When you say, “It is time to walk the dog”, most people would assume that your pooch needs a potty break.
However, there are more benefits to walking your dog other than keeping the floor dry and unblemished.
Like a human child, Doggo wants to know about the world. Walking him around the neighborhood or at the park offers him physical and mental benefits he will not achieve by simply hanging around in the yard. Therefore, you should never postpone walking with your dog just because he gets overzealous.
With the help of a dog harness, you can train your dog to walk calmly beside you without involving harsh methods. If you don’t know much about harnesses, reading this guide will teach you everything you need to know about them. We have also compiled a rundown of the best dog harnesses in the market.
The Best Dog Harness In 2021
|Best Overall Dog Harness||Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness|
|Budget Choice||Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness|
|Best for Extended Wear||Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Dog|
|Best For Large Breeds||Expawlorer Big Dog Harness|
|Best For Small Breeds||Puppia RiteFit Soft Harness|
Best Overall: Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness
Out of the many harnesses we reviewed, the Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness stands out as the overall best. This harness comes with a variety of functions and sizes that the average dog owner can afford.
This non-pulling harness has two metal leash attachments — the standard clip in the back between the shoulder blades and the other in the middle of the chest. Also, a conveniently placed handle on the back will keep your dog near when walking on a crowded sidewalk.
What’s more, you can put the product on and take it off without a struggle, and it is easily adjustable to offer a custom fit. Made of Oxford fabric, I am pleased to see that this harness is durable, lightweight, and breathable to boot. The harness also includes reflective strips and soft padding.
- Affordable quality
- Easy on, easy off no-pull product
- Keeps your dog cool and comfy while he is out and about
- Reflects in low-light areas for safer walks
- Features dual-leash attachments and a top handle
- The handle should have been thicker
Best Budget Pick: Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness
Although the Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness is not a miracle cure for unruly canines, it garnered an almost cult-like following for its affordability. Besides, it comes in 27 cute styles and seven sizes, two of which can fit a cat.
Aside from the attractive price, the security it offers makes this harness a must-have. The harness comes fitted with thick Velcro, sturdy buckles, and metal D-rings. You will never have to worry that your furry pal might snake his way out!
The seamless style of this product requires no fussing with straps so that you can get your impatient dog out the door ASAP. As hinted by its name, all you need to do is have your pooch step his two front legs, wrap the Velcro, attach the leash, and you are good to go.
Rain or shine, you can always take your pup out for a walk because this product features a breathable mesh construction that won’t trap heat or water. Likewise, there won’t be a problem if you let your dog wear it over a sweater in the winter.
- Most budget-friendly option
- Available in a wide range of beautiful colors
- Securely contain your pets without compromising comfort
- Made of breathable and non-irritating mesh fabric
- Can withstand slight water exposure
- Does not have reflectors
Best for Extended Wear: Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Dog Harness
If you want to raise an adventure dog, you will never go wrong with the Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Harness. Ruffwear is the go-to brand of adventurous dog owners since the majority of their harnesses are designed for extended wear outdoors. The Web Master is no exception, as it boasts of top-notch quality, as well.
Both the quality and design of the Web Master go a long way towards the prevention of excessive leash pulling. The harness comes fitted with an aluminum attachment ring at the front and back. Having dual leash attachments, it grants you flexibility in how you wish to walk your pooch.
It is worth mentioning that the hardware used for this harness is heavy-duty, and the clips are reinforced with additional webbing. That said, a strong canine won’t break the attachment or cause it to come apart from the harness itself.
Moreover, the Web Master has five points of adjustment so you can find a snug fit for your dog without running the risk that he might wriggle out of his straps later on. Padded in all the right places, it will make Doggo feel remarkably comfortable even for an extended period.
Another neat feature is the thick handle across the top to give you a secure hold on your pet during an emergency. Additionally, the reflective trim on the product also adds visual detail and helps make your dog visible in low-light areas. You can even attach a small flashlight to the webbing loop to enhance visibility at night.
- Designed for leash training, leisurely walks, and outdoor adventures
- Made with high-quality materials and reliable hardware
- Dial things perfectly using five points of adjustment
- The ergonomic top handle provides excellent load dispersion
- You can place a seating belt through the handles
- Offers plenty of comfort and padding
- Possible to attach a torch
- Twice more expensive than most harnesses in this list
Best For Large Breeds: Expawlorer Big Dog Harness
If your dog is as big as a pony, the Expawlorer Big Dog Harness is for you. Funnily enough, this harness looks like a saddle, fits like a saddle, and connects like a saddle.
As hinted by its name, this product is ideal for large canine breeds that pack muscle and a ton of energy. It caters to dogs with a chest measurement ranging between 26 to 36 inches. Once you have achieved the perfect fit, putting this harness on and taking it off your dog should be a cinch.
A metal D-ring is located atop the harness, with the other attachment option on the chest. Using the front leash attachment should stop a robust dog from yanking you down the block.
Equally important, the build quality and connections of the product should give you confidence that your canine Samson will not tear it up and jump on people or dogs passing by. No matter how talented Doggo is at escaping, he should not be able to squirm his way out of this harness.
The Expawlorer Big Dog Control also offers plenty of comfort for your pooch, so it is unlikely that he will feel inclined to wrestle with it. You will also find the built-in top handle quite helpful on certain occasions. The reflective trim of the product is also long and wide, so you can use it for early morning or late night walks.
- Built to withstand large, muscular breeds
- Curbs jumping, darting, and lunging problems
- Features a highly adjustable, no-frills design
- The durable rubber handle offers a better grip
- Fitted with thick reflective material
- Great for dogs as tall as a great dane
- Not available for small- and medium-sized breeds
Best For Small Breeds: Puppia RiteFit Soft Harness
Nothing is worse than purchasing a new harness only to see your little hairy Houdini escape. For small adult breeds and large breed puppies, it is recommended you get the RiteFit Harness by Puppia.
Made of 100% polyester mesh fabric, it feels soft and lightweight, but it is also durable enough to handle your little stubborn pooch. The clips, slides and Velcro make this a customizable harness that looks super snazzy on any pup. Additionally, the neck rim is padded to give your dog comfort.
Don’t worry about your puppy slipping out of the harness. The straps and buckles are both sturdy. Since the product is fully machine-washable, you can pop it in the laundry when it gets dirty.
- Fitted with breathable mesh and durable hardware
- Does not irritate the skin
- Machine-washable and quick to dry
- Does not help reel pulling behaviors
- Not suitable for large canine breeds
Best For Medium Sized Dogs: PoyPet No-Pull Dog Harness
The PoyPet No-Pull Dog Harness is a popular harness that went through some cool upgrades recently. The latest model comes fitted with two easy-snap buckles that open at the neck and another pair that opens at the belly, making this harness one of the sturdiest and easiest ones to put on.
To help combat pulling, it comes fitted with two metal leash attachments with reinforced webbing. The product also uses sturdy, elasticated straps to reduce jerks and strains. Thickly padded and lined with breathable mesh, it is comfortable enough to be worn for an extended period.
Another bonus is the neoprene-padded handle on the back, which also serves as a seat belt loop.
- Wrap and snap open-neck design makes it easy to put on
- Comfortable enough for both the dog and his handler
- Effectively reduces pulling, jerking, and jumping
- Includes a black mesh pocket for storing ID
- Dogs with a thin frame might find this product slightly heavy and bulky
Best to Stop Pulling: Kurgo Tru-Fit Quick-Release Dog Harness
Can you trust the strength of your dog’s harness? One of the biggest concerns of a dog owner is whether or not a harness can withstand the brunt of his dog, especially when another animal is taunting him from the other side. If you have a robust canine, you want to make sure his harness can withstand the journey.
An excellent strategy is to have your dog wear the Kurgo Tru-Fit Quick-Release Dog Harness. Kurgo approached the problem right by constructing their harness using ripstop nylon and high-quality webbing.
Although the quick-release buckles are plastic, rest assured they are of good quality. Better yet, make an upgrade and choose the model fitted with crash-tested certified buckles.
Equally important, this product comes fitted with stout metal D-rings at the front and back. Using the front D-ring helps combat pulling, as it causes your dog to turn around whenever he tries to pull. But if you are looking for an anti-pull harness for a large, powerful canine, you might want to stick with the EXPAWLORER Big Dog Harness.
As the name suggests, this harness includes a rock-solid 10-inch tether that you can put a seatbelt through. The Tru-Fit is also a breeze to put on and take off your pooch. No leg-lifting is required.
- Ideal for casual walks, light adventures, and training
- Ripstop fabric construction and high-quality webbing make it long-lasting
- Hassle-free to get on and off with its quick-release buckles
- Five points of adjustment ensure a perfect fit
- Includes car tether
- No top handle for control
Best Reflective for Night Walking: Noxgear Lighthound Illuminated Safety Harness
Do you walk your dog early in the morning before sunup or at night before sundown? If yes, the Noxgear Lighthound Illuminated Safety Harness is one of the best investments you can make.
While this harness carries a hefty price tag, the quality is on point. The Lighthound boasts of a CORDURA construction, making it 100% waterproof. CORDURA has greater abrasion resistance than Ballistic nylon; that alone should give you an idea of how durable this product is.
Moreover, the Lighthound comes fitted with LED lights that come in eight different colors. With a push of a button, you can choose a different color and flashing speed. There are also patches of 3M Scotchlite™ reflective material on both sides accompanied by reflective silver trim.
As you can see, its reflectors are not limited to threading, unlike the others. Even if its 12-hour rechargeable battery runs out, your dog will remain visible when light is shined on them.
Those features aside, the neck and chest area of the Lighthound is adjustable so that you can find a comfy fit for your dog. Likewise, this product has been recently redesigned, making it a lot easier to slide-over your pooch and clip-in.
My only gripe is the fact that it is not designed to prevent unwanted behaviors during walks.
- 3M Scotchlite™ and LED lights make this product the brightest
- Powered by a removable, rechargeable battery with 12 hours of run-time
- 100% waterproof and machine-washable
- CORDURA construction withstands daily abuse
- Does not irritate the skin
- Highly adjustable and goes on in a cinch
- Equally expensive as Ruffwear harnesses
- Does not correct pulling tendencies while walking
Best Adjustable: Blue-9 Balance Harness with 6-Point Adjustment
The Blue-9 Balance Harness has proved that comfort is more than just the thickness of the padding and the type of cloth used.
Dubbed as the most adjustable harness, it features six points for adjustment, so you can achieve the best fit for your pooch and provide him with a full range of movement.
This vet-recommended product prevents injuries from walking with a bad gait. If your canine sidekick pulls relentlessly, using the front leash attachment should help curb this unwanted behavior. You may also use the front and back metal D-rings simultaneously for improved control.
Additionally, the Balance Harness boasts of high-quality construction to ensure it can withstand wear and tear. Likewise, it is designed to be worn and taken off without a hassle. All you have to do is snap the strap around Doggo’s neck.
Rest assured the harness will not rub or cause chafing. Made of washable nylon, it should feel non-irritating on the skin.
- Vet-recommended product that doesn’t restrict the shoulders
- Provides maximum mobility to dogs
- Helps dogs and their handlers to walk in balance
- Made of washable, non-chafing nylon
- Equipped with two attachment rings
Best Unpadded No-Pull: PetSafe 3-in-1 No-Pull Dog Harness
The PetSafe 3-in-1 No-Pull Dog Harness has top marks in comfort, safety, and adjustability. Whether you’ll be walking, jogging, or running with your furry sidekick, it will work exceptionally well on casual outdoor activities.
The back clip will suffice if you have a well-trained canine. But if you aren’t confident of your dog’s walking skills, using the vertical martingale loop and D-ring attachment at the front will help prevent your stubborn canine from pulling.
If things do get a little out of control, you can tug at your dog without causing discomfort using the belt handle on the back.
This option is also an excellent strategy to keep your dog safe during road trips.
Another feature I like about the PetSafe 3-in-1 Dog Harness is that you don’t have to force your dog to step or slip into it. Additionally, there are five adjustment points to let you create a custom fit.
This product is also compatible with the PetSafe 2-Point Control Leash should you wish extra leverage for walking in places with plenty of distractions.
The neoprene cloth on the underside is also soft and non-irritating to the skin. The reflective stitching is likewise durable and bright as can be at night.
- Comes with double attachments to suit every situation
- Create a custom fit with five adjustment points
- Allows your dog to sit and stand inside the car
- Not chew-proof, but the company will send a replacement
- Big, hyperactive canines might still pull
Best Padded No-Pull: Ruffwear Front Range No-Pull Harness
If you like the RUFFWEAR Web Master Dog Harness but you think it is overkill for daily walks, you might want to try the Front Range, instead. Similar to the Web Master, it is built to be worn all-day and cope up with a strong pulling dog.
As expected of a Ruffwear product, this foam-padded harness features heavy-duty hardware and double-stitching. As such, feel free to use this product with whatever adventure you throw at it. The only thing this product can’t handle is the washing machine and dryer.
While the Ruffwear Range is famed for its comfort and durability, it is also one of the best in the no-pull category. This product is fitted with two aluminum leash attachment points with reinforced webbing across the chest, making it stand up to the efforts of the most determined puller.
With four adjustment points, finding the right fit for your pooch is easy as can be.
- Padded chest and belly panels ensure maximum comfort
- Provides equal load distribution when running, walking, etc.
- Easy to put on and take off
- Built to last many years
- Four adjustment points provide your dog with a full range of motion
A dog harness is an invaluable tool every pet parent must own. But with a plethora of options, it can be overwhelming. So, start right from here. This guide should help you understand what makes a harness so important, and what factors you need to consider so that you can find the best dog harness for your dog.
Why Should You Buy a Dog Harness?
Many pet parents struggle with their dogs pulling on the leash. If that sounds like your situation, buying your pooch a harness is definitely a step in the right direction. A harness is undeniably superior to a collar because it teaches your dog how to walk properly with you by his side. Here are a few things to consider before taking the plunge
Things to Consider
A flimsy harness is an accident waiting to happen. That being said, you want to make sure that Doggo’s harness is made of stout materials. No harness is indestructible, but you should want something that can stand up to extensive use for as long as possible.
While all the products mentioned above are sturdy, it doesn’t mean all of them are equally strong. Harnesses with nylon constructions are better options than those made of mesh.
Not only is nylon durable, but it is also comfortable enough to wear for an extended period. Additionally, nylon is quick-drying, which is handy if you like to go swimming with your canine sidekick.
What about leather? Leather is a robust material, but it is more likely to stretch and chafe. Not to mention, leather is pretty pricey.
Another factor that determines the durability of a harness is the number of layers it comprises. A harness is usually constructed with either a single or double layer of material, which is often nylon webbing. Obviously, a two-ply dog harness is more rigid than a single-ply dog harness.
Other than the fabric used, the hardware can also make or break a harness. Aluminum clasps are a smart choice since they do not corrode easily unless you frequently expose the harness to seawater. Nonetheless, heavy-duty plastic clasps are also difficult to break.
Moreover, beware of flaps. Loose flaps are a dangerous flaw in harnesses. What you should be looking at are reinforced seams, as this will add strength and help resist wear caused by tension.
Excellent examples are the Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Dog Harness and Front Range No-Pull Dog harness. Apart from their heavy-duty construction, the lack of accessible straps also makes these harnesses difficult for a chewer to destroy.
There are several types of dog harnesses, and each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. To narrow down your choices, think of why you are deciding to get a dog harness in the first place.
Do you need a harness that will help curb Doggo’s excessive leash pulling? Are you on the lookout for the most comfortable harness for a small, brachycephalic breed?
Size and Fit
The age and breed of your dog matters when finding the right size. Just because it fits someone’s toy breed, it does not mean it will fit yours, as well. Pupper may have grown more or less than the recommended weight a specific breed would have, as weight gain depends on your dog’s diet and lifestyle.
Not to mention, dogs have fascinating differences in shape and body, and so, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Crossbreeds are particularly difficult to find a custom fit.
So before you buy a harness, make sure you have your dog’s measurement taken by you or your veterinary doctor. A tight harness causes pain and discomfort, and in some cases, it might result in chest injuries. Or check out this sizing chart yourself to learn how to measure your pup at home.
Furthemore, check out how many adjustment points the brace has. The more adjustment points a harness has, the easier it will be to find a custom fit for your pooch.
Features to Consider
Some non-padded harnesses feature a mesh, fleece, or neoprene lining to avoid chafing. However, a harness without padding is like wearing slippers. Flipflops are fine for short, leisure walks, but they are an awful choice for hiking and trekking.
For extended wear, a harness should be generously padded. A well-padded harness feels more comfortable over a long period compared to a harness consisting only of straps.
Another feature to consider is the D-ring or the leash attachment point, which connects the harness to the leash. Ideally, the ring should be metal. As for the placement of the leash attachment, it will depend upon the purpose of the harness. You can connect Doggo’s leash to the harness in three ways, either by using a front clip, back clip, or both.
Reflectors are vital in a harness, especially if you prefer walking your dog early in the morning or late at night. Reflectors alert motorists and other dog owners of your presence even as far as 600 meters.
While not all necessary, water-resistance might be an important factor for you if you like to engage in water activities with your canine buddy.
Sometimes even a well-trained dog will forget his training if the temptation is too hard to resist. That is why a top handle on the back is quite helpful, especially in cases where you might encounter a dominant dog. The handle will also help your dog stand up, get inside a car, cross barriers, or climb up steep areas your dog may not be able to ascend on his own.
Step-In vs. Buckle On
Rather than being types of harnesses, the two refer to the fitting style of a product instead.
As the name suggests, a step-in dog harness requires your dog to put his two front legs on the harness before you can close it at the back. This can be problematic for the first time since not all dogs will comply.
On the bright side, there aren’t many flaws to step-in harnesses, but they are almost exclusively made for toy and small breeds.
Buckle-in harnesses, on the other hand, have a large selection. The best thing about buckle-in harnesses is that you no longer have to pass the harness over your dog’s head.
Who Should Buy a No-Pull Dog Harness?
Leash pulling is a common problem with many dog owners and unfortunately, some would give up walking their dog because they feel like it has become more of a chore than a pleasurable way to bond with your pet. It doesn’t have to be this way.
That is why every pet parent should buy a no-pull harness. While a no-pull dog harness should not replace proper training, it can make a difference on the leash pulling problem.
Benefits of Using a Dog Harness
Harnesses are becoming more popular as pet parents discover the benefits they offer.
Reduces Neck Pressure
Collars and harnesses are both fantastic tools. But when it comes to walking your dog, every expert agrees that harnesses are better and safer compared to the collar and lead option. After all, dogs were never meant to be pulled by the neck!
Collars constrict the nerves and blood vessels within the neck whenever your dog pulls. You will hear your dog gag as the collar puts pressure on his neck. Unfortunately, frequent pressure on the neck and throat is harmful, as it may cause permanent damage to the trachea.
Dogs who pull so much are at risk, and it can be worse for brachycephalic canines, such as Pugs and Boxers. Therefore, consider using a harness. It is an effective and humane choice for both small and large breeds.
Does your dog make you feel like he is overpowering the walk? If yes, then you have more reason to choose a no-pull canine harness.
Unlike standard harnesses whose D-ring is at the back, a no-pull harness has the D-ring on the front, in the center of the chest. If your dog pulls, he will be redirected and face you, instead. As such, this type of harness teaches your dog not to pull, lest he will turn in the opposite direction he wishes to go.
Some harnesses even have two D-ring attachments. Obviously, a multi-clip dog no-pull harness is more versatile. But although a no-pull control deters pulling, it should not replace proper training with your pooch.
If you have problems walking a strong large canine, you will notice more control when you use a harness than a collar. The front attachment provides you with more steering power since it pulls the chest, which is the dog’s center of gravity.
As a result, it encourages your dog to walk by your side, instead of walking in front of you.
Things to Avoid When Buying a Dog Harness
Whether you are considering making a switch from a traditional collar or making an upgrade from a standard harness, you want to make sure that you are getting a high-quality harness from a reliable brand. Also, avoid products that are all about fashion, instead of function.
Why Do Dogs Pull On the Lead?
Dogs do not pull on the leash while being walked because they are dominant over their human. Oftentimes pulling is just a sign of excitement. Dogs love to be outside because the outdoors brings an array of sights and smells.
Therefore, dogs will want to run and investigate their surroundings. But because dogs move faster than we are, they have quickly learned that pulling is how they get to move forward.
Different Types of Harness for Dogs
There are many types of harnesses for dogs, and the benefits of using one will depend on the type of product you choose.
A standard harness comes fitted with a ring on the back and has one loop around the ribs and neck. It is the most common type of harness, and it is not recommended for dogs who pull.
A tightening harness is specifically designed for dogs who jump and pull during a walk. As the name suggests, it tightens and adds pressure to your dog’s body whenever he pulls or jumps.
While it strongly discourages unwanted behaviors, you can rest assured that it does not hurt or injure your dog.
However, it is wise not to use a tightening harness on timid dogs or dogs who have a history of physical abuse. The application of pressure might only cause the dog to associate it with punishment or trigger memories of his past life. Consequently, the dog may react violently.
A no-pull harness, also known as a front-clip harness, has its D-ring in the center of a dog’s chest, allowing you to gain more control over your dog and prevent him from pulling. No-pull harnesses, such as those mentioned earlier, come in a range of styles and offer various levels of comfort.
Some may also come with dual leash attachments, having both the front and rear clip options.
A head halter has a neck strap and another across the snout, just like a horse’s bridle. The leash attachment is via a ring under the chin. Due to its design, it is not recommended for brachycephalic breeds and dogs with short muzzles.
Bib harnesses are a favorite for dogs that don’t pull. Also known as a vest harness, it fits your dog comfortably like a piece of clothing.
It can be quite annoying if your dog constantly pulls you during a walk, especially when there are other dog owners in the area. Dogs will always do what they feel is good to them without thinking of how sore your arms have gotten. As such, you would start to hate walking with your pooch.
Thankfully, no-pull harnesses, such as the Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness can help you gain better control of your excited dog and help him curb unwanted behaviors that could otherwise put him in danger. Unlike collars, the pressure applied to his chest would have no harmful effect on your dog.