Both dogs are wearing harnesses. I think I've decided that harnesses are the way to go all the time now - which is a bit of a pity because they have several pretty collars that don't really get worn any more, and I think they look nicer in collars than harnesses - but the harnesses do seem to be better for their backs and necks. (They are both wearing collars, just so as to have something to hang their tags on, but not for attaching leads to.)
I used to think that the collars were fine, because my hounds generally don't pull at all, and are pretty good at walking nicely on a loose lead, but I have to admit that occasionally if a dog behind a gate barks at them or a rabbit zips under their noses, they can give a sudden hard jerk on the lead that must be hard on their necks. Az's occasional back/shoulder/neck problems have improved vastly since he's been wearing the harness, and he seems to be able to handle more exercise now. I am almost a little annoyed that the vet didn't suggest this to me when I took him in about it. Though I wonder if the vet asked me if Az pulled on the lead - he may have done, and maybe I said no, on the grounds that *mostly* he didn't. So maybe that was me failing to properly answer the question.