Dog Harness – Everything You Need to Know

People own dogs for different reasons. Some have dogs because they need a form of security. Others have dogs because they need a pet. Well, regardless of your reason for having a dog, to ensure that your dog is in the right frame of mind, you might need to walk it occasionally.

People own dogs for different reasons. Some have dogs because they need a form of security. Others have dogs because they need a pet. Well, regardless of your reason for having a dog, to ensure that your dog is in the right frame of mind, you might need to walk it occasionally.

If you constantly walk your dog, then, you will have to keep it under control on the street. One way this can be achieved is through the use of a leash.  In as much as several dog owners might opt for a leash when looking to go for a walk with their dog, sometimes dogs pull against their leash and this could strain their necks.

If you have a dog that is constantly pulling against its leash and getting its neck strained, then, you just might have no choice but to get a dog harness. This is because a dog harness can significantly reduce neck strain in your dog. Beyond merely helping to reduce neck strain, a dog harness can also come in handy in helping your dog walk the right way. This is possible because a dog harness has several attachment points and ensures resistance is not directed just towards one part of your dog’s body.

Are you looking to buy a dog harness? If yes, you are certainly on the right page. Beyond simply coming in handy in helping you buy the right dog harness, this article can help you with all that you need to know about dog harnesses.

Dog Harness

What is a Dog Harness?

A dog harness is a tool that is made of several attachment points and attached to a dog’s upper body. It serves as a guide for dogs when they are waking with their owner. It can also be used for things like lifting a dog and lowering the tension it might feel on its neck when it is being pulled.

While a dog harness might just be associated with walking a dog, it does more than that. It comes in handy in sports that need dogs to show their pulling power.

Types of Dog Harness

When looking to get a dog harness, your chances of getting the right harness increase with knowledge of the different types of harness. 

That being said, let’s take a look at the various types of dog harnesses.

Car Safety Harnesses

This type of dog harness is simply used in keeping a dog restrained when it is in a car’s back seat. If an accident occurs, the harness ensures that the pulling force is distributed so the dog does not get injured.

Assistance Dog Harness

One way assistance dogs can be identified is by the harness they wear. The harness that they wear comes in handy in helping them carry out their jobs. Some of these jobs include pulling heavyweights and pulling their owners. Dogs that will be pulling their owners exclusively wear mobility suit harnesses while those that pull heavy weights wear pulling harnesses.

Tactical Dog Harness

This type of harness offers dogs an additional layer of protection. Furthermore, it comes with extra handles that can be used in storing devices such as light or GPS trackers. That’s not all. The exact reason a tactical dog harness is needed will go a long way in determining its attributes. Some could be bulletproof.

Rehabilitation and Lifting Harness

Rehabilitation harnesses come in different types. The exact type you will need to go for is dependent on the part of a dog’s body that needs some help. This dog harness has a handle which wraps around a dog’s body and comes in handy when a dog owner is looking to lift the weight off the dog’s legs, spine, or hips. 

When looking to buy a lifting or rehabilitation harness, you could either settle for full-body harnesses, amputee harnesses, mid-section support harnesses, front and rear combo, rear harnesses, and front harnesses.

Sled Dog Harnesses

From the name of this harness, it is quite obvious what it is for. This type of dog harness comes in handy when you have sled dogs. So long as these dogs are pulling weight, skijoring, sledging, cycling, or running in a pack, a sled dog harness can come in handy.

Sled dogs are not limited to just one type of sled dog harnesses. The various harnesses that they can use are spreader bat harness, half-harness, H-back, and X-back harness.


This type of harness takes absolute advantage of a dog’s pulling ability. It is placed between the shoulder joint and the neck. It is associated with a complicated structure. Due to this, putting it on and taking it off might not be very easy.

Chest Harness

This is attached to a dog’s body with a girth strap and a chest strap. It can be gotten in the non-saddle and saddle version. Also, putting it on is not a challenge. 

No-Pull Harness

This harness type was designed to tweak a dog’s behaviour.  When a dog wearing this harness attempts to pull, there is a tightening of a strap in the harness. This action puts the dog’s body under pressure. In turn, the dog releases and stops pulling.

Consideration when Buying a Harness

There are things you must consider when choosing a dog harness. Some of them are;


The many dog harnesses on the market have different finishes and come in several colours. As much as your personal preference will always come in handy when selecting a dog harness, you will need to think about the size and shape that will be most ideal for your dog. If your dog does not seem comfortable with a harness over its head, you might need to settle for a harness that fits over its back.

Consider Point of Attachment

Harnesses come with a loop for attaching the leash. This loop could be on the back of the chest. If you will be buying a harness for a dog that has to always pull and one that is undergoing leash training, you will want to settle for a harness with a chest loop. On the other hand, a harness with a back loop is ideal for calmer dogs.

Consider Material

There are quite a number of materials that can be used in making harnesses.  Some are durable, others, are not so durable. If you want to get value for any amount you spend on a dog harness, you will have to get one that is made from a durable material. Some materials you should look out for when buying a harness are polyester and nylon. Furthermore, the metal loop should be made from aluminium, stainless steel, etc.

One more thing, if you are buying a harness to be used at night, you will have to look out for one with reflective night stitching.

Fitting is Important

This is perhaps the most important thing you will need to consider when buying a harness for your dog. To a large extent, a harness will be useless if it does not have the right fitting. If the harness feels too small, your dog might feel under undue pressure. Also, if it is too big, then, your dog might be able to find its way out of the harness.

It might be difficult to get your dog’s perfect size when buying a dog harness. Regardless, one thing you must do is get one that can be adjusted. This way, you can always conveniently alter its size.

Are Dog Harnesses Better than Dog Collars?

Generally, harnesses are considered better than dog collars. The simple reason for this is they go behind a dog’s legs and cross its chest. Unlike a collar which could cause some strain to the dog’s neck, you can be sure that a harness will not choke your dog in any way. The only time you might have some challenges with a harness training a dog is when you buy one that is too tight.

One more thing, with a harness, controlling a dog that enjoys pulling or one that is large will never be a challenge.

What is the Best Way to ensure your Dog does not pull when wearing a Harness?

If your aim of getting a dog harness is to keep it from pulling when you go for a walk, it is important that you get one that comes with a chest loop for attaching the leash.

What is the Best Way to Measure a Dog’s Harness?

Ideally, when looking to measure your dog, you will need to get a measurement of its chest girth and its neck circumference. This can be done easily with a tape measure. 

To ensure that you always get things done properly when measuring a dog for the right harness, you will need to stick to the instructions that come with the harness.

Is a Harness Bad for Your Dog?

The answer to this question is ‘no’. If you have trained your dog to walk well when wearing a harness, then, you can be certain that a harness is definitely good for your dog.

Fitting a Dog Harness

Buying a dog harness that is ideal for your dog can be quite challenging. However, that is not the only challenge associated with a dog harness. Sometimes, fitting a harness properly can be a challenge even when it is fitted properly.

If you have just bought a harness for your dog or are looking to buy one and are not sure how to fit it once you have it, all you have to do is follow the steps below and you will successfully fit your harness on your dog.

Step 1

The first thing you will need to do when wearing a harness on your dog is get the straps loose. This way, you will be able to put the harness around your dog.

Step 2

Some harnesses are known to come with a clicking noise when they are worn. Now, lots of dogs might not be comfortable with the sound that harnesses make. You will need to make your dog comfortable and ready for the clicking noise that is associated with wearing a harness on your dog.

One way you can help your dog get ready for the noise that a harness makes is by giving it a treat so it can associate the noise with a treat.

To get the dog ready for the sound, apart from the fact that you should help it associate the noise with a treat, before going on to put the harness around your dog’s shoulder, fasten it close to the dog’s ear. After doing this, you will need to reward your dog. 

Step 3

There are several types of harnesses. Some of them come with loopholes. Some of these loopholes can be worn over your dog’s head.

If you will be wearing a loop over your dog’s head, you will need to buy a tasty treat and help your dog associate this treat with the loop. To get this done, you will need to hold a treat in your hand and pass it through the loop where your dog’s head is supposed to go into. After going through this a couple of times your dog gets used to having its head go through the loops.

Step 4

This is the last step in getting a harness around your dog’s body. At this point, your dog is used to the process involved in wearing a harness. So, all you need to do is get a harness around its neck.

Why Must the Harness Have a Great Fit

The average person might think a harness needs to have a great fitting so it does not choke your dog or it does not pull out. Well, these reasons are great. However, beyond your dog simply getting choked from a harness that is extremely tight, if the harness does not have the right fitting, it could rub off some of your dog’s fur off its shoulders.


So long as you buy the right harness for what you intend to achieve and you settle for one that has the right fitting, you will definitely be getting the best from a harness.

Dr. Cynthia Ford

Hey, I am Dr. Cynthia Ford an absolute gem of a Veterinarian. Bringing to Petcarely decades of experience. I’ve got an overflowing talent and passion for breeding and taking care of pets(all kinds of pets), educating/guiding their owners, and building responsible pet owners. My goal is to give pets all over the world a better life and to recommend the best tips, advice, and product(s) to every pet owner.

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