What Is a Dog Harness?
Walks with your dog should be comfortable and safe for both of you. Leashes with collars will allow you to control your pet’s behavior when it’s necessary. For example, in places with lots of people, moving cars or during vet visits. However, the same vets lately advise using dog harness instead of a collar. When a dog suddenly pulls the leash, the collar has a traumatizing effect on dog’s neck muscles, trachea and the spine. Without a doubt, it may lead to pain with aggression on the part of a dog. Therefore, we want to recommend you to get a harness for your four-legged friend. It evenly spreads the stress load on the body, leaves the door open for breathing, and gives the dog freedom to move around with you still in control during the whole walk. We've tried to find out, what types of harnesses can be the best for your friend. Moreover, we've made a review of 5 different models that we liked.
We also expect you to take a look at our review of the best dog leashes. We've thoroughly examined different models, so we are almost 100% sure you’ll find the one to your own liking.
You might also want to check out our pick of the best dog beds to provide your pet with a comfy place for sleep.
What Features to Compare
First of all, consider what you are going to do together with your pet. There are harnesses that target different Type of Activities with your dog. Let’s take a closer look.
- Walking and training harnesses became very popular lately. They are designed for safe, tireless daily strolls with your pet, as well as for training sessions. We've picked up the harnesses exactly from this category for this review.
- Sled harnesses are the original models that were designed for dogs to pull sleds in the snow for long distances with humans or cargo on them. Remember Jack London’s stories about Klondike and you’ll get the idea.
- Weight pulling harnesses. The name is self-explanatory. They are used mostly for training a dog to be fit and have bigger muscles.
- Assistance harnesses are for dogs that help visually impaired people. Usually, such harnesses come with a long handle so that people could more readily reach it and hold the dog.
- Medical harnesses were created for dogs with troubled mobility. You can help the pet walk around by lifting the front or back side of such harness via the handle on its back.
- Warming harnesses are worn on cold days. They usually cover the upper part and sometimes the back of a dog like a jacket.
D-ring Position for fastening a leash can be either on the front part of a harness or on the back. The back-clip is easy to fasten and provides a dog with a maximum freedom of movement. However, you get the ability to readily turn your dog around by fastening a leash on the front side. Such control might be required to suppress the aggressive manners of constantly pulling a leash or to break a bad habit of a dog to pick up some stuff from the ground.
Of course, it’s important to Choose the Right Size. As a rule, you have to measure the breast and neck girth, then compare them to the sizes of the harness. We want to note that buying the wrong garment will not only decrease the efficiency of the weight distribution but will also be uncomfortable for a dog and might lead up to deformation of the legs! But worry not. It's fairly easy to find the right one. And most of the straps can usually be adjusted with a slip ring.
Materials directly influence the outlook and longevity of a harness. The leather one, despite the cool look, can stretch out when it's wet under the rain. After leather dries out, it stays sturdy like this. Bit by bit, it wears out which leads to tears or breaks. That’s why we recommend synthetic fabrics or cotton as the main material.
Look for Extra Stuff that adds to usability. Fasteners with locks will drastically decrease chances of your dog breaking free during training sessions. Rings should be sturdy and preferably welded. This is critically relevant to large dogs. Light reflectors are required if you like walking with your dog early mornings or late evenings. They allow drivers and passers-by to see your pet from afar.
Does your dog have sensitive skin? No sweat! Many models feature soft paddings or elastic materials that decrease the pressure on the skin even further.
Overall, buying a harness is not a rocket science. But you might be interested in the number of features, that you can find here. So let's get started.
Big Dog Soft Reflective No Pull
Dog harness by EXPAWLORER proved to be an awesome buy, but all in good time. First of all, it’s designed for dog training and walking. The harness is made of breathable wear-proof cloth with neoprene padding. Any dog will surely be comfortable wearing it, even if the active sessions take a few hours. There’s also a nylon strap on the back of the harness with a flexible tube around it that serves as a handle to control your dog or even pick its upper body up, in case you have to hold it. What we really liked is that the non-slip handle can be grabbed firmly even under the rain. With such harness, you gain full control even over a big dog in places with high traffic. The leash is fastened to a stainless steel D-ring on the back. The ring’s ends are welded together, making it absolutely reliable for training with large breeds. What's more, reflective strands allow other people to easily detect your dog during evening walks. As if it wasn’t enough, you can gently adjust two belts around dog’s neck and rib cage in order to make it comfortable and to not hamper pet’s movements.
In conclusion, we want to add that after getting this harness, you will soon notice that your pet will become more docile, while walks with him will be a lot more joyful for both of you.
Dog for Mayor
Fun fact: animals are allowed to run for an office in many States. For example, in August 2016 the dog has won a mayoral election in a small town of Cormorant, MN after getting an overwhelming amount of votes. Fluffy Great Pyrenees named Duke has already been mayor a few times before. What’s more, people are pretty happy under its rule. Sadly, he’s currently unavailable for interviews, but you may try throwing him a couple of questions on his personal Facebook page.
Train your pet well. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be the next president.
More Products to Consider
Walking a dog in public places often requires that you put a muzzle on it. If you haven’t got one yet, take a look at this lightweight and quality Baskerville Ultra Muzzle by Company of Animals that fits most dog breeds snugly.
No Breaks on a Long Trip
While most of the modern harnesses feature nylon or leather straps with an adjusting slider for both neck and chest, this model’s neck strap is made with elastic webbing. It spreads evenly and gently right with dog’s movements. The elastic cloth has a close breathable texture, that won’t jam pet’s hair. Therefore, we can recommend Lifepul Harness for growing dogs, so you won’t have to readjust all the straps all the time.
The bottom strap, of course, can be adjusted so that the whole harness fits your dog perfectly. Even more, the strap fastener has a lock, so it won’t get open by itself. During a trip in such harness, your four-legged friend will feel unrestrained the whole time.
We've mentioned the lock on the fastener. Furthermore, the light reflective threads run across all the nylon straps. This is very important if you walk with your pet early in the morning or late evenings. Drivers or cyclists will see you and your pet from afar and will have time for maneuvers. The Lifepul logos on the sides are actually light-reflectors too. Nickel-plated D-ring for a leash is said to withstand a heavy tensile load, and we have no questions about that. Our verdict, this is a safe choice for long trips and walks with your pet on a leash, as well as for training sessions.
Dog's Guinness Records
Ever wondered how big is the largest dog in a world? Some Guinness Records are bound to change with each new champion, however, the current title of the tallest dog belongs to Zeus, a Great Dane who is 44" tall on all 4. We aren't sure if there is even a harness on the market for such a giant. Anyway, you can often find strange Guinness records. Like a dog with the longest ears, that belongs to Tigger, a bloodhound. Funny enough, his ears had a different length - 13.75" and 13.5" for right and left ears accordingly.
Maybe you want to know about the dog with loudest barks or about the record of the maximum number of tennis balls that were held in the mouth by one dog. Then you can check them out later on the official Guinness Records website.
More Products to Consider
Speaking of dog toys, check out the tennis balls by Twinn Critters. They are great for playing fetch if your 4-paw tears through regular tennis balls like paper. Although they don't bounce that much, they are solid, washable, all-natural and may serve you longer than the rubber ones.
D is for Double
That's right. The unique feature of this model is not one, but two durable D-rings on the back for strapping a leash. That way you can always be sure, that no matter how powerful your dog is, the rings won’t bend when it suddenly pulls the leash. The time has proved that the combination of D-rings with nylon straps is one of the most efficient and long-withstanding. Furthermore, this model by Droiee comes at a very attractive price and copes well with daily walks and training sessions. The harness is made of a weather-resistant nylon. That's why you can readily walk your dog under the rain and then just wash it with soap. It will still look good even after a few years of daily use. The paddings from the skin side are soft, so they won’t raise a tender skin of pet’s neck. We can readily recommend this harness for walks during hot days because it leaves a lot of openings on the sides and under armpits. That way, a dog will feel comfy in it without sweating.
The package contains the dog harness itself and plus the additional dog leash. This is a welcome addition, considering its price. The leash is 6” long and has light-reflecting threadings, for safe walks in the evenings. You can also wash it, just like the harness, because it’s made of the very same sturdy nylon cloth.
A Few Words About Weight Pulling
Weight pulling is a dog sport, where competitors aim to move a weight over a specific distance at the designated time. The competition may take place on any of the terrains: grass, dirt, gravel or snow. One of the earliest mentions in literature appears in Jack London’s story ‘The Call of the Wild’. The forty-niners there made bets on whose team of dogs would be the first to pull out the sled frozen in the ice. Nowadays, weight-pulling is performed to train dog’s muscles, endurance, and improve a vascular system. Pulling requires a special harness which is usually custom-made to decrease any chance of injury and to evenly spread the load on a dog's body. To put it simply, it's almost like a weight-lifting competition by dogs and so it can be very stressful. However, such training is very often recommended for sled dogs and bull breeds to keep them fit and healthy.
More Products to Consider
Weight pulling requires a well-trained dog. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s no other way to train and control a dog other than with a shock collar. If you need one, take a look at Remote-Controlled Collar by PetTech with a lifetime warranty. It can be used with two dogs simultaneously, has a great working range, 4 modes and customizable intensity level from 1 to 100.
PetSafe Reflective Easy Walk
Forget About Dog Pulling
You can often hear from dog owners how hard it is to control their little devils, while they are still growing up. With this dog harness by PetSafe, you will quickly teach your four-legged friend to stop pulling the leash all the time. This is possible due to a frontal clip because it’s simply hard for a dog to run when it’s pulled away from below their neck. Get this harness and you will quickly correlate its habits and running direction with minimal effort. This walk harness features four slip rings to perfectly adjust it on a dog. The plastic straps are used to quickly unbuckle it.
The bottom strap comes in different colors, which turned out to be a smart solution. Knowing that upper part should have bright color makes wearing it right easier. The over-the-shoulders strap can be adjusted to be a little longer than the bottom so as to make it sit more comfortably on your dog. All the colors are at the same cost. However, the price may vary a bit for different sizes. This means, you can pick up a harness, that will suit your dog the best, and then this acquisition will become a graceful life-long accessory for a loved pet.
Become an Idea Partner of PetSafe
PetSafe Company manufactures pets accessories since 1991. It owns such trademarks as SportDOG, Drinkwell, Busy Buddy, Easy Walk, FroliCat, and ScoopFree, that specialize in such products as equipment for training hunting dogs, pet fountains, treat dispensing toys, collars, harnesses, interactive cat toys and self-cleaning litter trays. As if it wasn’t enough, their R&D team tries to implement modern technologies into the products. You can easily share your thoughts about their work by registering on the website. After creating an account you’ll become a full member of their research team, and your opinion will not stay unnoticed.
More Products to Consider
If you own a dog and a car then you know what it means to clear the seats after a trip. The fur is everywhere! In this case, you might like this waterproof Car Seat Cover by FitPetX. It serves as a protection for backseats. However, you can just fold it and cover the front seat whenever you need it.
Harness as Fashion Accessory
So far, we’ve put accent mostly on the usability features in this review, such as D-rings or materials. But this model wins it in terms of style. In our opinion, this Puppia harness will look fabulous on any dog. The key difference here is that the chest part is covered with a wide polyester cloth leaving the holes for neck and legs, somehow reminding briefs or a sleeveless shirt. Just look at a photo and you’ll see it. Soft paddings are breathable, which means that your pet can wear it on hot summer days just as well as on windy evenings. It’s available in different colors, including yellow, pink and even camo! We are sure that you’ll find the perfect match for your puppy from any of 12 patterns. This harness is made of 100% polyester, except for plastic fastener and adjusting slip ring on a lower nylon belt. Of course, there’s a metal D-ring on the back for connecting the leash. It’s washable, but the manufacturer recommends either doing this with your hands or using a delicate cycle.
Choosing the Size
Just as many other harnesses, this one comes in many sizes. For this particular Puppia harness, all you need is to measure the chest girth and the base of dog’s neck. It’s worn through the neck. Then the bottom strap goes around the chest behind front legs and locked with a fastener. That way, the stress load from pulling is spread more evenly on larger surface of the body. Choose the size wisely because the neck part has a fixed diameter.
Stop the Dog From Pulling
Breaking dog's habit of pulling the leash requires training. However, there’s an easy method that works with many dogs.
- Whenever the pet starts pulling you, just stand still and try not to move. If you go after the dog, it’ll start associating that pulling gets what it wants. You may even try walking right the other way.
- After the dog stops or even comes back to you, proceed walking in your initial direction.
- Repeat the first two steps for the whole walks. Remember to be patient. Don’t let the dog have the idea that pulling gets him what he wants.
If you own a large breed, then you might want to fasten the leash to a waist belt. It’s much easier to hold a pulling dog with your waist than with a hand.
More Products to Consider
With the help of 2-in-1 Combo Brush your pet will always look great before, during and after the walk. Use the side with round trips to massage pet’s skin or untangle its fur. The other side is great for removing small debris after a walk or spreading oil or cream.
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