Share

This article may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Privacy Policy.

There’s nothing like a walk with your best buddy to do some bonding, get a little exercise and enjoy the simple things in life. Like clouds and trees (well, mostly trees for your dog).

But as wonderful as it can be, sometimes your walk in the park doesn’t exactly feel like a walk in the park. Like when your dog goes on a rabid squirrel hunting mission and nearly chokes himself on the leash.

Or when your little escape artist slips out of her collar and runs off down a busy street (I have been there!). 

Then there’s the classic canine antic called “Oh no, mom, I’m taking YOU for a walk.”

These are the times when a simple walk can turn into a fiasco, which is exactly why you and your dog could benefit from a harness. 

‍

Dog Harnesses: You and Your Pet’s Best Friend

Dog with big stick in his mouth and green harness

Most dog experts seem to agree that a dog harness is far better than just a dog collar when it comes to walking your dog. First of all, it takes the pressure off of their neck and throat - especially for dogs that pull a lot.

When your pet pulls so hard that they cough, it means that they’re putting a lot of pressure on their trachea and the nerves and blood vessels in the neck. And that can be damaging over time. 

Flat-nosed breeds like pugs and bullmastiffs are prone to respiratory problems, to begin with. So the less pressure they have on their throats, the better. And small breeds have small windpipes to match. So while a tiny puller can’t drag you across the street, they can actually harm themselves.

Another benefit of using a harness instead of a collar is that it also gives you more control over your dog. No-pull harnesses are often designed with an attachment for the leash in the front, and the back, of the harness.

So how does a front attachment help with pulling? If your dog pulls too hard, he flips around and faces toward you instead of being able to move forward. Simple but effective!

For exceptionally strong dogs, some owners need multiple leash attachment points so they can better steer their pet. Kind of like a horse!

Harness with top handles can also be a great help for older and special needs dogs as you can pick them up with it or help them over obstacles. 

Another plus with harnesses is that many can be attached to your car seatbelt when you hit the road for a car ride with your best friend (though secured dog crates offer the ultimate protection for your dog).

And when you also consider that harnesses are also much harder to slip out of, you can see why they’re much more versatile and safer than collars. 

Related: The 9 Most Interactive Dog Toys [For Your Playful Pup]

‍

Which Harness Is Right For You and Your Dog?

Pit bull with standing in grassy area with orange harness

Start shopping for a harness, and you’ll soon find there’s a myriad of options. So which one is right for your dog? 

That will depend on a lot of factors. 

Is your dog the size of a pony? Or is he a pint-sized pup? Does he or she pull so much it’s like they’re taking you for a walk? Or maybe you have a Houdini that likes to slip out of their collar and disappear.

You’ll also want to consider whether you want a vest-style harness or web-style harness. Vest-style harnesses are just what they sound like (a vest) and are often easier to put on. The downside is that they can be bulky for certain body types if the fit isn’t just right.

Web-style harnesses have no chest plate but are a series of straps you secure around your dog’s body. While they are usually lightweight and offer a good range of motion for your pet, they can sometimes be tricky to put on your dog. (In other words, YOU might need some training).

To make your transition into a harness easier, we’ve picked some of our favorite harnesses for every kind of pooch. Whatever type of dog you have, there’s a harness that’s just right for the both of you. 

Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.

PetSafe 3-in-1 Harness - Best All-Around Harness

This affordable and versatile harness can work on dogs of all sizes (though the Puppia Soft Dog Harness is better for smaller breeds). Leash attachment rings at the back and front make it a good choice for pullers as well as dogs that are content to hang at your side.

And if you like to drive to the park for a walk, there’s an extra strap on the back to loop a seatbelt through.

Other things you’ll like about this harness:

  • Neoprene padded straps for extra comfort
  • 5 adjustment points around the neck and chest for a secure fit
  • Reflective stitching for better night visibility

Drawback:

  • Though many buckles make it highly adjustable, it can make this harness a little confusing to put on your dog.

‍

2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Dog Harness - Best Web-Style Harness for Large, High-Energy Dogs

‍

This versatile harness can fit big dogs, up to 250 pounds, and is especially great for strong pullers. Why? Like many no-pull harnesses, it has an attachment for the leash at the back and the front. 

The difference is that the front attachment on this harness is centered lower on the dog’s chest, and there’s a stabilizing strap between the front legs. So when your dog gets up to something naughty, it’s much easier to flip him around and get his attention or work on dog training.

Other things that you’ll like about this harness:

  • Durable construction 
  • Strong straps that stay put but don’t constrict
  • Velvet strips under the armpits and belly for extra comfort
  • Comes in a variety of colors and sizes
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty for chewing (for a fee)

Drawback: 

  • Though it’s made for dogs from 14 to 250 pounds, the heavy buckles and thick webbing make it bulky for smaller dogs. 

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Walking Harness - Best Vest-Style Harness for Large Dogs

If your dog is a larger breed, but you find web style harnesses a bit confusing, this sturdy vest style harness could be a great fit for you and your pet. 

The Kurgo Tru-Fit harness has back and front attachment points in case your dog is a puller, giving you better control. And putting it on your dog is a snap because there are no confusing straps and padded chest plate.

And because it’s made from heavy-duty polyester fabric and has metal d-rings and sizers, it’s also very durable. 

Jenny Massey, from Snowy Pines White Labs, shared, "It'll fit dogs ranging from 5 pounds to 110 pounds, so it's perfect for almost any dog, especially if you live with more than one dog and take them out to walk at separate times."

Other things you’ll like about this vest:

  • It fits dogs with chests up to 44 inches
  • 5 adjustments points for a snug fit
  • Has a loop on the spine to connect a seatbelt
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Drawbacks:


Blue-9 Pet Products Balance Harness - Best Web-Style Harness for Pullers

‍

Like all anti-pull harnesses, this one by Blue-9 features a front-clip for your leash. When your dog tries to drag you along, the tension on the lead causes them to turn back towards you (and hopefully out of trouble).

The great part is that even though it gives you more control, it won’t restrict your dog’s movement. 

And with five sizes and six adjustable straps, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your dog. It also has a buckle on the neck strap, which is a nice plus for pooches that don’t like things pulled over their head. 

Another nice feature is that the spine strap is always made in a contrasting color to the other straps. So if any dog owners have a hard time figuring out a web style harness, this will make it easier to put on. 

Other things you’ll like about this harness:

  • Well constructed
  • Sturdy Hardware
  • Can accommodate a double-ended leash
  • Fits a variety of body types

Drawbacks: 

  • No padding
  • Harness may ride up on small breeds

Puppia Soft Dog Harness - Best Harness for Small Dogs

This pliable vest is specially designed with toys and smaller breeds in mind. Because of its flexible mesh fabric construction and adjustable chest loop, it stays in place better than nylon straps and can fit a variety of body shapes. 

It also makes it a lot harder for your little squirmer to wriggle out of it and sprint down the block. 

Other things you’ll like about this harness:

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Vest shape keeps the pressure off of your dog’s neck
  • Uses buckles instead of velcro for better durability and safety
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Washable

Drawback: 

  • Though it can fit dogs up to 60 pounds, it doesn’t have a front attachment point, which means it’s not great for pullers

Gooby Escape Free Harness - Best Harness for Small Escape Artists 

This harness is made for smaller breeds (up top 35 pounds) but is especially good for dogs that wriggle out of their harness. Because the space at the back of the harness is reduced, it makes it tough for your little Houdini to back out of his gear. 

Other things you’ll like about this harness:

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • 4 adjustment points for a proper fit
  • Step-in design with back clip

Drawback: 

  • You have to be extra attentive with the fit and check to see that there’s no extra space at the back. Otherwise, your little runner could still make an escape. 


Hurtta Weekend Warrior Harness - Best Harness for Active & Outdoorsy Dogs

Is your dog the rough and ready type? If so, you’ll love this strong and durable harness that can stand up to rough terrain and even water adventures.

Related: The 8 Best Long Lasting Dog Chews For Extreme Chewers [Reviewed]

While this harness is tough enough for rock scrambling, it’s also comfortable enough to be worn all day long and won’t restrict your best friend’s range of motion. Made from lightweight, weatherproof polyester, it can stand up to a light to moderate rain without soaking through. 

And because it also has a top handle, you can give your pal a little extra help in those especially rough parts of the trail.

Other things you’ll like about this harness: 

  • Fits a wide variety of sizes
  • Soft, padded straps
  • 4 points of adjustment to fit snugly on most dogs
  • Strong hardware
  • Easy to clean
  • Available in 8 colors
  • Available in an eco version made from recycled polyester
  • Reflective strips and for better visibility in low light

Drawback: 

  • Its high quality also makes it pricey

‍

Ruffwear Web Master Harness - Best Harness for Injured or Senior Dogs

For older dogs or pets with an injury, climbing the stairs or jumping into a car seat can seem like impossible tasks. If your pet needs a little extra help getting around, this could be the harness for you.

Although the Ruffwear Web Master is flexible and lightweight, it has a reinforced lifting handle at the top when your pet needs extra assistance. It’s also made with foam padding for extra comfort and can be worn all day. 

Other things you’ll like about this harness:

  • Made with lightweight but durable materials
  • 5 sizes and 5 adjustment points to accommodate a wide variety of dogs
  • Reflective trim for better visibility in low light

Drawback:

  • Expensive

The Tail End

woman standing with her white faced golden retriever

Whether your best friend is big or small, feisty or mellow, young or old, there’s a harness that will suit you both. 

And hey, pet harnesses aren’t just for dogs. Rabbitgoo makes an escape-proof cat harness if you need to put your furry feline on a leash. 

In a perfect world, our dogs would always walk obediently at our sides (insert long belly laugh here). And while a harness can’t make up for good training, they can keep dogs safer and help you deal with some of their not so perfect traits. 

Because, as we all know, dogs are people too! 

Here’s to enjoying more great walks with our favorite furry people. 

You may also be interested in: 6 Of The Best At-Home Grooming Kits For Dogs (Plus Grooming Tips For Beginners)

The 8 Best Harness for All Dog Breeds:

  1. PetSafe 3-in-1 Harness
  2. 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Dog Harness
  3. Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Walking Harness
  4. Blue-9 Pet Products Balance Harness
  5. Puppia Soft Dog Harness
  6. Gooby Escape Free Harness
  7. Hurtta Weekend Warrior Harness
  8. Ruffwear Web Master Harness
No items found.
Posted 
Sep 17, 2020
 in 
Pets
 category

More from 

Pets

 category

View All

Looking for the deals? We'll send them to you daily. Subscribe now. It's FREE!

No spam ever. Read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.