In this article, we will look at dog harnesses for Boxers, why you should consider one, how to measure the harness as well as cover our top six picks for your canine.
- Boxer Dog Harnesses: Summary Table
- Dog Collar or Harness for a Boxer?
- What To Look For In A Boxer Dog Harness
- How To Measure your Boxer for a Harness
- Our 6 Best Boxer Dog Harnesses
Rated around the top ten most popular breed in the USA (and 6th in the UK), the short-haired, medium-sized Boxers is originally bred from the Old English Bulldog. I grew up around the Boxer breed. My Aunt had a Boxer named “Bruno” which, although loud, grumpy and snarly at times, was adorable and friendly. They are described as loyal, intelligent, playful and can be rather protective when strangers are near.
Boxer Dog Harnesses: Summary Table
|Position||Harness||Online Rating||Available Online|
|1||🏆 Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness||Buy on Amazon|
|2||Julius-K9 16IDC P2+ IDC PowerHarness with Security Lock||Buy on Amazon|
|3||2 Hounds Design Freedom No-Pull Dog Harness||Buy on Amazon|
|4||Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Harness [USA]||Buy on Amazon|
|5||Sturdy Dog Harness for Boxers||Buy on Amazon|
|6||PetSafe, Easy Walk Deluxe Dog Harness||Buy on Amazon|
Dog Collar or Harness for a Boxer?
Like the Bulldog and Pug, Boxers are a brachycephalic breed – meaning the have short noses which can restrict their airways and cause breathing problems. Although a collar works well on well-behaved dogs and those trained to walk on their lead, Boxers who have a tendency to pull on the lead may not have a great time on a collar.
In addition to breathing considerations, dogs which are strong and have a tendency to pull on the lead are at risk of neck and throat injury.
A lot of dog owners tend to use collars for general use and for keeping the dog’s ID tags. For walking and outdoor activity, a harness is often a great way not only to avoid injury to your dog but to help with training to reduce or extinguish pulling behaviour.
What To Look For In A Boxer Dog Harness
With a Boxer’s intelligence and playfulness they can be a bit of a handful walking both as a puppy and adult. It is important to find a harness that not only works for their behaviour and temperament but for their personality.
You may get lucky the first time, but be aware that like collars, harnesses are not natural to a dog. They may resist them at first – or perhaps with some completely. Firstly, be patient – it may just take some time and you may need to coax your Boxer into wearing it.
If this doesn’t work then a different style of the harness may work better. For example, some dog’s don’t like an over-the-head style harness so a step-in harness may work better.
With the importance placed on the Boxers airways, neck and mobility you should look for a harness that is comfortable and doesn’t put a strain on your dog but also keeps its practical purpose. Many people choose a harness because of pulling behaviour, however, this is not the only reason. Even if your dog is well behaved on a lead, a harness is still a great choice for walking.
How To Measure your Boxer for a Harness
It is important to find the right dog harness for your Boxer and one that will fit snugly. If it’s too tight, it could cause discomfort and limit the movements of your dog. If the harness is too loose it could sag or your Boxer could escape from it.
Boxers are also prone to hip dysplasia so it is important to offer them the support they need (you may also want to check out support and rehabilitation harnesses if your Boxer suffers from this and other mobility problems).
For this article, we have based the harnesses around the medium mark on the sizing charts. If you find your Boxer measures between two different harness sizes (e.g. medium and large) we suggest going for the larger of the two and using the adjustment straps for a better fit.
We have a complete guide to measuring your Boxer for a dog harness here, however here’s a quick summary. Firstly, measure the widest part of the chest with a tape measure. This is usually a few inches, or roughly four fingers, distance from behind your Boxers front legs. Next, add a few inches to your total. This gives your dog a little bit of flexibility and will also allow for a small amount of weight gain.
Secondly, you should measure the circumference of your Boxers neck if required. This is often for harnesses which go over the dog’s neck. Finally, again if necessary, weigh your dog. We do this every time we visit the vet and keep a note of it. It probably won’t feature in any sizing charts – but if you are seeking a second opinion or advice, it may be asked as an indication of the dog’s strength when they pull.
Our 6 Best Boxer Dog Harnesses
1. Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness
|Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness, Grey (Twilight Grey), M||366 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
This is a Front Range harness with two lead attachment points. This design allows the owner to use the harness for normal walking as well as for training and pulling when required. Walking uses a strong aluminium V-ring at the top (back) of the harness. A leash can then be attached as usual and away you go.
If you are having issues with your Boxer pulling or require more control, a second reinforced webbing loop is located on the chest (front clip). To use this requires a special type of leash called a training lead. Leads such as the HALTI are double ended, this means they have two attachment clips. The lead can either be used as a normal leash with the other end clipped to the lead to create a handle. Alternatively, the two ends can be attached to the front and back points on the Ruffwear dog harness.
With this arrangement you will then be able to better control your Boxer, guiding them as you would a horse with reins. It also evens the pressure to both the front and back of the pulling dog, allowing you better control and a better way of training.
Both the chest and belly areas are padded for comfort and to reduce pressure when tugging. For a good fit, there are four adjustment straps, two at the shoulder and two at the belly. The harness is made of high-quality nylon and reflective trims are on the outer layer for better visibility at night. There is also a handy pocket for ID tags.
The Ruffwear is a good no-pull harness which we have had a lot of success with. The flexibility to use it for training, pulling and walking makes it ideal for a Boxer’s temperament.
2. Julius-K9 16IDC P2+ IDC PowerHarness with Security Lock
|Julius-K9 16IDC P2+ IDC PowerHarness with Security Lock for Dogs, Size 2, Black||38 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
If your Boxer is a real puller on the leash and step-in harnesses have not worked well, the very strong and durable reinforced Julius-K9 is one dog harness worth considering. Generally, we see Julius-K9 harnesses in the UK with mainly large dogs and those with strength.
They are not front range harnesses, like the Ruffwear, but rather designed as a back range harness with an emphasis on heavy-duty strength when your Boxer is pulling.
A lot of owners have seen real success with a Julius-K9. It has fared well with the strength of their dog’s pulling habits and many dog’s have taken well to it.
The heavy duty buckles are extra strong and can take a huge amount of pressure. The steel ring at the top of the Julius-K9 is for attaching a leash.
The closable handle at the top is one of the key benefits of the Julius-K9. It can be fixed down (as can the steel ring) when not needed so it doesn’t get caught or snagged on anything. The handle is useful for holding your Boxer in place or for aiding with lifting.
The harness also has reflective trims and a protective strap on the chest area for increased visibility at night. Finally, perhaps the most distinct part of the harnesses are the phosphorescent, interchangeable patches. These police dog harness style patches come with the Julius-K9 logo by default – but you can find lots of alternative wording online – or even make your own bespoke patches.
If you’re looking for an easy harness to fit that is both comfortable and strong, this could be a great choice for your Boxer. The handle can certainly help – when we use it, it’s often to hold a dog in place when another dog/person is nearby we don’t want them interacting with.
3. Two Hounds Design Freedom No-Pull Dog Harness
|2 Hounds Design Freedom No-Pull Dog Harness with Leash, Medium, 1-Inch Wide, Teal||Buy on Amazon|
The 2 Hounds Freedom No-Pull Harness is designed to eliminate pulling behaviour in your dog. Strikingly different from the previous two dog harnesses in this article, this is often recommended by trainers for helping greatly with control and training.
The comfortable soft Swiss velvet lining fits behind your Boxers leg and should not chafe, even when they pull. The harness uses a martingale loop at the back (top) of the harness which will tighten when the dog pulls. Though this may help greatly, you may want to get advice before using it as it’s not recommended for inexperienced dog owners.
The harness has four points of adjustment (straps) for a better fit. This is another example of a front range harness when used with a double-ended lead like a HATLI. The top attachment point for walking, the front for more control – similar to that of horse reins.
There are a few different ways of using this harness and it comes with a handy guide to help. It’s a great harness, but you may consider this when other anti-pull harnesses have not worked well.
4. Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Harness [USA]
|Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Harness with Quick Release Buckles, Easy Harness for Active Dogs, Medium||12 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
A more inexpensive option for your dog, the Kurgo harness is a front range harness which includes a dog seatbelt attachment and a lifetime warranty. A lot of love went into designing these harnesses and there’s an interesting back story to their design you may want to check out.
It’s an easy harness to put on, is sturdy and has plenty of padding for your dog. This is a good harness to consider if looking for a more affordable front range harness than the Ruffwear.
5. Sturdy Dog Harness for Boxers
|Dog Vest Harness Padded Adjustable Heavy Duty Attachment Links Strong Dog Harness Step in Dog...||Buy on Amazon|
This is another dog harness for Boxers that owners recommend when requiring extra strength and an alternative to the Julius-K9.
6. PetSafe, Easy Walk Deluxe Dog Harness
|PetSafe, Easy Walk Deluxe Harness,Medium/Large, Ocean Blue,, 1.8 metre leash, No pull, Training,...||112 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
The PetSafe is an almost hybrid between a collar and a harness. Designed for dog’s who pull, this harness has a single leash attachment point at the front. The Martingale Chest Loop reacts to your dog’s pulling behaviour, placing slight pressure on the chest. There are also four adjustment points on the harness for a better fit.
Results of this harness are mixed, we wouldn’t suggest this as your first attempt dog harness. Possibly another option if you have had no luck with other harness types or you have sought expert advice on handling and controlling your dog. You may also find these a little hit and miss when fitting them for your Boxer – but they do come with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
We hope you found this article useful in selecting the best dog harness for your Boxer. With their intellect, strength and boundless curiosity it can take a little time to train your Boxer to behave well on the lead. Finding a harness which works well for your dog and they can adjust to is important – but as with all training – adopt a little patience and you will get great results.
If you have other suggestions or experience of any of the harnesses in this Boxer article, don’t forget to comment below or start a conversation on our Facebook page.