Bred for herding sheep and general farm work, Border Collies are a medium-sized dog that are known to be one of the most intelligent, energetic breeds, and if you’re an owner you’ll know that they make excellent pets.
- Border Collie Harnesses: Summary Table
- About the Breed
- Behaviour of a Collie
- Border Collie Care Tips
- What to Look for in a Border Collie Harness
- Sizing and Harness Types
- 7 Best Harnesses for a Border Collie
This article will guide you through the main characteristics and typical behaviour of the breed, the materials and styles of harness to look out for, and how to choose the best harness for your own Border Collie.
We’ll also take a closer look at the best harnesses currently on the market, from walking harnesses to no-pull harnesses to stop pulling so you can choose the right one for your dog.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the best harness for a border collie.
|Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness, Blue (Dusk), M||432 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
After reviewing several harnesses for Border Collies, we chose the Ruffwear as our top choice. This front range harness, which can be used as a walking harness as well as a double-ended lead no-pull harness, is frequently recommended for its design, security and usefulness. A perfect harness for both training and day to day use, it’s well designed and comfortable for dogs of all ages.
Border Collie Harnesses: Summary Table
|Position||Harness||Online Rating||Available Online|
|1||🏆 Ruffwear All Day Adventure Dog Harness, Medium Breeds||Buy on Amazon|
|2||Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness Medium||Buy on Amazon|
|3||fiE Fit Into Everyday Side No Pull Dog Harness||Buy on Amazon|
|4||Canny Collar, Size 4 (Halter)||Buy on Amazon|
|5||TrueLove Dog Harness||Buy on Amazon|
|6||Ruffwear Multi-Use Dog Harness for Working Border Collies||Buy on Amazon|
|7||Julius-K9 16IDC-AM-1 IDC Powerharness||Buy on Amazon|
About the Breed
Want to know more about Border Collies? They are a unique and easily recognisable breed that is a favourite for dog owners all over the world, with an interesting history and lots of unique characteristics to celebrate. It’s clear by looking at both their appearance and their temperament why they continue to be a popular domestic pet.
Often regarded as one of, if not the most intelligent breeds in the world, Border Collies, also known as sheepdogs, have a double coat of fur, can feature pretty much any colour seen on dogs, and typically live between 10 and 17 years. They were originally bred in the hilly areas of the UK on the border between Scotland and England (hence the name ‘Border Collie’), as a means to efficiently herd sheep.
Today, Border Collies are characterised by their stamina, agility and obedience, and make popular pets as well as continuing to be used for their original purpose.
Behaviour of a Collie
Because of their breeding as herders, Collies are fairly easy to train, and are gentle and safe to have around other animals and, most importantly, children. This makes them a fantastic choice for a family pet, but you will have to accept their urge to herd everything in sight!
Due to their high levels of energy and stamina, Border Collies have a strong drive to be active. You need to provide constant entertainment in the form of both exercise and mental stimulation in order to keep them healthy and happy.
Border Collies move smoothly, elegantly and stealthily, making them excellent for herding or, in a more domestic environment, taking on hikes and hilly walks. Their breeding has also made them particularly compatible with humans and working alongside them.
Because of their high level of intelligence, Border Collies are quick to learn the ins and outs of the family home, and are quick to learn how to do naughty things like opening cupboards and fridges, so it’s important to train them properly from as early an age as possible.
Border Collie Care Tips
Border Collies live, on average, for around 12 years – up to 14 or even 17 if they are given proper care and attention throughout their lives. However, a pure-bred Border Collie, just like any pure dog breed, is more susceptible to certain genetic conditions than a mixed breed pooch would.
Border Collie puppies need to have the correct vaccinations before they are sent to their first home, and continue to have jabs at the vets at the correct intervals. If you wish to neuter your Border Collie, this should be done for both males and females when they’re at least 6 months older. Puppies should also be wormed at 6 months, and every 2 months subsequently until they are a year old.
Every dog is different; if you notice your Border Collie has a health issue or allergy, the sooner you take him/her to the vet the better, as this means you’ll be able to get it sorted as soon as possible, and that your dog will hopefully lead a healthy, happy life.
Because of their high energy and stamina levels, you should exercise your Border Collie for at least two hours a day – take them for walks and runs multiple times a day if possible in order to keep them in great physical shape. You also need to keep them mentally stimulated by playing games and teaching them tricks, as this will keep them emotionally healthy.
What to Look for in a Border Collie Harness
A harness is a great choice for keeping your dog safely and comfortably on their lead without putting too much strain on their neck, which can cause them to injure themselves and others around them.
Because of their innate instinct to herd and their high energy levels, Border Collies do tend to pull on the lead and harness. For this reason, you want to look for a harness that is comfortable and strong enough to withhold their strength. You also want to ensure that the harness fits properly, so it won’t be slipping around or chafing on your pooch’s body.
Sizing and Harness Types
There are lots of different types of harness to choose from for your pooch – the one (or more) that you go for depends on your dog’s specific size and shape.
To find the best harness for a Border Collie, first, take measurements around the largest part of their body – the chest. Once you’ve got this measurement, you can add on an extra couple of inches to ensure they’ll have a comfortable fit that isn’t too tight, as this can restrict movement and cause chafing. Some harnesses also include a neck strap, so be sure to measure around your pooch’s neck too.
There are several dog harness materials available to choose from – the one you go for depends on what you feel is best suited to your dog’s comfort and activity levels, as well as your personal taste regarding the aesthetics. Typical materials for harnesses include a combination of nylon, fleece, plastic and leather.
7 Best Harnesses for a Border Collie
1. 🏆 Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness
|Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness, Blue (Dusk), M||432 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
An obedient, trained Border Collie will still have the urge to pull at the lead, but they aren’t likely to try and get out of the harness at any given opportunity. Because of this, the Front Range harness from Ruffwear offers great comfort, although it won’t completely prevent your dog from escaping should they want to.
This particular harness is a highly rated, good quality product and comes at a great price. Ideal for both walking and jogging, there is a clip at the front so you can connect the lead in two different places, depending on what works best for you and your pooch.
You can either attach the lead to their back, allowing them to pull a little and have freedom as they choose, or attach it to their chest, allowing you a little more control over their movement.
The straps are cushioned for comfort and reinforced using mountaineering technology to ensure a strong and dependable hold, no matter what activity you and your Border Collie get up to.
At the top of the harness is a super-strong V-shaped ring made from aluminium, making it quick and easy to attach a standard lead – simply put the harness on your dog, affix the lead and you’re ready to go.
There is also a second ring made from strengthened, webbed material which is ideal for attaching a training leash – ideal for when you’re in the early days of training your Collie, or when you want to restrict pulling completely (for instance, when you’re walking in a busy street environment).
Every element of this harness can be adjusted – tailor the shoulder straps, chest straps and stomach straps to your Border Collie’s unique shape to ensure they are secure and comfortable all day long.
With the additional safety feature of luminescent edging and even a little pocket for including a contact card, you can be sure your dog will be safe and sound in their Ruffwear harness.
This has long been one of our favourite harnesses for Border Collies as well as other breeds, as it offers pretty much everything you could want from a harness for a well-behaved dog, and at an affordable price.
2. Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness Medium
|Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness Medium, Front Clip Pet Vest Harness with Handle Adjustable Dog Padded...||1,058 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Designed for flexibility and a great fit, the material is of the highest quality and allows plenty of breathable comfort for your Border Collie.
With a lightweight mesh inner lining and a super soft nylon padding, your pooch will be comfortable all day long – they won’t even feel like they’re wearing a harness.
Rabbitgoo offer a fantastic design with a handy front clip and an adjustable handle for wherever your day takes you and your pooch. Whether you’re training or simply enjoying your daily walk, this harness makes it easy to keep your dog safe and secure at all times.
The harness features two side straps that are easy to customise to your Collie’s shape and activity levels – one positioned at the neck, and the other on the chest. We have a minor complaint about these straps, which is that they can be a little stiff, making them a bit fiddly to attach your lead to, but over time we can assume they will soften up.
The convenient buckle release design makes it easy to take your pooch in and out of the harness, so they’re ready to take part in activities and get comfortable again when they’re at home. There are also reflective bands to ensure your Border Collie is visible even in low light conditions, ideal for when you’re out in the dark or in an urban environment among vehicles.
With two robust metal hoops for attaching your lead, you can easily prevent your dog from pulling, and the harness will automatically grow tighter the more he / she pulls to ensure they are kept close by. With several sizes to choose from, Rabitgoo offer something for numerous dog breeds as well as Border Collies. Make sure you measure your particular pooch carefully before choosing the size for you (be sure to add a few inches for comfort).
The medium-sized version of this model is a great harness for Border Collies who pull or who are in the midst of being trained, but if you have an exceedingly strong and energetic dog, there may be other, stronger options that are better suited to you.
3. fiE Fit Into Everyday Side No Pull Dog Harness
|fiE FIT INTO EVERYWAY Side No Pull Dog Harness Outdoor Adventure 3M Reflective Pet Vest with Handle...||1,050 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
This is a quality harness, and one of the most affordable on our list. It offers all the features you would want from a Border Collie harness, with an emphasis on robustness and security.
Designed using the highest quality nylon for both toughness and breathability, and a lightweight nylon mesh that fits snugly against your dog’s stomach.
Whatever the weather, this harness will be comfortable for your pooch to wear and won’t restrict movement at all.
There is a D-shaped ring on the back, and an O-shaped ring on the chest, so you can choose where to attach your lead depending on the terrain and the type of exercise you’re doing. Arguably the most secure harness on our list, the strong stomach straps on this garment will make it super tricky for a wriggly dog to get out of, particularly useful for high energy pooches or puppies in training.
With five sizes and three bold colours available to choose from, we often recommend this offering from fiE for multiple different breeds of dog, and it suits Border Collies as well as any other.
A solid choice of harness, ensure you measure your pooch correctly before choosing the right size, and allow a few extra inches to ensure comfort and flexibility.
4. Canny Collar, Size 4
This collar is designed for one main purpose – to prevent your dog from pulling on the lead too much – ideal for energetic Border Collies or puppies who are being trained.
So-named for its ‘uncanny’ ability to instantly get your pooch under control, the collar features strong yet comfortable straps that fit around the neck and snout to prevent pulling and bolting when necessary.
Keep your Collie close by in urban situations, or when walking amongst the wildlife, with this durable and lightweight press-and-release harness. Designed to be comfortable and safe for any medium dog, we’ve tested Size 4 of this collar and it is perfect for using with a Border Collie and similar breeds, and it stays snug against the face without sliding up into their eyes.
You can fit the Canny Collar in a matter of moments, and start using straight away for walking and training. Affordably priced, this is a great choice of harness for those who want something compact and lightweight.
5. TrueLove Dog Harness
|TrueLove Dog Harness TLH5651 No-pull Reflective Stitching Ensure Night Visibility, Outdoor Adventure...||324 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
This excellent no-pull dog harness is a fantastic option, and continues to be an Amazon favourite for medium-sized dog owners. Customise the experience for walking and training with numerous lead attachment points – you can easily fix in several places on both the back and the chest area.
By attaching the leash to your Collie’s back, you give them maximum comfort without putting any strain on their neck, and this allows you total agency over their movements. This is essential in city environments or nature reserves with wildlife, especially with a dog as energetic as a Border Collie.
The TrueLove Dog Harness is super soft and has plenty of padding so your pooch stays comfortable for hours while wearing it, and the breathable nylon is gentle against his / her skin in all kinds of weather.
The hi-vis strips mean night time or city walks are safer by allowing you and others to see your dog easily in low light levels. TrueLove pride themselves in creating products that are super robust and durable, providing years of use for you and your dog – this harness is therefore an investment for the future.
This is one of the very best Border Collie harnesses we have come across and is available at a great price. The only downside worth noting is its rugged appearance, which may not be appealing to some dog owners. If aesthetics don’t matter to you, then this is a great choice; if you want something a little more stylish, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
6. Ruffwear Multi-Use Dog Harness for Working Border Collies
|Ruffwear Multi-Use Dog Harness, Rugged Environments, Working Dogs, Medium Breeds, Adjustable Fit,...||187 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Designed to be supremely strong, durable and flexible, the harness is ideal for any work and play activities. Your sheepdog will be able to move freely, no matter what adventures the day has in store for them.
The secure and super comfortable harness allows for rapid change of speed and direction, and is built to withstand all kinds of weather and terrain. If your dog needs to jump over objects, this harness is also great for such activities. With comfortable straps around the stomach, chest and neck, you have complete control over their movements without causing strain on any part of the body.
This Multi-Use harness is not only practical, but it looks great too, ideal for keeping your dog smart and ‘professional’ while at work or on a walk. Crafted from premium, breathable nylon, the harness is built to last and will give you years of use.
Although it is within a higher price bracket, this offering from Ruffwear is worth investing in if you need a quality harness for Collie who is either working or extremely active every day. If you typically enjoy long adventures and active walking with your pooch, this is the ideal harness for you. Likewise, if you work in agriculture and your Collie is part of your occupation, this is an investment that is well worth it.
7. Julius-K9 16IDC-AM-1 IDC Powerharness
|Julius-K9 16IDC-AM-1 IDC Powerharness, Dog Harness, Size 1, Aquamarine||2,217 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
The super-strong nylon means that it is very robust and can withstand all the adventures your pooch’s day has in store for them.
Easy to put on and take off, the strong buckle fastening means you can fit snugly against your dog and get on with the day’s activities as quickly as possible. Featuring a strong handle strap on the back, you’ll easily be able to hold back or even pick up your dog if you’re ever in a situation where you need to control him / her.
This piece is available in a range of different colours and sizes to suit various dog breeds – we recommend size 1 for a medium-sized Border Collie.
If we have one criticism about this offering from Julius-K9, it’s that the hi-vis strips could be more effective at reflecting light, so this is a safety consideration worth taking into account, especially if you live in an urban area with lots of traffic.
Of course, you could always attach your own reflective strips, and at a thoroughly affordable price, this harness remains a fantastic option for your Border Collie.
As you can see from our list, there are lots of great options available when choosing the best harness for a Border Collie, and the right one for you and your pooch depends on several factors, including your lifestyle, the area you live in, your pooch’s disposition, energy levels and age, as well as budget.
Have a scroll through our list and you’re bound to find the perfect harness for you. Be sure to measure your dog properly before buying, and don’t be afraid to test out the harness out and return it for a different model if you find it doesn’t work for you.
Your Collie’s comfort and safety is, of course, of paramount importance, and you shouldn’t settle until you find the harness that gives them just this.
Let us know your experience of harnesses for your Collie below in the comments or reach out on our Facebook page.