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Choosing the best dog harness for your pet isn’t an easy decision. Various factors can play an important role: from your dog’s size, behavior, to your budget. We know it can be confusing, especially if you’re a new dog owner, and you’re not familiar with all the features.
In this article, we’ve gathered 7 high-quality dog harnesses to help you decide. We’ve selected some very different models so you can get an idea of everything that’s available on the market. At the end of the article, you’ll find a useful buyer’s guide to assist in making a final decision.
1. EXPAWLORER Big Dog Harness
What we have here is a sturdy harness specially designed for large dogs. In fact, it’s probably one of the largest models on the market. If your dog isn’t fully grown yet, don’t worry. All straps are adjustable, and you can tighten them as much as needed.
This model comes in five colors, from classic black to stylish pink and purple. However, each has nighttime reflective safety bands that make you visible on the road. You can now enjoy evening walks with your dog, without worries.
Expawlorer is a guarantee for top-notch quality. Made of comfortable and sturdy nylon material, this harness can last for years. Moreover, your dog will love the breathable and fast-drying fabric. It doesn’t itch or strain any part of the body. The harness is easy to maintain, even if your dog sweats a lot during summertime walks.
It’s effortless to use as it comes with a big buckle that allows quick putting on and removal. You can do it on the go, and it won’t take you more than a few seconds. What’s more, its back D-ring allows you to attach the leash quickly and easily.
The best thing about this harness is that it allows you better control over your large dog. Therefore, it’s suitable for training, and for dogs that naturally pull. It comes with a rubber handle for control, which is a real game-changer. The handle is massive, allowing you to grab your dog quickly. It also assures better coordination.
For that reason, this may be the best dog harness for owners who struggle to control their large dogs. Last but not least, the handle itself makes it convenient and easy to carry. Although this harness seems somewhat large, it’s pretty lightweight, and you can take it with you wherever you go.
- Better control
- Fast-drying fabric
- Reflective safety bands
- Large rubber handle
Available only in large size
2 Hounds Design Freedom No-Pull Dog Harness
This 2 Hounds harness comes with a patented control loop, specially designed for dogs that pull. It effectively decreases pulling and makes your walks much more enjoyable. You won’t have to worry about your dog picking things up or constantly tugging to go in the other direction.
Moreover, this model is recommended by the Veterinary Information Network as one of the best harnesses for training. Many dog trainers would agree, as it offers better control while your dog still has a wide range of motion.
The harness is very versatile. It has four adjustment points, made of stainless steel. Therefore, it’s perfect both for puppies and adult dogs of all breeds.
This model is super-comfortable thanks to Swiss velvet lining. As you may know, this high-quality material prevents rubbing and chaffing sores. What’s more, it’s very durable. If this soft material makes you worried because your dog likes to chew, don’t worry. This is one of the rare models that comes with a chewing warranty!
One of the best things about this no-pull harness is a valuable complimentary gift. Every harness comes with a leash, which makes it a 2-in-1 purchase. Choosing the right leash can be extremely time-consuming, but not with this model. You get a perfectly compatible leash. If this feature equates to a slightly higher price in comparison to other models.
If the aesthetic is crucial for you, get ready to be amazed. This model comes in 19 different colors. The biggest challenge you may have, therefore, is picking the color you like the best.
- Patented loop control
- No-pull system
- A lot of colors
- Swiss velvet lining
A bit pricey
Puppia Authentic RiteFit Harness with Adjustable Neck
This Puppia harness is perfect for those who want a harness with an adjustable neck. Most harnesses have flexible straps on the back, but this one can be adjusted both in the neck and breast area.
It’s suitable for all breeds of dogs, puppies, adults, and seniors. This may be the best dog harness for dogs that are between sizes. If you can’t decide which size to purchase, go with this model as its universal and highly adjustable. As a funny aside, some pet owners use it for their cats as well. That’s just confirms how versatile this model is.
One of the biggest challenges is to make a soft harness that offers support for your pets, but Puppia did an excellent job here. Your dog will love this comfortable harness, and you’ll be satisfied knowing it’s safe and protected.
This step-in harness is really straightforward to use. You can quickly train your dog to put on the harness, and it’ll soon start thinking of it as a fun game. Once the dog steps in, you can adjust the straps to make it safe and comfortable.
Moreover, this model has a choke-free design, so crucial if you have a small puppy. Therefore, it’s safe even for dogs who aren’t trained yet.
It comes in a variety of attractive colors. There’s even a military pattern for those who love the camouflaged look. The factor that makes this model even more appealing is its attractive price; you can get a high-quality harness, with advanced features such as an adjustable and choke free neck.
- Adjustable neck
- Choke-free design
- Suitable for all breeds and sizes
No-pull system could be improved
Coastal Pet K9 Explorer Reflective Dog Harness
The K9 Explorer is one of the most adjustable harnesses you’ll find on the market. With its simple design, it’s suitable both for small and large dogs. And perfect for those with dogs of different sizes or breeds. You can easily adjust it, so it fits them both, even when there’s a significant weight difference.
By purchasing this step-in harness, you actually get the whole set of equipment. Apart from the harness, there’s also a quick-release collar, rope slip lead, and a French-snap lead, which can all be handy when training your dog. These additional features make it excellent value for money, as you’d spend a fortune if you had to buy everything separately.
If you have a dog that likes to pull and tries to escape, this may be a solution for you. Once it’s properly fastened, it’s almost impossible to get out of. The harness is sturdy and safe. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking it may not be comfortable enough. It has soft padding on the chest area that your dog will love.
This model comes in only one color – classic black with red straps. However, it features fluorescent white piping that makes you more visible on the road.
This is a classic among dog harnesses. We believe every dog owner needs to have a similar model, as it’s easy-to-use and versatile. You can use it for a casual walk, run, or training, and take it wherever you go because it’s super-lightweight and compact.
- Additional equipment
- Very adjustable
- Soft padding
It can cause mild soreness.
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness, No Pull Dog Harness
This easy-walk model has been around for more than 15 years. In that time, it has received only positive reviews. Created by a veterinary behaviorist, many trainers and vets recommend it as one of the best models on the market.
The idea is that your dog needs to feel free and unrestrained, while you actually have the control. It has less coverage than most harnesses, which makes it suitable for dogs with sensitive skin, prone to rashes. Moreover, it’s perfect for long summertime walks, when the last thing you need is your dog sweating or itching.
The leash attachment is strategically located on the front, to discourage pulling and redirect your dog’s attention to you. As you may know, most vets suggest that the front leash is a safer and healthier option than the back one. It guarantees you better control over your dog while at the same time, it allows your dog to have a certain level of freedom.
However, you have to bear in mind that this isn’t the best harness for dogs that pull. It allows you to control light to moderate pulling, but if your dog pulls a lot, you may want to check out some of the other models featured in our guide.
If you can’t tell the top from the bottom of the harness, don’t worry. You’re not alone, as many people struggle with that. That’s why the PetSafe company created a model with dual-color straps that help you identify top and bottom, even when you’re in a hurry.
You can choose from several effective color-combinations, such as black-silver, or raspberry-gray.
The harness comes with a 1-year chew damage replacement warranty. If your dog decides to use the harness as a chew toy, don’t worry, as you can easily have it replaced.
- No irritation
- Front leash
- Dual-color straps
- Perfect for summer
Not suitable for dogs that pull a lot.
PetSafe Gentle Leader Headcollar, No-Pull Dog Collar
This is another PetSafe model, even more effective than the previous one. This may be the best harness for dogs that bark and jump up a lot. The nose loop is padded and soft, and your dog will soon forget that it has something attached to its head.
If your dog starts acting aggressively or anxiously as soon as you leave the house, it can feel like a nightmare. However, PetSafe has got you covered with this specially designed harness. It’s hard to say whether this headcollar has more benefits for the dog or its owner.
On the one hand, the dog will be calmer and reassured. Soft padding makes it feel comfortable. On the other hand, you’ll finally experience what it’s like to go on a stress-free walk. With your dog under control, you’ll be able to enjoy long strolls again. And don’t worry as both vets and trainers recommend this patent. It’s perfectly safe.
This product is a result of a 30-year experience of studying canines. What’s more, vets recommend this kind of leash to treat unwanted behaviors. Whether your dog likes pulling, lunging, or jumping, this could be a solution you were looking for.
This harness fits dogs of all sizes. Even the nose loop is highly adjustable, and it won’t bother your puppy. It takes less than a couple of minutes to fit it properly and you’re ready to go. Moreover, it has a choke-free design, and is perfectly safe for small puppies who’re still learning how to behave outdoors.
- Perfect for aggressive dogs
- No excessive barking
- No jumping
- Soft and gentle
- Vet recommendation
Dogs need some time to get used to it
Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness
This is one of the most beautiful step-in harnesses on the market. Made of breathable air mesh, it perfectly adapts to all weather conditions. Therefore, it could be used for walks all-year-round: it keeps your pet fresh in summer and warm in winter.
It comes in more than 20 beautiful colors, including a tasteful pink or purple. As you may have noted, trendy dog equipment usually has a somewhat higher price tag. That’s not the case here.
It doesn’t matter what color you choose as they all have reflective bands on the sides, that will make you more visible on the road. Variety isn’t just about colors, but it’s about the sizes as well. This model comes in multiple sizes so you can measure your dog’s back and find the perfect fit.
The harness supports your dog while keeping it comfortable. It’s very secure, and you won’t have to worry about your dog wiggling out of the harness itself. That’s just not possible. But we doubt dogs would even want to escape from this gentle holder that feels like the softest pillow.
That’s one of the reasons why cats love this model as well. If you have both a cat and a dog, this may be an excellent option for you.
Moreover, this harness is made of non-irritating material, and it’s suitable for all-day wear. Next time you go for a long walk, you won’t have to worry about whether your dog is feeling uncomfortable, or whether it may be itching or sweating. This lightweight model is made in such a way your dog forgets it’s wearing anything.
It’s effortless to use, and the process consists of only two steps. Once your dog is safely fastened in, all you have to do is secure the clip, and you’re ready to go!
The only downside of this model could be its maintenance. Although it’s very durable, you have to clean it more often than other models if you want to keep it looking new for a long time.
- Great choice of colors
- Excellent value for money
Challenging to maintain clean.
Purchasing a dog harness might seem like an easy task before you realize the number of options available. There are several factors to consider. Everything depends on the size and age of your dog, as well as its nature. Is your dog a puller, or is it already trained? Do you have more dogs?
Don’t worry, as we’ll explain everything you need to know. That way, even if you’re a new dog owner who’s buying a harness for the first time, you’ll know what to look for.
Types of Dog Harnesses
As you may have noted, there are several different types of harnesses. The most important classification is the one regarding the way you put your dog into any given harness. Therefore, the first decision you have to make is whether you want a step-in harness or an overhead harness. Both of them have some pros and cons, as we’ll now illustrate.
Most of the harnesses we’ve covered are overhead harnesses. It’s safe to say they’re more popular among dog owners as they’re easier to use. Even if you have a small puppy who isn’t trained yet, you can put it a harness and go on a walk. Moreover, they’re very convenient and lightweight, and you can easily carry them in your hand if you decide to let your dog run free for a while.
Finally, the best thing about overhead harnesses is their adjustability. Most models come with multiple adjustable points. That way, you can adjust it to your dog as it’s growing, or you can even use the same harness for more dogs.
However, they may not be suitable for disobedient dogs. If your dog can’t sit still, it may be challenging to put it on, and you may need another person’s assistance. Moreover, if not appropriately used, overhead harnesses put your dog at risk of a neck injury. You have to be very careful and make sure the harness sits lower on their back.
Once you train your dog to step in to a harness, they’ll be looking forward to every walk. That said, it might take a while until your dog learns to use it properly. In fact, the process consists of multiple phases, and it can last for days. Therefore, we’d say a step-in harness may not be the best choice for impatient dog owners.
The best thing about step-in harnesses is that they’re more durable than other models. Their material is thicker, and built to last. But if you have a puppy that’s still growing, there’s no point in buying a step-in harness as you won’t be able to adjust it as your dog grows bigger. For that reason, it’s the right solution only for dogs who’ve reached their full size.
Last but not least, many owners prefer step-in harnesses because they look more fashionable.
Front or Back-Clip Harness?
Another essential factor is where the clip is located, as it can change your overall experience with a particular harness. Back-clip harnesses are more popular, but that could change in the future.
People love back-clip harnesses because they’re used to them, and they can put them on their dogs in a few seconds. However, the latest research shows that front-clip harnesses not only allow you to have better control over your pet, but they’re also safer and more comfortable for the dog.
Front-clip harnesses are perfect for pullers, as they minimize the amount your dog can pull. Plus, they’re also suitable for puppies that are still being trained. However, some dogs don’t like front-clip harnesses, and there’s no point in forcing them to use them. You could do more harm than good.
Did you know that nowadays many harnesses come with both front and back-clip? They might be more expensive, but they’re an excellent investment. That way, you can switch between the two, depending on the mood of your dog. Therefore, if the money isn’t an issue, we’d suggest opting for models with two clips.
Although some manufacturers have only universal sizes, most of them offer various options. They’re labeled just like our clothes, from XS to XL. That said, it would be best if you didn’t rely on those labels, as they can vary from one company to another.
Just because size S from one manufacturer fits your dog, doesn’t mean that all S harnesses will do likewise. Therefore, it’s always a better idea to measure your dog and check the actual size of the harness. You can easily find it on the website, as most manufacturers publish their size charts.
When measuring your dog, always measure the broadest part of its chest, located at the top of the front legs. We suggest you then add an extra 2”, just to be sure that the harness won’t be too tight. Remember, it’s always better to buy a model that’s slightly larger than one that’s smaller. The larger model can be adjusted, while there’s not much you can do with a small harness.
If you have a small breed dog, it’d be best to look for manufacturers that sell special harnesses for that particular breed. Yes, you could buy a regular extra small harness, but it may not be the same. Some small breeds have different needs than larger dogs.
Adjustability is another essential factor when making a decision, especially if your dog is still growing. What’s the point of buying a high-quality harness if your dog will outgrow it within a couple of months? Thankfully, many models come with adjustable straps.
If you can choose, always opt for a harness that can be extended or loosened an extra couple of inches. It’ll pay off in the long run. Another situation where you may benefit from the adjustable harness is if you have two dogs. Spending an extra couple of dollars on a super-adjustable harness usually turns out to be a great decision.
For extra comfort, look for models that have plastic toggles. They make everything easier, and you can adjust them on the go if need be.
If you want to give your dog the support it deserves, you should opt for harnesses with soft padding. They come in various shapes and forms, and they’re usually more expensive then the basic harnesses. However, we believe they’re excellent value for money.
Padded harnesses have multiple benefits for your dog. Firstly, they provide additional support and minimize the risk of injuries. They’re comfortable, and dogs love spending time in them. Finally, they’ll keep your dog warm during cold days, allowing you to continue with your walks no matter what time of the year.
They can be filled with anything from soft fabric to memory foam. Of course, memory foam is the best option as it adjusts to your dog’s body shape and follows its movements. That said, it’s also the most expensive option.
You have to be very careful when it comes to the neck area and choking, especially if your dog is a puller. If you worry about its safety, always look for a choke-free design, which was patented a couple of years ago.
Bear in mind that choke-free models may be pricier than the regular ones. However, we believe they’re an excellent value for money. After all, they’re protecting your precious pet.
If you can’t afford an exclusive choke-free labeled model, don’t worry. We’ve got one trick for you: You should always look for models with a V-neck. They’re more comfortable, and they also lower the risk of choking.
While the previous three features had to do with your dog, this one regards mostly the owner. Some people look for functional and practical harness, and they don’t care about colors or details. If you’re one of them, you can actually save by buying the most affordable of the same-range models.
On the other hand, some people want their pets to be stylish as they are, and that’s completely fine. Your dog deserves to be beautiful. However, manufacturers are aware of that as well. Therefore, be prepared that you may need to pay extra for a fashion model, while its characteristics won’t be substantially different.
As you’ve probably noted, some models come in plenty of colors, so you can choose your favorite. Pay attention to bright colors such as yellow and orange. They can improve your safety during evening walks, as they make you and your dog more visible on the road.
Harness For Puppies
If you’re buying the first harness for your puppy, you have to be super-careful. You’ll not only use it for walks, but also for something even more important: training your puppy. It’d be best to buy a special harness, but if you don’t want to, you can purchase either the smallest size available or a harness for small breeds.
When it comes to age, you shouldn’t make your puppy wear a harness before it’s at least eight weeks old. It’d be a good idea to invest in a harness with a choke-free system, as your puppy is small and gentle. It isn’t used to walking in a harness yet, so you should do everything you can to avoid any injuries.
For that reason, we suggest you opt for models with soft padding. It’ll help your puppy get used to the harness, and it’ll also keep it warm when you go on a walk on a chilly day.
Some models come with a variety of additional equipment. If you were planning on buying multiple dog products, it might be a good idea to purchase everything together. Purchasing pre-made sets is more convenient, and you can find many great deals.
So, before you make a final decision think about whether you need anything else for your dog. Some models come with a leash, which is awesome because you don’t have to waste time looking for a leash that would suit a particular harness. Other equipment can include a nose loop to prevent barking, additional collars, and various kinds of leads.
All of the models are excellent, and they have various qualities. Again, everything depends on what kind of harness you’re looking for. We’ve tried to include as many different models here as possible. However, if we had to pick the best dog harness, it’d be the 2 Hounds Design Freedom No-Pull Harness. Not only is it approved by vets, but it’s also very comfortable.
More specifically, it has a specially designed loop system. We love the way it gives you control over your dog while it keeps it free. That way, you can both enjoy your long walks in complete harmony.