If you’re tired of getting pulled by your dog whenever you take it outside and are worried about the leash leaving a mark around their neck, then ditch their collar and look for a harness. The best dog harnesses are designed to provide a secure fit for your dog and will stop them from pulling in any direction. They’re available in different sizes and will help you keep small dogs and large dogs in line even when they get too excited.
If you’re ready to have more enjoyable walks with your dog where they drag you all over the block, below is a curated list of the 10 best harnesses for dogs.
Why Do Dogs Need a Harness?
There are actually two types of harnesses for dogs: one with a back leash attachment and the other comes with a front D-ring where the leash can be attached. Both of these can bring a lot of benefits and advantages compared to a traditional collar.
It’s Hard to Escape from a Harness
No matter their size, dogs will find it harder to escape a harness once you find the right fit for your dog. If you have a dog that loves to move or is quite adventurous, then getting a harness could be the better choice.
Harnesses Can Reduce Health Risks
Generally, harnesses can be safer to use compared to dog collars. For instance, a harness can help alleviate back pain and they’re much less likely to pull on a dog’s throat, preventing injuries. Dogs that love to pull hard during your walk will greatly benefit from using a harness.
Specially Made to Cut Down Pulling
Most harnesses (especially front-clip harnesses) can reduce instances of pulling as you walk your dog. This is because a harness can cover a bigger surface area on your dog compared to collars which only have a hold on the neck. As such, the pressure they feel will be more evenly spread out and can give you more control — ultimately, the walk will be much easier for both you and your pooch.
Dog Harness or Dog Collar?
Collars are mainly worn to help identify our pets since it carries their name and other details. When it comes to walking your dog, a harness is much more appropriate since it provides much more support for the back and neck. Unfortunately, many smaller breeds can’t walk with a collar because the risk of a collapsed trachea is too big.
Many big dogs can also benefit from the amount of control that a harness can provide to their owners; getting injured as a result of pulling won’t happen as much. It’s also important to consider your dog’s size and temperament — not all dogs will be comfortable with a harness at first and some will need some time to get used to them.
The 10 Best Harnesses for Dogs
Here are the top choices for dog harnesses that many dog owners swear by. We’ve taken into account the high ratings and positive reviews that each has to offer so that you can give the best option for your dog.
- Made from lightweight and durable materials for everyday adventures
- With 2 attachment points for additional control that stands up to pulling
- Has 4 points of adjustment to give your dog a snug fit
- Reflective strips provide visibility during the day and night for safer walks
With the Ruffwear Front Range Harness, you and your dog can happily take a stroll around the block without any worries — it’s also been designed to easily put on and take off. Thanks to the foam-padded strips, your dog’s chest and belly will be well supported while providing an equal load distribution as you walk, run, and rest. Available from XX-small to X-large, you’ll be sure to find the right size for your pup, and you’ll surely appreciate the easy access pocket where you can store your dog’s ID and tags.
- These no-pull dog harnesses were developed by a veterinary behaviorist
- With a patented loop design that places gradual pressure on the shoulders
- Safely rests across the dog’s chest, eliminating potential gagging or chocking
- Offers less coverage compared to other harnesses which makes it breathable
This PetSafe Easy Walk Harness allows you to enjoy walks without any pulling — thoughtfully designed, it helps to teach your canine companion better manners during your walks. With the martingale loop, it can place gentle pressure on your dog’s shoulders and redirect its focus, giving the control back to you. Moreover, its belly strap comes in a different color which makes it easier to get your canine companion ready for your next adventure!
- This double-ended leash allows you to steer your dog when needed
- Its patented and unique design reduces pulling, straining, and twisting
- A comfortable harness made with heavy-duty nylon and velvet lining
- Made in the USA and is good for dogs of any weight and size
Thanks to the 2 Hounds Design Freedom Dog Harness & Leash, your walks can be even more enjoyable! Made with metal leash rings at the front of the chest as a second point of contact, it provides greater control over your dog which can be useful should a squirrel cross your path. This double-connection leash is easy to use and put on your dog, and its soft lining will protect your dog’s front legs from chafing and rubbing, making it a great option for dogs of all sizes.
- Anatomically designed for dogs that love outdoor activities
- With an updated chassis foam for flexibility and breathability
- Provides a padded and reinforced handle for your comfort and safety
- Made with high-performance ripstop fabric and an aluminum V-ring
The Ruffwear Web Master Harness for Dogs was designed with your adventurous dog in mind and is a good option for challenging terrains and hiking. This Ruffwear harness comes with 5 customizable adjustment points along with form-fitting buckles that provide your dog with a full range of motion. It’s also heavily padded for both you and your dog; the reinforced handle will help you safely guide your dog while the foam-padded straps help your pooch stay comfortable.
- This crash-tested and certified car harness provides superior safety during your travels
- Comes with the Mag-Lok Instant Fit closure system that allows you to quickly put it on
- With an ergonomic and molded chest plate that contours to the shape of your dog
- Made with aluminum alloy, Crosslink technology, and seat belt webbing
No matter where you go, you can be confident in your dog’s safety with the EzyDog Drive Dog Car Harness, which offers a superior car harness in terms of strength and quality. It’s also easy to use and you only need to fit it on your dog once — you can then snap it in and place the seatbelt through the handles to get going. It also provides double D-rings to be used as the least attachment point, allowing you to use it as a walking harness as well.
- This enhanced and crash-tested car harness is suitable for dogs no more than 75lbs
- Includes a D-ring that’s perfect for when a dog pulls on your leash
- With a loop tether that’s compatible with all kinds of seat belt systems
- A pet seat belt that can also be used as a short lead by dog trainers during training
Ensure your dog’s safety as you travel using the Kurgo Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength Smart Dog Harness. With a no-pull D-ring and 5 different points of adjustment for a good fit, you can keep your pup secure in your car — it can also be used to walk your dog. You’ll be impressed with the padded chest plate it comes with, as well as the all-steel nesting buckles that provide ease of use whether you’re walking or driving.
- Offers multiple places for you to attach your leash clips
- With 6 points of adjustment to give your dog the best fit
- No choke, no chaffe design that won’t limit your dog’s mobility
- Has a front clip that allows it to function like a collar
With the Blue-9 Balance Harness, you’ll be able to give your dog the comfort and flexibility it needs during your daily walks — with 6 points of adjustment, it will fit all dogs securely and comfortably. It also features 2 D-rings, which are located at the chest area and the back of the harness to help you manage your dog’s pulling. This harness is also proudly made in the USA and is ideal for owners who don’t want to have a harness going over their dog’s head.
- Perfectly designed with optimum durability and comfort for the needs of working dogs
- Made with soft and breathable Eco-Tex inner liners that make it suitable for daily use
- Features a sturdy construction and water-repellent shell for outdoor adventures
- With a reflective chest strap and removable, glow-in-the-dark side labels for nighttime
Service dogs deserve the best adventures with you so be sure to get the Julius-K9 No Pull Dog Harness which has been designed specifically for their needs. Using a skin-friendly liner, it’s both comfortable and breathable, making it the top pick for working dogs. Moreover, it has great features not found in other options in this list, such as its heavy-duty and freeze-proof buckles that can withstand any weather, while the reflective trim on the chest straps helps to give your dog visibility in dark environments.
- Made using 100% soft and breathable polyester mesh that’s machine washable
- Designed to minimize the stress and strain from the throat and neck
- With a secure hook-and-loop closure and buckle to prevent dogs from escaping
- Easy to take off and put on, saving you the hassle of dealing with long outfit changes
The Puppia Step-In Back-Clip Dog Harness provides a breathable mesh construction that allows for air to continuously enter your dog’s skin and won’t dry it out. This harness also distributes pressure evenly across your dog’s body, relieving pain in its back and neck while providing a comfortable fit. Available in smaller sizes, this new harness is the perfect choice for your new pup and smaller dogs, delivering a more fun walking experience.
- Uses bright 3M reflective stitching that keeps pups visible in low-light conditions
- With padded belly and chest straps that keep dogs secure and comfortable
- Provides a built-in handle at the top of the harness for easier and safer road trips
- Adjustable straps allow you to create a custom fit and look and are available in many colors and sizes
With the Chai’s Choice Front Clip Dog Harness, you can create a stylish and comfortable look for your pup, no matter its body type. Now you can bid farewell to crazy car rides; by using the O-ring mounted to the chest, you can buckle your dog in safely for all your road trips — just slip the seatbelt into the handle and you’re all set! It also features an important feature, the adjustable straps which allow you to customize every part of your dog’s harness, giving them the perfect fit every time you use it.
Things to Consider in Dog Harnesses
When looking for the right harness for your dog, be sure to think about the following considerations so you don’t end up with a product that your dog hates.
The Type of Harness
There are a few different kinds of harnesses you can choose from depending on your dog’s needs.
- Back Clip Harness: These are the most common kinds of harnesses available in the market and are designed for the basic needs of your dog when you go out for a walk. It features a D-ring located at your dog’s back which can then be attached to your harness.
- Front Clip Harness: Also known as “no-pull harnesses,” these have been designed to train pups not to pull on their leash. The D-ring will usually be positioned in front of the dog’s chest.
- Step-In Harness: Dogs that are finicky about getting strapped onto over-the-head harnesses can use this design which can be easier to put on and take off.
- Dual-Clip Harness: These are adaptable harnesses that provide front and back clips that you can choose from.
- Safety Harness: This is generally used when traveling in vehicles and is attached to the seatbelt to keep your pup secure and comfortable.
- Day-Pack Harness: A great option if your dog has to carry accessories or provisions on your trip — this will also help them carry everything they need for work.
The Fit and Sizing
Looking for the right fit and size for your pooch can be difficult if it’s your first time — be sure to pay close attention to your dog’s measurements before selecting a size. If you’re still unsure, you can always look for a fully customizable option that comes with adjustable straps. Some options will even come with an adjustable neck strap, which will allow your dog to grow into it.
The point of getting a harness is to keep your dog safe and in control; a good harness will be made from strong, durable, and rip-resistant materials and will usually use polyester and nylon. Looking for additional padding will also help to make your dog’s walking experience more comfortable while protecting it against breaking and other damage. When it comes to D-rings, stainless steel is ideal, to ensure that heavier dogs such as a Great Dane won’t be able to pull away.
Training Your Dog for a Harness
If you want your dog to become comfortable using a harness as soon as possible, you can get help from a professional dog trainer. You can also use no-pull harnesses (sometimes referred to as training harnesses) on bigger dogs such as the German Shepherd that may overpower you. These will usually feature a front-clip design, and will help your pup get used to it gradually the more it’s worn — your dog should stop running away after their training is complete.
Pet parents looking for the perfect dog harness will be happy with any of the choices above; not only can they be adjusted to suit your dog’s body, but they also provide attachments in the right places. These harnesses aren’t just the top picks of other pet parents but they also come from dog-oriented companies that know the needs of dogs and their owners. However, if you’re looking to train your dog to get used to wearing them, you may need the help of professional dog walkers.