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Looking for the best dog harness? Look no further…
If you haven’t already invested in a dog harness, there are a ton of good reasons why you should.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about dog harnesses plus our reviews of the best ones on the market in this comprehensive guide.
Let’s take it away…
- 1 What is a Dog Harness?
- 2 Pros and Cons of Dog Harnesses
- 3 How to Put on a Dog Harness
- 4 The Best Dog Harness Reviews
- 4.1 Kurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness
- 4.2 Ruffwear – Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness for Dogs
- 4.3 Blueberry Pet Mesh Padded Dog Harness Vest
- 4.4 EzyDog Convert Trail-Ready Dog Harness
- 4.5 Rabbitgoo Front Range Dog Harness
- 4.6 Buddy Belt Classic Leather Dog Harness
- 4.7 Chai’s Choice Best Front Range Dog Harness
- 4.8 Babyltrl Big Dog No Pull Harness
- 4.9 Puppia Dog Harness
- 4.10 Noxgear LightHound Dog Harness
What is a Dog Harness?
Just like a harness for a horse pulling a cart, a dog harness surrounds the dog’s torso.
A leash is attached directly to the harness instead of the collar, taking pressure off the dog’s neck when out for walks.
This is particularly important for dogs who have a tendency to strain on the leash, as straining against a collar puts pressure on your pet’s neck and trachea and can cause them pain and/or injury.
A harness for dogs is especially useful for larger or more powerful dogs who have more force. It prevents them from injury and has the added effect of giving you more control over your pooch if he pulls against the leash or likes to jump up, making walks less stressful and more enjoyable.
Because of this increased level of control, dog harnesses can also be a very effective training aid, so can be very effective when training puppies.
Dog Harness Styles
Many different styles of dog harness are available.
Some feature a metal leash clip on the back, whilst others have the clip on the front at the centre of the dog’s chest.
Harnesses with the clip on the front are better suited to those dogs who pull the most as they give greater control, whilst dog harnesses with a back clip are better for calmer dogs who are already fairly well trained and less likely to strain against the least.
Materials used to make dog harnesses vary from robust nylon to strong leather, and are heavily stitched to prevent the harness coming apart with use.
Many designs feature more material to give greater support to the chest or back area, and some are padded for extra comfort.
Plastic clips or buckles are the most common fastening method for a dog harness, as they are quick and easy to use.
For small dogs a harness made from a lightweight material is best as it is less weight for them to carry around and more comfortable next to their bodies.
Softer materials such as cotton are also suitable for small dog harnesses as the harness doesn’t need to be as robust for petite pooches with less pulling power.
Large dogs, on the other hand, require harnesses made from strong, durable materials, and due to the additional force created by a large dog, harnesses with thicker straps and more padding are best to ensure your pet is comfortable in their harness even when straining against it.
What is a ‘No Pull Dog Harness’?
Whatever we do, in certain cases, some dogs just insist on pulling against the leash.
For stubborn hounds who just won’t take the hint, a no pull dog harness can be a good solution.
A no pull harness uses the same basic principle as a regular dog harness — it keeps your dog safe, secure and comfortable — yet with the added feature of gently tightening and adding a small amount of pressure around your dog’s back, chest, or whole torso when he pulls.
This is designed to discourage the dog from pulling without causing pain or injury.
A no pull harness may also have a leash attachment that attaches through the dog’s collar, turning his head or pulling it down if he strains against the leash.
When used correctly this style of dog harness can be very effective in training dogs not to pull, but they can be a little trickier to put on than a regular harness for dogs, and there is a small risk that your pet might find the experience of using one stressful.
Pros and Cons of Dog Harnesses
- Can be an effective training tool
- Provide much more control over your dog
- Discourages pulling
- Discourages jumping up
- Much better than a collar for dogs with respiratory difficulty as it doesn’t restrict the throat
- Keeps dogs safe and secure (can’t be easily slipped or broken like a collar)
- Prevent potential neck injuries
- Less likelihood of the leash getting tangled up
- Can aid older or less mobile dogs in standing up and getting moving after periods of rest
- Less risk of pain or injury to you from being pulled about by your pet
- Dogs may not like the sensation of wearing a harness
- More difficult to put on than a collar
- Can be more expensive than a collar
How to Put on a Dog Harness
Putting a harness on your dog for the first time can be a little confusing — particularly when your furry friend isn’t too enthusiastic!
It’s also important that the harness is put on correctly so as to be comfortable for your pet.
But don’t panic — it’s actually very straightforward and you and your dog will soon get the hang of it. To get you on the right track here’s our step by step guide to how to put on a dog harness…
For a ‘step in harness’ (one where your dog’s legs need to go in first):
- Unbuckle the harness and lay it on the floor
- With your dog standing, place your dog’s paws one in each loop of the harness
- Bring the buckles up, pulling the harness up the dog’s legs so it is against the chest
- Buckle the harness across the dog’s back, making sure it is adjusted correctly
For an overhead harness (typically an ‘H’ shape when unbuckled):
- Starting with the harness unbuckled, first find the strap that fits above the shoulders
- With your dog in a sitting position, buckle this strap around the shoulders
- You should now have a strap along your dog’s back and underneath his belly
- Take the chest strap and buckle it together around the body connecting the back and belly straps
Take a look at this handy video if you’re more of a visual learner:
The Best Dog Harness Reviews
Here’s the lowdown on our top ten favorite dog harnesses…
Available in five sizes ranging from extra small (neck size 9 to13 inches) to extra large (neck size 24 to 35 inches), the Kurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness and Easy Dog Walking Harness has a sturdy design featuring a padded chest plate for added comfort, plus 2 quick release plastic buckles which make putting it on your dog hassle free.
Each size has five points where the harness can be adjusted to get just the right fit.
This dog harness also comes with a ‘no pull’ chest clip attachment, and a short (10 inch) lead that doubles up as a car seatbelt attachment.
- Good customizable fit
- Comfortable for your dog
- Can be easily washed in the machine
- Multiple points for leash attachment
- Tough and durable
- Great, low price
- Buckles may sometimes stick
- Ideally we’d want to see thicker padding
With leash attachment points on both the back and the chest, the Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness for Dogs can be used to either train your dog not to pull on the leash, or just for every day walks.
This stylish harness for dogs comes in a range of six bright colors, and five different sizes from extra extra small (13 to 17 inch chest) up to extra large (32 to 42 inch chest).
Comfortable yet robust, the design features a padded chest panel, and two quick release buckles make this harness a breeze to put on and take off. It can be adjusted at four points to get the best fit for your dog.
- Easy to put on and take off
- Ideal for regular use and extended walks
- Very comfortable
- Customizable fit
- Stylish design
- Best for medium sized breeds
- Reasonably expensive
Both pretty and practical, the Blueberry Pet Soft & Comfortable 3M Reflective Multi-colored Stripe Mesh Padded Dog Harness comes in a huge range of colors to suit all tastes, and multiple different sizes.
This dog harness is made from strong polyester and mesh which keeps it lightweight yet comfortable, and benefits from light reflective stripes to keep your pet safe at night time.
The padded back and chest plates provide additional comfort and, adjustable straps ensure a snug fit.
- Machine washable
- Attractive design
- Matching accessories available
- Quality construction
- Comfortable – doesn’t rub
- Good price
- Only has one leash attachment on the back
A tough polyester fabric outer layer and a soft, breathable cotton inner layer make the EzyDog Convert Trail-Ready Dog Harness a durable yet supremely comfortable choice for your pet.
Designed with safety in mind, this harness for dogs is fitted with light reflective panels and an LED mount for visibility when it gets dark. It’s the perfect heavy duty dog harness for taking your hound on the trails with you.
The simple yet effective design is available in seven sizes from XXS (15 to 17 inch girth) to XXL (34 to 44.5 inch girth) and is highly adjustable.
It also benefits from a one buckle closure. The leash attaches to a metal D ring on the back panel.
- Super easy to put on or take off
- High quality and durable
- Provides night time visibility
- Ideal design for amputee dogs
- Can be personalized
- Very comfortable, no pinch restraint
- Great for off-roading!
- Fabric can initially be quite stiff
Comfort for your dog is assured thanks to the breathable fabric of the Rabbitgoo Front Range Dog Harness which keeps your pup at the right temperature, and is also padded and soft on the skin.
This cheap dog harness comes in five sizes from extra small (13 to 17 inch chest girth) to extra large (32 to 38 inch chest girth).
A leash attachment on the chest panel discourages your dog from straining on the leash, or alternatively use the leash attachment on the back panel.
All straps are adjustable to achieve the optimum fit, there are light reflective strips for added safety in the dark, and the whole harness is attached with just one quick release buckle.
- Very easy to put on and take off
- Very affordable price
- Night time visibility strips
- Doesn’t rub sensitive skin
- Good quality
- Gives good control
- Leash attachments are plastic not metal – won’t be suitable for the most powerful pullers
Made from top grade double layered leather, the Buddy Belt classic leather dog harness has a ‘step in’ design that loops around your dog’s front legs and attaches with a single sturdy welded metal buckle across the back.
It features a soft lining to provide added comfort and is available in a range of seven different colors.
The ten sizes range from 8 to 10 inch girth at the smallest up to 35 to 42 inch girth at the largest. This luxury product is made to last and look good.
- Simple to take on and off thanks to single buckle design
- Sizing is great for all breeds of dog
- Extremely durable
- Very secure – dogs can’t slip out of the harness
- Attractive design
- Leather may take time to soften
- Reasonably expensive
Featuring Scotchlite reflective straps for night time safety and a wide range of colors, the Chai’s Choice Best Front Range Dog Harness is a stylish and practical dog harness design.
The adjustable straps are made from strong nylon webbing, and the padded back and chest panels from a resilient Oxford material exterior and a comfortable mesh interior. The five sizes in the range start from XS (13 to 17 inch chest) and go up to XL (32 to 42 inch chest).
There are two leash attachment points – one on the chest to prevent pulling, and one on the back. This dog harness also has a sturdy handle which allows it to be attached to a car seat belt.
- Handle is practical
- Choice of leash attachment points
- Comfortable fit
- Fashionable design
- Can be attached to seatbelt
- Reflective strips
- Has plastic hardware instead of metal – not suitable for the strongest pullers
Specially designed with big dogs in mind (those with a 22 to 35 inch chest girth) the Babyltryl Big Dog Harness is made to be tough for strong dogs.
Constructed from water and scratch resistant nylon material with light reflective stripes, this no pull dog harness is light and comfortable, and can even be machine washed.
The adjustable snap buckles lock in place to prevent them being pulled apart during even rough play. A nylon handle on the top of this harness makes it easy to grab your dog in a hurry and gives additional control. Leash attachment is possible on either the back or the chest for optimum no pull control.
- Well made harness
- Very reasonable price
- Ideal for large, strong dogs
- Locking buckle is good for added safety
- Top handle is useful
- Lots of no pull control
- Straps are a little too thin
- Leash clips aren’t especially durable
Soft polyester fabric guarantees that the Puppia dog harness will be comfortable for your dog to wear, yet also be strong and tough.
This dog harness vest is fashionable too — with an incredible choice of 12 different colors.
The neck opening on this vest style dog harness simply slips over the neck and then a single plastic buckle clips it into place around the chest. The breathable polyester mesh fabric can be easily cleaned, and can even be machine washed.
The six sizes range from XS (7.5 inch neck circumference) to XXL (21.2 inch neck circumference).
- Comfortable fit which doesn’t rub
- Quick and easy to put on and take off
- Soft and lightweight
- Well made product
- Particularly good for smaller dogs
- Neck opening is not adjustable
- Sizes run small
The Noxgear LightHound dog harness really has the wow factor.
It’s light reflective and boasts fiber optic LED lights that cycle through eight different colors to make sure that your dog is seen wherever he goes for the ultimate in night time safety.
Colors pulse and fade according to the selected mode, and the LED lights can be recharged via a USB connection. This harness can be used whatever the weather and can be machine washed.
Putting the harness on is easy as it features just two adjustable buckles. The Noxgear LightHound is available in four sizes from small (12.5 to 21 inch chest girth) to extra large (32.5 to 50 inch chest girth).
- Fun and attractive design
- Makes your dog super visible at night
- Great safety feature when amongst city traffic
- Easy to get on and off
- Easy to recharge
- Comfortable and supportive
- May not withstand too much pulling
- A little expensive
Which is your pick for the best dog harness? 🐶