What is the safest type of harness for a dog?

What is the safest type of harness for a dog?

Hello dog lovers! Are you looking for a safe dog harness to prevent accidents while walking your dog? Buckle up as we delve into the world of dog harnesses!

Regarding safety, front-clip harnesses and no-pull harnesses are generally considered the safest options for active dogs or those that pull because they offer better control and reduce the risk of neck strain by distributing pressure across the body. Additionally, padded harnesses ensure that the dog is comfortable during use, minimizing the risk of skin irritation or injury.

Now, let’s keep those tails wagging as we explore more about what makes a harness a guardian angel for your canine buddy. Trust me, choosing the right harness can be more exciting than sniffing out the last piece of hidden kibble!

What are the styles of dog harnesses?

1. Back-Clip Harness

The leash attaches at the back of the dog over the shoulders. This type is very common and comfortable for many dogs, making it easy to use.

  • Best For: Calm breeds that do not have a tendency to pull and are already leash-trained. Ideal for small to medium breeds with gentle dispositions, such as:
    • Maltese
    • Bichon Frise
    • Shih Tzu
No Pull Dog Harness

2. Front-Clip Harness

The leash attaches on the chest area. This design helps in steering the dog and provides more control over the direction the dog is moving, which is particularly useful for dogs that tend to pull.

  • Best For: Breeds known for pulling or those in need of better leash manners during walks. Great for medium to large breeds, including:
    • Labrador Retrievers
    • Golden Retrievers
    • German Shepherds

3. Dual-Clip Harness

Features two attachment points, one on the back and one on the chest. This offers versatility based on the dog’s needs and the training situation.

  • Best For: Versatile option suitable for dogs at various stages of training, from leash training to experienced walkers. Good for almost any breed, particularly:
    • Boxers
    • Australian Shepherds
    • Border Collies

4. No-Pull Harness

Often equipped with a front-clip but also specially designed to tighten slightly around the chest when the dog pulls. This provides a gentle discouragement against pulling.

  • Best For: Strong and large breeds that are prone to pulling and require more control to manage, such as:
    • Pit Bull Terriers
    • Huskies
    • Rottweilers

5. Step-In Harness

As the name suggests, the dog steps into the harness, which then buckles up at the back.

  • Best For: Small and older dogs who may find overhead harnesses uncomfortable or challenging to put on, including:
    • Chihuahua
    • Yorkshire Terrier
    • Pomeranian
Reflective Dog Leash

6. Padded Harness

Features additional padding to provide extra comfort and prevent injury, particularly useful for dogs with sensitive skin or thin coats.

  • Best For: Active dogs involved in vigorous exercise or sports, and breeds with thin coats or sensitive skin, such as:
    • Greyhounds
    • Whippets
    • Vizslas
cat&small dog harness

7. Tactical Harness

Built for durability and utility, often used by working dogs. Includes heavy-duty materials and sometimes storage options.

  • Best For: Working breeds and dogs involved in service, rescue, or outdoor activities, suitable for:
    • German Shepherds (working lines)
    • Belgian Malinois
    • Doberman Pinschers
Tactical Dog Harness

Why is it that they are considered the safest option?

Front-clip harnesses and no-pull harnesses are often considered the safest options for dog walking due to their design features that enhance control and discourage undesirable behaviors like pulling. Here’s why these types of harnesses are particularly valued for safety and training:

1. Front-Clip Harnesses

  • Control and Steering: The leash attachment point on a front-clip harness is located on the dog’s chest. This strategic placement gives the walker better control over the direction the dog is moving. When a dog tries to pull, the design of the harness redirects the dog towards the handler. This redirection makes it easier to guide the dog and correct its course without using excessive force or causing strain.
  • Discourages Pulling: Because pulling results in the dog being turned around rather than moving forward, it naturally discourages the behavior. Dogs learn that pulling does not achieve their desired outcome of moving forward and thus are more likely to reduce this behavior over time.
  • Minimizes Strain: Front-clip harnesses help minimize strain on the dog’s neck and back. Traditional collars or back-clip harnesses can put pressure on the dog’s throat and spine, especially when the dog pulls, which can lead to injury or discomfort. Front-clip harnesses distribute the force of the pull across the chest, a sturdier area, reducing potential harm.

2. No-Pull Harnesses

  • Behavioral Training Aid: No-pull harnesses are designed specifically to discourage pulling. Many models tighten slightly around the dog’s chest or redirect the pulling force as the dog pulls, which is uncomfortable for the dog and encourages them to stop pulling. This feature is particularly useful for training dogs to walk calmly beside their handler.
  • Safety for Both Parties: By reducing the dog’s ability to pull forcefully, no-pull harnesses increase safety for both the dog and the handler. For the handler, it means less risk of being pulled over or losing control of a strong dog. For the dog, it means less risk of neck injuries and more controlled, enjoyable walks.
  • Versatile Training Tool: These harnesses are beneficial for dogs at various stages of leash training, from puppies learning to walk on a leash to adult dogs who have developed pulling habits. They provide a non-punitive method of correcting behavior, which is preferable to methods that cause pain or fear.

Overall Benefits

Both front-clip and no-pull harnesses focus on providing control without discomfort or harm. They leverage the dog’s body mechanics to encourage better behavior, making walks more pleasant and safer. These harnesses are also beneficial for handlers who may have less physical strength relative to their dog, such as children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities, because they reduce the effort required to manage a dog’s movement.

How to measure my dog to put on a dog harness?

1. Gather Your Tools

You will need a flexible measuring tape. If you don’t have one, you can use a piece of string or ribbon and then measure it against a ruler or metal tape measure.

2. Measure the Neck Circumference

  • Place the measuring tape around the base of your dog’s neck where the collar would sit.
  • Ensure the tape is snug but not tight; you should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between the tape and your dog’s neck.
  • This measurement is important for harnesses that slip over the head.

3. Measure the Chest Girth

  • Find the broadest part of your dog’s chest, which is usually a few inches behind the front legs.
  • Wrap the measuring tape around this part of the chest. Make sure the tape passes over the back and under the belly, coming back up to where you started.
  • Again, ensure the tape is snug but not tight. The “two-finger rule” applies here as well.

4. Measure the Length of the Back

  • Although not always necessary, some harnesses may require the length of the back. Measure from the base of the neck (where the collar sits) to the base of the tail.
  • This measurement can be helpful for more comprehensive harnesses or those designed for specific activities like hiking.

5. Check the Manufacturer’s Size Chart

  • Each harness manufacturer may have a slightly different sizing chart. It’s crucial to compare your dog’s measurements to the specific size chart for the harness you are considering.
  • If your dog falls between sizes, it’s usually safest to choose the larger size and adjust the harness for a snug fit.

6. Consider the Fit for Specific Breeds

  • Some breeds have unique body shapes that might require special consideration (e.g., greyhounds with a deep chest, bulldogs with a broader chest relative to their neck).
  • You may want to consult with the manufacturer or read reviews from other owners of similar breeds to see if a particular style or brand fits better.

7. Fitting the Harness

  • Once you receive the harness, adjust it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Check the fit before each walk, as straps can loosen over time.
  • Ensure the harness does not rub or chafe by checking regularly under the straps and around the edges, especially after longer walks or activities.

Choosing the safest harness involves considering your dog’s specific needs, behaviors, and comfort. It’s often beneficial to try different types before settling on the one that works best for your pet.

QQPETS is the leading wholesale dog harness manufacturer of adjustable harnesses for dogs and other items that people may use when walking their dogs. Our goal is to make dog walking easy for pet owners by providing valuable accessories. We offer a variety of customization services including custom logos, custom graphics, custom products and more. If you want to start your dog products business, check out our website and contact us today.

FAQ about safety dog harness

1. What dog harnesses do vets recommend?

Veterinarians typically recommend harnesses that distribute pressure evenly across the dog’s chest and back rather than the neck, especially for dogs with breathing issues, neck injuries, or prone to tracheal collapse. Padded harnesses are often suggested because they offer additional comfort and prevent the harness from rubbing against the dog’s skin. Front-clip harnesses are also frequently recommended for their effectiveness in training against pulling and providing better control during walks.

2. What type of harness is better for dogs?

The best type of harness for a dog depends largely on the specific needs of the dog:

  • For general use and ease of training, front-clip harnesses are considered better because they help manage pulling by redirecting the dog’s motion towards the handler.
  • For dogs with sensitive skins or those who require extra comfort, a padded harness can be ideal.
  • For active dogs that engage in a variety of outdoor activities, a dual-clip harness offers versatility, allowing the owner to switch between a front clip (for walking) and a back clip (for running or jogging).

3. What is the best type of harness for a dog that pulls?

For dogs that tend to pull, the no-pull harness is generally considered the best option. These harnesses typically have a front-leash attachment that gently steers the dog to the side and redirects their attention towards the owner when they pull. This mechanism discourages pulling and helps train the dog to walk calmly beside their owner. They can also feature tightening mechanisms that apply gentle pressure when the dog pulls, which further discourages this behavior.


Article by

Kyra Luo

Product Design Manager

Kyra is the Product Design Manager at QQPETS, where her expertise in developing high-quality, customized pet products and keen insight into market trends has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals, save money, and satisfy consumer needs.

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Kyra Luo

Product Design Manager

Kyra is the Product Design Manager at QQPETS, where her expertise in developing high-quality, customized pet products and keen insight into market trends has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals, save money, and satisfy consumer needs.

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