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Last updated: 20 Nov 2019

The Best Dog Harnesses (Review) in 2019

Big Dog Soft Reflective Dog Harness

EXPAWLORER Reflective Dog Harness

RUFFWEAR Front Range Harness

RUFFWEAR No Pull Dog Harness

Puppia Dog Harness

Puppia Dog Harness

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Nicole Ellis
Published 22:46 pm

Dog harnesses or body straps are preferred by most dog owners who may have pooches that are slightly more uncontrollable or those that get easily distracted. While most of us use collars on our dogs, if they get too excited or even anxious about something while walking, they can snap their necks because of the pull or tug on their dog leash. Many dog owners prefer the use of a dog walking harness on their pets because it gives them better sense of control over the movement of their dogs. And if you think your dog needs the same level of attention and control like the pets of these dog owners, then you’d be glad we’re here sharing with you the best dog harness options in the market today.

Related Post: Best Dog Collars

The Best Dog Harness

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One of the best non pull dog harness products, especially if you’re talking about large canine breeds, is this Big Dog body strap from EXPAWLORER. It features an extra padded super-tough nylon handle for optimum control and a fully-welded D-ring for safety. This canine body strap also features a highly durable, fast-drying, and super breathable fabric to provide strength and durability while affording comfort for your pooch. The fabric is also lined with neoprene for added comfort and is completed with reflective bands for increased safety in low-visibility conditions. The strap closure is made of parachute clasps for ease of closing and opening. The EXPAWLORER Big Dog is also available in 7 different colors so you do get to pick one that is perfect for your pooch.

Durable and sturdy construction

Padded comfortable training handle

Safety reflective strap

Snap-on durable clasp closure

Breathable fabric

Best Heavy Duty Dog Harness

Specification:
  • Brand: EXPAWLORER
  • Model: PP003-030
  • Weight: 13.6 ounces

2

The EXPAWLORER harness is not just perfect for small breeds but also for the puppies of larger dog breeds. This comes in as a very stylish body strap complete with a scratch resistant fabric and a reflective material to improve its safety profile when used in low visibility situations. It also features a Draflex buckle which gives it amazing load capacity, significantly improving its overall strength without sacrificing ergonomics and comfort.

It even comes with a seatbelt attachment which allows you to easily snap the handle onto your car’s seatbelt mechanism for added security during a ride. The chest and belly sections of the EXPAWLORER is padded with a soft sponge and covered with mesh lining for optimum comfort. This harness for car also comes with 2 attachment points for a leash: one at the back and another one in front of the chest. This gives you absolute versatility in its use.

Lightweight, durable, and ergonomic design

Safety reflective material

Designed with 2 attachment points for leashes 

Specification:
  • Brand: EXPAWLORER
  • Model: PP018-5651-017
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces

3

If you’re looking for a no pull dog harness that already comes with its own doggie leash, then URPOWER’s Dog Leash Harness Set is for you. One of the best dog harness and leash combos in the market, this set from URPOWER comes with a double layer of denim straps. Heavy duty nylon is added to the denim fabric to increase its strength and durability.

The choice of soft yet sturdy denim material helps prevent chafing especially among pooches that are known for tugging and pulling on their leashes while making it as an easy walk dog harness. Also integrated into the doggie harness is a couple of heavy-duty hardware including corrosion resistant stainless steel rings on the harness and a stainless steel hook on the leash. It comes with two highly adjustable points to help make sure you get the perfect fit onto your pooch.

Soft yet durable and sturdy denim-nylon combination

Comes as a complete set of leash and harness

Corrosion resistant hardware on both leash and harness 

Great harness for walking

Specification:
  • Brand: URPOWER
  • Model: P06
  • Weight: 8 ounces

4

This harness for car design by PAWABOO comes with a lead clip that allows it to be easily attached to any car seatbelt mechanism. The strap consists of polyester fabric, giving it extra softness while affording durability and lightweight properties. What really makes the PAWABOO exceptionally comfortable for any pooch is its fully padded chest plate made of breathable fabric and a broad soft sponge. This also makes it an exceptional dog harness for walking as it will not bring undue discomfort to your pooch regardless of how strong it tugs on its leash. And speaking of tugging force, the PAWABOO’s stainless steel snap hook helps ensure that your leash is securely attached to the harness.

Fully padded and comfortable chest plate

Designed specifically for use in family SUVs and cars

Durable and sturdy construction 

Specification:
  • Brand: PAWABOO
  • Model: FBA_P7823-7407
  • Weight: 5.1 ounces

5

Simple and functional, the Blueberry Pet Classic stakes its claim as a comfortable dog harness for pulling as it doesn’t stretch, allowing you optimum control over your mutt’s movements. The high-density webbing used in its nylon fabric affords it strength that will see it through many years of use. There’s a downside to the Blueberry Pet, though. You cannot adjust the chest strap. That said, it is important to take the actual measurements of your dog so you can choose the appropriate size that will snuggly wrap around its chest. The Blueberry Pet is excellent for those who require a simple design with a price that is friendlier on the pocket.

Simple yet durable construction

No-stretch design

Priced lower than most 

Specification:
  • Brand: Blueberry Pet
  • Weight: 2.9 ounces

6

If it’s an easy walk dog harness you’re looking for, the BINGNET promises to provide your pooch not only a very comfortable harness but also fashionable and stylish. It’s got soft air-mesh padding on its chest and belly sections for that optimum comfort. It could very well be the best puppy harness for its adorable colors. While it is stylish, you’ll never question its durability or even ease of use, either. You’ll never feel uncomfortable walking your tiny mutt down the street or in the park as the BINGPET can truly pass as a remarkably stylish doggie body strap.

Fashionable colors and styling

Soft air mesh padding

100% polyester construction 

Specification:
  • Brand: BINGPET
  • Model: BB5001C022
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces

7

The Gooby comes off as one of the best no pull dog harness primarily for its unique design integrating memory foam instead of the usual sponge. This allows the harness to conform beautifully to your pooch’s body for a more snug and comfortable fit. Designed as a dog harness for walking the Gooby Trekking truly elevates the way we manage the movements or our dogs by affording them exceptional comfort without ever losing control over them. It comes in lovable colors, too.

Memory foam padding

Comfortable and soft fleece lining

Adorable colors 

Specification:
  • Brand: Gooby
  • Model: 04411-GRN-L
  • Weight: 3.04 ounces

8

The Kurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness actually comes with a halt ring to make its handling a lot easier, making it ideal as an easy walk dog harness. The Tru-Fit includes a 10-inch leash which is simply perfect for canine behavioral training or even for making the necessary corrections in a pooch’s behavior; perhaps even better than shock collars when it comes to corrections. The tether also doubles as an attachment to car restraint systems. Leash attachment rings are also located in both the back and front panels of the Kurgo allowing for greater flexibility. True to its name, the Tru-Fit comes with 5 adjustable points to provide for the most comfortable and snuggest fit for your mutt.

Optimized 5-point adjustable points

Includes a 10-inch training lead

Comes with a halt ring

Double leash attachment design 

Specification:
  • Brand: Kurgo
  • Model: 00024
  • Weight: 8 ounces

9

The PUPTECK offers a safe and comfortable alternative to mainstream canine harnesses by integrating a variety of features that help improve its visibility in the dark. Its reflective trim can be very valuable in this respect. Comfort-wise, the lightweight and breathable mesh lining are exceptional for a product that is priced lower than similarly designed products. It also comes with a really sturdy D-ring attachment located in two distinct points for extra versatility.

The PUPTECK has an uncanny similarity to URPOWER’s harness in that it also comes with the Draflex buckle mechanism for improved strength; although URPOWER’s only comes with 3 colors as opposed to PUPTECK’s 7. It also has the same sturdy yet comfortable padded handle for optimum control of your canine friend.

Safety reflective straps

Lightweight and comfortable lining

Fully padded belly and chest panels 

Specification:
  • Brand: PUPTECK
  • Model: SHU5652-PINK-L
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces

10

For dogs that have the tendency to pull on their leash, PetSafe’s Easy Walk Harness provides a neat solution without ever getting in the way of your dog’s level of comfort and mobility. Made of high-quality, breathable, yet durable materials, the Easy Walk lives up to its name because of the positioning of the D-ring for leash attachment located right in the center of the dog’s chest. This should help negate the tendency of dogs to pull; otherwise, they will be turning themselves. Putting on the Easy Walk on your pet is also made easy. Too bad it doesn’t come with reflective trim. Nevertheless, it’s still a great product to begin with.

No-pull dog harness design

Martingale loop with D-ring

Quick-snap buckles

4 adjustment points

Specification:
  • Brand: PetSafe
  • Model: EWH-HC-L-BLK
  • Weight: 10.6 ounces

11

You will love the added features of the Front Range Adventure Harness. In addition to its remarkable construction that is guaranteed to secure your dog every time you take it outside for a walk, the Front Range also comes with a neat pocket for keeping your dog’s ID tag. The straps and the panels also come with reflective stitching to further improve your dog’s visibility in the dark. The attachment points for your leash are duly reinforced to make sure they don’t just snap loose while walking your pet. The chest and belly panels are also amply padded to provide comfort for your pet. The easy-snap buckles are a joy to operate, too.

4-point harness adjustments

Fully padded belly and chest panels

Reinforced leash attachment points

Reflective trim

ID tag pocket

Specification:
  • Brand: RUFFWEAR
  • Model: 30501-501M
  • Weight: 5.9 ounces

12

Made of super soft fabric and lined with plush fleece, this Voyage Step-In Harness is perhaps the most comfortable of all the different types of harnesses we’ve presented so far. It is primarily intended to be used on dogs that have been properly trained to walk effortlessly on a leash. More specifically, it’s intended for use in cold weather environments as the fleece fabric can really keep pooches warm while they’re out for a walk.

Super soft, warm, and comfortable materials

Secure Velcro closure

Machine washable

Specification:
  • Brand: Best Pet Supplies, Inc.
  • Model: 206-FU-M
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces

13

First-time pet parents usually have a difficult time getting a harness onto their dogs. With the RABBITGOO putting on the harness is so much easier with its easy-on, easy-off styling. Additionally, the positioning of its dual leash attachments allow for the more even distribution of pulling forces so that pets will not really be tugging on the leash. And even if they do so, the force will only be minimal. Providing comfort for your pet while on the dog harness, the RABBITGOO comes with fully-padded sections.

It also comes with reflective strips that should come in handy as soon as evening sets in. Both chest and neck girths are fully adjustable, too. Sadly, despite its durable construction, friendly price, and thoughtful design, the RABBITGO is only available in black.

Easy-on, easy-off dog harness design

Breathable mesh padding

Dual leash attachment points

Fully adjustable harness with quick-release clasps

Safety reflective strips

Specification:
  • Brand: Rabbitgoo
  • Model: DTCW006L
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces

14

For pet parents who have a more colorful personality that they would want to imbibe onto their pets, the EcoBark dog harness fits the bill just fine. Available in 8 fun colors and 6 sizes, the EcoBark is a kind of dog harness that has its own personality. First, the straps are made from eco-friendly materials; recycled plastic water bottles to be exact. Second, it has quick-release clasps that are designed never to break away unless you activate it. The fully adjustable straps are also reinforced with double stitching while the body panels are fully padded with a soft, cushiony material. The only issue you may have is that there really is no way to adjust the neck girth. Hence, it is critical to choose the correct size.

Polyester construction with mesh webbing

Recycled plastic water bottle-constructed straps

Breathable construction with flexible air mesh

Non-breakaway quick-release clasps

Double-stitched adjustable belt

Specification:
  • Brand: EcoBark
  • Weight: 1.3 ounces

15

The Voyager is somewhat similar to the RABBITGOO when it comes to its easy-on, easy-off design and to EcoBark for its non-adjustable neck girth styling. Additionally, instead of the usual buckle-and-strap closure system, the Voyager comes with a Velcro mechanism to help ensure you get a secure fit on your pet. The good thing is that the Voyager also comes with a buckle closure that joins its two D-ring attachments, forming a unitary system on top. Sadly, there have been issues in the unlocking of the buckle closure. Nevertheless, the body panel is made of durable, breathable, and comfortable mesh fabric. The edges are carefully rounded, too so they won’t chafe your pet’s skin.

Breathable, durable mesh fabric construction

Step-in dog harness design

D-ring leash attachment

Velcro closure

Specification:
  • Brand: Best Pet Supplies, Inc.
  • Model: 207-BUB-M
  • Weight: 3.04 ounces

16

One of the most surprising entries in this list is the Puppia Dog Harness. It has extra-soft and smooth edging that will not burn your pet’s skin. The chest straps are easily adjustable allowing you to make the necessary changes to fit the harness into your dog perfectly. The Puppia comes with an integrated D-ring for attaching your pet’s leash, although we would have preferred if it came with a front- and rear- positioned ring. Nevertheless, the construction is durable, albeit not as strong a nylon since it’s only polyester. But this gives it an added advantage of machine-washability.

We did wish it came with reflective strips or that its neck girth can also be adjusted. However, considering that its price is inexpensive for its quality, we’d say it’s still a great choice especially for budget-conscious folks.

100% polyester construction

Fully adjustable chest strap

Quick-release secure buckle

Machine-washable

Specification:
  • Brand: Puppia
  • Model: PDCF-AC30-RD-M
  • Weight: 2.08 ounces

17

Lifepul’s Dog Vest Harness is actually a very formidable dog restraint system that is designed more like a modular system, except that the chest piece doesn’t really detach from the main body harness. Regardless, its thoughtful design which effectively hugs the natural contours of your pet’s body makes the Lifepul a worthy dog harness. It’s constructed of really-tough nylon so you can bet that it’s for the toughest dogs.

It may be tough, but it is still comfy for your pet as the Lifepul has built-in cushiony padding within its panels. The heavy-duty hardware further adds to the Lifepul’s appeal. It comes with a quick-release buckle made accessible with a press of a button. The D-ring attachment can also double as a car seatbelt attachment point for added safety.

Premium quality nylon construction

Fully padded sponge collar with padded chest belt

D-ring leash attachment

Quick-release buckle

Top handle

Specification:
  • Brand: Lifepul
  • Model: LPDBH160525-B2
  • Weight: 8 ounces

18

Without a doubt the OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest can easily be regarded as the best dog harness in the market. It’s made of 1000-denier, super-strong, heavy-duty nylon material. It comes with a few other features that make it more like a doggie version of a combat vest complete with modular lightweight load-carrying equipment straps to go with a full panel of hoop and loop strips.

The addition of a bungee cord that weaves in an X-shape also helps secure your dog’s water bottle as well as doggie clothing. It’s like prepping your pet for military service. The Velcro panels can be adorned with a variety of military morale patches and badges. As tough and functional as the OneTigris is, not all dogs really require a vast array of functions in a harness. But if you have a service dog or even a working breed of dog, the OneTigris is indeed a great choice.

Water-resistant, durable 1000D nylon construction

V-ring leash attachment with top handle

MOLLE straps and loop and hoop strips

Velcro attachment panels for morale badges and patches

X-shaped bungee cloth or water bottle secure system

Gully adjustable straps with quick-release buckles

Specification:
  • Brand: OneTigris
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces

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One thing that pet parents like about the Copatchy is that it comes fully integrated with a heavy-duty grab handle at the top, making it especially easy to control your dog in certain situations. Another feature that is quite unique to the Copatchy is that its harness is filled with sponge.

Most dog harnesses come with soft mesh fabric but without foam padding. Copatchy adds foam in its design supposedly to improve the overall comfort that dogs will have while wearing this dog harness. The Copatchy is positioned as a no-pull harness, although we really cannot see how since the location of its D-ring leash attachment point is still at the back of the main panel. Regardless, for all its worth, the Copatchy is a handsome harness that should look good on your pet.

Sponge-filled dog harness

Breathable, comfortable mesh material

No-pull technology

Built-in handle

Specification:
  • Brand: Copatchy
  • Weight: 3.84 ounces

20

Sporn’s doggie harness is built with tough and sturdy nylon material complete with elastic webbing to allow for a more comfortable fit on your dog’s body. Its easy step in and out design also makes it convenient to put on your dog. Like the Copatchy, the Sporn is being positioned as a no-pull dog harness despite the fact that its leash attachment point is located at the back. It has, however, a neat no-choke design that should be excellent for giving optimum comfort for your dog while you’re taking a stroll around the neighborhood.

Made of durable, sturdy nylon mesh

Non-pulling harness design

Comfortable, elastic webbing

Step in and out design

Specification:
  • Brand: Sporn
  • Model: ZW1210 18 17
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces

Best Dog Harness Buying Guide & FAQ

Buying a canine harness means you will have to consider quite a few things. Here we’ll try to explore some of these considerations so you will have a better chance of getting a more appropriate harness for your canine friend. Do understand, however, that these are intended as general guidelines only so feel free to make the necessary adjustments to fit your Fido’s specific needs.

pet harness

Determine If You Want A Dog Harness With A Back Clip Or A Front Clip

One of the first things you may need to decide on is whether you will go for a D-ring located at the front, typically right in the center of the chest strap, or you will opt for a D-ring strapped to the back of the harness. Generally, it all depends on the type of pooch that you have.

If you have a dog that is a small breed or is diagnosed with neck injuries or even respiratory or airway problems, then a back clip is perfect. The reason for this is quite simple. Since the pull from the leash occurs at the back there’s no strain on the neck area. However, back clips should never be used on dogs that are aggressive or powerful pullers as well as those with very little training and have a very high predatory drive.

If, however, you have a pooch that jumps, pulls, and gets easily distracted while you’re walking, but not to the point that it is very powerful enough to drag you, then a front clip design is best. This helps you establish better control over your doggie’s behavior so you can easily correct it. Sadly, like the back clip, powerful pullers, untrained dogs, and canines with exceptional predatory drive are best controlled using other mechanisms.

Different Types of Dog Harness

If you have been to the pet supplies store already you’d notice that there are different styles or types of harnesses for dogs. Some come in different colors, patterns, and designs. The point is that everything actually depends on the type of dog that you have. For best results, we strongly recommend taking your dog with you if you intend to purchase any one of these products so you can try them on your pet. Make sure to try each one and choose only that which can provide you exceptional control but without necessarily hurting your mutt.

  • Tightening harness

Designed for jumpers and stubborn pullers, the tightening harness is just what the name implies. It is a body strap that tightens whenever your mutt pulls or jumps. The application of pressure strongly discourages the pulling and jumping behavior of dogs. Not to worry though as the pressure is just enough to cause a little discomfort for your pooch and not really intended to hurt it or even injure it. 

However, don’t ever use a tightening harness on a dog that hasn’t really responded positively to corrective training. No amount of pressure application will ever correct its jumping and pulling behavior. A different approach must be considered altogether. Moreover, if you have a timid dog, this type of harness should also not be used for the simple fact that they will get the idea that they are being punished. Lastly, dogs that have history of abuse should not be put on a tightening harness as it can bring back memories of its past abused life and may react violently to it or regress.

  • Head harness

You can think of the head harness as a horse’s bridle that’s designed especially for canines. Just like the tightening harness, the head harness is put on around your mutt’s head and muzzle to discourage negative or undesirable behaviors by correcting and controlling the movement and direction of the pooch’s head.

Unfortunately, there’s a big controversy regarding its use. Like dog muzzles, the use of this type of head strap may cause damage to the cervical spine of a pooch especially if used on a very powerful and aggressive mutt and the one handling it is not properly trained. That is why this type of harness should only be used by well-experienced dog trainers whose patience is endless.

In the hands of an experienced trainer, this strap is great for persistent but not aggressive pullers as well as pooches that get easily distracted. Sadly, it cannot be used on pooches with relatively short muzzles as well as those with problems with breathing. It should also not be used by dog owners or trainers who have a quick temper or are easily frustrated.

  • Mobility harness

This type of dog harness is primarily intended for pooches with physical limitations or with limited mobility. It is often indicated or recommended for use on pooches with joint disorders or injuries, hip dysplasia, degenerative disorders of the joints, and even impaired or limited physical mobility. It can also be used on dogs that are still recovering from surgery.

This type of canine harness typically comes with a strap that runs the entire length of the back of the body strap. Some models can have a hip-lift handle, wraparound handle, or even a back handle, all of which serve to support the pooch’s weight especially around the joints.

The harness that has a strap that runs all the way from the neck to the back is perfect for smaller breeds of dogs while those with back or hip lift handles are ideal for medium- and large- sized canines especially those with injuries to the hind legs. It is also applicable to pooches that have stiffness in all of their joints. As for mobility harnesses that come with wraparound handles, these are perfect for female large mutts that have difficulty moving with or walking on all 4 legs or with a problem in the hind legs.

Related Post: Best Dog Muzzle

harness for dogs

Check the Correct Fit For Your Dog Harness

Aside from the type of dog harness that you need to consider for your pooch you will also need to decide on the design of the straps to determine the correct fit for your doggie. Two of the more common types of fit include the following.

  • Step-in: This is a very common design in doggie harnesses. It comes in figure-8 styling and all the pooch needs to do is to step into the figure 8, bring the straps towards the back, and secure it with its clip. Unfortunately, these are only applicable to smaller canine breeds or even those that are lightweight. You can see some large dog harness products that are designed for larger breeds but these are usually very rare. The step-in harness is also perfect for elderly dog owners who may already have reduced manual dexterity.
  • Roman: The Roman fit type includes a strap that goes around the dog’s shoulder blades and another one going around the pooch’s chest. These two straps are then joined under the chest and along the back and works exceptionally well with the back clip. This fit type is definitely for dog owners who have excellent fine motor skills. These are not intended for those who have arthritis or even cognitive problems.

Related Post: Best Chihuahua Harnesses

Always Consider the Strength and Durability of the Material or Materials Used in a Dog Harness

The materials used in the construction of the dog harness typically come in either single-ply or two-ply. For all intents and purposes, you’re better off with a 2-ply as these provide you with exceptional strength and durability especially if you’re working with larger dogs as well as canines that can really pull. However, if you’re talking about a puppy or a small breed, a single-ply should do.

Related Post: Best Puppy Harness

Evaluate the Different Features of a Dog Harness

Different harnesses often come in various styles and designs. Some may have added reflective bands to increase safety and visibility especially in conditions where the lighting is poor. Some may also come in various colors and adornments to reflect the kind of persona human masters want for their pooches. While they may vary in these aspects, they all share the following components or key features. As such, it is imperative to carefully analyze and evaluate these features so you’ll be able to identify the best dog harness for your needs.

  • Fabric

Consider a dog harness as a vest that you put over your torso to protect you. Now imagine if your so-called vest is made of flimsy fabric material, will you feel more confident about your safety? For many folks, they won’t really feel safe; not one bit. The same is true with your pet.

Since harnesses are supposed to support and protect your pet’s body from incessant pulling and all that stuff, if it is made of flimsy material, then there is a very strong chance that your pet will break loose simply because the fabric was torn apart. This is an issue with very strong, large dogs. But if you have a smaller breed or perhaps a puppy, then using such flimsy and thin fabric materials will be quite safe; although, we’d still recommend going for sturdier materials. Going for thick fabrics, those with robust materials should be an excellent choice if the body strap is for a large breed. But if you’re going to put this on small pooches, they’ll feel very stiff and might not be able to move as independently as they would like.

Another consideration is the way the different panels of fabric have been joined together. Ideally, a unitary fabric material is preferred over those that come with different panels or sections that are sewn together. Given that a one-piece fabric material is very rare, you will have to examine the way in which the different components were put together. As much as possible, get a product with panels that are first fused together before they are top-stitched. One way to check if the product has excellent panel fusing is if shows a biased strip. These are visible strip that often fall around the edges of the canine body strap. These biased strips are what enclose the edges of the fabrics that have been fused together. As for the top-stitching, make sure that it goes throughout the whole body strap and not only on the opening.

  • D-ring and strap

The next feature that you need to carefully evaluate is the D-ring and its accompanying strap. This is what essentially connects the canine body strap to the other important tool in the handling system – the leash. What you need is a D-ring that is well-centered so that the leash will be properly attached. Additionally, it should be of good quality construction.

As for the strap, make sure that it runs the entire length of the back of the doggie body strap. Additionally, it should also be properly stitched under the harness’ neckline with the correct level of reinforcement. Its construction should allow you to hold your pooch really steady while walking. The placement of the strap together with the D-ring should help distribute the pulling force of the leash right from the center of the harness and not solely on the neck portion. Otherwise, you risk hurting your doggie.

  • Length

The length of the harness is also critical when choosing the best and most appropriate one for your dog. As a general rule, the length of the body strap should cover no more than half of your dog’s back. To give you an idea where the length of the body strap should end, try to feel for your pet’s ribs. The location where the ribs end is exactly where the outermost edge of the harness should be. Of course, there are longer or larger harnesses. These typically come with additional straps that allow it to be secured properly around the hind legs of your dog.

  • Corners

This is one element that many dog owners fail to consider in their choice of a dog harness. Evaluating the sections of a dog harness where they go around joints such as your pooch’s front legs should be second nature. Always go for rounded corners as these provide for better mobility and greater range of motion at the joints. If you get a usual 90-degree corner lying over a joint, this can severely restrict the freedom of movement of such joints. So, watch for the corners in the sections of the arms and neck as well as the areas of the straps.

Benefits of a Dog Harness

There are many reasons why people would rather use a dog harness on their pooches rather than a traditional collar. Many of these reasons are largely attributed to the following benefits of a dog harness.

  • Reduces pressure or stress on the dog’s neck

Without a doubt this is the most important benefit of using a dog harness. The pressure is equally distributed along the length of the entire back or even at a section on the chest but never on the neck.

  • Allows for better control of the mutt’s movement 

Because the harness actually covers about half the dog’s body length and often comes in 2 leash attachment points, harnesses provide better control of a dog’s movements and directions while walking with their masters. At any rate, you can easily make corrections.

  • Provides support for injured pooches

Using a collar on an injured pooch, say a dog that has dysplasia or even leg injuries, will have the pooch still using these injured limbs to move. With a dog harness, the pressure and strain on the affected limbs can be effectively reduced while also supporting the rest of the body. Just look at it like a cast or splint that you use if ever you have injuries and you want your limb to be immobilized to allow for healing.

  • Fosters better communication between master and pet 

Many canine harnesses come with dual connections. These give you the chance to provide the necessary feedback to your pooch if it is doing the right thing or not. Rather than providing feedback on only a certain section of its body, you are communicating with it on two points.

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How to Properly Use a Dog Harness

How to properly put on a dog harness actually depends on the type of body strap that you have. Typically, however, you will have to have your dog stand and assist it in stepping into the loop formed by the straps. In some instances, you may have to slip the straps over its head and assist it into stepping through the harness’ arm holes. Consistency is very important here. How you put on the body strap the first time should be repeated through the succeeding sessions. This is to make sure that your canine friend gets used to it.

In using a dog harness, it is important to ensure that all the different straps are free of kinks and twists. This will help eliminate pinching of the skin or the application of unnecessary pressure on certain parts of its body. If your pooch is a little bit skittish whenever you put on its harness, use a treat to keep it preoccupied while you get it all harnessed up.

Dog harnesses are important tools in making our dog training and doggie walks a lot safer and more manageable. In choosing the right dog harness it is important to look at several things including the positioning of the clip, the type of the harness, its fit, and the different features you need to look for. It is equally important to learn how get the correct measurement of your pooch as well as how to put the harness into your pet. These should help you achieve the different benefits of using a harness on your dog.

Related Post: Best Dog Whistles

Best Dog Harness FAQ:

Q:  Will a Dog Harness Stop My Pet Pulling?

A:  The short answer to this question is “yes”. This is especially true if you get a no pull dog harness as this takes the pressure off your pooch’s neck. Having a dog harness also allows you to position your mutt to stay at your heel. It also allows for the establishment of two connections – one in front and one at the back – to help prevent the triggering of the opposition reflex. Getting a no pull dog harness also strongly encourages your pooch to walk with you in a calmer manner. Of course, all of these things don’t happen overnight. Just because you put the harness today they will no longer be pulling tomorrow. It takes time, patience, and plenty of practice to help teach your mutt not to pull.

Q:  Can You Keep a Dog Harness on Your Pet All the Time?

A:  It should be made clear that a dog harness is primarily intended to exert some form of control over your dog’s movements whenever you’re outside the home. Whether it is a casual walk or undergoing obedience training, it is important that they be on a harness. However, once you are already home and your dog is safe in the confines of it’s crate or kennel, then you have to remove the harness. This is especially true for puppies. Some would actually say that it is perfectly alright to leave it on. We do strongly suggest asking yourself if wearing a thick vest all day and all night long will make you comfortable.

Related Post: Best Dog Crates

Q:  How Do You Measure for a Dog Harness?

A:  The correct fit of a dog harness is crucial to ensuring its optimum function. Dog harnesses that are too loose provide little control over the mutt and may also allow it to escape. Harnesses that are super tight will bring discomfort and pain. That is why it is important to establish the right fit. The only way you can establish this is by measuring the circumference of both the chest and lower neck of your pooch. Here’s how.

  • To measure the circumference of your dog’s neck, place a cloth tape measure at the level of its breastbone and wrap it around its back until it meets the other end of the tape measure in front.
  • To measure the chest circumference of your dog, place the cloth tape measure at the widest part of its chest, typically at the level just behind its front legs. Wrap the tape measure all the way around its back, meeting the opposite end of the tape at the chest.

Some products use the term “girth” to describe the circumference of a dog’s chest. So you might want to keep this in mind. Additionally, it is always best to get a size that is about an inch or two larger than the actual circumference to help prevent pinching and chafing. If you can easily slip 2 fingers between the straps and your dog, then that should be a great harness. Also, skip those products that go by a dog’s weight. Weight has nothing to do with body size which is a reflection of chest circumference.

dog in a harness

Q:  Is my dog harness machine-washable?

A:  Depending on the material that was used in the construction of the harness, you may or may not be able to put the dog restraint in your washing machine. While most fabric materials are machine-washable, your main issue is the hardware such as the D-rings and buckles. For the most part you are not supposed to put anything metallic inside your washing machine as this can damage the drum. While some manufacturers will say that you can throw their harnesses into your washing machine, hand-washing is still the preferred method primarily because of the hardware that’s embedded into these products. Some may actually wrap the harness in a lingerie bag before putting it in the washing machine.

Q:  Dog Harness vs. Dog collar: what’s the difference?

A:  Collars are like belts that are wrapped around your dog’s neck. There are many different kinds of collars and some of these are actually designed to inflict pain on the animal if it pulls on its leash. Collars are effective if you have a dog that will not pull or tug against its leash or if you have already trained it to walk at your heel. Collars are excellent for daily walks as long as your pet doesn’t have any respiratory problems or issues with its trachea. The sad thing about collars is that if your dog pulls or tugs against the collar, there is a chance that it might hurt itself. As such, collars are best reserved for pets that have already been trained never to pull on their leash.

On the other hand, harnesses are more like vests which your pet gets to wear wrapped around its chest and torso. There are straps to secure the opposing body panels. These also have leash attachments. Some designs come with dual leash attachment points while some come with only one. The harness panels on the chest and body of the dog are wider and come with padded material to help provide comfort for your dog. Your pet may still pull on its leash, but the force will be substantially less than that of a collar, depending on the location of the leash attachment point.

Harnesses are perfect for dogs that pull, tug, and lunge excessively. These are also the best option for pets with relatively short muzzles since these breeds are more prone to tracheal collapse and breathing complications. That’s why collars are not really ideal for short-muzzled pooches. Toy breeds can also benefit from harnesses because of the rather delicate nature of their necks.

Related Post: Best Dog Collars

Q:  Can a dog harness be used on a cat?

A:  If you have a cat that has the same physical dimensions as your cat, then you can use a dog harness on your kitty, too. However, given that cats are generally smaller than dogs, the closest size of dog harness you can perhaps use will be those intended for small breeds of dogs.

Q:  Is it safe to make a dog harness out of rope?

A:  Some societies actually make dog harnesses out of rope. Looking in the Internet, there are also a lot of instructional videos and learning materials on how to make a dog harness out of rope. In all of these resources, one thing always crops up – the construction of the rope dog harness should be done strictly as per instructions to help ensure that it is safe for your dog. The major safety implication is related to the choice of rope material. The rope should be appropriate for the size of your pet and only soft and smooth cotton rope or some other similar material should be used. You should never use a fibrous rope as this can seriously irritate your pet’s skin.

Sources:

  1. Harnessing the Walk: Choosing the Right Harness for Your Dog - VetStreet
  2. How to Properly Put on a Dog Harness - PetMD
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Nicole Ellis
Nicole Ellis
Nicole’s demeanour and positive-reinforcement based training helps drive great results for her celebrity pet clients. As a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Nicole is consistent using, testing and evaluating new dog products on the market. Nicole follows the latest trends in pet healthcare and is certified by both the Canine Good Citizen evaluator and the American Kennel Club.
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