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The Best Dog Harness in 2019

Not all harnesses are created equal, though it might seem that way. Some harnesses work best with a specific breed, a walking style, or specific use. This article will cover everything that you need to know about harnesses. We’ll also cover the best dog harness on Amazon for your needs.

Our Top Choice:

For those seeking for great quality and safety, we recommend the RUFFWEAR — Web Master, Multi-Use Support Dog Harness. This premium dog harness is great for hiking, training, even climbing rocks along with your pup. It’s also best as a no-pull harness for walking a dog in the neighborhood.

Types Of Dog Harnesses

Harnesses come in two main varieties: front hooking and back hooking.
There are also two methods to put them on: step-in and pull-over.

  • Front attaching harness (No-pull harness). A front attaching harness, also known as a no-pull harness, is a harness that has the leash attached under the dog’s chest. This is actually recommended for walking since your dog will learn to walk behind you or next to you. Why? Your dog can’t pull you even if they wanted. The leash digs into them too much and makes them uncomfortable. The worst they can do is walk alongside you.

  • Back attaching harness. A back attaching harness has the leash attached above the shoulders. This is the most common type on the market. However, this trains the dog to walk in front of you, which isn’t ideal if you have a bigger dog. Though it’s not a problem if your dog does not pull and many people find it more convenient.

  • Step-in harness. Stepping in simply involves placing your dog’s legs into the holes formed by the gap. It can sometimes be difficult to get an untrained dog into these. They are very secure once they get in though.

  • Pull-over harness. Pulling the harness over your dog’s head is exactly what it sounds like. You simply slide the harness over your dog’s neck onto their shoulders. You then buckle the sides around their chest. No stepping in is involved. This makes everything so much easier. It’s basically the same as putting a collar on your dog. We recommend this type of harness for bigger dogs or untrained dogs.

Comparison Table

Features:
Our Rating:
Buy from:
RUFFWEAR — Web Master, Multi-Use Support Dog Harness
  • Handle on the top of the harness.
  • Foam padded straps for maximum comfort.
  • Reflective for extra visibility at night.
  • 5 adjustment points for maximum comfort.
  • 5 different sizes to choose.
Rabbitgoo Dog Harness No-Pull Pet Harness
  • Low price.
  • Made of a breathable mesh material.
  • Easy to put on.
  • No-pull and back attaching.
Bestia “Aztec” Big Dog Leather Harness
  • 100% genuine leather that is handmade in Europe.
  • Extremely durable.
  • Virtually escape proof.
WINSEE Dog Harness No-Pull Pet Harness
  • Affordable.
  • Lockable snap buckle.
  • Front and back D-ring connection for your leash.
  • Collar included.
Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness
  • Mesh, step-in harness.
  • Buckle and two D-rings for extra security.
  • Easy to wash.
SlowTon Dog Car Harness Plus Connector Strap
  • Seatbelt attachment works with every seatbelt.
  • Comes in 5 different sizes.
  • Use it in the car or for a walk.
  • Very affordable price.
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
  • Three-strap design.
  • Front leash attachment.
  • Wide variety of colors.
  • Great price.

Dog Harness vs. Collar

Everyone knows that a harness is different from a collar. The main difference being that a harness wraps around the torso and a collar wraps around the neck.

The difference might sound minor, but it actually has a big impact on your dog.

First, it is much easier for a dog to escape from a collar. This usually occurs when your dog stops walking and you decide to pull them. You will often pull the collar, and leash, right off their head.

That just isn’t something that occurs with a properly fitted harness. It’s actually impossible for a dog to slip out of one.

Next, the collar applies pressure to the underside of your dog’s neck, which can damage their neck. The true extent of the damage isn’t known — scientists don’t study this stuff. However, you can hear your dog gasping for air when you pull their collar.

Again, a harness doesn’t damage your dog’s neck. It doesn’t even apply pressure to the neck. Instead, it distributes the pressure across your dog’s torso and shoulder area. Those areas can actually handle the pressure.

All in all, a dog harness works best for walking because of the two reasons listed above. Though don’t be alarmed if you have a dog collar. They work perfectly fine when you’re not walking your dog. In fact, we recommend using a dog collar since they’re much more comfortable for everyday use.

Reviews Of Dog Harnesses

Our Favorite

Best Escape Proof Dog Harness:

RUFFWEAR — Web Master, Multi-Use Support Dog Harness

Ruffwear makes the best escape proof dog harness on the market. Now, all the dog harnesses do a good job at being escape proof, but RUFFWEAR is a little better than normal. This is because the RUFFWEAR Web Master has an extra strap at the back. The strap makes it almost impossible for your dog to slip out of the harness.

Overall, this is the best harness available on the market. You can use it for normal walks through the neighborhood or a backpacking trip through the wilderness. All that extra padding means you can even use this if you want to bring your dog climbing. One thing is for certain, your dog is definitely not escaping from this harness.

Final Verdict: Buy it. It really doesn’t get better than this. Sure, you pay more money upfront, but it will last you for years and you can use it in just about any scenario. You can even use the handle on the harness to pick up your dog.

OUR RATING:

Next on our list is the Rabbitgoo Dog Harness. This is a no-pull harness, which means that the leash attachment is under your dog’s chest.

We recommend using it if you have a dog that has the annoying habit of pulling while walking. This harness does have a D-ring on the back, so you still have the option of attaching your leash to the back if you want.

Overall, we recommend this if you want a no-pull dog harness at a really great price. It also works as a back attaching harness, but the lack of back straps means your dog could possibly slip out if used that way. The breathable mesh material makes it nice for the summer. Finally, putting this harness on is easier than most other options. Simply slide it over your dog’s head and buckle it.

Final Verdict: If you want a cheaper harness that attaches at the bottom, then the RabbitGoo is for you. As an added bonus, you can attach a leash to the top as well.

A leather dog harness is not something that everyone wants, but we’re including it because enough people like them.

First things first, why would you want a leather harness?

Well, the main reason people purchase a leather dog harness is that they look cool. Other than that, they’re fairly comfortable for your dog and last a long time. Plus, your dog will not be able to chew out of this harness.

Anyway, Bestia has the best leather harness on the market. This one is handmade in Europe with 100% real leather — it doesn’t get better than that. The Aztec also has foam padding under the chest to make your dog even more comfortable.

Overall, we like this as a good leather choice. It looks great and, assuming you maintain it, will last you years. However, it does have some downsides since it’s leather. The main downside is the time and cost to maintain. You should avoid using it in the rain as well. Other than those downsides we think it’s a great choice.

Final Verdict: Well, this is the most expensive harness on our list, which is to be expected because it’s genuine leather and made in Europe. Overall, we like this. You can tighten it, it looks nice, and it will last for years. You just have to make sure to clean it. Available in big sizes only.

OUR RATING:

Finding a harness for a large dog is difficult. Most companies don’t make them since large dogs aren’t that common. The few large harnesses that you find tend to cost a lot of money.

Fortunately, WINSEE solves both of those problems with their dog harness. It’s extremely affordable and fits even the largest dogs. It has a few other features that we like as well.

The lockable snap buckle is one feature that we don’t see that often. Basically, you can lock the buckle that way it has zero chance of somehow unbuckling. Also, the front and back D-ring connection means you won’t need to purchase two separate harnesses.

Final Verdict: If you have an extremely big dog, purchase this harness. You aren’t going to find a more affordable harness for such a big dog.

OUR RATING:

This is the first step-in mesh harness, also known as a dog harness vest, on our list. All the previous harnesses have been the pull-over variety.

Mesh harnesses usually work best for smaller dogs. You can use one with a larger dog, but putting it on a large dog can be difficult.

Small dogs also have an easier time slipping out of harnesses, so security is important. We like that this harness has two D-rings to secure your dog. It’s basically impossible for a dog to escape. Yes, this harness is practically escape-proof.

Finally, a step-in harness works slightly better for a smaller dog. You can simply pick the dog up and place it inside the straps.

Final Verdict: If you have a small dog, especially a toy breed, we recommend the Voyager. It works best for small breeds like that. Plus, it’s a great price.

Taking your dog for a ride in your car opens up a whole new set of problems. The biggest problem is restraining your dog. Many pet owners have resorted to tying their dog to the seat, but that’s not the safest option in the event of an accident. Other pet owners drive with their dog in their lap, which can cause an accident.

Fortunately, the SlowTon dog car harness is an excellent alternative to both of those options. It comes with a seatbelt attachment so you can easily strap your dog into the car. You don’t have to worry about them running all over the car. Even better, you don’t have to take this harness off and put on a new one when you arrive at your destination. Simply switch out the leash and you’re good to go.

Final Verdict: We like this harness if you constantly drive your dog around and don’t have a way to secure them. If you don’t have a car, or rarely take your dog for rides, then you really have no use for this harness. However, it’s still an excellent harness at a great price.

OUR RATING:

Dog Walking Harness:

PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness

Finally, our choice for a great general purpose dog walking harness is the PetSafe Easy Walk. It works similar to the other options on our list. However, it relies on only three straps to secure your dog, which makes it super comfortable for your dog. Though this does reduce the security of the harness. Though the no-pull design does limit the risk of your dog escaping.

Final Verdict: We like this harness for walking. It’s affordable, it has a minimal design, it’s adjustable, and it comes in a bunch of different colors. We don’t have any complaints about this other than the three-strap design. Just make sure your dog is properly trained before using this harness.

How To Measure Your Dog For A Harness

Measuring a dog for a harness is not difficult, but you must know where to measure. Here is a basic summary of measuring your dog for a harness.

  • Chest measurement

The most important measurement for your dog’s harness is the chest. Fortunately, you can easily measure your dog’s chest. All you have to do is measure the width of the widest part of their chest. This is usually an inch or two behind their shoulder blade.

  • Neck circumference

Neck circumference is not a particularly important measurement — the harness doesn’t go over the neck. However, you should still measure the neck just to be safe.

  • Weigh your dog

Many harnesses use a weight recommendation for sizing. It’s not necessary to weigh your dog, though it greatly helps in the selection process.

  • Add an inch

Add an inch to the chest measurement to account for weight gain and ensure a proper fit. Remember, dog harnesses have tightening straps for a perfect fit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a dog harness really better than a collar?- This depends on your use of the harness. Generally, a harness is much better than a collar. As stated earlier, a harness is much less likely to slip off your dog. A harness doesn’t choke your dog either. The one problem with a harness is that they aren’t comfortable enough for everyday use. Your dog will still wear it. However, it can chafe more than a collar.

How do I wash the harness?- This depends on the material. Generally, harnesses can be machine washed. Though they may get stuck in the washer. We recommend hand washing a harness to prevent damage to your washer.
Use normal leather care if you have a leather harness.

Does a harness hurt my dog?- No. Unlike a collar, a harness will not cause any damage to your dog’s neck nor will it restrict their breathing.

Are harnesses really more secure?- Yes. It is practically impossible for a dog to escape from a properly fitted harness.

Should I get step-in or pull-over harness?- This depends on your strength, your dog’s size, and your dog’s training. A big and untrained dog will almost certainly require a pull-over harness. A small, even untrained dog, will be fine with either type. We recommend a pull-over harness since they’re just easier, but everyone is different. Some people and dogs prefer a step-in harness.

Can I attach a dog tag to a harness?- Yes.

How do I put a harness on my dog?- This depends on the type of harness. You generally place your dog’s legs in the leg holes and then buckle the strap on top of them. Other harnesses require you to pull it over your dog’s head. This type of harness is generally easier to place on your dog. Make sure that the harness isn’t on backward.

How snug should the harness be?- Snug enough that you can fit two of your fingers between the harness and your dog’s skin.

Conclusion

All in all, picking out a dog harness is more difficult than you probably thought. Who knew about the difference between a step-in harness and pull-over harness?

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know. Most people don’t.

Hopefully, this guide covered everything you need to know about purchasing a harness for your dog. Just remember, we recommend a no-pull harness that you put on by pulling it over your dog.

Our favorite choice for that is the RUFFWEAR Web Master. If you have a smaller dog, you can’t go wrong with a mesh step-in harness like the Voyager.

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