What is a Dog Harness? Best Dog Harnesses

14 Min Read

Choosing the right harness or collar for your dog is crucial for their comfort, safety, and overall well-being. With many options available, including the best dog harnesses that provide more control, safety, and comfort, deciding which suits your furry friend can be overwhelming.

In this article, we’re here to help you understand the differences between dog harnesses and collars, as well as their pros and cons, and to guide you in determining the right choice for your dog, ensuring its comfort and safety.

What is a Dog Harness?

A dog harness is a piece of equipment that fits around your dog’s body, distributing pressure evenly across their chest and shoulders. The harness should be placed so the dog’s head goes through the designated opening, ensuring a proper fit.

Unlike traditional collars that pressure a dog’s neck and head, harnesses provide a safer and more comfortable option for many dogs. There are several types of dog harnesses available, including:

  • Step-in harnesses
  • Overhead harnesses
  • Vest harnesses
  • No-pull harnesses

Benefits of using a dog harness for a Dog’s Body

There are several benefits to using a dog harness instead of a collar:

Improved control and safety: 

Harnesses provide better control over your dog, especially if they tend to pull on the leash. This can help prevent accidents and keep both you and your pet safe.

Using a front clip harness can be particularly beneficial for leash training young dogs, as it naturally encourages them to make eye contact and guides them to the side when they pull.

Reduced risk of neck injuries: 

Collars can put pressure on a dog’s neck, potentially causing injuries like tracheal collapse or damage to the spine when using just a collar. Harnesses avoid this risk by distributing the force across the dog’s chest and back.

Better for dogs with respiratory issues: 

Harnesses can benefit dogs with respiratory problems or breeds prone to tracheal collapse by reducing pressure on their neck and airways.

Importance of personalizing your dog’s harness with their name

Personalized dog harnesses with their name offer several benefits:

  1. A name-engraved harness can help reunite you quickly if your dog gets lost.
  2. Personalized harnesses add style and make your dog stand out.
  3. A name-engraved harness can help others quickly identify your dog and contact you in an emergency.

Top brands and their best harness products

Top brands and their best harness products

  1. Puppia – Puppia RiteFit Harness
  2. Ruffwear – Ruffwear Front Range Harness
  3. PetSafe – PetSafe Easy Walk Harness
  4. Kurgo – Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness
  5. Blueberry Pet – Blueberry Pet Soft & Comfy Harness
  6. Rabbitgoo – Rabbitgoo Dog Harness
  7. Chai’s Choice – Chai’s Choice Best Outdoor Adventure Dog Harness
  8. Voyager – Voyager Step-In Lock Dog Harness
  9. Pawaboo – Pawaboo Dog Safety Harness
  10. Bolux – Bolux Dog Harness
  11. Embark – Embark Urban Dog Harness
  12. Gooby – Gooby Escape Free Easy Fit Harness
  13. EzyDog – EzyDog Quick Fit Harness
  14. Mighty Paw – Mighty Paw Sport Harness
  15. OneTigris – OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness


When selecting the right dog harness for your dog, there are several factors to consider, such as:

Size: Measure your dog’s chest and neck to ensure the harness is a proper fit

Breed: Some breeds, like pugs or bulldogs, may require special harnesses due to their unique body shapes

Activity level: Consider your dog’s lifestyle and choose a harness that suits their needs (e.g., a more durable harness for active dogs)

Material: Look for breathable, lightweight materials that won’t irritate your dog’s skin

Do Puppies Need Special Harnesses?

Puppies have specific requirements when it comes to harnesses. Choosing a puppy harness that allows room for growth and adjustments is essential. Some recommended puppy harnesses include:

Puppia Soft Dog Harness

Price: $15.99

Pros: Soft, lightweight material; adjustable neck and chest straps

Cons: May not be suitable for heavy pullers

Where to buy: Amazon, Chewy, PetSmart

Reviews: “Perfect for my growing puppy. Easy to put on and take off.” – Sarah M.

Choosing a harness with the appropriate leash attachment point for your puppy is also important.

Best Harnesses for Different Dog Types

Best Harnesses for Small Dogs

Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness

Price: $13.99

Pros: Lightweight, breathable mesh; easy to put on; secure fit

Cons: Not suitable for heavy pullers

Where to buy: Amazon, Walmart, Petco

Reviews: “Great harness for my small dog. Comfortable and secure.” – John T.

Best for Medium to Big Dogs

Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness

Price: $39.95

Pros: Durable, padded construction; front and back leash attachment points; reflective trim

Cons: Higher price point compared to other options

Where to buy: REI, Amazon, Ruffwear

Reviews: “Excellent harness for my active dog. Well-made and comfortable.” – Emily R.

Best for Extra-Large Dogs

OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest

Price: $39.99

Pros: Heavy-duty construction; multiple attachment points; adjustable straps

Cons: It may be too bulky for some dogs

Where to buy: Amazon, OneTigris

Reviews: “Perfect for my large German Shepherd. Sturdy and reliable.” – Mark L.

Best for Flat-Faced Breeds

Puppia Soft Dog Harness

Price: $15.99

Pros: Soft, lightweight material; adjustable neck and chest straps; suitable for brachycephalic breeds

Cons: May not be suitable for heavy pullers

Where to buy: Amazon, Chewy, PetSmart

Reviews: “Great harness for my French Bulldog. Doesn’t put pressure on his neck.” – Lisa P.

Best for Escape Artists

Ruffwear Web Master Harness

Price: $59.95

Pros: Secure, multi-point attachment; padded construction; ideal for escape-prone dogs

Cons: Higher price point compared to other options

Where to buy: REI, Amazon, Ruffwear

Reviews: “My Houdini dog hasn’t been able to escape from this harness. Worth every penny.” – David S.

Best Harnesses for Different Purposes

Best for Pulling

PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness

Price: $22.95

Pros: Front-clip design discourages pulling; adjustable straps; affordable

Cons: May not be as durable as other options

Where to buy: Amazon, Chewy, PetSmart

Reviews: “This harness has made walks so much easier. No more pulling!” – Rachel M.

Best for Training

2 Hounds Design Freedom No-Pull Harness

Price: $39.56

Pros: Front and back leash attachments; martingale loop for added control; comfortable fit

Cons: Learning curve for proper use

Where to buy: Amazon, 2 Hounds Design

Reviews: “Excellent harness for training. My dog is walking so much better.” – James R.

Best Vest-Style Harness

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

Price: $27.99

Pros: Vest-style design for even pressure distribution; front and back leash attachments; padded chest plate

Cons: May be warmer than other options during hot weather

Where to buy: Amazon, Kurgo

Reviews: “Love this vest harness. It’s comfortable and secure for my dog.” – Amanda B.

Best Padded Harness

Rabbitgoo Dog Harness

Price: $20.98

Pros: Soft, padded construction; adjustable straps; front and back leash attachments

Cons: May not be as durable as other options

Where to buy: Amazon, Walmart

Reviews: “The padding on this harness is great. My dog seems very comfortable.” – Samantha C.

Tips For Buying a Dog Harness

  • Measure your dog’s chest and neck for a proper fit
  • Choose a harness made from durable, breathable materials
  • Consider the harness’s attachment points and their intended use
  • Ensure the harness is adjustable to accommodate your dog’s growth or weight fluctuations
  • Check the fit to avoid causing trauma to the dog’s skin, ensuring it is snug enough to fit just two fingers between the harness and the dog’s skin without being too loose or causing any twisting

Dog Collars: An Overview

Dog collars are a traditional choice for many pet owners. They come in various types, such as:

  1. Flat collars
  2. Martingale collars
  3. Head collars
  4. Prong collars (not recommended by many trainers)

Pros of dog collars:

– Easy to put on and take off

– Wide variety of styles and designs available

– Suitable for dogs that don’t pull excessively

Cons of dog collars:

– Can put pressure on a dog’s neck, potentially causing injury

– May not provide enough control for strong pullers

– Some dogs may slip out of their collar

Dog Harnesses vs. Dog Collars

When deciding between a harness and a collar for your dog, consider the following:

Use a harness if:

  • Your dog has respiratory issues or a sensitive neck
  • Your dog is a strong puller or easily escapes from collars
  • You want better control over your dog during walks

Use a collar if:

  • Your dog is well-behaved on a leash and doesn’t pull excessively
  • Do you prefer a more straightforward option for everyday use
  • Your dog has a long coat that may get tangled in a harness

Choosing between a harness and a collar depends on your dog’s needs, health, and behavior.

Tips for Responsible Dog Owners

Regardless of whether you choose a harness or a collar for your dog, it’s essential to use them responsibly:

Ensure the harness or collar fits properly and isn’t too tight or loose

Regularly check for signs of wear and tear, replacing as needed

Never leave your dog unsupervised while wearing a harness or collar

Use positive reinforcement training techniques by dog trainers to encourage good leash behavior


A dog harness is important for any dog owner looking to keep their pet safe, comfortable, and under control during walks and adventures. 

By considering your dog’s unique needs and trying on different styles and brands, you can find the perfect harness for your furry friend—a dog harness with a name for added safety and style. You and your dog can enjoy many happy, healthy walks with the right harness. With the same harness features and the right equipment and training, you and your dog can enjoy comfortable, safe, and enjoyable walks together.

FAQ Section

1. How do I know if my dog’s harness fits properly?

A properly fitted harness should allow you to comfortably slip two fingers between the harness and your dog’s body. It should be snug but not too tight, and your dog shouldn’t be able to wiggle out of it.

2. Can I leave my dog’s harness on all the time?

While harnesses are generally comfortable for dogs to wear, it’s not recommended to leave them on 24/7. Regularly remove your dog’s harness to prevent skin irritation and to allow your dog’s coat and skin to breathe.

3. How often should I replace my dog’s harness or collar?

The replacement frequency depends on factors such as the quality of the harness or collar, how often it’s used, and your dog’s activity level. Inspect the equipment regularly for signs of wear and tear and replace it as needed to ensure your dog’s safety and comfort.

4. Can I use a harness with a retractable leash?

While using a harness with a retractable leash is possible, it’s generally not recommended. Retractable leashes can encourage pulling behavior and may put excessive force on your dog’s harness, potentially causing discomfort or injury.

5. How do I clean my dog’s harness or collar?

Most harnesses and collars can be cleaned using warm water and mild soap. Hand wash the equipment, rinse thoroughly, and let it air dry completely before putting it back on your dog. Avoid using harsh chemicals or placing the harness or collar in the dryer, as this can damage the materials and hardware.

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