Best Harness for Pitbulls (Our Top 6 Picks for 2019)

Pitbulls (or Pit Bulls) are a popular breed of dog descended from bulldogs and terriers. They can often be mixed breeds and include American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

When selecting a Pitbull harness for your dog there are a few things to consider. The first is the shape of the breed, particularly their large chests. The second, and possibly the main reason you’re reading this article is their strength when they pull. Because they are quite muscular and stocky, the tug on your arm when out walking them on a leash can be quite dramatic.

In this article we will review our six top pitbull dog harnesses:

  1. 🏆 Ruffwear Front Range Harness
  2. Julius-K9 PowerHarness
  3. Babyltrl Big Dog Vest Harness
  4. Trixie Harness with Fleece Padding
  5. LovinPet Pitbull Harness
  6. EzyDog Classic Chest Plate Harness

six american staffordshire terrier

A Dog Collar or Harness for a Pitbull?

One common feature with all types of pit bulls is their prominent chests and strength. If your Pitbull is well behaved when on a lead, then a lightweight harness or collar may do. If, like many, you have a dog that has a tendency to pull on their leash – relying on solely a collar is probably not going to work. Sudden tugs, lunges and excess pulling can lead not only to discomfort for the dog (and owner) but can also cause neck and throat injury and in some cases tracheal collapse.

Many people choose to use a collar for general wear and the display of an ID tag – a sensible, and often legal requirement, to identify your dog should they get lost or wander off. The harness is used for general walking and offers better distribution for your dog’s body and less emphasis on the neck.

A no-pull harness is designed to reduce pulling, several examples of which will be highlighted in the review section below. They can be used not only for walking your dog but for training and teaching better control when out and about.

It is important that you find a harness that not only fits well but works well with your Pitbull’s needs and temperament. Finding a perfect harness will not only make walking easier for you both but will help train them in the early years to develop good habits.

Looking for leather pitbull harnesses? You can also check out our guide on leather harnesses here.

How To Measure A Harness for your Pitbull

Measurement of a harness is very important. If the harness is too small, it will not fit – but too large the dog may escape it. Most harnesses have an adjustable strap and it’s often recommended that if your dog’s size is between two harnesses – go the larger size and adjust accordingly for a perfect fit.

You can read all about measuring your dog for a harness here but a quick summary is:

  • Measure the Chest: You should measure around the widest point of your dog’s chest. Using a tape measure, find the widest part – usually a couple of inches behind the front legs.
  • Add an additional couple of inches: This allows for a small amount of movement as well as any growth from your Pit Bull.
  • Measure the circumference of the neck

Once you have the information to hand, check the manufacturer’s measurements before making a purchase. If you find the measurements are between two size harnesses – select the larger of the two. Almost all good dog harnesses will include adjustable straps to give you a better fit.

Our 6 Best Pitbull Harnesses

1. 🏆Ruffwear Front Range Harness

RUFFWEAR All Day Adventure Dog Harness, Medium Breeds, Adjustable Fit, Size: Medium, Blue Dusk, Front Range Harness, 30501-407M The hugely popular Ruffwear brand design a number of harnesses to stop pulling in dogs. The Front Range harness is a robust and feature-rich type of harness for pitbulls to stop pulling which suits the strength and behaviour of the breed well. You can check out our in-depth review of the harness here.

A front range harness has two leash attachments. The first located at the top (back) is designed to act like a normal walking harness.

An aluminium V-ring lead attachment clips on to most leashes just like you would with a collar. The second lead attachment is located at the front (chest) and is optional. To use this you would need a double ended leash like a HALTI training lead which can act like a normal leash or uncoupled for use with the harnesses reinforced webbing front loop.

The Ruffwear harness has two plastic side release buckles and four adjustable straps. This allows adjustments to the harness to better cater to your pit bulls movements. It is recommended that you leave a little space so it is not too tight.

The outer layer uses a  lightweight nylon material. The underside is padded around the chest and belly area for comfort. There are 3m reflective strips around the outer layer for better visibility of your dog in dark conditions. There is also a pocket for keeping ID tags.

This is a great no-pull pitbull training harness, recommended by owners and dog trainers alike. We have had great success with this harness, it is comfortable, has great load dispersion on the chest, fits well and lasts for years.

2. Julius-K9 PowerHarness

Julius-K9 IDC-Power Harness, Purple, Size: 0/58-76 cm/23-30" The heavy-duty Julius-K9 is built not only to reduce pulling in your dog but also for strength. These are the same style of harnesses you may see on police or service dogs.

This heavy duty dog harness for Pitbulls is made from anti-allergenic OEKO-TEX materials which are strong, reliable and waterproof. It features a metal ring on top for leash attachments. There is a large, closable handle at the top for increased control. The back handle can be used for an easy grip by the owner and lifting of the dog as well as helping with training.

The chest strap has been scientifically designed to leave freedom of movement for the neck. This reduces pressure on the neck and throat common with collars which could lead to a throat injury. This strap has a heavy-duty plastic buckle and has an adjustable hook and loop fastening. This can be adjusted for a better fit for your pitbull.

The reflective stripe on the chest strap and around the harness provides better visibility when out in dark conditions. The patch at the side is also interchangeable with an alternative design.

Overall, the K9 PowerHarness is breathable and can be fitted and removed easily. It is a popular choice with UK and US dog owners, trainers and walkers. It’s not a front range harness – but it will still take a lot of pulling power without harming your four-legged friend.

3. Babyltrl Big Dog Vest Harness

Babyltrl Big Dog Harness No-Pull Anti-Tear Adjustable Pet Harness Reflective Oxford Material Soft Vest for Large Dogs Easy Control Harness (Silver, L) This harness was designed with Pitbulls in mind and is often mentioned by their owners. Made with a high-quality premium durable nylon oxford and soft padded material – this is a well-made harness for your dog. Unlike the other harnesses in this list, the Babyltrl uses a unique Triangular Anti-tear design. This places the adjustment straps closer to the neck instead of around the body.

These straps can be adjusted for a better fit and the harness can be put on using the quick snap buckle.

The lead attachment is at the back using a metal D-ring. This is slightly further back than a lot of harnesses – which puts less pressure on the dog should they pull. The back (top) also has a nylon handle for holding your dog in place and controlling them when needed.

The overall design of this pitbull walking harness is excellent – it’s well made and, most important for a pit bull, very strong. It’s designed to not fall apart when too much pressure is placed on it – and it does the job well. This is one worth checking out.

4. Trixie Harness with Fleece Padding

Trixie Premium Harness with Fleece Padding, M, 45-70 cm x 25 mm, Black If your dog has experienced chafing from a Y-Shaped harness in the past then the Trixie harness may be a good alternative. This is a rather basic harness, but it is soft so could be ideal for older dogs – particularly if they are generally well behaved and trained dog when out walking.

We wouldn’t recommend this for training your Pitbull to stop pulling – but if comfort and padding will make your dogs walk better – this is worth checking out.

The Trixie walking harness material is made of double-layered nylon. The harness is available in a large range of colours. Most owners use a medium size but best to measure first before buying. Pricing is also very reasonable.

5. LovinPet Pitbull Harness

LovinPet Pitbull Harness Front Range Dog Harness No-Pull Adjustable Pet Vest 3M Reflective for Dogs Easy Control Walking Outdoor Training Sports Adventure This is a Gentle Leader no-pull harness designed with Pitbulls in mind. Similar to the Babyltrl, this harness includes a handle at the back for better control and training.

The outer layer of the harness is composed of a breathable mesh material. It includes a 3M reflective light material trim for increased visibility at night. The leash attaches at the back for normal walking.

There are adjustment buckles on the neck and back for better fitting. These straps are padded with high-elasticity sponge for additional comfort.

The LovinPet is also a good seat belt harness compatible most dog seatbelt attachments.

This is a good harness for pitbulls, similar in a lot of ways to a TrueLuv which offers both comfort and security. It’s also one of the more economical harnesses out there – so if you’re looking for plenty of features without breaking the bank – this could be for you.

6. EzyDog Classic Chest Plate Harness

EzyDog Dog Harness - Supportive Chest Plate Harness, Black, Medium This padded chest harness puts particular emphasis on the front of a pit bull. Though at first glance this harness may look unusual, it is effective and often recommended by pitbull owners.

Through the focus on the pitbull’s chest, this harness has a broad chest-plate catering for comfort and the reduction of chafing. This distributes the load evenly across the dog’s chest rather than their throat.

In addition to the extra padding of this chest-plate, there is also reflective stitching used on the harness for night time visibility. The lead attaches using a rust-proof welded D-Ring located at the back. The buckles can be adjusted for a better fit and the chest-plate also comes with a car seatbelt attachment.

This is a good alternative to a normal harness for pit bull owners – not only is it strong but it is a very lightweight option focussing mainly on the chest.

Summary

We hope you have found this article useful in selecting a harness for your Pitbull. As a breed with a lot of strength, it is important to invest in something that can not only handle the pulling power but also won’t harm your dog in the process. Not only are poorly designed harnesses bad at deterring pulling, those which cause discomfort can actually result in an increase of the pulling behaviour as the dog attempts to escape.

You may not have success from day one when trying to teach your dog not to pull. It can take a lot of time, patience and training. But with a harness helping you can hopefully train your dog to be a pleasure to walk with (and save the strain on your arms).

If you have any comments to make on this article or recommendations – please let us know in the comments section below. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Great Dane

Not Danish, Dane is the other half of Collar & Harness. Having worked in the technology sector for many years - he now immerses himself in all things dogs. Writes about subjects ranging from dog food to canine psychology with a little bit of pup technology thrown in. Dane has been writing for nearly 15 years on the topics he loves. Lives in London.

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