Picking the Right Harness and Collar for Your Dog

Picking the Right Harness and Collar for Your Dog

Even if you have the most expensive and the most advanced equipment, if it is not designed for your dog’s size, it will be ineffective and a waste of money. This is true when picking the right harness or collar for your furry friend.

Whether you prefer a collar over a harness or vice versa, choosing the right kind and size of equipment for your dog is crucial. Guessing the size of your dog harness as well as the coat or collar is a risky way to proceed.

You cannot rely on age and weight and plug values into a formula. This is because every dog breed has different sizes and built.

For example, a 2-year-old Labrador is obviously bigger than a 2-year-old Maltese. In the same way, a 50lb. bulldog is going to have a different fit than a 50lb. greyhound. That is why it is important for you to know how to measure your dog for a harness.

According to Ashley Atkinson, CPDT-KA and behavior consultant at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a pet owner should make sure that the harness is “snug and the clip hangs higher up on your dog’s chest.” Otherwise, the harness cannot control the dog’s forward momentum.

Additionally, you also don’t want your dog to wear a harness that is difficult to clip or buckle for it can be uncomfortable for him or her. Make sure that the straps do not rub under the hollows beside the dog’s front legs or any part of his body.

Guide to Measuring Your Dog’s Size

It may not be possible for you to take your dog to the store to try on different harnesses and other equipment. It’s better to know how to measure your dog for a harness, coat or collar especially if you buy this equipment online. To help you in this task, this article will share important tips from experts and other pet owners.

  1. Prepare a flexible tape measure or a string or a ruler. It could also be anything as long as you can wrap it around your dog. Also, prepare a pen and a paper where you can write the measurement. If you are using a string, you can just tie knots as your marker or use the pen to mark as well.
  2. Start measuring the chest by wrapping the tape measure or string around the torso. Measure the widest part right behind the hollows under your dog’s front legs.
  3. Wrap the tape measure around the lower neck for the coat part of the harness.
  4. Wrap the tape measure around the upper neck to get the size of the collar. After this, you may also measure the length of your dog but that is not necessary. When you get all the things you need, you may now look for the right size of dog harness.

The Two Fingers Rule

The rule of thumb in testing the snugness of the harness is to slip two fingers between the gear and your dog. The allowance helps dogs to feel at ease while wearing the harness as well as help them breathe with ease. This way, they will not feel anxious nor get angry whenever they see the harness.

What sizes are there?

So now you know how to measure your dog for a harness, coat, and collar. Next, you should know what sizes are available. Manufacturers create harnesses in a range of sizes from extra small through extra-large. The sizes are based on the measurement of the dog’s ribcage and chest. If you cannot find the right size based on your measurement, just choose the next size up. You can just adjust the harness afterward.

Below are the typical sizes of dog harnesses

  • Extra small: 8 to 14 inches
  • Small: 10 to 20 inches
  • Medium: 16 to 28 inches
  • Large: 26 to 40 inches
  • Extra-large: 40+ inches

Below are the typical sizes in dog collars

  • Double Extra Small: 6 to 8 inches
  • Extra Small: 8 to 12 inches
  • Small: 10 to 14 inches
  • Medium: 14 to 20 inches
  • Large: 16 to 26 inches
  • Extra Large: 24 to 30 inches

Unlike collars, dog harnesses come in different designs and functions. So after getting the size of your dog, you should take note of their advantages and disadvantages if you prefer to get a harness.

A lot of people say a harness is better than a collar. However, that is for another discussion. So if you want to learn more about it, read the other articles available here.

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