The best dog harness can safely restrain your puppy and allow for better control in many situations. It also provides for a great connection between humans and canines. We put some of the top dog harnesses of the year to the test.
Going on walks runs, and even rides together can form a joy-filled relationship between you and your furry friend. Exploring the world with your dog is one of the greatest gifts of dog ownership.
While out on walks, not only is the emotional bond between you and your dog strengthened, but the physical bond of the leash also joins you together as a unit. A dog harness can be a helpful and comfortable difference-maker for you and your dog.
While necessary for some circumstances, collars can cause uncomfortable pressure on your dog’s spine and trachea. And they can be especially harmful to dogs with a tendency to pull while on a leash. Compared to a traditional collar, a well-fitted harness provides improved comfort and safety for your dog and much better control.
Whether you just brought home a new dog or need a better way to walk your pet so they don’t yank you down the block, a good dog harness can make a difference during training or regular day-to-day activities. Our favorite harnesses come in a range of sizes, colors, and styles to suit every need and price range for the giant pups.
If your dog tugs against their leash, a harness can prevent them from straining their neck (like a collar might) but also help teach them better walking habits. A harness can give you better control during walks, aiding in leash training by providing multiple attachment points and spreading resistance across your dog’s shoulders and chest.
We evaluated a wide range of harnesses for fit, features, and available sizes, looking for products that your dog can use comfortably for hours. Some of our picks are suitable for particular scenarios, such as hiking or training.
Some dogs need more than a plain old collar. Whether your dog pulls on the leash, has mobility constraints, or is easily distracted, a harness may be your new best friend. It’s less stressful on your dog’s neck and gives you more control over walks.
Harnesses come in a variety of styles and offer a range of uses. Before buying a dog harness, consider the following:
- Safety and durability. Is it adjustable for a secure fit? Will it hold up to extensive use out in the elements? Is it machine-washable or otherwise easy to clean?
- Comfort. Is it designed to keep your dog feeling comfy while in use? Does it avoid putting pressure on their throat and neck? Is there padding or other comfort-forward features?
- Cost. Is it affordable? A good harness is an investment, so don’t go for the bargain. But you should be able to find a solid option at a reasonable price.
- Style. Your dog may not care what they look like, and utility should be your primary goal in selecting a harness. But that doesn’t mean you can’t look for something spiffy.
The Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness is made with versatility in mind. The soft, padded harness has a place to clip a leash on both the front—for correcting dogs who like to pull—and the back, which is better for jogs, hikes, and walks with well-trained pooches. Four adjustment points allow you to dial in the perfect fit around your dog’s neck and chest. Fast release buckles simplify getting your dog in and out of the harness.
In addition to its adjustable fit, the Rabbitgoo harness has other features to enhance your dog’s comfort, including an airy mesh lining and enough padding that it won’t chafe. We like the sturdy top handle when you need to keep your dog extra close, and the reflective stitching helps make nighttime walks safer.
The Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness is available in four different sizes, so chances are there’s a model that will fit your dog. It’s also available in 14 different colors.
By attaching your leash to the loop on the front and center of your pup’s chest, this classic harness redirects their attention to the side—and toward you—whenever your dog pulls. The PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness offers four adjustment points for a fit that’s always secure, plus a Martingale loop in the front to prevent twisting. Owners like that the belly strap is a different color than the rest of the harness, so it’s easily identifiable when you want to put the harness on your dog. One downside is that owners of larger dogs say it’s too narrow for their more powerful pets.
Small dog owners may already know Puppia, which has earned an almost cult-like following for its soft, breathable dog harnesses. They also come in large dog sizes, but small or sensitive-skinned dogs love them because the more delicate polyester fabric rubs and chafes less than nylon or versions with lots of straps. It’s also easy to get on and off, which makes it excellent for wriggly pups. According to the brand, the harness is made of lightweight, breathable water repellant mesh.
Available in 14 colors, pet parents looking for a more stylish vest-like harness will appreciate the wide variety of options. While they recommend hand-washing, the brand says you can machine wash the saddle if you so desire, making it a breeze to clean. Since it exclusively connects to a leash at the back, this design is best for dogs that don’t pull too much.
This non-restrictive harness keeps pressure off your dog’s throat to keep their windpipe free and clear while walking. Our testers loved the range of colors and patterns to suit any style. A step-in design makes it easy to use for pets that can be a bit squirmy when trying to get them ready for a walk. Put the harness on the ground and direct your pup’s front two paws into the designated spots.
Though small and light, we were impressed by its durability. One tester said, “It was small but solid, and I wasn’t worried that my dog would break out of it or that I wouldn’t be able to control him.” This harness might work best for smaller dog breeds or those that don’t pull since it doesn’t have a front leash clip. We also found that adjusting the straps at first was a little challenging and even noticed that the rings you attach the leash to are too small for some leash types.
True to its title, this multi-purpose harness will work great if you need to take your dog off the beaten path. Our testers loved the soft mesh panels that chafed less than strappier versions and the back handle for lifting your dog up when necessary and controlling them when in close quarters with fellow furry friends. Its sturdier construction makes it worth the extra price, and we appreciate that you could choose between attaching the leash to the back or front of the harness for ultimate versatility. Pick from three colors and four sizes to customize it for your pup. Our testers have found that the harness runs a bit big and is, therefore, better for slightly larger dogs as the smallest size can still be a bit large for tiny breeds.
Whether you’re headed for a stroll around the neighborhood or taking a power walk, you and your pup will enjoy this harness. It has two sturdy aluminum alloy leash attachment points with reinforced webbing—one on the chest and one on the back—and is made of a breathable mesh. The dual elastic construction on the belly straps offers a little give, so if your dog lunges at that squirrel, it will help absorb the jerk. It’s highly reflective for extra safety on nighttime walks and has a padded and comfy handle that can double as a seat belt attachment in the car.
What to Look for in a Dog Harness
When it comes to selecting a dog harness, keep these factors in mind:
First and foremost, a harness must fit your dog correctly. A too-small harness can chafe your pup, and if it’s too big, they may be able to escape it. You’ll want to measure them according to the manufacturer’s suggestion to order the corresponding size. Most harnesses are adjustable with room for growth. You’ll know the harness is appropriately sized and fitted if you can slip two fingers between it and your dog.
The best harnesses are made of durable materials such as nylon or polyester. You’ll want stainless steel, aluminum, or another type of metal loop for attaching the leash. Reflective night stitching is an excellent addition for those who walk their dogs in the dark (almost everyone in the winter months).
Where the Leash Attaches
Harnesses will either have a chest loop or a back loop where you can attach your leash. A chest loop is better for leash training and dogs that pull, while a back loop works for calmer dogs.
Harnesses come in a range of colors and finishes. In addition to picking one that appeals to you, consider what size and shape will best fit your dog. If you have a skittish dog about having things put over its head, look for a harness that fastens around the back.
How we test dog harnesses
Our team at the bestreviewclub reviews pet gear of all kinds, from supplements for dogs to cat litter. We’ve read hundreds of reviews to discover which harnesses were worth considering, then tested over half a dozen of them in our Lab and with consumer testers. We based our recommendations on extensive research of the market, assessments of brands and materials, and real-life testing. We considering the following factors:
- ✔️ Fit: We ensure that each pick comfortably fits on our tester dogs and doesn’t bother them, chafe or otherwise bother them. We try these styles on active dogs to see if they irritate their necks or cause discomfort while engaging in the activity. We also assess how easily the harnesses adjust to the right fit for the dog.
- ✔️ Performance: One of the most important things about a dog harness is how well it performs, so we look for harnesses that prevent pulling and help you maintain control over your pet. To test, we took these pups on walks with various external stimuli like other dogs or squirrels to see how easy it was to handle the harness and control the dogs.
- ✔️ Ease of use: We consider many different aspects of each harness before recommending it, including how easy it is to secure onto your pet, adjust the straps, attach a leash, and clean.
- ✔️ Extra features: While having a basic harness will do the job, some brands offer additional features like a handle or reflective material perfect for those who take their pups on walks early in the morning or late at night.
Is a dog harness better than a collar?
Simply put, yes. Collars can strain your dog’s windpipe and, in some cases, their spine. Using a harness instead of a collar can prevent that choking, the hacking effect you may have seen when your dog tries to pull toward a squirrel or another dog. And if you like to hike, run or bring your dog in the car, some harnesses have special features to make those activities more accessible, more enjoyable, and safer for all involved.
• Large or strong breeds like pit bulls, German shepherds, and Labradors do well walking on a harness because it puts pressure on their chest instead of their neck. Not only does that remind the dog not to pull and help deter them from doing so, but it’s also safer for their body.
• Some smaller breeds like Chihuahuas, toy poodles, or other toy dogs find harnesses more comfortable on their tinier frames, and a harness with a handle can make it easier to pick up your pocket-sized puppy if they get tired or you need to lift them out of danger.
Is a dog harness better than a collar?
Harnesses are a better choice than a collar for most dogs. Because they go around the dog’s chest and behind their front legs, they won’t choke or strain a pulling dog’s neck like a collar can. Harnesses also give you better leverage to control a large dog or a dog who likes to pull.
How do you measure a dog for a harness?
You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for measuring for a harness. To find their size, you’ll generally measure your dog’s neck circumference and chest girth with a tape measure.
How do you prevent pulling with a harness?
If purchasing a harness to stop your pup from pulling on a walk, you’ll want to select one with a chest loop attachment for the leash. The placement helps gently correct by removing your pup to the side if they get too far ahead of you.
Is it better to walk a dog on a collar or harness?
Harnesses are usually the best for walking dogs because they don’t put pressure on the neck. But collars are generally more comfortable and have a place to hold an ID tag. You should use a harness, not a collar if you have a dog prone to breathing issues (like a pug).
Should you leave a harness on a dog all the time?
A dog can be left with a harness all day, but it is not advisable. Vets and trainers recommend that a dog only wears its harness when it is out on a walk or being trained, but not at home. They should only wear their harness for long periods if necessary, such as on a long hike or camping trip.
Can dogs hurt themselves by pulling on harnesses?
Harnesses don’t put unnecessary pressure on a dog’s neck and trachea. Even if a dog pulls while wearing a harness, it won’t hurt him or her or cause life-long damage. If your dog is a severe puller, invest in the proper training tools to teach him to walk correctly.