Dog harnesses have more functions than to simply prevent dogs from pulling. They can be used to: keep control, warm your dog in cold weather, assist you as a mobility device and aid training. With so many options available, each with their own unique functions, choosing the right one can be tricky.
Before you start searching, you should ask yourself if you genuinely need a harness. Pulling is a natural part of the walking process – I'm yet to own a puppy that doesn't tug on the lead! If, however, the harness is for orthopedic care or any other physical condition, you should speak to a vet beforehand and ask for a recommendation.
Make sure you choose a model that's the right size. Too large and it will serve no functional purpose and be easy to wriggle out of; too small and it could place unnecessary strain on your dogs back and shoulders, which could cause rashes, friction burns and even spinal damage. Measure your dog from top to bottom and make sure the product you choose can accommodate its size.
Choosing the wrong harness can significantly affect your dog's health and well-being. Don't take any chances. If in doubt, ask a vet for advice. Most will be able to recommend very specific models based on your dog's age, condition and physicality. If you're looking for a decent all-round dog harness to stop pulling, try the following options:
My little Jack Russell is always excited to walk. Whenever I attach his lead I have to spend 5-10 minutes tugging as he tries to wriggle his way free. While he usually settles down after some time, he tends to pull constantly. This dog harness has two attachment points for extra control and will fit any small dog comfortably. The soft material and spongy edges reduces the chance of rashes and burns, and the high visibility stitching is reflective, which is ideal for night walking.
Overall, I've found that it works much better than other dog harnesses. It's easy to fit and adjust, which makes it more comfortable for him to wear. I noticed the difference immediately. While he still pulls, it's getting less and less strenuous. It's just a matter of time before he'll be able to use a normal lead again. Very happy with my purchase. It's nice to be able to walk side by side, rather than getting pulled along!
One of my clients has a Lakeland Terrior that I often take out for walks. She uses the Lanyar padded harness as it was recommended by a vet. Lakelands are known for being stubborn and my client's dog certainly fits the stereotype! The harness is made from a breathable air-mesh that has reflectors for night walking. The padding is excellent, providing enough protection for vigorous pulling, yet stops the habit at the same time.
My client swears by this harness – and she's a veteran dog owner. It's designed for Chihuahuas, Poodles, Terriers, Yorkies and other similar sized breeds; however, many people also use it for cats as well. The most handy element is that it's machine washable. I've often had to give it a quick blitz due to excessive dog hairs from grooming and it's always come out of the machine looking and feeling like new.
Unlike the first two harnesses, this model is designed for medium sized dogs. While my Husky is quite obedient these days, this harness was a blessing when she was growing up. It may seem a little pricey in comparison to other products, but it's well worth the money. The inner layer is made with a fleece lining as opposed to the traditional polyester. This provides better shoulder and chest support. In addition, it has slide-and-lock tabs that are adjustable.
I would highly recommend the Blueberry Pet Classic Harness if you're looking for something high end. It's extremely sturdy and supportive, making it ideal for wrigglers. Once locked inside, there's no way your dog is getting out! This is often a concern when using a dog harness. It's also available in four different colours: red, orange, green and pink. And matching collars and leashes are also available as an optional extra.