6 Best German Shepherd Harnesses – Tried and Tested

What's the Best German Shepherd Harness? - Our Top 6 Tried and Tested

What is the best German Shepherd harness? In this article we will discuss our top six top-rated German Shepherd harnesses:

Before we delve into the topic of the dog harnesses for German Shepherds, let’s discuss the breed. The German Shepherd dog is the second most popular dog breed in the USA and one of the seventh most registered breeds in the UK (where until the late 1970’s it was known as an Alsatian).

The German Shepherd is a large dog both found in homes and as working dogs in specialisms ranging from police, military to search-and-rescue.

Which Dog Harness For Your German Shepherd?

In this article, we cover six German Shepherd harnesses available online. As ever we have tried and tested the harnesses on the breed or similar whenever possible and we thankfully know a number of German Shepherd owners. As with many large breed dogs, sizing is important so we have selected those we found online which fit best. However, it is always better to check measurements before making a purchase.

So onwards we go with our collection of dog harnesses. If you have any other suggestions or ideas – please comment below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

What Dog Harness Is Best For a German Shepherd

Collar Vs. Harness: Which Is Best For Your German Shepherd?

For German Shepherd’s who are well behaved on a lead, a collar may be sufficient. They’re certainly useful for daily wear and are a great place to keep your dog ID tag.

There are several issues with walking a German Shepherd exclusively on a lead. The first, possibly most important, is that should the dog pull whilst on the lead – it can cause throat injury and discomfort. It also offers little in regards to control and training of your dog, as well as the all-important reduction in pulling behaviour.

Harnesses are designed, mostly, to offer a comfortable but controllable way to stop pulling behaviour in your dog. Normally we would recommend that you use the collar for general wear / ID purposes – and a harness for walking whilst outside on a lead.

Fitting Your German Shepherd for a Harness

When fitting a dog for any harness – measurement is essential. A harness size which is too loose could slip off, too tight and it will cause discomfort. Check out our handy guide for measuring and fitting a dog harness.

In summary, take a tape measure and measure the widest part of the chest (usually just under the front legs). It is recommended you include a few inches (the two finger rule) for any growth and slight flexibility.

Most harnesses will have adjustable straps – so you can tweak it slightly for the perfect fit. Also, measure the circumference of the dog’s neck. If possible, you may also want to weigh your dog as it could be an indication of the pulling power of your German Shepherd when they decide to suddenly dart.

Types of Harnesses for a German Shepherd

Like dog collars, there is a multitude of different types of harnesses. Firstly let us begin with the materials used. Nylon harnesses, as well as Mesh and Leather, are all popular options. It is important to judge which is best for your German Shepherd.

A leather harness, for example, for a dog in the middle of summer on a long trek would not be a great choice (also check out cooling vests). Check the materials used are not only breathable but also comfortable for your dog.

Secondly, we should consider the harness type. Unfortunately, not all harnesses are equal. Although there are several harnesses available for a low cost, check the reviews. Poorly made harnesses are prone to break – possibly when the dog pulls and you need it most.

Vest harnesses are great options and can be easily put on and taken off of your German Shepherd. Front Clip or Back Clip harnesses (our favourite type) offer more control of your dog and can help with training. There are several examples of this in the collection below with explanations of each.

The last common harness type is tightening or control harnesses. We tend to steer clear of these and do not recommend them for anyone other than experienced dog handlers (if at all). They are designed to tighten when your dog pulls – which can not only cause discomfort for your German Shepherd – but could actually increase the pulling behaviour as they attempt to escape from the unpleasant stimulus.

6 German Shepherd Harnesses Reviewed

🏆 Ruffwear Multi-Use Dog Harness

The strength of the German Shepherd and our faith in this brand puts the Ruffwear harness on the top of our list. Ruffwear makes an excellent range of harnesses and for larger dogs, they’re near perfect.

The Ruffwear Multi-Use is definitely not the cheapest harness out there, but for working dogs – it is second to none. Ruffwear Multi-Use Dog Harness - Best German Shepherd Harness

This is a front range harness which means it comes with two lead attachments for both training and as a no-pull harness.  The first located at the top of the harness is a strong aluminium V-ring.

If your dog is well behaved on the lead or you’re just keeping them on a lead while out and about – you can just attach the lead to the ring as normal.

If however your German Shepherd is a puller or you are trying to train them there is a second webbing loop at back. A double ended dog lead, such as a HALTI, can then be attached to both harness points.

We also selected this Ruffwear harness type because of the handle. Sadly one of the issues with a German Shepherd can be bone and arthritic complications in later life.

Primarily the handle is used for the dog when they are being overly energetic – allowing you to hold them in place. It can also be used to help lift them over objects when out trekking for example.

This is an easy harness to put on / take off. The woven strong straps have five points of adjustment for a better fit. The harness is padded for additional comfort and the outer material is made from sturdy and lightweight nylon.

The design also makes it very difficult for your German Shepherd to slip off and escape. There are also various holders on the harness as well as high visibility reflective trims for seeing your dog in dark conditions.

Overall this is a great harness, good for a puller, useful for assisting, strong, comfortable and hugely adjustable.

9Expert Score
A solid no-pull harness for a German Shepherd

No pull plus a handle on top, this is a great harness for a German Shepherd, well designed, will last for ages and filled with extras.

Design
9
Comfort
9
Sturdiness
9
Wearability
9
PROS
  • Front range dog harness for dual attachment leads
  • Well designed
  • Easy to adjust
  • Handle useful for health issues
CONS
  • Not the cheapest of harnesses

Julius-K9 162P2 K9 PowerHarness

The Julius-K9 is an incredibly popular choice among German Shepherd owners in both the UK and USA. It’s a wonderful harness – but it also has that police dog harness look which attracts the extra geek in a lot of people.

Julius-K9 162P2 K9 PowerHarness - Ruffwear Multi-Use Dog Harness - Best German Shepherd Harness The most prominent feature you notice on the PowerHarness is the adjustable harness at the top. This helps with both controlling your German Shepherd as well as aiding in lifting when needed.

The outer layer is made from an impregnated scratch-resistant water repellant material. The inner lining is breathable and skin friendly.

The belly strap has a heavy-duty plastic buckle and the chest strap has an adjustable hook and loop fastening.

There is also a reflective stripe for high visibility when out walking in dark conditions.

The sides have a phosphorescent, interchangeable hook and loop patches with the Julius-K9 logo. Additional patches with your customised text or over 1000 template patches are available online.

This harness provides a good load balance for your dog and reduces any pressure when out walking, especially if your German Shepherd is a puller. Overall a good investment, a very robust harness and a German Shepherd owners favourite.

8.5Expert Score
A firm favourite with German Shepherd owners

A very close second to the ruffwear. This harness certainly looks the part for a German Shepherd and is not only practical but stylish. It's only let down by the lack of a front range clip.

Design
8
Comfort
9
Sturdiness
8
Wearability
9
PROS
  • Well designed
  • Stylish
  • Very strong
  • Adjustable
  • Large handle at top
CONS
  • No front attachment clip

ADOV Dog Harness Extra-large

Not a well-known harness brand, but it’s a great little addition to the harness world. This averagely priced harness is made of a luggage-grade stylish and scratch- ADOV Dog Harness Extra-large, No Pull Adjustable and Durable Leash For Medium and Large Pet, Reflective Oxford Soft Vest With Handles Perfect For Daily Training Walking Running - Orange resistant oxford outer layer as well as a breathable mesh fabric.

The handle at the top is good for holding your dog in position or aiding in training. Unlike the Julius-K9 – this is not adjustable, but it’s a useful addition to have.

The harness can be put on and taken off using a release via two side-squeeze buckles. You simply slip your dog’s head and fasten the buckles.

There are four adjustment points on the harness to better fit it to your dog’s needs, simply pull the straps. The harness also has reflective stitching throughout the outer layer making it easier to see your dog in dark conditions.

This is a great harness for the price, certainly one of the better harnesses in the mid-price range.

7.5Expert Score
Reasonably priced basic harness

This harness is basic but the handle at the top makes it slightly better than other cheaper harnesses.

Design
8
Comfort
7
Sturdiness
7
Wearability
8
PROS
  • Well made
  • Handle at top is useful
  • Good pricing
CONS
  • Basic features
  • Handle is not adjustable
  • No front clip

HOLUCK Dog Harness

The HOLUCK is a medium budget harness which comes with a front range clip to help with pulling. The harness is nicely shaped and well proportioned for a German Shepherd. The harness is made from sturdy hemming with Durable Oxford material, adjustable nylon belt and breathable fabric.

A leash attachment is available at both the top and back of the harness. This can either be used for different attachment points or, with a double-ended lead, for greater control of your dog.

For the price, this is a great quality harness. It’s nothing fancy but it’s strong, practical and a good choice for your dog.

7.5Expert Score
A mid-budget no-frills but overall good harness

This harness is nothing fancy, but it does the job. It's also mid-range priced so a good investment if you're not looking for too much in a harness.

Design
7
Comfort
8
Sturdiness
7
Wearability
8
PROS
  • A practical harness
  • Reasonably priced
CONS
  • Lacking features
  • Fairly basic

UNHO No Pull Harness

The UNHO is a basic yet very inexpensive harness that gets mentioned often amongst German Shepherd owners. The harness may not be feature-rich, but it is still a fairly good choice. One metal D ring for lead attachment and an adjustable strap for fitting. The outer layer is made from strong high durable nylon material. The inner lining is soft, breathable and skin-friendly for your dog.

Some people do find that the measurements advertised on this product are not completely accurate – so it’s worth checking the measurements correspond with reviews on the site however the Large size fits just fine with some small strap adjustments.

I’m not convinced by the style of this harness – finding it a little ugly, but that’s personal preference. Again, it’s very inexpensive so may be perfect as a starting harness or for experimenting with training.

Lifepul No Pull Dog Vest Harness

Another cheap and cheerful dog harness. Yes, it doesn’t have any great features – but if you’re trying a harness for the first time, have a well-behaved dog that doesn’t pull or are on a budget – this could be the harness for you.

The outer material of the Lifepul harness is strong nylon with nickel-plating hardware. The padding underneath is soft and breathable for extra comfort. The straps are adjustable, a quick release buckle is used for putting the harness on and off. There is also a handle at the top for better control and to aid with pulling.

What is the best kind of collar for German Shepherds?

German Shepherds have a fairly unique head shape so it is important to find a collar which is appropriate. The most important purpose of a collar is to provide ID about your dog should they go missing, including a contact number as well as any useful health information.
As with any large breed (I write from frustrating experience here), it is essential to select a dog collar that fits well or risk the prospect of it slipping off. Choke collars are a short term training option for reducing pulling – but we do not recommend them as they can cause discomfort in your dog. Head collars (halters) are another popular option. Harnesses are the preferred option.

Summary

We hope you enjoyed our German Shepherd harness collection. Because the breed is traditionally a working dog it is important to consider a harness that also caters for their boundless energy and need for training. Particular emphasis should be put on the tendency to pull and working with your dog in a way to extinguish this behaviour without unnecessary discomfort.

We are closely tied between the Ruffwear and the Julius-K9 for a German Shepherd. The only slight advantage of the Ruffwear is the inclusion of the front clip which can make all the difference if your dog is a puller or a jumper.

German Shepherd Harness Reviews

If you have any comments on the harnesses features in this article please let us know by commenting below or starting a conversation on our Facebook page.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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