Having daily walks with your dog is very important for both his mental and physical health. It is by walking that your dog will explore the world and learn the different terrains in your neighborhood. Using a dog harness for walking is better than using a leash or collar.
When using a leash or collar to walk your dog, you will realize that sometimes it can be dangerous both to you and your dog.
A collar, no matter how soft it is, can choke your dog during walking and cause tracheal health problems. In cases where your dog is much stronger, you will realize how uncomfortable it is to guide your dog.
Choosing the best dog harnesses that work well for your dog is not a walk in the park. A good harness for a German Shepherd might be a poor choice for a barrel-chested Great Dane.
The first thing to consider when buying a dog harness is the fit. Secondly, you need to check if the harness makes your dog comfortable to walk with.
In most cases, you will find a perfectly fitting harness that does not give your dog comfort when walking. In essence, you should not pick a dog harness based on size and fit alone.
You can know if your dog is comfortable in a particular harness, by observing how he moves around immediately when you put the harness on him.
A comfortable one will make your dog calm and relaxed while engaging in his normal behavior. An uncomfortable harness will give your dog a lot of commotion, he might try to scratch his neck using his hind limbs while swirling his head around.
3 Major Reasons Why you need to get a dog harness for your dog
1. A dog harness gives you more control when walking your dog
If you own a very large dog or a much stronger one, a harness will give you total control of him when walking. With a dog harness, it is also possible to walk more than one dog and still have very good control over them.
This is particularly important when you are walking your dog in a busy street with lots of people and activities.
2. It is a good training tool.
When taking your dog for exercise and training, a dog harness will help keep your dog obedient hence becoming more effective when training him on certain behavior changes and routines. It also helps out in training a puppy to walk.
3. A dog harness will aid your dog in walking properly.
If you have a dog that keeps on pulling and pushing during walks, a dog harness is a good tool to help him stop that behavior and in turn, teaches him to walk properly.
Is A Dog Harness Better Than A Collar?
This has been a question subjected to debate multiple times with people arguing over the superiority of a dog harness over a collar. From my own experience, and lots of research, a dog harness is better than a collar for many reasons.
5 Reasons Why a Dog Harness is Better Than a Collar
1. A dog harness discourages pulling.
When a dog is wearing a harness and he tries to pull, he ends up not getting what he wants unlike when he is with a collar.
Dogs with collars tend to pull successfully on the leash and dogs tend to develop that habit over time because it might be fun for them while thinking they are doing the right thing.
2. A dog harness reduces the strain on your dog’s neck.
Unlike the traditional collars, a dog harness offers a large surface area for your dog’s chest and neck to lie on hence reducing the strain therein.
When using a collar, your dog might get choked as a result of pulling, get tracheal-related complications or neck-bone misalignment.
3. A harness gives you better control over your dog than a collar.
When walking your dog in a busy street, you need to have better control over him or he will cause you more trouble by bumping into people. Similarly,
if you have a dog that is easily distracted when walking, a harness will help solve that since you can now teach him how to remain in focus for instance when hiking with your dog.
4. A harness pulls your dog gently.
A dog harness spreads the pressure on a large area of the dog’s body unlike what a collar does. For instance, if your dog needs some aid in waking up after lying down, a dog harness is a great tool to pull him up without causing him pain or discomfort.
5. Your dog can remove a collar with ease.
When putting a collar on your dog, it is common to find he has escaped and left you there with the leash because it can sometimes slip easily from his neck.
A harness on the other hand is intact and much harder for your dog to remove, hence you can be sure that your dog is sitting there with you, especially when you don’t want him to roam around.
What to Look for When Buying A Dog Harness
As I pointed out earlier, getting a good dog harness that serves your dog well is not just a question of getting the best physical fit.
There’s much more that goes into selecting the best dog harness to stop pulling, or if you are looking for the best dog harness for small dogs, etc.
1. Check the measurements well.
Get the right thickness measurements for your dog and be sure to get a harness that will fit him in the first place. Parameters such as age and dog breed are important considerations to be taken when measuring your dog.
2. How secure is your dog?
If you intend to use your harness in early mornings or late evenings, then go for one that has a reflective material that will make your dog more visible in the dark.
3. How do you want your harness to connect?
There are two main ways in which dog owners can connect harnesses to their dogs, one is through the front clip and the other is by the back clip.
Choose the one that suits you the most. Front clipping harnesses tend to give you more control over your dog’s behavior while back clipping ones are comfortable for your dog and it is much easier to put in.
Choose a harness that gives your pup some level of comfort when walking him. It does not have to necessarily give him superior comfort but just a sustainable level that can keep him concentrated on other activities.
Avoid the harnesses that offer discomfort to your pup since that will shift his attention to what he can do to escape.
5. Is the harness safe and durable?
You need to get a dog harness that comes with basic safety measures like adjustability and comfort. Adjustable dog harnesses should be able to get adjusted at the chest and neck areas at the bare minimum. Likewise, the material used to make the harness should be durable enough to last a long time.
A harness is some sort of investment to your pup and you should not get one that becomes obsolete after a month or two of use.
6. Is the harness usable with split leashes?
If you own multiple dogs, you might need a harness that is compatible with split leashes to offer you a good time to control your dogs all at once.
7. Does your dog need padding?
Padded dog harnesses give your pup added flair and comfort and they can be a great resource to him. Apart from that, certain dog breeds require padded harnesses especially those that have short hair.
8. What’s good for you and your dog.
Here, I am talking about the style of the harness, you need a match between your intended use and what serves your dog right. As much as your dog will not care much about the looks of his harness, remember you need a material that can easily be cleaned and that matches up with your walking area.
9. Cost of the harness.
As noted earlier, a dog harness is like an investment to your pup. You need to get a good-priced harness that will serve you well rather than going for a cheap and quick solution.
Don’t buy the most expensive item in quest of quality, you need to have a meeting point between your budget and what you need.
6 Types of Dog Harnesses You Can Buy Today
Dog harnesses come in different types and designs. Apart from your dog’s size and breed, there are also other factors like taste that will determine the specific type of harness you will get for your dog. The following list describes the major options you will encounter today.
1. Back Clip Harness.
This harness has a metal ring hemmed into the material at the back of your dog where you will attach the leash. A Back clip harness is comfortable and offers good neck support to your pup and it is much easier to put on.
The majority of pet parents like this harness because of the short time required in putting it on.
This harness is best fitted for small dogs since their throats have not matured enough and can easily be disturbed by the front clippers. If you however have an untrained dog, this harness is not the best because of the tendency to pull.
2. Front Clip Harness
The front clip harnesses have the ring for attaching a Ieash placed in the front at the center of the dog’s chest. This type of harness gives you more control over your dog when walking him.
They restrain the dog from pulling and hence teaching him how to walk properly with your guidance. It has a similar design to the back clip harness except here, the clip is located in the front of your pup’s chest.
3. Dual-Clip Harness
Also known as a multi-clip harness, it gives you the leeway to attach the leash in the front or back depending on your dog’s activities. Multi clip harnesses have more than two points where you can attach the leash both in the front and back of your dog.
Many pet parents have considered getting this type of harness because it can be used for both training and normal walking. Due to its versatility in usage, this type of harness is a little bit more expensive than the front and back clip harness.
4. Step-In Harness
This type of harness differs from the others in the mode in which it is put on. Your dog will step into the straps using his forelimbs then you will fasten the harness on his back. Step in harness is particularly useful for dogs who dislike having their heads put in a harness.
Most step-in harnesses are designed in such a manner that makes it difficult for your pup to escape. This harness is also a good option for small dogs.
5. Safety Harness
This type of harness is used to boost the safety of your dog when traveling inside your car. You can put a safety harness in your car that is attached to your car’s safety belt and make sure your dog stays comfortable and restrained throughout the journey.
6. Day-Pack Harness
This is a special type of heavy-duty dog harness that is designed to keep your dog sturdier during long trips and hiking. This harness is also called a backpack harness, deriving the name because your dog can now carry his food, toys, and other gears comfortably during the camping trip.
Because of the added luggage for your dog, this harness is best used for medium to large-sized dogs. Also, do not overload your dog when using it. The best way to be sure is by using this harness once in a while when the need arises.
Having looked at the different types of dog harnesses you can choose for your pup, I will now take you through the best dog harnesses you can buy today on Amazon.
8 Best Harnesses to Get for Your Large Dogs
This dog harness is made by Kurgo and comes with the black, blue or red color variant. This Journey Air design is ideal for dog hiking, hill camping, and everyday dog walking activities.
The color and the strap materials used to make this harness is reflective at night hence making your dog more visible when walking at night.
This vest harness has nifco plastic buckles which are strong enough and cannot rust. There is also a heavy-duty ring at the front that can withstand great pulling force when you fasten a leash.
The handle is also padded and that ensures that you have soft control over your pup.
This product is padded with a soft cushion which makes your dog experience comfort whenever he puts it on. The material also has breathable mesh ventilation which keeps your dog cool during outdoor activities and training.
The product is easy to use and it is also non-pulling hence your dog can learn how to walk properly while following your guidance. This also ensures that your dog is not choked in the course of walking.
Reflective at night.
Padded with a soft material hence comfortable.
Durable and sturdy.
The straps on the neck can slip.
This no pull dog harness has many color variants to choose from. The color choices and the strap material are reflective hence increasing the visibility of your dog when walking at night.
The premium quality material used to make this harness has a soft interior in the chest and belly areas of your dog hence making him feel comfortable when wearing this harness.
It also has Interchangeable hook & loop patches which gives you more versatility on the type you would wish to put on your dog.
The belly and front straps are adjustable and strong enough to withstand the forces of your dog during active sessions.
It has many color variants.
Reflective at night.
Stylish material with maximum comfort.
A dog might escape easily when pulling
This dog harness by EzyDog comes with the black color option only but it has more to offer rather than this. This product can be used as a restraint vest for your dog when in a vehicle.
This product is made with premium material that has been padded with a soft cushion to ensure your dog enjoys maximum comfort when putting it on.
The mesh material of this harness is dotted to ensure your dog remains cool during energy-intensive activities like long walks and training. The Tri-Glides are made from aluminum alloy, making them both durable and lightweight.
This product is reflective enough and can be used comfortably at night without worrying about your dog’s visibility.
With 2 fast-release buckles, this overhead harness is very easy to put on. After you have slid the harness over your dog’s neck, ensure you buckle it up then adjust the neck levels to make sure it perfectly fits on your pup’s neck and chest.
The Dual SR buckle closure system allows you to fit this harness in your dog only once, after which it will be much simpler for him to put on at once.
Premium dog harness with good quality material.
The one-time fit makes it a good option to have.
Might be bulky for relatively small dogs.
Does not have reflective trims.
4. noxgear LightHound – Revolutionary Illuminated and Reflective Harness for Dogs Including Multicolored LED Fiber Optics
If you intend to walk your dog early in the mornings or very late in the evenings, then you need a harness that lights up instead of being just reflective. This way, you can be sure that your dog remains visible throughout the active session.
This harness will illuminate in up to eight colors which range from Green to the much brighter pink and magenta. You can also select the multicolor flashing option which gives you a choice of 6 presets.
It uses a rechargeable battery which can be used for up to 12 hours before becoming flat. This dog harness is also very adjustable and it can securely fit in your dogs’ chest with the right adjustments.
Multi-color lighting for easier visibility in low light.
The charging system can easily break when used for a long time.
This harness comes in many color variants which are reflective to give your dog visibility in low light conditions. The product has 2 connection points which are meant to give you better and efficient control while walking your dog.
The two rings are well sewn into the material of the harness to prevent it from falling apart and to withstand the pressure that may come along.
This harness is made of durable stainless steel metal rings with super-strong nylon webbings which offer a good combination to withstand any kind of force that might come along.
If your dog likes chewing on things easily, do not worry when you buy this product because apart from being strong and sturdy, 2 Hounds Design offers a chewing replacement warranty for this product.
Comfortable, and sturdy materials.
2-point connection offers more controllability.
Many color options which are reflective at night
This harness can scratch your dog’s chest.
This dog harness from PET ARTIST comes in 3 color options; Black, Green, and Coyote Brown. It has two metal rings for attaching your leash at the front and the back. Both rings are reinforced with a strong webbing that ensures your pet remains secure when walking.
The harness is made with a good material that is scratch-resistant and easy to clean. The material is padded with a breathable non-toxic mesh which ensures your dog is comfortable and keeps him cool in outdoor activities.
The stitching on the material is not very reflective which might compromise the visibility of your dog at night.
It has a Molle system where you can insert some food items for your dog to carry along during walking and training sessions. 3 nylon loops can be used to attach an ID tag for easier identification of your pup.
There are multiple straps used to adjust the fitting of this harness to ensure maximum comfortability when walking or exercising your dog.
Ergonomic design with comfortability to your pup and handle.
It has Pouches and Patches.
Somewhat dull material.
Straps are not very wide
This dog harness is made with 1000D Nylon construction which makes it more durable, sturdier, scratch-free, and prevents chewing by your pup.
The material has a soft sponge padding covered with breathable mesh lining to ensure your dog remains comfortable and cool when he is outdoors.
It also has pouches which are a great resource when you want your dog to carry some gears for himself e.g., water and food.
There are 2 grab handles on the harness that ensures you maintain top control over your dog. This harness is greatly adjustable and it should perfectly fit your dog when you input the right size conditions.
The harness has reflective straps which ensure your dog remains visible during the night hence increasing his safety. There are 2 metal D rings for attaching your leash at the front and the back of the dog.
Remember not to attach your leash on the collar since it may lead to choking when your dog pulls.
Comfortable and sturdy material.
Good value for money
Straps come off easily.
The stitching is a little bit off.
This is another harness from Julius-K9 that comes with many color variants to ensure you get the perfect match. This product has 2 quick-release buckles for fastening it on your dog.
The product is made from leather material with sturdy stitching for increased durability. There is one strong metallic ring for attaching your leash and it is resilient enough to bear the pulling force.
This product is padded with a soft sponge to ensure your dog feels comfortable in all pressure points. With the breathable mesh lining in this product, you can be sure that your dog will remain cool during intense walking and other activities.
Strong leather material.
Comfortable and durable.
Very adjustable and sturdy.
The fitting might be a bit off.
7 Harnesses for Small Dogs
If you have a small dog or a puppy, you have all the reasons to get a dog harness instead of a collar because at this stage, your dog’s throat is delicate and still growing and mounting pressure on the neck area is the last thing you might think of doing.
When buying harnesses for small dogs, it is very common to miscalculate or overestimate the measurements of your dog. It is recommended that when you have put the harness on your dog, there should be minimum to no spacing on the back when he is fully zipped up.
This dog harness comes with the black color variant only. The product is made of neoprene and nylon materials which are strong enough to withstand the forces that can be presented by a small dog.
We also have 3 D rings and a handle for better control of your pup. The material is padded with a breathable mesh that keeps your dog cool during outdoor activities.
This dog harness can be used in any weather condition without worrying about its durability. Just be mindful of the kind of weather you expose your dog to.
This dog harness is stylish with a reflective trim that makes it possible for your dog to be seen at night. Before making a purchase, make sure you measure your dog’s chest width and ascertain that he is of the right size.
Reflective trim on the harness.
Comfortable and sturdy.
Reinforced rings to keep your dog more secure.
Can be ripped off easily by a strong dog.
This dog harness for small dogs comes with up to 8 colors to choose from. This product is made with a piece of high-quality nylon fabric with high-density webbing which increases its durability. The large chest strap is wide enough to ensure your small pup fits in comfortably before adjusting the levels for tightness.
This product has a 6-point adjustment which denotes how versatile it can be used to ensure that it fits on your small dog perfectly.
This dog harness has an extra buckle neck that can be used as a collar and it is good for dogs that do not like wearing a harness. The harness has 2 heavy-duty rings on the back for fastening the leash.
These rings increase strength and offer more security to your pup. This dog harness is comfortable for your small pup and ensures that he remains secure during his walking and training sessions.
For this item, you can choose to purchase the nylon collar and leash separately. The harness is sold alone.
Offers many adjustments
Comfortable and escape-proof.
Variety of bright colors to choose from.
Easily rips off.
This harness for different dog sizes comes in black, red, and blue color options. This product is suitable for super active dogs that like spending their time outdoors. Therefore, making it suitable for casual walks, weekend hikes, and street walking with your dog.
The harness is made with a high-strength nylon material that can withstand the pull pressure that may come along during its use. With nifco plastic quick-release buckles, this harness is easy to put on your dog, adjust, and take off.
The product has a fleece padded front strap that can improve your pup’s comfort when walking or exercising.
Kurgo, the manufacturer of this harness, offers a lifetime warranty against defects that may arise from their fault.
Comfortable and sturdy
It has a vest that makes your dog more secure during outdoor activities.
So adjustable making it a good fit for different body-sized small dogs.
The shape might be off for some dogs.
This harness for small dogs comes in the color black. The product is made with Sturdy Nylon Webbing, Strong Plastic Straps, Easy Release strong buckle which makes a good combination to offer comfort.
With 3 D rings, this harness has an ergonomic design that is easy to wear, adjust and remove. You can adjust this harness according to your dog’s measurement to keep him safe and comfortable.
The harness is also padded in the linings with a sponge material to ensure your dog receives a soft landing on the areas of pressure. There is also a back buckle that enhances the comfort your dog receives during outdoor activities.
This dog harness has reflective trims which improve the visibility of your dog at night time hence making him more secure during walking no matter the time of the day.
Stylish design with comfort for your small dog.
Reflective trims ensure your dog remains visible during the night.
A dog can easily escape.
This harness for a small dog comes with red and black color options. This harness is made with crash-certified and breathable mesh fabric that keeps your dog cool in the car while driving.
The product is adjustable and comfortable for your dog, making it a good fit even when you are going on long journeys.
There is a dog seat belt tether included in this product which will be used to fasten the harness on a dog seat for maximum comfort and security.
On top of the harness, there is a reflective trim that enhances the visibility of your dog during early morning runs and late evening walks, hence making him more secure from motorists.
For safety purposes, there is a buckle, hook and loop fastener, and D-shaped rings that ensure your small dog gets up to 3 layers of security when walking and during training. This product is so easy to put on your pet, just let him step in, do the clipping and he is ready to go out with you.
Good for dogs in cars.
Has a dog seat belt tether.
Comfortable and secure with a very neat finish.
Can be tedious to put on a dog.
Cash test material does not mean your dog cannot get an accident.
This dog harness comes with 4 color options to choose from depending on your taste and mood. This product has an adjustable chest strap with a Snap-on buckle that ensures your do remains secure and comfortable when moving with it.
The handle that comes with this harness is made from rugged nylon and it is sturdy and soft enough to ensure that your hand is comfortable whenever you are guiding your dog.
The straps of this harness are reflective on all sides which improves the visibility of your dog in early morning walks and late evening exercises.
There is a D ring where you can attach your leash and control your dog comfortably even in crowded places without worrying about your dog’s pulling.
It is comfortable and sturdy for both the dog and handle.
Can be adjusted to fit a wide range of medium to small dogs.
No reflective trim.
This harness has sizes that can fit small dogs and it comes in 3 different colors to choose from according to your taste and mood. The largest size for this harness can fit a dog of up to 35 pounds.
This harness reduces the backspace of your dog making it hard for him to escape off. The harness has 4 adjustable points that ensure you get the perfect fit for your dog before you go out.
This harness is made of a good material with webbed nylon straps that ensures your dog receives maximum comfort in a durable material. The material is also padded with a breathable mesh that keeps your small canine cool in outdoor activities.
The design used to make this harness is patented and reduces choking when walking or training your pup.
It has a good mechanical design that ensures your dog is comfortable and secure.
Good harness for dogs who like escaping.
Extra small dogs can escape easily.
Dogs who like chewing can easily rip the material.
As you have seen, getting the best dog harnesses is not only a matter of looking at the size of your dog and the price. Many other parameters determine which harness you need to purchase for your dog.
An important feature that many pet parents tend to forget is the safety level of your dog. Always remember that your dog’s safety is your safety too.
Have a look at the video below by Dr. Calra from pet circle where she talks about how to fit the 5 main types of dog harnesses.
Thank you for reading through my buying guide. If you have any questions about the products described in this post, please let me know.