built tough for comfort, the Bestia Classic” comes in a range of sizes in both Black & Tan colors.


  • Genuine leather
  • Comfortable inside padding
  • 2″ wide collar


Should You Take Your Dog’s Collar Off At Night?

As a general rule you should always take your dog’s collar off at night. When you have a dog that lives in the home with the family taking their collar off will ensure their safety and avoid potential accidents and choking injuries. 

The possibility of your dog getting caught on something in the night and choking is not worth the risk. Puppies being crate trained should always have their collars removed while in the crate. The potential for collars getting hooked or snagged on the crate walls can pose a serious threat for injury, and possibly death. 

Is A Collar Or Harness Better For A Pitbull?

On average a Pit Bull is better suited to wear a harness vs. wearing a collar. It is my opinion that a harness is a better tool for a Pitbull than most collars. This goes back to matters or your dog’s safety, security, and control. Harnesses provide a better level of each and can be your best option.

Every dog is different of course. Some Pit Bulls will respond better to wearing a good thick collar vs. a harness, and vice versa. This is something you can experiment with and decide what best suits your situation.

That being said there are some reasons why I believe a harness is better for a Pit Bull than a collar. Everything from training, control, safety, and security are much better when using a harness.

  • Training: Puppies that haven’t learned leash manners quite yet, or dogs that have problems with pulling, learn far better with a harness. Harnesses will discourage pulling much more than collars, and are a great tool for training.
  • Control: Using a harness provides superior control over your Pit Bull’s entire body instead of just the neck and head. They can also be used to assist your dog in standing up if they have fallen or are just being stubborn. A harness will make this much more comfortable and easy.
  • Security: A harness is much harder for even the greatest escape artists to slip out of. Adding this extra layer of security will keep your dog safely under your control and prevent escapes.
  • Safety: The risk of neck injury is a harness is drastically reduced as pressure will be applied to the body rather than the head and neck. Paired with the added layers of control and security mentioned, you run far less risk of accidents and injuries with a harness.

What Kind Of Harness Is Best For A Pitbull?

The best kind of harness for a Pitbull would have a large padded chest with secure straps and strong durable materials. Distributing the pressure evenly across your Pitbull’s body, and supplying comfort for areas like the chest and arm pits is the ideal setup. 

Having the option of dual clips on both the top and front of the harness to attach the leash is a great feature as well. This allows you to switch between leisure walks, and training for those dogs that pull a bit more.

I have done a ton of research on harnesses. Especially since getting my American Bully puppy just a few weeks ago. Once he has reached his full size I have a few options in mind. These are some of the best rated and reviewed harnesses on the market. Check out more options on my Resources & Review page.

Rabbitgoo Dog Harness, No-Pull Pet Harness

Rabbitgoo is a leader in the dog harness industry. With over 81k ratings at 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon, you can’t go wrong with the Rabbitgoo Dog Harness. This no-pull no-choke harness comes with a large comfortable padded chest, reducing pressure across your dogs body.

Available in over 10 colors and 4 sizes, there is a Rabbitgoo Dog Harness just right for your dog.


  • No-pull No choke fit
  • Large breathable padded chest
  • Fully adjustable
  • Front and back clip


Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness

Auroth is a brand you can trust to make the best tactical dog harnesses. These extra comfortable and adjustable dog harnesses come with dual clips on the front and back, and reflective fluorescent line. The large surface pads keep pressure distributed evenly across your dog’s body, and allows for maximum control.

Available in more than 10 colors, and sizes, this top rated dog harness is perfect for Frenchies to Pitbulls. It also comes with a convenient Molle System that allows you to attach custom patches, and attach water bottles, food bowls, or toys. Get yourself a custom patch over at Dog Line Group


  • Large padded chest
  • Front and back clip
  • Molle system loops for gear and custom patches


ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness

Icefang makes one tough tactical dog harness that keeps your dog safe and comfortable. This heavy duty adjustable harness is made for control and comfort. With the Molle System adjustable hooks and loops, you can attach extra gear and toys for your dog to carry, and get them their own custom patches.

Available in 4 sizes to fit your Frenchie or Pitbull, and 6 great colors from Safety Orange to Wolf Grey to Black. Icefang dog harnesses are top quality at amazing prices.


  • Large padded chest
  • Heavy duty adjustable straps
  • Molle system adjustable hooks and loops


Final Thoughts

Back to our initial question. Why do Pit Bulls wear thick collars? Well the answer should be clear now. It is all about the safety, security, and control of your dog. Sure they also look pretty badass, and there are some beautiful designs out there.

Always be sure you are choosing a thick collar or a harness for the function over the fashion. It can be easy to want the fancy collar, or the pretty harness without checking to see the quality of the material, whether it has reflective stitching, or if this is even the best tool for your Pit Bull.

For all the best collars, harnesses, and leashes, visit the Resources & Reviews page.

Resources & ReviewsThe Best Leashes, Harnesses, & Collars for Bully Breed Dogs

Recent Posts