With their boundless energy and enthusiasm, the loveable Labrador Retriever can be a handful at first. Walking them on a collar and leash can be frustrating, particularly if they pull a lot.
A good alternative is a dog harness. After much research, our experts have chosen the Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness as the best harness for Labradors. It is a superb and reliable no-pull harness that is excellent for both walking and training.
- Recommended Labrador (Adult) Size – Large
- Labrador Puppy (6 Months) Medium
|RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness, Reflective Padded No Pull Harness, Twilight Grey, Large/X-Large||£49.95||Buy on Amazon|
A good choice for both adult and puppy Labs, the Ruffwear is a front and back clip walking harness which can work wonders on dog’s who have a tendency to pull. It has excellent reviews and has remained a popular choice with many owners of most breeds.
Labrador Retrievers, also called Labradors or Labs, are the most popular dog breeds in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.
Obedience, playfulness and loyalty are all attributes associated with Labs. They are used regularly for disability assistance as well as therapy, detection and law enforcement purposes.
Famous fictional Labs include Brian Griffin from Family Guy, Pharaoh, Isis, and Tiaa in Downton Abbey and Krypto, Supermans faithful pup. Both US President Bill Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been Labrador owners.
Labrador owners choose a dog harness over walking them on just a dog collar and a leash for various reasons.
Firstly they are more comfortable and can reduce pressure on your dog’s neck and throat, especially if they pull. They help with training your dog to walk without pulling. They are comfortable, durable and long-lasting.
This article will look at our top seven harnesses for a Labrador Retriever and will discuss the harness types, sizes, measurement, and what to look for when choosing your harness.
- Best Harness for Labradors – Our Top 7 Reviewed
- Collar or a Harness for a Labrador
- Types of Lab Harnesses
- Labrador Harness Size and Measurements
- What Makes a Good Labrador Dog Harness
- FAQ’s About Labrador Harnesses
Best Harness for Labradors – Our Top 7 Reviewed
1. 🏆 Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness
Best Overall Labrador Harness
|RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness, Reflective Padded No Pull Harness, Twilight Grey, Large/X-Large||£49.95||Buy on Amazon|
A classic dog harness and a Collar & Harness favourite. Arguably one of the best no-pull harness for Labradors, the Ruffwear is packed with both features and functional design.
The Ruffwear harness has an aluminium V-ring at the back for normal walking. Simply attach a leash and away you go. There’s also a reinforced webbing loop at the front (chest) of the harness.
Using a double-ended leash such as the Halti training lead will let you attach to both points when needed. This gives increased control of your Lab and helps train them to reduce their pulling behaviour.
Even walking with just the back clip will help reduce pulling behaviour.
The padded harness distributes the force across your dog’s chest and body, taking force from the neck and throat when they lunge or pull.
There are reflective stripes on the outer layer for improved visibility and it can be hand-washed as well as being fairly water-resistant.
Overall, this is a well constructed, sturdy and useful Labrador dog harness that can be used for both normal walking and to alleviate pulling behaviour.
– Suggested Labrador Puppy (6 months) Size: Medium
2. Julius-K9, 16IDC-B-2, IDC Powerharness
Best Back Range Labrador Harness
|Julius-K9, 16IDC-B-2, IDC Powerharness, dog harness, Size: 2, Blue||£34.99||Buy on Amazon|
A strong, long-lasting back clip dog harness, the Julius-K9 is a powerful beast for your powerful beast. The distinctive Police Dog style harness has a durable waterproof outer layer with a scratch-resistant material with reflective trims at the chest and sides.
The soft inner layer uses an OEKO-TEX breathable skin-friendly material.
The Julius-K9 is an easy harness to put on a Lab. There’s a large, heavy-duty, plastic buckle around the belly area.
Leads are attached to the top with a metal ring. There is also a closable handle at the top for holding your dog in place.
These harnesses are a great choice for larger dogs, they are very strong and excellent for controlling your Lab when they get overly excited in the park.
Suggested Labrador Puppy Size: Size 1
3. Rabbitgoo Dog Harness
Best Affordable Dog Harness
|rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness Padded Adjustable Pet Vest Harness with Handle Front Clip Harness for...||£21.99||Buy on Amazon|
Another hugely popular no-pull dog harness, the Rabbitgoo is well designed and comfortable made from high-quality materials.
The harness uses breathable nylon with mesh outer lining and soft padding in the inner layer for comfort.
There are two adjustable side straps. One strap located on the neck and the other on the front. As a no-pull harness, it has both a front (chest area) and back (top of the harness) leash attachment clip.
Rabbitgoo harnesses are easy to put on and off with a quick-release buckle.
Available in seven different colours, this harness also includes reflective trims for increased visibility at night.
If you are looking for an inexpensive, comfortable and popular no-pull harness – the Rabbitgoo is one worth checking out.
4. Eagloo No Pull Dog Harness
|Eagloo No Pull Dog Harness Large Black, Front Clip Vest Harness Dog Car Harnesses with Handle Puppy...||£18.99||Buy on Amazon|
Another front and back clip dog harness often used by Labrador owners is the Eagloo. With four adjustment points on the neck and chest, this is a comfortable and well-fitting dog harness.
Made with nylon material, the harness has reflective trims on the outer layer for increased night visibility. There is a handle at the back for better control of your dog. The manufacturer does mention using that handle for securing your dog in a car – however, we recommend you do research on securing your dog before doing this.
The inner layer of the Eagloo is padded for comfort. Overall it’s a reasonably priced harness, with positive reviews and some good features.
5. Rabbitgoo Tactical Dog Harness [USA]
Available from: Amazon.com
Tactical Molle Vest Harnesses are designed for professional working dogs as well as hunting and outdoor treks.
This heavy-duty, military standard, vest is made from 1050D Nylon material with sturdy stitching.
It is made to be escape-proof and the craftsmanship shows the effort that has been put into making this as strong as possible.
On the shoulder are two metal buckles designed for pulling force. There are also two metal leash attachment points for safer walking.
The inner layer is cushioned and distributes weight and pressure evenly across your Labradors upper body. There are five adjustable straps to give your dog an ideal fit.
In addition, the harness has a handle at the top for better control of your labrador as well as assisting in lifting them when needed.
6. LIFEPUL No Pull Dog Vest Harness
|LIFEPUL No Pull Dog Vest Harness - Dog Body Padded Vest - Comfort Control for Large Dogs in Training...||Buy on Amazon|
Possibly not the most attractive harnesses, but ideal for those on a budget or trying a harness for the first time.
The leash attaches to a metal D-Ring at the back (top) which also includes a handle for holding your Lab in place if needed.
Breathable, padded and with a stitched nylon outer layer – it’s not a bad harness. I’m not overly fond of the design, finding it a little bulky looking – but will probably suit many owners just fine.
7. Winsee No Pull Dog Harness [USA]
|WINSEE Dog Harness No Pull, Pet Harnesses with Dog Collar, Adjustable Reflective Oxford Outdoor...||Buy on Amazon|
This very affordable Labrador Retriever harness isn’t the most long-lasting out there – but if you’re on a budget it includes both a harness and matching dog collar.
Similar in style to the Rabbitgoo – the Winsee is both a walking and a front range harness. There are D-Ring’s at the back and chest of the harness to switch between a single or double-ended leash.
The harness itself is made from a 1680D oxford fabric with high density that prevents your Lab from easily chewing or tearing it.
Collar or a Harness for a Labrador
Labradors have a lot of energy and require much exercise as a result. Many Labrador owners at first default to giving their Lab a dog collar and walking them that way.
After a few weeks of frustration from being dragged around on the street with constant pulling, some consider an alternative to their collars and decide on a dog harness.
Pulling in Labradors is not uncommon and something seasoned Lab owners will be familiar with. For first time owners, however, it can be not only frustrating but challenging. It can not only cause discomfort for you, particularly your hands but can lead to discomfort and stress for your dog.
A well-designed harness can do wonders for a dog’s pulling behaviour when combined with good training and plenty of patience. They will also distribute force across the dog’s chest – leading to a more comfortable and safer walk.
Regardless, if your dog is a puller or not – we suggest using a collar solely for ID tags to help identify them should they get lost.
Types of Lab Harnesses
There are several types of harness out there, which can be a little daunting at first. Here’s a quick guide to the varieties available.
Labrador Vest Harness
Simple, inexpensive and used as a basic walking harness. Often made from plastic, mesh or nylon – they are designed for lightweight general wear and for dogs who are already well behaved on their leash.
They tend to go over the dog’s head and clip under the dog’s front legs.
Front and Back Clip No Pull Dog Harness
Perhaps the most common harness types you’ll see – they will be either:
- Back Clip
- Front Clip
- Front and Back Clip Harness
Many harnesses are either front/back clipped and designed to reduce pulling behaviour in dogs. Back clip dog harnesses have a lead attachment point at the back. A standard leash can be clipped on for normal walking.
Front clip harnesses, such as the SENSE-ation, have an attachment point solely at the front of the chest area. These are very different than your traditional harnesses in that the lead only attaches to the front – which may seem odd at first – however, they can often be recommended by trainers as an easier way to reduce pulling.
They’re fairly specialist and can restrict shoulder movements in some breeds – but worth looking into if a back-clip harness isn’t working for your Lab.
Front and Back clip harnesses have points at both the top (back) and include a secondary attachment point at the front (chest) of the harness. This front attachment point requires a special training leash, like a HALTI, that is double-ended.
One point attaches to the back, the other to the front. This offers increased control of your dog, similar to the reins used on a horse.
A no-pull harness is made to reduce the impact of the dog pulling on their lead, as well as aid in the training of your dog.
Tightening and Control Harness
There are more aggressive than standard anti-pulling harnesses, and tighten when your dog starts pulling. These can be uncomfortable as they can squeeze the dogs chest as they tighten. These harness types are best reserved for experienced dog handlers and trainers.
Tactical Dog Harnesses
These tend to be used on larger breeds such as Labradors and German Shepherds. Although often associated with Military and Service dogs, they are also to be found as training harnesses, hunting harnesses or general trekking.
Labrador Harness Size and Measurements
Standard adult labrador sizes vary, but according to the American Kennel Club, an average male labrador height is between 22.5 to 24.5 inches (57 to 62 cm) with females measuring 21.5 to 23.5 inches (55 to 60 cm).
This places Labs in the category of a medium-large breed, with harness sizes reflecting that. Normally this will be a large-sized harness, though it will vary depending on the manufacturer.
You’ll need a smaller size for a Labrador puppy, often a medium, which will need replacing once they grow out of it.
To get an accurate measurement for your Labrador and Lab puppy, follow the steps below. If you find that your measurements land between two different harness sizes, it’s recommended to go for the larger of the two and use the adjustable straps for a better fit.
Measure The Chest
The most crucial part of your measurement is the chest. Take a tape measure and wrap it around the widest part of the chest. This is found a few inches behind the front legs.
Add a Few Inches
You should all a couple of inches to the total to allow for movement and growth.
Measure the Neck
This may not be a requirement however if the harness goes over the Lab’s neck – it’s a good idea to check. Take the tape measure and measure around the circumference of the neck.
What Makes a Good Labrador Dog Harness
Finding the right dog harness for Labradors can take not only time and effort but patience from you, the owner. Training is important – a harness by itself will not make all the difference in the dog’s walking habits.
Be careful not to select a harness that is likely to fall apart, snap or break when put under strain. Check that the harness fits well and allows for movement.
FAQ’s About Labrador HarnessesCan I leave my dogs harness on when in the house?
No, your dog harness should be for walking only. When indoors, sleeping in their crate and especially alone – you should remove your Labradors harness. Though arguably you could leave it on during the day, it can get caught on edges or your dog could try and bite into it.What should I do with a wet harness?
Most harnesses are designed for wet weather – but you shouldn’t leave the harness on for long periods when wet. This is mainly because it could eventually irritate your dogs skin. Like wet clothes on humans, it’s also not pleasant to wear something too long which is damp.
We hope you found our article on the best harnesses for Labradors helpful in making your choice. Dog harnesses are a good alternative to walking your dog on a collar and lead. They are comfortable and secure without putting pressure on your dog’s neck.
Harnesses are also great if your dog is a puller. They can also be used for training your dog to stop them from tugging on their leash when walking them.
When selecting a harness it’s important that you find the right one for your Lab’s temperament. You should also find a harness that fits the size of your breed, as too loose opens them up to escape and too tight can leave them uncomfortable.
Don’t forget to share your harness experiences in our comment section below and join the conversation on our Facebook page.