How to Choose The Best Dog Harness

Sometimes you need more than just a leash and a collar to keep control of your dog. This is especially true for dogs that jump and pull a lot. A harness is also a great idea for puppies that are just learning how to walk on a lead.

Harnesses are also a great alternative for dogs with breathing or tracheal problems. A normal leash and collar can add unnecessary pressure to their neck and throat and lead to breathing problems and eventually collapse.

Harnesses can offer more comfort for your pup and often come with cute and decorative embellishments. Puppy bling.

Take a look at our buyer’s guide to dog harnesses to help you choose the right one for your dog.

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dog harness

How to Choose the Perfect Harness for Your Dog

Consider the following factors, from size, material, to your dog’s behavior, when choosing the perfect harness for your dog!

Size and Age of your Dog

Young puppies need to be taught how to walk on a lead. Until they learn the correct behavior they can be a little energetic and unpredictable while walking and training. A harness can be a useful tool to help you control your young pup and prevent injuries when they pull too much. As your dog gets older and becomes more well-behaved you may be able to use a standard leash and collar.

You’ll also want to note the size of your dog. If he’s one of the bulkier strong breeds you may need a harness simply for better control.

Your Dog’s Behavior or Temperament

Dogs that are playful and energetic tend to jump, lunge, and pull a lot while walking. This can cause the leash to tangle on their feet and even on your legs as you walk. If your dog has not yet learned good behavior on the leash, then you may need to start them off with a harness to help prevent injury to you or your dog.

Do You Need a Waterproof Harness?

Regular exercise and training outside with your dog means they are going to get out into all types of weather. Think about whether you need a waterproof dog harness that will stay dry in the wettest of conditions. Harnesses are larger than leashes and can take more time to dry. One that does not soak up water will last you longer.

Consider a Reflective Dog Harness for Night Walks

If you walk your dog at night or on overcast days it can be difficult for other people and motorists to see your dog. With a reflective harness, you have enhanced visibility which will help prevent accidents and injury.

Leather or Nylon Dog Harness

That there are two types of material commonly used for dog harnesses. Both leather and nylon are considered the better materials for a number of reasons, like durability, comfort, and cost. But which one is right for you?

When looking at the differences between the two, the main one is that nylon is often found at a lower price than leather. This is because it is easier to source and make and can be made in a variety of decorative patterns. However, you’ll find that nylon often wears faster over time as opposed to a good quality leather dog harness.

Both nylon and leather are comfortable for most dogs. But if yours is sensitive getting him a nice soft leather harness can be a better option.

Caring for your leather harness takes a bit more effort and requires using conditioners to keep it soft and in good shape. The good thing is that leather looks better with age.

On the other hand, nylon is easy to take care of and keep clean. You just need to wash it either with water and soap or throw it in the machine.

Manufacturers have also started to make harnesses in polyester since it is warmer and comfy for the colder winter days. Although dogs have a coat that keeps them warm you don’t want them to be fighting the cold that comes from the harness they are wearing.

Different Types of Dog Harnesses and Their Uses

The dog harness has many variations, and these are the most common ones.

Standard Harness

This is a common kind of harness. It has a clip that attaches to the leash at the back of your dog’s neck. While it will not discourage any jumping it does keep your dog comfortable and allows you better control. This is a good harness to use on calm and well-behaved dogs that don’t jump around a lot.

Front-Clip Harness

Also known as the no-pull harness, this has the leash attachment in the front, at the center of the dog’s sternum. When the dog pulls a gentle pressure is felt under the dog’s armpits giving him no leverage to jump.

Vest Harness

Just as its name suggests this type of harness is worn like a vest. It has the leash attachment way behind at the back. This can be a great way to help control nervous dogs and doubles as a way to keep them warm in cooler weather.

For more on how to choose the best dog harness check out this video and learn how to pick one that your dog will get used to fast.

Best Dog Harness

Puppia Dog Harness
Comfort is at top of the list when looking for the best dog harness for your pup. We think the Puppia dog harness is perfect all-round harness for dogs of all sizes. The different sizing options available allow you to choose the right fit for your dog and you get to choose from the many colors and patterns available.

This harness is not a no-pull design since it has the leash attachment at the center of the back so it is harmless to all dog types. The neck girth is about 1 inch from the shoulder girth. This makes it ideal for dogs with delicate tracheas as it doesn’t touch the neck even when the dog pulls.

It comes with an adjustable chest belt between 15.4 and 22.5 inches so that your pooch can have a custom fit. You’ll also love the quick release buckle which makes it easy for the dog to break away in case it gets caught on something. Being all padded with distributed pressure makes this one of the most comfortable dog harnesses around.

Best Puppy Harness

Best Pet Supplies Voyager Vest Dog Harness
We love how well the BPS Voyager is designed. It offers a walk-in wearing style which eliminates the need for buckles that are sometimes hard to get done up. It has a strong Velcro closure and heavy-duty metal D-ring for secure leash attachment.

Best of all, this is an all-weather harness. It feels cool during the summer days due to the exterior mesh which allows great airflow. For the chilly winter months, the inside is well-insulated to trap warm air and keeping your puppy warm.

The variety of sizes mean that you can get one to fit most dogs. We love that it is lightweight and comes in 11 different colors for every dog’s personality.

Best Dog Harness for Small Dogs

EcoBark Pet Supplies Maximum Comfort & Control Dog Harness
Small dogs can be challenging to outfit especially when it comes to something important like a harness. You need to be careful not to pick a harness that will sag, rub, or allow your dog to escape. EcoBark Pet Supplies brings us an incredible harness for your small pooch. This particular one is ideal for dogs with a chest girth of 9 to 13 inches and a neck size of 7.5 inches.

This harness is perfect for all types of outdoor activities like walking, hiking, and even running. It is made with a flexible polyester and mesh construction which allows your dog to move naturally. It is also lightweight with a no-choke design that protects your dog’s neck and throat.

The EcoBark harness also explores some innovative features including a reinforced anchor hook and emergency release clasps which keep your dog protected when he’s active.  These features make it easy to control your dog and also help to prevent pulling.

Best Dog Harness for Large Dogs

EXPAWLORER Big Dog Reflective No Pull Harness
Your big dog also needs to feel comfortable when playing and walking outside. Large breeds can be hard to control and a dog harness can really help make it easier. For larger dogs, we recommend the Big Dog No Pull Harness by EXPAWLORER. This harness has a great design with some great features.

The 3 different sizes give you an ample chest girth for dogs up to 46 inches. You’ll love the easy locking and unlocking mechanisms that using nice strong buckles.

A major feature of this harness is the long and wide reflective safety band. This will help to keep your dog safe and visible in the dark. It also has a sturdy D-ring and clip to ensure the leash stays put. It is easy to adjust and feels well made. It is likely to last you many years.

Best Dog Harness to Stop Pulling

Ruffwear All-Day Adventure Front Range Dog Harness
For superior comfort for your dog that pulls you really can’t go past the Ruffwear All-Day Adventure Harness. It offers you the best control for pullers. It comes with two attachments, one at the front to help in gaining your dog’s attention when he lunges. Another attachment is at the back for when your dog starts to walking calmly again.

It comes with four adjustment positions to allow for a more personalized fit on your dog. It also has exceptional durability with the aluminum D-rings and reinforced webbing, so you can be sure it will remain in good condition. It’s easy to get on your dog as it slips easily over your dog’s head.

The padded chest and belly pads make this harness very comfortable. Now you can take hikes, runs and walks without fear of your dog becoming uncomfortable.

Ruffwear also gives us a few tips on how to teach your dog to climb. It is great when your dog can accompany you on your hikes and adventures in the outdoors.

Best Indestructible Dog Harness

Chai’s Choice Front Range Dog Harness
A heavy-duty indestructible is a must for rough and rugged dogs that like to chew their way through everything. The Chai’s Choice Front Range Dog Harness is the best we have found in this category.

It uses a scratch-resistant oxford material for the outer layer and a sturdy Duraflex buckle to improve the overall tensile strength.

There is a good level of comfort with the back and chest padding. Plus it has a mesh lining and adjustable straps for a custom fit. It also includes a reflective strip to keep your dog safely visible after dark. This is a great all-around indestructible dog harness at a surprisingly affordable price.

Best Dog Harness for Running with your Dog

URPOWER Dog Harness
Daily runs with your pup can be challenging if your dog is in a harness that restricts movements. With the URPOWER Dog Harness, you get a heavy-duty harness made from denim and nylon which holds up well to continued wear and tear.

Despite this, it remains lightweight and still has a nice soft feel about it without any hard edges. This eliminates any chafing or scraping against your dog’s skin.

This harness is adjustable to prevent sagging or fitting too close around the neck. The metal clasps are highly resistant to wear and rust so this should last well with continued use.

This is the ultimate everyday harness for both training and running with your pooch.

Choose What Suits Your Pooch

We hope this information and our recommendations have helped you choose the best dog harness for your needs. Remember to measure your dog before buying your harness to ensure the right fit.

Also, check out our recommendations for the best dog collar and the best dog leash.