In this article, we will explore the best dog harnesses for Great Danes, how to select the right one and cover our top six harness recommendations for the giant breed.
- Our 6 Best Great Dane Harnesses
- Collar or Harness for a Great Dane?
- Types of Dog Harnesses for a Great Dane
- What to Look for in a Great Dane Harness
- How to Measure your Great Dane for a Harness
- A Good Harness for a Great Dane Puppy?
- Great Dane Dog Harnesses: Summary Table
Before we delve into the world of this very large dog – let us stop for a moment and reflect on the breed.
We have one Great Dane (update: two) and we’ve fostered a few. They’re big dogs, they’re friendly, they’re a bit lazy and they’re strong. Very strong.
If you’ve had any experience of this giant lovable beast you’ll know that if out walking and they pull, they pull. It may not quite be the image of an owner dragged down the street, but it feels like a possibility some days.
A lot of pulling will reduce with good dog training and practice. As well as a solid harness, we also used a training lead and head harness for one of ours. Combined this all helped and she’s now much better behaved whilst on her lead.
Given their strength we’ve focused mainly on Great Dane no-pull harnesses. A lot of these would also apply to many large and XXL breeds.
For more breed specific lists you can check out our Collections area. But, if you have found other types work as well – please comment below.
Our 6 Best Great Dane Harnesses
1. 🏆 Ruffwear All Day Adventure Dog Harness
|Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness, Grey (Twilight Grey), L/XL||439 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
We wrote a much longer review of the Ruffwear Front Range Harness on this site before. It is a reliable dog harness for Great Danes and one we use personally (well our Danes do) daily.
When fostering one of our Danes, he arrived with a fairly basic back-clip harness which was next to useless with a dog his size. All the control came from a flimsy lead clip at the back, and the harness would loosen and (annoyingly) sag to one side.
We instantly noticed the difference when moving him to the Ruffwear Front Range harness.
Ruffwear Front Range Harness has back and front clips. Like many dog harnesses, it has an aluminium V-ring hoop above the harness (on the back) to clip your lead on. This is used for general walking – just pop a lead on the leash attachment and away you go. It’s also fine if your dog is generally well behaved when out in public and is not a puller.
It is the additional reinforced webbing loop on the dog harnesses front that makes the difference.
Why the additional hoop? This allows certain double-ended leads to attach at the base for more control and training. These work with a variety of training leads such as the Halti training lead.
You attach both sides to the two clips when needed. You then clip the front part of the leash back to the lead hoop. It’s simple but very effective.
Our Danes wear these harnesses a lot during the day and also wear a collar. This is mainly for ID tags – especially when the harness is off. It’s simple to put on and take off the dog. Over the head, leg through, round and clip.
The padding is comfortable and it is well proportioned for the Great Danes frame. The reflective stripes at the sides is also a nice touch for seeing our dogs when out walking at night. The harness is easy to clean (handwash) and it’s fairly waterproof (which is helpful).
This is a well-designed harness, comfortable and most importantly ideal for training your dog to not jump at people or pull when on the lead. There are so many reasons we love this harness – but primarily, it has never let us down. It doesn’t sag, break and has served us well over the years.
A popular front and black clip harness - ideal as a no pull harness.
- Great design
- Ideal for Great Danes
- Not ideal sizing for all dogs, but fine for Great Danes
Overall the Ruffware Front Range Harness is a fantastic no pull harness for Great Danes that we’ve used. It helped us with training and now at the age of two, she uses this all the time.
2. Julius-K9 PowerHarness
|Julius-K9 162P3 K9 PowerHarness for Dogs, Size 3, Black||2,649 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Another giant breed dog harness we featured in a full review – the Julius-K9 is a great all-around dog harness, particularly for medium to larger dogs.
The Julius-K9 is a very sturdy, attractive harness. There’s a metal ring on top for lead attachments and a large, adjustable handle for increased control of your dog. The handle on the back can be used for easy grip. It’s possible to lift the dog using this whilst a puppy – but we suspect you’d struggle once they’re fully grown.
The belly strap has a heavy-duty plastic buckle. The chest strap has an adjustable hook and loop fastening. The Chest strap also has a reflective strip to give some high visibility to your Great Dane when out walking at night or in dark conditions. The harness material is breathable and can be fitted and removed easily.
Some dog owners prefer training and walking their dog using a front range, however, if you’re looking for a Great Dane harness with a handle – this would be your best choice.
Because of the control needed especially whilst training, the lack of a front loop just makes it that little bit more difficult. It’s more of the type of harness walkers may use when out in the park and want their dogs on a long lead. This allows them to run around without running off.
A very popular no-pull harness, particularly for Danes and similar breeds.
- Very popular
- Good for Great Danes
- Strong buckles that are easy to clip on and off
- Very sturdy, reliable design
- Waterproof, breathable material
- Not classed as a budget harness - on the upper end of the price scale.
- No chest ring
3. Company of Animals Non-Pull Dog Harness
Two things to note about this Company of Animals harness. They’re very popular and they are inexpensive. And as a harness, they’re not the worst out there by a long shot. However, for a GD – it’s probably not for you unless you’re on a limited budget or are trying out harnesses for the first time.
It’s a non-pull harness, which is – as the name suggests – a harness that reduces pulling. The design uses elastic webbing and mesh which covers your dog’s chest. It’s designed for comfort and on the first view, it appears to be so.
Now, Company of Animals make some amazing harnesses – but allow me to highlight some reservations on this specific product.
Great Danes can pull. And when they pull, they pull hard. The Company of Animals Non-Pull Harness uses the ‘squeeze and lift’ theory. That is, when your dog pulls, the straps tighten.
As these straps are not padded, it has a tendency to pinch – which can hurt the dog. Because it is hurting the dog, the dog tends to pull even harder to get away from the pain. This can actually increase the pull problem.
I’m not a fan of this harness and have struggled to understand why it’s as popular as it is. Given the energy Great Danes can suddenly deliver (zoomies anyone?) – I’d rather use something I had complete confidence in. Saying that perhaps some owners have calm dogs so the pulling isn’t an issue.
It also looks a little on the cheap side. Lack of padding, no finesse. Dogs are not fashion accessories – but at least give them a chance to make a fashion statement.
A popular but ultimately flawed harness for your Great Dane.
- Easy to put on
- Not overly flattering
- Not very effective
- Can pinch if your Dane is a puller
4. Mekuti Balance Dog Harness
Don’t expect anyone falling head over heels over this harness, in more ways than one. The Mekuti Balance Dog Harness is a highly recommended big dog harness by many reputable trainers – albeit not an overly attractive one. The consensus among professionals is that it works wonders in helping you with loose lead training.
Not the prettiest harness - but recommended by many trainers.
- Delivers on its promise
- A range of colours available
- 30 Day Guarantee
- All the straps are adjustable
- Can be somewhat difficult to put on
5. TrueLove Dog Harness
|TrueLove Dog Harness TLH5651 No-pull Reflective Stitching Ensure Night Visibility, Outdoor Adventure...||338 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Definitely one of the cutest large breed harnesses we’ve seen. We’ve featured this harness a few times and it’s great for smaller breeds (it’s top of our list for Jack Russell).
But what’s it like for a large breed? Well, to begin, we had to feature the orange one because it’s just so gorgeous. Another great example of a no-pull harness with rings both front and back. A D-ring is located on the dog’s back and webbing with O-ring on the dog’s chest. This means leads such as the Halti can be attached for better control and training.
The design includes Nylon webbing with 3M Reflective material for nighttime visibility. There’s also a handle for holding, guiding or looping a seat belt.
The padding and design are excellent for pullers as it reduces any friction or pinching that could occur from a sudden lunge.
This is a great harness and something a little different for a Great Dane.
Because Danes have quite long chests, we’ve heard some people find these not to be the best of fits, but as long as you get your measurements right – it’ll suit just fine.
A great no-pull dog harness with all the trimmings
- Front and Back Metal rings
- High Visibility / Reflective Material
- Great No-Pull harness for a GD
- Check sizings carefully before ordering
6. Perfect Fit Harness
This UK based company designs hand-made harnesses to fit your dog. They have distributors globally so you’ve probably seen them in stores. Another great example of no-pull dog harnesses with rings on both the front and back.
It’s a sleek harness and well designed for a Great Dane. The harness possibly not as feature rich as some on the list but still worth checking out.
Collar or Harness for a Great Dane?
In our experience, both. Collars are simply not good enough for a Great Dane, especially if they are a puller. In addition to a potential throat injury, it’s just not a great way of controlling your dog.
A collar should be used for ID tags, a harness for walking. Remember not to leave them on if left alone as they may chew on the material or accidentally catch their jaws.
For those new to non-pull harness, it is designed to reduce the potential damage of pulling on lead (when wearing just a dog collar) as well as a tool for training.
Types of Dog Harnesses for a Great Dane
Choosing a solid harness can be a bit of a challenge. There are different types and styles, and these can be different from a puller puppy to an elderly Dane with mobility issues. You can read more about harness types here – but below is our quick summary.
- Vest Harnesses: These are basic dog harnesses that your Great Dane can wear on a daily basis. If your Dane is well behaved on the leash or and has grown out of tugging habits – these are inexpensive and a nice alternative to a collar.
- Front or Back Clip Harness: The most common harness types we will cover in this article. Front clips have leash attachment points on the chest which can be used to control your excited and jumping dog. The back clip attaches the lead to the back (top) and can be used as a walking harness. In many cases, both of these clips can be used in combination with a double-ended training lead. This gives you more control and allows you to guide your dog, similar to reins on a horse.
- Tightening or Control Harness: These are best left to experienced dog handlers and trainers. Essentially they are designed to tighten when the dog pulls. This can cause discomfort and in some instances can increase the pulling behaviour as the dog attempts to escape the unpleasant sensation.
What to Look for in a Great Dane Harness
We are the proud pet parents of two Great Dane dogs. One from puppy and the other originally a foster dog. Particularly with the puppy we quickly realised that when she wants to pull, she really pulls.
After a year being on a no-pull harness, we saw a dramatic improvement in her behaviour. We used the harness back clip when out in the park as it was easy to clip the lead on and off. When out walking on the street we would attach the other end of the lead (a HALTI) to the front clip of the harness. This not only helped us control her pulling behaviour but also train her.
We tend to find with the breed that having a halter handy is also useful. We don’t use it much these days, but in her younger years, it helped avoid antisocial problems when out in public.
As Great Danes have a higher rate of hip dysplasia and arthritis it may also be worth looking for the right harness to properly support them.
How to Measure your Great Dane for a Harness
With their deep chests and large size, it is important to check the measurements of your Great Dane before investing in a harness.
You definitely don’t want a harness which is too tight or which your Dane can escape from. Most manufacturers have measurement guidelines – but for a quick guide:
- Measure the chest: Using your tape measure, find the widest part of your dog’s chest. This is roughly a couple of inches, or the width of four fingers, behind the front legs of the Dane.
- Add a few inches to the total: This is the two fingers rule. Add an additional two fingers worth of inches to the measurement. This will be enough to factor in some growth without giving too much slack.
- Measure the circumference of the neck: This may not be necessary depending on the harness type.
- Weigh the dog: Now, normally I would recommend bathroom scales for this – but from personal experience – this is a non-starter. A better idea is next time you pay a visit to the vet – pop your Great Dane on the measuring scales. This may not be relevant – but if you are seeking further advice – the weight is a good indication of the pulling power your Dane may have.
A Good Harness for a Great Dane Puppy?
With our first Great Dane, we weren’t ready for quite how quickly she grew. We started with a slightly smaller Ruffwear harness then after the one year mark invested in the XL. It has served her well ever since.
If you are not sure – you may consider one of the cheaper harnesses when they are younger such as the TrueLove. As long as you find a harness that can handle the pulling power of your Dane, you should be fine.
Great Dane Dog Harnesses: Summary Table
|Position||Harness||Online Rating||Available Online|
|1||Ruffwear All Day Adventure Dog Harness||Buy on Amazon|
|2||Julius-K9 PowerHarness||Buy on Amazon|
|3||Company of Animals Non-Pull Dog Harness||Buy on Amazon|
|4||Mekuti Balance Dog Harness||n/a||n/a|
|5||TrueLove Dog Harness||Buy on Amazon|
|6||Perfect Fit Harness||n/a||n/a|
We hope you have enjoyed our little voyage through our tried and tested reviews. We hope we have helped you select the best Great Dane harness for your giant friend. Given the size of the breed, it is so important to invest in a good harness you can rely on. They sometimes don’t realise their own strength. On occasion, they can be bounding with energy.
As we mentioned, we prefer the Ruffwear walking harnesses on our dogs. It gives us the greatest level of control and confidence. We also used this harness when taking them to agility classes and obedience training. We found it helped us.
A few points to consider when buying a harness for your Great Dane.
Firstly, if your dog pulls, invest in a non-pull harness. A robust one at that – Great Danes are usually very strong. Consider a front range clasp for extra control.
Also double check the sizing, remembering that if you currently have a puppy – they grow up. Fast.
It’s an excellent idea to invest time in proper training. This may be some form of obedience classes, agility or something that creates a bond between you and your Great Dane.
You should also work with your Dane when out walking – perhaps stopping for a few seconds every time they pull.
If we’ve missed any harnesses or you have had experiences of the ones we’ve written about – please let us know in the comment section below. You can also comment using our Facebook page and discuss with other dog owners on our forum.