Dog Harnesses Buyers Guide

When you start your search for a dog harness you’ll need to have a clear understanding of both the needs of yourself and your dog. For example, some harnesses come with a dog grooming table, but if you already have a table at home you’ll probably need to search for a harness that comes as a stand alone product.

Other points that you need to take into account include:

  • Size of your dog
  • Material used in the harness
  • Ease of use
  • Length of restraint
Dog harness on border collie

Harnesses come in various shapes and sizes, so before you consider even beginning your search make sure that you are fully aware of the size of your dog and what type of harness they will require. If you aren’t quite sure how to measure your dog correctly, any vet or local pet store should be able to help you out.

Dog Grooming Harnesses

dog grooming harness

There are countless different reasons that a dog owner may consider investing in a dog grooming harness. Most commonly, if you have an excitable dog and you are struggling to get them to remain standing whilst you are trying to trim and shampoo them them, a dog grooming harness is exactly what you need.

Other uses of dog grooming harnesses are to stop smaller dogs sliding off grooming tables, giving the groomer access to both their hands at all times, preventing larger dogs from pulling and to ultimately making various dog grooming tasks much more straightforward.

No-Sit Haunch Holder Dog Grooming Harness

The 'No-Sit Haunch Holder' is ideal if you are searching for an adjustable dog grooming harness to fit a small to medium sized dog. Squeeze and slide adjustment tabs ensure that you can fit the harness around your dog with ease so it should never take more than a few seconds to get everything in place.

grooming restraint

Owners of this product have given it rave reviews and it has received 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with the majority of reviewers leaving five star feedback.

Please note that this product ranges from 17 inches to 21 inches. If the size of your dog falls outside this bracket it is worth considering an alternative harness. Furthermore, the product doesn’t come with a grooming arm. If you already have a grooming table that has an arm as standard, this harness should fit to it with relative ease.

TP18240 Nylon Table Dog Harness

If you groom dogs on a table, this dog grooming harness is the ideal solution to ensure that your feline friend remains standing and enables you to complete your work as easily as possible.

nylon harness

Even if you don’t have a dog grooming table, some reviewers on Amazon have said that they simply hung the harness from the top draws in a cabinet in their living room, so the harness really is compatible with a range of equipment, though we do suggest you invest in a dog grooming table to make your life easier.

The woven burgundy-trimmed green nylon harness features two loops: one for the neck and one for the hindquarters, which adjusts from 27 inches to 34 inches.

The TP18240 Nylon Table Harness fits small to large dogs and has received an average of four out of five stars on Amazon from reviewers.

WOSS Dog Groomers Harness System

The WOSS groomers harness system is easy to install, compatible with most grooming arms and is the perfect dog grooming harness for anyone who wants to try their hand at a spot of DIY dog grooming.

groomers hook up cross system

The system is perfect for small or large dogs and is designed to keep their necks in one position, making it much easier to carry out those grooming duties.

The main selling point has to be the price, it’s a fraction of the cost of many other dog grooming harnesses on the market, but WOSS haven’t compromised on quality. Again, the majority of customer feedback has mentioned the high quality and durable materials that are used, so you can expect that this is a product that should last the test of time.

The no sit haunch holder also has safety as its highest priority. All cables are appropriately fitted with durable covering so that your dog’s neck and abdominal area are always protected.

Harness for Small Dogs

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.

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.

dog running in harness

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:

Truelove Front Range Harness

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.

Harness 1

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!

Lanyar Padded Reflective Harness

Harness 2

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.

Blueberry Pet Classic Harness

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.

Harnesses for Medium Dogs 

Rabbitgoo Adjustable Reflective Dog Harness

This harness is perfect for any medium sized dog, especially if it has a bit of growing to do or is an unconventional shape. This is because of the adjustable straps which slide to fit the shape of the chest.

Lots of Rabitgoo customers say the harness is comfy on their pet thanks to its lightweight mesh and sponge padding around the chest and belly.

Rabbitgoo Adjustable Reflective Dog Harness

Not only that, but this harness is a head turner – with its bright colouring it looks fantastic. It’s not just all show, however, as the making of the product is solid too.

Pet owners turn to the Rabitgoo for controlling their pooch’s pulling – the two lead attachment points at the front and back mean your dog is unable to pull as they turn to the side, giving you more control.

If it’s a stylish yet strong and sturdy harness you’re looking for, the Rabitgoo has you covered.

No-Pull Padded Adjustable Dog Training Walking Harness Vest by Gankarii

This harness proves to be reliable and long lasting for those who have bought it.

The whole design is heavy duty so you can be assured your pup is secure.

A great feature about this harness is the design – it doesn’t come down all the way to the legs so it can’t rub them – all round, pooches seem nice and comfortable in the Gankarii vest.

The only downside is the sizing – it has been said that it comes up big, so people have suggested buying a size down just in case. It is adjustable however, so make sure to get your dog’s measurements before you buy to select the right one.

As the harness is so secure, it also helps with pulling, a great feature if you need to have a bit more control when you’re out and about.

Puppia Soft Harnes

If it’s style you want, look no further than the Puppia. This is the type of harness you see dogs in films walked in. What’s more, they come in every colour plus camo – it’s pure pooch accessory heaven mixed with practicality.

The recommended breeds for a size medium in this harness are shitzus, King Charles Cavaliers, Lhasa Apsos and pugs.

Puppia Soft Harness in Medium

A huge amount of pet owners have set that the Puppia is snug, comfortable and soft on their dogs but sturdy enough to withstand pulling.

A feature noted by many who have used the harness is that because of its material, it’s really easy to wash and dry quickly.

It’s everything you need in a harness plus the style, and for £25, we think it’s a great price.

Harnesses for Large Dogs

If you have a big dog you’ll know the importance of making sure they’re well secured when you leave your home.

Harnesses are the best way to stop your dog from pulling and reduce the risk of injury around the neck. A decent harness will give you more control and spread the force around its chest rather than just the neck.

FiE Fit into Everyway Dog Harness

The FiE Fit Into Everyway Dog Harness in size large s a bargain at under £20, and has everything you need from reflective bands to a sturdy handle.

Users have rated the harness for its sturdiness and quality, as well as the brightness in colour and easiness to wash.

One point users noted was that the two leash attachment points came in very handy, which gave different levels of control for the dog.

The harness is easy to put on and tends to be a good fit for every size and shape of big dog. You’ll find that the FiE Fit Into Everyday Harness allows your dog to move around freely and comfortably – what every owner and their sidekick wants to hear.

Ancol Pure Dog Listeners 

This harness for big dogs claims to be a revolutionary walking aid to train a dog which likes to pull, helping to break its habits.

One of the handiest parts of this product is the information DVD that comes with it showing you how to use the lead effectively to minimize the amount of pulling your dog might try and get up to.

Unlike muzzle leads, this harness is a bit kinder to your pooch when restraining them thanks to the minimal strips which wrap around the chest. Lots of pet owners said that walks with their canine friends have become much less stressful too.

The clips above and below the dog on the Ancol harness mean it's easy to put on or take off with no bother, even if the dog is wet and muddy – but a few people have said that at first putting the item on can be a bit confusing. For £15.99, this full package is a bargain and well worth trying out.

Lifepul No Pull Dog Vest Harness

This is quite possibly the most heavy duty harness I’ve come across, but it clearly does the job of making sure your pet stays safe and doesn’t tug you around.

Lifepul No Pull Dog Vest Harness

The D ring is on the top of the harness meaning you can adjust your waist strap conveniently and go off on your run.

For added safety, the sturdy handle on the top means you can safely control your dog when needed, for instance when crossing the road.

Currently on offer for just £15.99, buyers don’t seem to have been let down by this robust, amazing value harness which comes in various sizes.

The design means it’s harder for your dog to pull so rest assured there will be far less tugging and jolting when out on your run, meaning you both have a smooth and pleasant outing.

Dog Harnesses for Running

Many dog owners like the idea of running with their dog – but the logistics of doing so can be a bit tricky. To make the outing as smooth as can be, you need a harness sturdy enough to withstand being attached to both you and your dog and lengthy enough so that you’re not tripping over each other.

Dog Walking Belt by Barkswell

It’s a hands free belt which clips around your waist so you’re not restricted to holding a lead, making your physical activity as natural as it would be if you were solo.

Another great feature is the shock absorbing lead which stretches an extra foot and a half so your dog can stay a good distance from you. Not only that, but it has a built in zipped pouch where you can keep all of your valuables and those much needed poop bags.

When detached, the lead makes for a good strong leash when you’re not out running too.

It’s not just for running that this harness comes in handy – people who have arm or shoulder injuries turn to this Barkswell belt as well as those who have multiple dogs to walk, to hikers who want to reach the peak of a mountain with their four legged friend.

Trixie Waist Belt with Lead

If you’re stuck for choices as to which waist belt to pair with the Lifepul harness, look no further.

The leash and belt are made of hard wearing nylon with extra padding on the back, making it the ideal leash for running, jogging or cross country walking.

C:UsersJonDesktopTrixie_Waist_Belt_with_Lead.png

It’s also got a special lead system – it’s been made to be extra sturdy to help with strain relief and the best feature of course is that you are hands are free.

The lead is extendable so you have plenty of freedom whilst out and about, but some say on its shortest setting it can still be a bit too long - however, it depends on how much distance you want to keep from your pooch.

A lot of people said the belt is nice and comfortable to wear and minimized fuss – just what you want when you’re having to focus on what you’re doing rather than on your dog, who can be free to enjoy the great outdoors with you.

Still not sure? The below are some questions that we frequently get asked.......

What should I measure for dog harnesses?

Harnesses are often sold by the weight of a dog but for a perfect fit it’s recommended you measure your pup too.

You’ll need to know the broadest part of your dog, which is its chest. Use a flexible tape to measure and find the size of the chest just behind the armpits. Make sure it’s not pulled too tight as this can cause rubbing when your dog has its harness on. The neck should be measured too – wrap the tape around the widest part to find out. Combine the measurements and the weight to find the correct harness.

What are dog harnesses used for?

It comes down to personal preference for dog owners as to whether they use a collar or a harness. Harnesses are particularly useful if your dog has any illness or disease of the throat as it takes the strain off of that part of the body and instead secures from the chest. Harnesses are also used for dogs that pull on their leashes, as it relieves the pressure on the neck. Harnesses are recommended for leashed activities especially if you have a pup that gets distracted easily. They can offer a bit more control when walking your dog, too.

Are dog harnesses safe?

Harnesses are generally seen as the safer option because they’re harder for dogs to slip out of and they prevent any pain or damage to the neck area. If they fit right, harnesses are easy to use and are comfortable. It’s less likely the leash is going to tangle under the legs of your pup with a harness too. Tugging on a collar puts extra stress on the windpipe – this is avoided with a harness.

How should dog harnesses should fit?

Start with the harness fairly loose as you put it over or under your dog and tighten once on. A snug fit is essential to stop the harness from slipping around and causing damage, but you don’t want it too tight as this can restrict movement and breathing. As a general rule, you should be able to fit two fingers between your dog and harness at any point. The neck area also has to be snug so as long as you can apply the two finger rule, it will fit ok.

The straps of the harness should clear the front legs so it doesn’t rub under the armpits – but the straps should also not sit too far back on your dog’s ribs, as this could put too much pressure on the organs.

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