Dog Harness: All You Have to Know

Dog Harness All You Have to Know

Dog owners who let their dogs wear a harness are doing their precious canines a favor, and a comfortable one at that. The harness has been the go-to choice for lots of dog owners these days due to its functions since it keeps their pets on the leash without the problems often associated with dog collars.

The best dog harness allows for a balanced distribution of force all over the dog’s body and not just the neck. Whether the harness restrains a pet dog or a military dog, this kind of device lets dog owners walk or run their dogs without worries of pets getting away or being injured.

When looking for good quality harnesses, dog owners should first gain some knowledge about the varying kinds of harnesses and what they need to look for when selecting one. They must discover how to measure their dog properly for the size of the harness and where to find and purchase a harness.

Kinds of Harnesses for Dogs

It is important that dog owners should have an idea of the kind of harness they want since there are lots of kinds made of different materials. This part of the article details the varying kinds of dog harness and several factors to watch for when purchasing the best dog harness.

1. Step-in

The step in kind is designed for the dog to step into the harness. This kind of harness is composed of straps which encircle the tops and bottoms of the dog’s front legs. The leash links to a point at the top of the harness. This design offers fewer chances of the dog choking.

2. Standard

The standard type is composed of adjustable straps. It wraps around the belly and chest. Some standard models also include an extra strap around the lower abdomen. The leash attaches to the top of the harness.

3. Vest

The vest kind enfolds most of the belly in the material and it is usually put together with straps. Dog owners can also add accessories to the vest to make it more appealing. This is ideal for smaller dog breeds.

4. Built-in leash

The built-in leash model includes a leash. Leashes can be found in most harnesses like the vest and step-in kinds.

5. Easy-on

The easy-on harness comes with quick-release buckles. It can be put on and taken off easily and it is lightweight too. However, it may be too weak for larger dog breeds.

Factors to Consider

There are specific aspects you have to remember and look for when purchasing dog harnesses. The factors include the kind of material, length, and manufacturing. This segment provides more information about essential dog harness aspects.


The material chosen for a specific dog harness model has an impact on the item’s sturdiness and long-lasting properties. A flimsy harness that is composed of weaker material will not last for a long time. However they may work for smaller dog breeds.

Sturdier, quality materials are recommended for bigger dog breeds but too limiting and rigid for smaller animals. Dog owners should look for a harness with fabric that will best fit the size of their pet.


Dog owners should also be sure to closely examine the seams or stitching of the harness. The best dog harness is the kind that has been merged collectively then top-stitched. Dog owners can find this out by searching for fabric called a biased strip. This bias strip covers the border of the harness and it is visible on a picture of a harness online. The bias strip covers the border of the merged material.

When it comes to top-stitching, look closely since several harnesses are only given top-stitching at their openings—look for models that are top-stitched all over the entire harness.

D-ring strap

The D-ring is the place where the leash is attached to the harness, and the D-ring strap must be centered. The strap where it fastens must extend the length of the back and is stitched beneath the neckline. It should be reinforced as well to provide a constant, excellent hold on the dog.


The harness corners which cover the joints particularly the front legs of the dogs are as important as the D-ring straps. Dog owners must search for rounded corners since they allow for more comfort and an easier fit. It will mold nicely to the contours of the dog’s body and allow for better, freer movement.


Be certain to acquire a harness that has straps with a proper length that suits the size of the dog. The harness must run no farther than the waistline of the dog. The harness must only cover half of the pet dog’s back. While there are bigger harnesses, these models often have extra straps which secure the dog around its hind legs.

The straps must be secure as well. Straps that are a bit large will not only add more heft but excess weight and strain on the dog’s chest and belly.

How to Measure Dog Harness Size

Lots of dog owners bring their pets with them when looking for collars or harnesses. However, if you have plans to buy online and take advantage of good deals, you have to be doubly sure that the product you are going to buy will have the proper size. The steps for this segment will only involve a measuring tape and the help of another person. These are the steps.

1.   Ask a friend or a family member to hold the dog steadily and keep him comfortable and relaxed. But if the dog is pretty well-trained, make him hold a standing position.

2.  Measure underneath the dog’s front legs and around the belly to acquire the circumference. This will ascertain the size of the harness your dog requires.

3.  If you are after a model that makes use of a neck opening, you must measure the distance around the dog’s neck.

4.  There is no standard in the pet market for sizes. Because of this, a medium harness for one company could be considered X-small to another manufacturer. Dog owners must focus on the measurements of the harness and not just the size provided. By remembering this, you can save lots of money, time and effort.

Dog Harness Sizes

As soon as you are done with measurements, you can check out this sizing reference for more information.

  • X-Small with 8-14 inch girth – 3/8 inch suggested width of leash
  • Small with 10-20 inch girth – 5/8 inch suggested width of leash
  • Medium with 16-28 inch girth – 5/8 to 3/4 inch suggested width of leash
  • Large with 26-40 inch girth – 1 inch and 2 plies for forceful dogs

As soon as you have chosen and bought the model you like, make sure to observe the manner in which the dog moves while using the harness. Be careful when watching to check whether the harness pinches the dog or only inconveniences its bearing when walking or running.

5 Suggested Dog Harnesses

We are finished with the basics and now it’s time to tackle recommended items. In this list, we have mentioned some dog harness models that received good feedback by their customers. Check them out and see whether you have an instant favorite among the five.

EXPAWLORER Big Dog Soft Reflective No Pull Harness

The Expawlorer brand has provided excellent products to the delight of their customers for some years. Their dog harnesses are their top products due to their significantly functional attributes.

This specific model includes a comfortable, reflective strap that is designed for the safety of pet dogs. The reflective safety straps are constructed above the D-ring to provide safety for pet dogs and allow them to maintain visibility during evening walks.

This harness is mainly designed for bigger dog breeds and it includes an easy-grab handle built from quality nylon material which allows dog owners to take complete control of their pet’s movements.

The dog harness is especially beneficial whenever the dog gets excited or will try to rush for any object or event that catches its attention. The product’s shell is designed from a sturdy, breathable and quick-drying material that has been cushioned on its internal surface to avoid skin irritation and reduce irritation and brushing which can happen due to unintended traction. It also includes neoprene lining for extra comfort.

It is designed with a completely adjustable chest plate so it will be capable of fitting any size dog. The chest plate also functions to safeguard the essential organs of the dog from unnecessary strain. It is also available in a good range of colors to suit dog owners’ needs.


  • Has reflective feature
  • Includes easy-grab handle
  • Made with neoprene lining for comfort
  • Made with quality, fast-drying breathable material
  • Includes adjustable chest plate


  • Adjustable strap around neck slips and tightening is needed each time

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Walking Harness with Plastic Quick Release Buckles

The Tru-Fit Smart Dog Walking Harness has plastic quick-release buttons and clip points on either side of the back and chest.

This is a good choice for everyday walks. It is also designed to serve as a kind of vehicle restraint for the dog. This harness has options for owners to position an active camera on the front chest or back of their pets.

To guarantee a good, comfortable fit, the harness includes 5 adjustable points and wider cushioned chest plates. The buckles are composed of plastic for faster release and it has a sufficient size that suits the majority of dogs.

The harness demonstrated good quality and performance. The choice to make use of a dog harness that is still in training to walk on a lead is a nice selling point for this specific harness.

It also includes an extra seatbelt clip which lets owners travel with their dog safely and securely. It is also provided with several features that allow the item to change with the progress their pet dog makes.


  • Includes 5 different adjustment points
  • Made for everyday walking and running
  • Provides balanced weight distribution
  • Safeguards important organs
  • Has simple, fuss-free design


  • Has cheap plastic buckles
  • Does not remain tight for a long time and needs constant fixing
  • Not recommended for active dogs due to thinner padding

PetSafe Easy Walk Harness

PetSafe’s Easy Walk Harness is designed with back, chest and belly straps that are completely adjustable in order to fit your dog and make walking and running with a harness comfortable. It is recommended for dogs who weigh at least 60 pounds.

One great thing about the item is that the lead can be fastened to the chest area in front and this gives dog owners the benefit of turning their pets around so they can direct and guide them with correct commands and fixes.

The item has a front lead attachment which steers the dog to the side of the owner, hence preventing unnecessary dragging and pulling. It also includes a chest strap that stays on the breastbone of the pet and avoids choking and gagging.

It also includes 4 adjustment points for a reliable fit and excellent control. To make handling and setting up the harness easier for dog owners, the item comes with a detailed instruction manual too.


  • Has adjustable points positioned in front
  • Includes chest strap to prevent injury
  • Comes in good range of colors and sizes
  • Belly strap comes in different colors


  • Does not have padding and may make dog uncomfortable

Chai’s Choice Best Front Range Dog Harness

The Best Front Range from Chai’s Choice has a great design, is quite sturdy and has scratch-resistant features. The latter is a good solution for dogs that have a bad chewing habit.

The ergonomic design of the harness makes the procedure of slipping on and removing the harness easier and more convenient.

It has a supple padding which is located beneath the chest and belly to make dogs feel at ease. Its mesh lining gives it a breathable quality. Even during the dog days of summer, your pet will stay cool and comfortable.

It has adjustable straps for a better fit and this adjustability plays a significant role in influencing the level of control that owners have over their dogs while training, walking or running them. It also comes with reflective material on its outer layer for better visibility at night.

The strong handle and excellent seatbelt attachment is meant to provide your dog security and ease during road trips. This is best for disabled dogs and pets recuperating from injury.


  • Has ergonomic design
  • Has scratch-resistant qualities
  • Includes sufficient cushioning for comfort
  • Includes adjustable straps
  • Has handle and seat belt attachment for drives
  • Made with durable materials
  • Has two attachment points
  • Will not leave marks and irritate dogs
  • Has reinforced stitching


  • Comes with mediocre plastic buckles

Cropal Dog Harness Leash with Traffic Handle

The Cropal Dog Harness Leash with Traffic Handle makes managing your dog’s movements during daily walks and runs easier for dog owners. It combines control, protection and the best in comfort without forfeiting important factors like quality and style.

The item has an additional traffic control handle which is located close to the collar of the dog. This provides fast and secure control of your pet when needed. It comes with high-quality sponge padding so dogs will feel at ease wearing the harness.

The harness’s heavy-duty design makes for a tougher, sturdier leash too, which is ideal for energetic dogs. To endure lots of pulling, the harness comes with reinforced rings, and for safety it comes with reflective webbing. This is a semi-adjustable model so it can suit dogs of all sizes.


  • Has high-quality feel
  • Made with durable materials
  • Has strong rings
  • Made with reflective webbing for night safety
  • Adjustable model
  • Comes with heavy-duty design


  • While most straps were adjustable, the strap on the upper chest which connects the back is not


The kind of harness you buy will depend on the breed of god you own. Do you own a Chihuahua or a Toy Poodle? A Labrador Retriever or a German Shepherd?

This will have a significant effect on the type of dog harness you search for, since a lightweight model may not be suitable for bigger dog breeds and a heftier, heavier type will not work for a tinier dog.

Keep in mind that when purchasing the best dog harness for your pet and your situation, you should research the options available to you.  You are now better positioned to check for quality and size of the harness, and to determine whether you will buy online or in a brick and mortar store.