The Best Harness for Dogs

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A small dog stands attentive while in a red harness and on a leash

Jessica Mabie author of The Best Harness for Dogs

Benefits of Using a Harness

Using a body harness to walk your dog is a great way to gain better control safely. Dogs who tend to pull on walks often benefit from using a harness since it does not pull on the dog’s neck, causing them to cough. Additionally, harnesses are safer than the traditional collars if your dog tends to lunge at other dogs, people, or wildlife like squirrels and rabbits.

It isn’t just about your dog coughing either; permanent damage is also possible depending on how hard your dog tugs. For example, dogs who excessively pull or have their collars jerked can damage theirthyroid or salivatory glands.

Plus, traditional flat collars can pose a danger to dogs even when not attached to a leash. Some dogs have been known to get their collar caught on low branches or fences, strangling themselves. Other dogs have had issues when playing with other dogs. If the collar gets caught in the other dog’s mouth, the dog wearing the collar could strangle, and the dog with its lower jaw caught could break its jaw.

Finally, if you happen to have an older dog, harnesses are an excellent way to help your dog stand up, go up the stairs, and help guide them as needed.


What to Look for in a Dog Harness?

Though dog harnesses have their safety benefits over choke collars and flat collars, they are not without the potential of causing harm, which is why it is vital to choose the correct one for your dog.

Some harness types are better than others for specific situations, especially for dogs with trachea issues orbrachycephalic.

In addition to health issues, there are other various factors to consider, such as:

  • Purpose – There are a variety of different harnesses designed for various purposes, such as:
    • Safety harness for the car
    • Assist harnesses in aiding your dog's mobility
    • Training harness to help control your dog on walks
  • Secure – Ensuring you choose a secure harness that can handle your dog's size and energy level is key to their safety.
  • Comfort – Harnesses come in several styles and materials. Some are made for walking and training, whereas other harnesses are comfortable enough to wear all the time.
  • Right Size – Choosing the proper size is essential to their safety and comfort. Many dog owners do not realize that if the harness is too large, the dog can easily back out of it.
  • Durable – Some harnesses have fashion more in mind and are great for dogs that aren't going to be too hard on the harness. However, dogs like mine who wrestle, camp, and hike tend to be harder on their harnesses.
  • Right Material – Choosing the right material is vital for comfort, safety, and durability.

The Best Dog Harnesses


RuffWear Front Range Harness 

The RuffWear Front Range Harness, padded for extra comfort, allows the harness to be worn for extended periods. It is designed with four adjustment points for optimal comfort and fit. Plus, there are two connection points for the leash, one of the back and one in the front for dogs who tend to pull.

Additionally, the RuffWear harness has two low-light safety features. First is the reflective piping, and second, it has a loop to attach the RuffWear Beacon, a safety light.

Finally, the harness has an ID tag loop and pocket. The pocket keeps the ID tags from jingling.

Pros:

  • Extended wear
  • Variety of sizes from XX-Small to X-Large
  • Leash attachments have reinforced webbing

Cons:

  • Not ideal for dogs that have trachea issues
  • It does not have a handle on top

Julius K9 Harness 

The Julius K9 Harness is designed differently than traditional dog harnesses. The front strap sits slightly lower on the dog’s neck, making it ideal for dogs with trachea issues or short-snouted dogs.

The harness is also excellent for powerful dogs as the front strap can withstand more pressure beyond your dog’s weight. The Julius K9 Harness comes with a “closable” handle, which prevents the harness from getting caught on things such as branches.

The fabric used to make the Julius K9 Harness is water-resistant, breathable, and anti-allergenic.

Pros:

  • Large reflective stripe
  • Velcro K9 Patches
  • Ideal for dogs who have trachea issues or short snouts
  • Heavy-duty clasps

Cons:

  • Not as padded as other models
  • No ring for ID tags

DOGLine Nylon Mesh 

The DOGLine Nylon Mesh is a lightweight step-in harness, ideal for dogs who walk nicely on a leash. It is breathable, making it an excellent choice for warm weather and swimming, as it dries quickly. Also, because it is made of lightweight, breathable material, it can be worn all the time.

The DOGLine Nylon Mesh harness is easy to put on your dog with its two adjustable clips that secure the harness in place.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable, breathable mesh
  • Comes in X-Small – X-Large

Cons:

  • No ring or loop for ID tags
  • Only one ring to connect the leash
  • Does not have reflective safeguards

Sold out

Kinetic Nylon Harness 

The Kinetic Nylon Harnessis a heavy-duty low-profile harness for large, powerful breeds. The harness has a front strap that secures in place with Velcro and a body strap with a GT-Cobra buckle. Both straps are adjustable, allowing for a comfortable fit.

Additionally, the front strap rides slightly lower on the chest so would be ideal for dogs with short snouts or who have trachea issues.

The harness comes in black with a wide blue stripe and top handle. The Triangle ring is reinforced for greater security. The Kinetic harness is padded for added comfort and is easy to put on quickly.

Pros:

  • Sturdy enough to handle large breeds
  • Padded and lightweight for comfort
  • A single buckle makes it easy to put on and take off

Cons:

  • Not available in multiple sizes
  • Only one connection point
  • Lacks reflective material and stitching

Body harnesses can be very helpful for controlling and training your dog safely. However, it is important to note that not all harnesses work or fit the same, making it essential to choose the correct one for your dog.

In addition to how you plan to use the harness, whether for training, working, or hiking, it is vital to find one that will fit comfortably and possess reliable safety features such as reinforced handles, rings, and reflective material.

If you are still unsure which harness is best for your dog, we encourage you to contact your vet or trainer for assistance.


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Jessica Mabie author of The Best Harness for Dogs

JESSICA MABIE

Jessica Mabie specializes in writing about pets, travel, and food. She has always loved dogs, and, at the age of 14, she started volunteering at a neighborhood vet clinic. While at the U of M, she continued her work with dogs as an obedience trainer and vet tech. Jessica uses her experience as a volunteer with American Brittany Rescue as well as aiding in her writing. So, if you happen to see her out and about with her family don’t hesitate to say “Hi!”, (You’ll know it’s her since few are so daring as to have 4 Britts).