LIFESTYLE

Best Dog Harness: A Comfortable Way To Keep Your Dog Under Control

best dog harness
Emily Young
Written by Emily Young

Many dog owners use their dog’s collar to walk him or her. However, dog collars can choke dogs who get excited and pull on their leash. Therefore, more dog owners are starting to purchase harnesses for their dogs. However, how do you find the best dog harness and how do you determine if you even need one?

While you might not think you need a harness for you dog, harnesses are a great investment. They are a practical alternative to collars, as they can prevent choking and provide more support around a dog’s chest. Furthermore, they can be a terrific way to train you dog to walk calmly by your side.

Dog Harness

It is our hope that once you’ve read our guidelines and reviews, you will be able to make an informed decision about purchasing a harness. While you may decide a collar works just fine for you and your dog, hopefully this review will provide a good overview about the possible benefit of a dog harness.

Our top picks

ProductSizeAdjustable StrapsSeatbelt BucklePrice
Ruffwear Front Range Adventure HarnessXx small to x largeFour adjustable straps NoCheck price on Amazon
Kurgo Tru Fit Smart Dog HarnessX small to x largeFive adjustable straps NoCheck price on Amazon
Chai’s Front Range Dog HarnessX small to x largeFour/five adjustable straps YesCheck price on Amazon
Bergan Dog Auto HarnessSmall to x largeTwo adjustable straps YesCheck price on Amazon
ExPawLorer Big Dog HarnessMedium to x largeThree adjustable straps NoCheck price on Amazon
Puppia Dog HarnessesX small to xx largeOne adjustable strapNoCheck price on Amazon
2 Hounds Design Freedom HarnessX small to xx largeFour adjustable straps NoCheck price on Amazon
PetSafe Reflective Dog HarnessN/AFour adjustable straps NoCheck price on Amazon

Things To Consider Before Buying

While you may be eager to get your dog strapped into a harness, don’t rush out and buy the first harness you see. There many harnesses available for purchase and each one is designed differently. Therefore, before you buy a harness there are some features you should learn about so you can buy the harness that fits your dog’s needs.

Size

Checking a harness’ size seems like a no brainer. However, you might be surprised by the amount of people who try to guess their dog’s size. It’s extremely important to find the correct size, as it affects how comfortable your dog will feel while wearing a harness.

Dog Harness Size

You may want to find a harness that is available in at least five sizes. Harness that are available in many sizes are more likely to be more accurate. Therefore, it will be easier to find the size that actually fits your dog.

Remember to look at how a harness’ size is determined. Some harnesses are measured by neck girth, while others are measured by chest girth. Most harness come with a size guide.

Adjustable Straps

While most harnesses have adjustable straps, the number of adjustable straps varies. Generally, if you have a larger dog you will want to find a harness that has adjustable straps near the chest and belly.

Dog Harness Straps

Some harnesses only have adjustable straps around the belly. Be careful when buying one of these harnesses. They tend to run small and you must make sure to correctly measure your dog’s neck girth if you want to get close to buying the right size.

Padding

Many individuals decide to purchase a harness with padding, as they are often more comfortable for dogs to wear. However, not all harness come with padding in the chest, belly, or back. Some harnesses are just chest and belly straps.

Dog Harness Padding

Harness with padded chest plates are worth considering. While they can sometimes be bulky, most of the time they provide extra comfort. They can help prevent uncomfortable pressure from building up around the chest area.

Leash Attachment Points

Leash attachment points are more important than you might think. If you have a dog that likes to pull on his or leash, then you might want to look for a harness that has a least attachment point located on the chest. A chest attachment point allows you to have more control over your dog.

Dog Harness Leash Attachment points

However, you may want to purchase a harness that has another leash attachment point located on the back. If you run with your dog you will want hour harness to have a back attachment point. This way your dog isn’t restricted to your side.

Handles

If you don’t travel with your dog then don’t worry about finding a harness with a handle. However, if you do travel with your dog then a harness with a strong handle on the back is a great idea. Often handles are used to strap your dog into a car’s seat.

Some harness come with leashes specifically for buckling your dog into a seat. Some harnesses have handles that allow you to just loop the car’s seatbelt through it. Unfortunately, not all harnesses have been crash tested. Therefore, try to find a harness that has a reputation for being safe.

Dog Harness With Handle

Reflective Trim

If you don’t walk your dog at night or in poorly lit areas, then a harness with reflective trim may not be important However, many harness are made with some sort of reflective trim and it can be a nice bonus feature. While it may not bathe your dog in light, it could prevent him or her from becoming injured or lost.

Best Products On Today’s Market

If you aren’t sure where to start your search for a harness that’s okay. We have put together a list of the top harness on the market. While you may decide to look elsewhere, the harnesses on this list provides a general idea of the types of harness you should look for.

Ruffwear Front Range Adventure Harness

Size: Xx small to x largeRuffwear - Front Range All-Day

Specific Features: Adjustable harness, padded chest, leash attachment, reflective trim, ID pocket

Best Use: Long walks or hikes; daily use

Active dogs will find the Ruffwear Front Range Adventure Harness to be a comfortable harness that allows them to move around with ease. This harness has four adjustable points, making it easy to loosen or tighten the harness. Furthermore, the padded chest and belly will prevent the harness from painfully rubbing against your dog.

There are two secure leash attachment points on this harness: one on the harness’ back and one on the harness’ chest. The least attachment point located on the chest is an excellent feature for owners who are training their dogs, as it allows owners to have tighter control over their dog.

The Ruffwear Harness is a great harness if you like to walk your dog during the night. This harness has reflective trims that make dogs visible even when it is dark outside. Therefore, it should help decrease the possibility of your dog becoming lost or injured.

Another nice feature is the ID pocket. While tags could be hooked onto the attachment points, the ID pocket allows you to tuck the tags inside the harness, eliminating the risk of them falling off. The pocket is located on the back of the harness, near the dog’s neck.

While this is a great harness, there have been some reports about seams coming apart and leash attachments breaking.

PROS:

  • Multiple adjustable points
  • Reflective trim
  • ID Pocket
 CONS:
  • Weak stitching
  • Breakable leash attachments

Related: Frequently purchased with the Ruffwear Harness is the Ruffwear Flat Out Dog Leash. This leash pairs well with the harness as they are both used by active owners who take their well trained dog on trail runs. We recommend this leash to dog owners who want to run hands free while keeping their dog close.

Check the price on Amazon

Kurgo Tru Fit Smart Dog Harness

Size: X small to x largeKurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness

Specific Features: Five adjustment points, quick release buckets, no pull harness, seatbelt loop

Best Use: Short walks and dog training

The Kurgo Tru Fit Smart Dog Harness is a great option for dog owners who have out of control dogs.  There are multiple features that make it easier for owners to maintain tighter control of puppies in training. For example, there is a halt ring located on the chest plate, which prevents dogs from pulling on the leash.

The harness also comes with a 10 inch training leash. While this leash isn’t for permanent use, it can be used to teach eager pups to calmly walk by your side. Furthermore, the training leash can be used as a seatbelt loop to prevent dogs from moving around in the car. The leash has not been crash tested.

Available in five sizes, this harness can fit around a large variety of dogs. The five adjustment points make it easy to comfortably fit the harness around your dog. It also has quick release buckles, making it easier to put on fidgety and restless dogs.

To increase comfortability, the chest plate has been designed to reduce stress on a dog’s trachea and sternum. Unlike other dog harness, it comes with a lifetime warranty. Customers who receive a harness with manufacturer defects will be provided with a new Kurgo harness.

Unfortunately, customers have experienced quality issues. The quick release buckles have been known to come undone unexpectedly. Inferior stitching has resulted in twisted straps and incorrectly made harnesses.  However, the lifetime warranty should cover these types of defects

PROS:

  • Training leash
  • Adjustable points
  • Lifetime warranty
 CONS:
  • Quality issues
  • Sealtbelt loop is not crash tested

Related: Kurgo also offers an excellent Seatbelt Tether For Dogs. This is an additional item that can help train your out of control dog. The tether will prevent your dog from running around in the car. It’s a great way to teach your dog to sit calmly in his or her’s seat while you drive.

Check the price on Amazon

Chai’s Front Range Dog Harness

Size: X small to x largeChai's Choice Best Front

Specific Features: Scratch resistant material, lightweight buckle, sponge padding, adjustable straps, handle, reflective webbing

Best Use: Casual walks

The Chai’s Front Range Dog Harness allows your dog to look good, as well as feel good. You might worry that a stylish harness sacrifices quality and comfort. However, the Chai Dog Harness has key features that keep the harness sturdy.

For example, the lightweight buckle has a large loading capacity. This allows the harness to feel light, but decreases the chance of material coming apart. Therefore, individuals who own dogs that pull on their harness should not have to worry about the harness breaking.

Furthermore, the harness has adjustable, push then pull straps that allow you to correctly fit the harness around your dog’s frame. There are also two leash points, one located on the back of the harness and one located on the chest. This allows you to increase or decrease leash control.

To ensure comfort, this harness has a soft sponge padding in the chest and belly areas. It also has mesh lining and 3M reflective materials. Therefore, walking your dog at night will be safer. The harness also has a sturdy handle located on the back of the harness. You can loop a seatbelt through this handle to keep your dog restrained in the car.

There are occasional defects and quality issues with this harness. However, the real problem is not the defects. Many customers have negative encounters with Chai’s customer service department when reporting manufacture defects. Customers have also had problems with the “no pull” feature.

PROS:

  • Stylish/many colors offered
  • Two leash points and sturdy handle
  • Soft sponge padding
  • Lightweight
 CONS:
  • Occasional manufacture defects
  • Poor customer service
  • Harness does not prevent pulling

Related:  The Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Leash is frequently purchased with the Chai Harness. The least comes in four different lengths, making it a good option no matter what size dog you have. We recommend this leash for owners who walk their dog mainly at night.

Check the price on Amazon

Bergan Dog Auto Harness

Size: Small to x largeBergan Dog Auto Harness with Tether

Specific Features: Adjustable safety tether, aluminum carabineers

Best Use: Travelling in vehicles

If you are looking for a multi use dog harness, then the Bergan Dog Auto Harness is not for you or your dog. Unlike many harnesses, this harness is specifically designed to keep dogs restrained while travelling in the car. While it can be used to walk your dog, it should mainly be used for safe travels.

Unlike many harnesses, this harness has been crash tested. This means the weight limits of each harness factors in: miles per hour at impact, vehicle crumple factor, harness stretch, and deceleration. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the harness failing to keep your dog safely restrained.

The harness has two adjustable straps located on the back. Therefore, it shouldn’t be difficult to fit the harness around your dog. There is also a double strap handle located on the back to make sure the handle won’t break when if forcibly pulled on. Furthermore, alumni carabiners are provided to hook around the handles to ensure your dog is safely secured.

Unfortunately, this harness isn’t recommended for smaller dogs. While offered in a smaller size, sometimes the small is still too large for some dogs. The harness won’t work properly if it does not fit snuggly.

PROS:

  • Crash tested
  • Safely restrains dogs
  • Double strap handle
  • Aluminum carabineers provided
 CONS:
  • Not multi purpose harness
  • Recommended for larger dogs

Related: If you are taking your dog while driving, the Vastar Adjustable Harness Belt is a good buy. It’s made of high quality nylon fabric and hassle free seatbelt clip design.

Check the price on Amazon

ExPawLorer Big Dog Harness

Size: Medium to x largeBig Dog Soft Reflective No Pull Harness

Specific Features: Reflective strap, padded back, stHassle free seatbelt clip

The ExpawLorer Big Dog Harness is designed differently than other dog harnesses. Unlike many harness, the Expawlorer does not have a padded chest plate. Instead the back of the harness is padded and the straps hook around the chest and belly.

This harness is only available in three sizes, as it is designed for larger dogs. The strap that goes around the dog’s chest does not have a buckle, but both sides of the strap is adjustable. The strap that goes around the dog’s belly has an adjustable buckle.

On the back of the harness there is a handle that can be used to train your dog or to gain control of your dog quickly when necessary. There is also a heavy duty D ring to attach a leash to. Finally, there is a single reflective strip located along the back of the harness, which should make it easier to see your dog when walking at night.

PROS:

  • Easy to gain control in emergency situations
  • Adjustable straps
  • Padded back
 CONS:
  • Only for larger dogs
  • No chest plate
  • No seatbelt harness

Related: We don’t want our dogs to accidentally be aggressive and bit someone. If that’s the case, the Pawise Dog Nylon Muzzle is a good option for its easy to adjust design and light, breathable materials.

Check the price on Amazon

Puppia Dog Harnesses

Size: X small to xx largeDog Harnesses- Puppia

Specific Features: Polyester material, padded neck, adjustable chest belt, quick release buckle

Best Use: Dog walking

Unlike some harnesses, the Puppia Dog Harness is offered in six sizes. However, the only adjustable strap is located near the chest. The neck does not adjust. Therefore, it is important to correctly measure your dog’s neck before purchasing this harness.

Even though this harness looks a bit bulky, your dog should find it comfortable to walk around in. The padded neck opening and the padded chest, decrease the chance of uncomfortable pressure building against your dog’s chest. The polyester material also makes it easy to wash and keep clean.

While this harness is offered in larger sizes, customers have reported that it runs small. Therefore, if you have a larger dog, this harness could feel tight and uncomfortable, especially around the neck. Typically, individuals with smaller dogs find this harness to be suitable.

This harness is recommended for dogs who are known to pull or wiggle out of their collars. Since the neck is not adjustable, it is difficult for dogs to break free from the harness. However, keep in mind the harness will not prevent your dog from pulling.

PROS:

  • Available in six sizes
  • Padded neck and chest
  • Adjustable chest strap
 CONS:
  • Runs small
  • Neck strap is not adjustable
  • Bulky

Related: We recommend purchasing the Puppia Two Tone Lead Leash. The two tone lease is made from the same materials as the harness. There is a nickel plated D ring that attaches to the harness. It comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large.

Check the price on Amazon

2 Hounds Design Freedom Harness

Size: X small to xx large2Hounds Harness

Specific Features: No-pull harness, training leash, training brochure, nylon webbing, reinforced stitching

Best Use: Training dogs to walk calmly

If you have an unruly and hard to control pup, then you should consider purchasing the 2 Hounds Design Freedom Harness. This harness is a great starter harness for training your dog to walk without pulling on their leash. It’s available in several sizes, which makes it a good fit for any size dog.

Unlike many harnesses, this harness does not have any padding. There is no chest plate either. Despite the simple design and lack of padding, the harness should still be comfortable for your dog to wear. The strap is lined with Swiss velvet to prevent chaffing, rubbing, and sores.

There are two attachable leash points, one located on the back of the harness and one located on the chest. The chest point allows you to have more control over your dog’s movements. Once your dog stops pulling on the leash, you can start using the attach point located on the back.

Furthermore, customers can purchase a 3 year or 4 year protection plan. The plan covers broken harnesses and harness that malfunction. It also covers shipping costs for replacement harnesses. Customers are also offered a 30 day refund policy.

PROS:

  • Great for training dogs
  • Adjustable straps
  • Available in several sizes
 CONS:
  • No padding
  • No seatbelt buckle/strap

Related: Want a good treat pouch that you can use while training your dog to walk? The PetSafe Treat Pouch Sport is a great option with its dual sided inner pocket and unique hinge design.

Check the price on Amazon

PetSafe Reflective Dog Harness

Size: Small to largePetSafe Reflective Easy Walk Dog Harness

Specific Features: Four adjustment points, quick snap buckles, belly strap

Best Use: Walking any sized dog

If you are looking for a simple harness that gets the job done, then consider purchasing the PetSafe Reflective Dog Harness. This harness contains no bulky padding or handles. Instead it simply buckles around your dog’s chest and belly.

Unlike other harness, this harness only has one attachable leash point, located at the front of harness. While this point helps prevent your dog from pulling, you will most likely have to walk directly alongside your dog. Therefore, this harness may not be a good option for individuals who exercise with their pet and need the leash to be more relaxed.

However, this harness does have four adjustable strap points. Despite the lack of padding, the adjustable straps should make it easy to comfortable fit the harness around any sized dog. The buckles are quick snap, meaning you don’t have to struggle to get the harness on your dog.

Unfortunately, there have been some reports claiming that the strap can chafe and harm dogs with thinner coats. However, the injuries could have been a result of poorly fitted harnesses.

PROS:

  • Simple design
  • Four adjustable straps
  • Prevent pulling
 CONS:
  • Known to chafe
  • Only one leash attachment point

Related: A good alternative dog harness is the Kurgo Dog Journey Harness. It features a back handle for better control and lifting. It’s really comfortable for your dogs as well.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping It Up

Now that we’ve reached the end of our harness reviews, hopefully you have an idea of the benefits a harness can provide. Despite there being an overwhelming amount of harnesses available for purchase, hopefully these eight reviews have provided you with a reliable insight regarding the types of features reliable harnesses have.

Dog Harness

Even if you prefer using a collar and least, don’t completely disregard harnesses. They provide benefits beyond walking your dog. For example, safely securing your dog into a car seat could prevent him or her from injuring themselves. It can also prevent your dog from distracting you while driving.

Do you have experience with using dog harnesses? Or do you recommend harness not mentioned in this review? Share your thoughts in the section below.

About the author
Emily Young
Emily Young

Emily is originally from China where she graduated from The University of Hong Kong with high distinction learning about fashion and design. During university she opened her own magazine about Dog Fashion as dogs were always in her heart. She was surprised, when she moved to a beautiful British Columbia 10 years ago, to see many great Boutiques with dog's designer clothing and desire of pet owners to make their babies look nice.

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