One of the delights of owning a dog is that you can take them out on walks and adventures. When taking your dog out for a walk – you want to make sure the trail is both pleasant and safe.
Breeds large and small, puppies, adults, seniors – they can all benefit from an excellent harness to give them a safe, comfortable walk. A well-designed harness can also help to reduce pulling behaviour as well as help to train them when on their leash.
Combining all of our reviews, research, experience and advice over the years we have judged that the Ruffwear All-Day Adventure Harness is our top-rated harness for 2021.
|RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness, Reflective Padded No Pull Harness, Twilight Grey, Medium||Buy on Amazon|
The Ruffwear front range has featured prominently as our top harness choice for many breeds both large and small. An exceptional walking harness and a great solution as a no-pull dog harness. It’s well designed, adjustable, comfortable and long-lasting. It features a standard back clip lead attachment for normal walking, as well as a secondary front clip for use with a double-ended training leash. Sizes vary depending on the breed, so measure before you order.
- Best Dog Harnesses – Our Top 10 for 2021
- Dog Collar Vs. Dog Harnesses
- Is a Harness better than a Collar?
- Why Choose a Dog Harness?
- Health and Mobility
- Types of Dog Harnesses
- How to Measure your Dog for a Harness
- Tips for Harness Training Your Dog
- Breed Specific Options
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes – and some harnesses suit some breeds more than others. You may have a puppy getting used to being out for the first time.
Your dog may pull on the lead, might chew often, has particular health and mobility concerns or even an escape artist. Or perhaps you’re just looking for something reliable as an alternative to walking on a collar and leash.
Welcome to Collar and Harness Magazine’s collection of the top trending dog harnesses.
Before we begin, you should note that sometimes selecting a dog harness is not as simple as picking one off the shelf. Not all harnesses are made equal, and some are better suited to certain breeds than others.
This article will cover our top ten harness picks for 2021. We will discuss the benefits and limitations of the harnesses, what to look for, and how best to use them. Also covered is the harness types, sizing and measurement as well as offering some tips on harness training.
Best Dog Harnesses – Our Top 10 for 2021
1. 🏆 Ruffwear All Day Adventure Harness
|RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness, Reflective Padded No Pull Harness, Twilight Grey, Medium||Buy on Amazon|
Ruffwear All Day Adventure is a genuinely exceptional make of harness often rated the best front-clip harnesses (if not overall harness) and ideal if you have an adult or puppy with a tendency to pull on their lead.
This harness is filled with features to help walk, train and control your pet in the best way possible.
As the name suggests, this is a harness with back and front clips. There’s an aluminium V-ring hoop at the back (top) of the harness to clip a leash on for everyday walking.
Then there’s an additional reinforced webbing loop at the front (chest).
Why the multiple connection points? The back clip is used as a walking harness. You simply attach a leash and go. If your dog is a happy walker – this is great for keeping them secure.
If they’re a puller, the pressure will be removed from their throats and dispersed across the chest.
The front clip is often used in addition to the back to give better control or training – especially in public.
You can use a double-ended (multipoint) pet leash. A number of these are available such as the Halti training lead.
Attach the leash as standard to the top, then attach the second point to the front which allows you to guide your dog without discomfort.
Comfort is an essential point as some non-pull harnesses tend to pinch the pet’s skin when they pull, which can increase the pulling behaviour as a way of avoiding the discomfort.
There are two side release buckles on the harness as well as four adjustment straps. The All-Day is easy to adjust, resulting in a good snug fit without too much slack for potential escapers.
Both the inside chest and belly area is padded for additional comfort.
Tip: How to put on a harness
Putting on and taking off a standard y-shaped walking harness like the Ruffwear is relatively easy, though may take some training. From our experience, we prefer to place the harness neck over the head then clip behind the front legs. If your dog hates this, and training and patience have not got you very far, other harnesses that do not go over the head are also available.
As with all clipped harnesses be careful not to pinch the skin or fur. We remove by unclipping it then carefully pulling it back over the head, so it inverses.
The material is made from sturdy and lightweight nylon. The woven straps are robust and adapted from mountaineering technology for an extra secure hold.
In addition to the no-pull features, the harness is packed with little extras. Reflective stitching trims are lined along the outside of the harness for better visibility when out walking in darker conditions. There is also a holder for placing ID tags.
Overall this is a very popular training and walking harness.Whether you’re looking for something to train your large dog or a harness for small dogs to go out and about – Ruffwear is an excellent choice for all scenarios.
Often ranked the best-rated pet harness UK, USA and worldwide on many online lists (including several of ours), this is one of the best dog harnesses on the market. This is a well designed, beautifully evolved and highly useful dual clip dog harness for your walking adventures.
2. Julius-K9 162P0 No-Pull PowerHarness
Julius-K9 is one of the best-known harness brands for popularity and great for dogs that pull in the UK and abroad.
Our friend who we often share doggy travels with had previously tried all sorts of harnesses as the Newfoundland grew with mixed success.
Since finding the Julius-K9, she has not had to switch since.
Julius-K9 make very sturdy and attractive harnesses.
Clip the leash to the metal hoop on top.
There is also a large, adjustable handle for controlling your dog and holding them in place.
The handle can also be used for lifting your dog when required, such as when hiking or when mobility is problematic.
The strap on the bottom has a heavy-duty buckle, and the chest-strap has an adjustable hook and loop fastening.
The reflective stripe on the chest strap provides visibility in the dark. The K9 PowerHarness is breathable and can be fitted and removed easily.
The major downside if the PowerHarness is the lack of a chest ring.
These rings are beneficial for large breeds which pull as a double-ended lead can be attached to both front and back for more control. If this is more important – then the slightly more costly yet more advanced RuffWear may be worth considering.
3. Rabbitgoo Dog Walking Harness
|rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness Small, Front Clip Pet Vest Harness with Handle Adjustable Padded...||61,773 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Rabbitgoo not only looks great but is made from high-quality material.
Mesh lining is used on the Rabbitgoo harness with soft padding underneath for comfort.
The material is constructed from breathable nylon.
On the side are two adjustable points: the first, a neck strap, and the front, second strap.
Although useful, we have found these to be a tad rigid in the past.
It is easy to put on and off the harness using the plastic quick release buckle.
The harness includes reflective high visibility stripes to help see your pet when out walking at night.
Like Julius, it also comes with a handle at the top for better control.
This is another example of a dual clip harness. There are two sturdy metal D-rings, one at the back of the harness and one at the front.
The back is for normal walking – attach a lead and away you go. The second is located at the front (chest) of the harness and is designed to act as a no-pull harness.
To achieve this, you would need a double-ended leash such as a HALTI, where clips are at either end. Clip the first end to the front and the other end to the back.
This is designed not only to reduce pulling behaviour but to allow better control and aid with general training of your dog.
4. fiE Range Of Front Side Harness
|fiE FIT INTO EVERYWAY Range Of Front Side No Pull Dog Harness Outdoor Adventure 3M Reflective Pet...||Buy on Amazon|
The fourth most popular is the Fit Into Everyway no pull harness.
People have a lot of love for this harness, and it’s easy to see why. Not only is it crammed with features, but it also looks great too.
It comes with two lead attachments for use with a double-ended lead (like a HALTI leash).
The first is a plastic D-ring on the back and webbing with O-ring on the chest. The top D-ring can be attached to the lead for regular walking.
You additionally attach the second lead clip to the front, thus giving you greater control.
It also helps to reduce the pulling if the dog decides to tug while out walking.
The outer layer is made of a durable, scratch-resistant oxford material while the inner mesh is softly padded, comfortable and lightweight.
The harness also includes 3M reflective strip material for high visibility in dark conditions. In addition to the five sizes mentioned, the harness comes in three colour options; Bold Black, Citrus Orange and Lime Green.
Reviews for the fiE harness are positive although, as with many harnesses, please check the sizings before buying.
5. Company of Animals Non-Pull
Full disclosure – this is not our favourite dog harness.
On the plus side – they are very affordable, probably one of the most reasonably priced no-pull harnesses out there.
They come in three sizes; small, medium and large sizes.
They are designed using elastic webbing and mesh that covers the chest of the dog as well as passed Sherpa sleeves.
This is supposed to be designed for comfort.
This is the major issue with this no-pull dog harness – these types of harnesses need to a) be comfortable b) ease the handling for the owner.
When you get a dog which pulls, they can pull hard.
The Company of Animals Non-Pull Harness uses the ‘squeeze and lift’ theory that tightens on the dog when they pull on the lead.
According to the company, this will ultimately deter the dog from pulling and will return them to normal controlled walking.
Apart from causing discomfort, we’ve never seen a dog with this harness that didn’t pull.
This sort of technique tends to have the opposite effect. Often the dog is trying to get away from the uncomfortable or even painful feeling, thus pulling harder.
We couldn’t bring ourselves to test it out on our dogs beyond the fitting phase.
As a harness for well-behaved dogs, this could be a great and affordable option for owners and walkers. But as a harness designed explicitly for non-pull, the “pinching” effect makes it flawed.
It’s worth noting that Company of Animals brand does create some perfect dog accessories. This includes the excellent HALTI range.
This particular product is just flawed if you have a real puller on your hands.
6. Embark Pets Adventure Dog Harness
|Embark Pets Adventure Dog Harness, Easy On and Off with Front and Back Lead Attachments & Control...||Buy on Amazon|
This is a ‘best of both worlds’ type harness in that it has not only front and back leash attachment points but also a handle at the top.
The material is made of no-rip nylon and anti-chafe padding. It also includes a reflective trim for seeing your dog in low visibility.
A very good choice, particularly as a second harness.
7. UNHO No Pull Harness
|UNHO No Pull Harness Dog Lead Padded Pet Walking Harness Dog Body Vest Comfort Control for Pretty...||Buy on Amazon|
The UNHO dog harness is low cost but is also a fairly limited no-pull harness in features.
It includes a handle at the back to help guide and lift your dog; it does, however, lack an attachment at the front which limits its effectiveness as a no-pull harness.
8. TrueLove Dog Harness
|TrueLove Dog Harness TLH5651 No-pull Reflective Stitching Ensure Night Visibility, Outdoor Adventure...||Buy on Amazon|
A thinner cut than many of its alternatives, but a robust and well made no-pull harness.
The TrueLove has two attachment points for dual-ended leads and a handle at the top for improved control.
This harness comes in various sizes and eleven different colours.
9. SlowTon Seatbelt Set
|SlowTon Dog Car Harness Seatbelt Set, Pet Vest Harness with Safety Seat Belt for Trip and Daily Use...||10,442 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Not technically a walking harness, more a combined set for securing your dog while in the car.
This comfortable harness includes two steel hoops at the back which, when attached to a seatbelt strap can be used to secure your dog into the back seat.
10. LIFEPUL No Pull
|LIFEPUL No Pull Dog Vest Harness - Dog Body Padded Vest - Comfort Control for Large Dogs in Training...||Buy on Amazon|
Possibly not the greatest looking of harnesses – but it’s certainly good value for money.
This harness is relatively basic and does not include a front hoop for double-ended leads – however, it does include a handle for better control of your dog.
Though it’s convenient having a list of trending harnesses – it may be worth going back to basics. We will now discuss the pros, cons and variations of harnesses. This should help with your decision.
Dog Collar Vs. Dog Harnesses
Is a Harness better than a Collar?
Dog collars are a standard staple of most dogs. Although often worn throughout the day (you may want to remove them at night) and have two primary uses.
The first is for the wearing of ID tags which, in addition to being very sensible, are a legal requirement in various countries.
If you have a well-trained dog who is not requiring much training – attaching a lead (or leash) to the collar and going out walking is usually fine.
Unfortunately, the trouble comes when you have a dog that pulls, a dog that needs greater control or indeed a dog you are currently training.
Why Choose a Dog Harness?
An excellent harness is one that fits well, doesn’t cause issues and works for your breed of dog. For example, we have a Great Dane. She’s active, excitable and tends to pull when on her lead.
In this instance, we tend to use the Ruffwear Front Range.
This is an example of a front clip dog harness and is often ranked the number harness for pooches that pull.
This means it had a lead attachment not only at the back but also at the front.
The back attachment is used for general walking, but the front clip is used when she’s pulling, or we’re training her.
For the no-pull harness to work, we require the use of a particular double-ended lead like a HALTI training lead that clips on both attachments.
Other points to consider when choosing the most suited harness for your dog is padding, the shape of the dog, high visibility needs as well as the overall design.
For example, some harnesses that state they are no-pull may put pressure on the dog which can hurt. This can often increase pulling behaviour instead of the desired reduction.
Health and Mobility
Health considerations are also a major factor in selecting a harness over a dog’s collar. Some breeds, for example, have concerns around their airways and throats. Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS), Bronchitis and Tracheal Collapse are common in some breeds. These issues can be made worse when your dog pulls on a collar, causing damage to the dog’s throat.
Other breeds can also suffer from mobility conditions such as hip dysplasia and arthritis as well as general injury and movement restrictions in old age.
The shape of some dogs also differs dramatically. Some dog’s walk low to the ground, others are tall – some are rounder while others are deep-chested dog breeds.
A soundly designed harness can help with a number of these conditions and considerations, whether it’s moving pressure from their throat or enabling you to help them over objects.
Types of Dog Harnesses
When looking for a dog harness, you will find there are lots of different options available. Some of the main types are below.
- Dog Walking Vest Harness. These are standard harnesses designed for general wear on well-trained dogs. They do not offer any advanced features – but are comfortable and great for dogs which do not pull. They may be a vest or a step in dog harness. Usually soft and can be made of cotton, nylon or mesh. A mesh dog harness is the most common material as they are lightweight and breathable.
- No-Pull Front and Back Clip Dog Harness. These have already been covered in this article and are generally the most recommended harnesses. They’re both secure and excellent harnesses for training and control when out walking. They can be a front clip harness, back clip or a combination of both.
- Head Halter. A Head Halter, Halter or Head Collar offer more control of your dog if they are trying on a leash.
- Leather Dog Harness. Though stylish, there are also practical leather harnesses designed for pulling. More information is available here.
How to Measure your Dog for a Harness
We’ve written another sizeable article on the proper way to measure and fit your dog for a harness. A quick summary is below.
- Measure around the widest point of your dog’s chest. Take a tape measure and then find the fullest part. As a guide, this is usually a couple of inches, or the width of four fingers, behind the dog’s front legs.
Add Two Inches
- Dogs grow in size and weight, so it’s recommended to add a few inches to the harness for growth. However, not enough for them to be able to escape. Often referred to as the “two fingers” approach to measuring. Also, remember you can always tighten the buckles a little for that perfect fit.
Measure the dog’s neck circumference
- Not all harnesses need this as the head does not go through them. However, it becomes an essential factor for some breeds of dog such as Greyhounds and Lurchers. Their necks and chest are slightly different from what is expected for general harnesses.
Also: Get your dog’s weight
- You might have this from a previous vet visit. If not, you’re unlikely to get your dog to stand on your bathroom scales. So, how do you weigh your dog? Providing you’re strong enough, and it’s safe to do so, lift your dog up and then stand on the scales. Write down the weight, then stand alone on the scales. The difference is the exact weight of your dog.
You should now be able to compare your results next to the manufacturers sizing chart. If you find that your measurements land between two sizes, it’s recommended choosing the larger of the two sizes and using adjustment straps to tighten.
Tips for Harness Training Your Dog
- In our experience, we found that Y-shaped harnesses work best on all types of dogs. However, if your dog either dislikes them or is not a puller – you could go for a lightweight vest harness.
- If you have a puppy or adult dog that pulls on their lead, look for a harness help you overcome the issue. Unfortunately, this may require some trial-and-error in addition to training and patience. We’ve found best results with Y-shaped harnesses with a back and front clip paired with a double-ended lead would be best.
- Avoid harnesses and collars that can cause your dog pain. These are not just prong and shock collars; some harnesses may look harmless but are designed to pinch and constrict your dog to stop them pulling.
- Though most harnesses are measured in inches – it’s worth noting their size in both centimetres and inches – this will make it easier establishing the correct size.
- If your dog has a long-haired coat – you should take this into account when considering harness sizes. when figuring out the size. This may seem like a non-issue, but depending on the length of their coat, there could well be a need for a different size of dog harness. Most dog owners wouldn’t want their pet’s beautiful coat to be squeezed in by a harness that is too tight.
- Similarly, if they have longer hair – be mindful of not pulling any hairs when putting the harness on and off, or when walking around. This can cause negative associations with either the harness or even walking in general.
- Many harnesses are put on over a dog’s head. This may not agree with all dogs, so be prepared to spend some time teaching them that the harness is a positive thing. Ideally, teach your dog to put their head through the harness by themselves. This gives them control over the frightening stimulus and they will soon (hopefully)learn to love it.
- As mentioned, leads attached to dog harness with a front-clip can be frightening to some dogs. Whatever the reason for it, be mindful of that, and adjust the leash to the side or look for a harness with a side clip.
- If the harness uses velcro, remember this can also be frightening – so introduce it gradually.
- Try training your puppy at home before you take them out walking on the street. The more they can learn from a safe environment, the easier it will be to teach them outdoors.
- One exercise you can try is to stop, start when your dog pulls on their leash. When they pull, stop walking and wait patiently for them to calm down. Then start walking again. Keep repeating this.
Breed Specific Options
Most breeds of dog do not have specific harnesses. However, some are better suited than others. Before you choose a harness, you may want to check out a few of our collections for some breeds to give you an idea. We’ll be adding more over time.[/vc_column_text]
That’s it for our curated list of the best dog harness in 2021. Remember – these numbers are based on sales, reviews (external and by our experts) and popularity.
Though people traditionally associate dog walking with collars, they are not particularly useful for a dog which pulls, training or taking pressure from your dog’s neck.
A well-fitting, comfortable and practical dog harness can aid in bad walking behaviour as well as offering comfort and security for your dog.
Consider your dog’s temperament, physical needs, health and age when deciding on which dog harness is best for them. Make sure you measure them correctly and find that perfect comfortable fit.
If you want to find out more about what makes the perfect harness for your dog – check out the site. Also, don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook. Happy Harnessing!