Best Dog Harness: Which Is Ideal For Your Dog’s Needs?

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Best For…
Walking & Training
Petsafe logo
No-Pull
Rabbitgoo logo
Large Dogs
RUFFWEAR logo
Small Dogs
Voyager logo

Dog harnesses have certain advantages over using a collar when you take your dog on walks. Is a harness a better alternative for your pup? And which type and brand of harness will be the best fit for your needs? We’ll help you decide.

Article Overview

Benefits Of A Dog Harness vs A Collar

Many dog parents opt to use a harness over a dog collar for several reasons:

  • Eliminates choking and gagging
  • Discourages pulling on the leash
  • Better control, especially with strong or large dogs or in busy traffic or crowds
  • Good for dogs who like to slip out of their collar
  • Good training tool for puppies because they won’t get as tangled up in the leash
  • Easier to assist older dogs who need help getting up

Best Dog Harness

We chose our top picks based on several factors including the quality of materials and construction, special features, customer reviews, pricing, and more. We’ve broken our recommendations down into categories to help you choose the best harness for your specific needs.

Walking & Training | No-Pull | Large Dogs | Small Dogs | Hiking | Car | Lift

Best Dog Harness For Walking & Training: PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Review

PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk HarnessView on Amazon

The Easy Walk harness was created over 15 years ago by a veterinary behaviorist and is a favorite of many dog parents and trainers. You can use it on puppies as young as 6 weeks old to start training good leash behavior.

It’s easy to put on because it clips around the body instead of having to go over your dog’s head. It has a front chest leash attachment to deter pulling and to give you better control than a collar. This deluxe version also has padded, neoprene-lined straps for better comfort over the standard Easy Walk Harness.

Personal Experience

We use the Easy Walk Harness on our Lab. It definitely reduces her uncontrolled pulling on walks. However, it gets stuck behind her front legs sometimes, rather than staying in front as it should. I guess this annoyance is worth the trade-off for a more manageable dog on walks! – Michelle, Canine Journal

Pros

Cons

  • Good value
  • Deters pulling on leash
  • Great for training and everyday walks
  • Very lightweight for comfort
  • Quick-snap buckles on shoulder and belly straps
  • 4 points of adjustability for a good fit
  • Reflective trim for night safety
  • Easy to clean
  • Can take some time to get the fit just right
  • Only has a front leash attachment point (can cause leash to slide under legs and trip)
  • May not be sturdy enough for heavy pullers
  • Some owners say the chest strap sags
  • Some complaints that it rubs and causes irritated skin

Price

The Easy Walk Harness is available in 4 sizes and 4 colors.

Read Our Easy Walk Harness vs Gentle Leader Collar Comparison

Best No-Pull Dog Harness: Rabbitgoo Review

Rabbitgoo Dog HarnessView on Amazon

The Rabbitgoo Dog Harness is an amazing value for a well-crafted and effective no-pull harness. It’s made from durable materials, is well padded for comfort, and has breathable mesh that does a good job keeping dogs cool. You can use the front leash attachment to keep your dog from pulling and the back for everyday walking without choking.  Many owners with dogs who like to slip out of harnesses say this one is virtually escape-proof.

Personal Experience

This is an effective harness that has held up well for years. It keeps our dog from pulling, and there’s a handle on the top that adds even more control when another dog walks by. – Alex, Canine Journal

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent value
  • Deters pulling on leash
  • Has front and back metal leash attachments
  • Easy to put on and adjust with 4 adjustment points
  • Padded with soft cushion
  • Breathable air mesh to keep your dog cool
  • Bright reflective strips
  • Handle on back to hold on to your dog
  • Not ideal for very small or very large dogs
  • Not chew-proof
  • A few complaints that it ripped after a few months

Price

The Rabbitgoo is available in 4 sizes and 7 colors.

Best Harness For Large Dogs: RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness Review

RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog HarnessView on Amazon

RUFFWEAR is known for its extremely durable and sturdy harnesses, and the Front Range Harness doesn’t disappoint — it will stand up to larger, stronger dogs and even heavy chewers. It features 2 leash attachment points: reinforced webbing at the chest to redirect dogs who pull and an aluminum V-ring on the back for everyday walks. Most users say the fit and comfort levels are excellent.

Pros

Cons

  • Extremely durable and sturdy
  • Deters pulling on leash
  • Has front and back leash attachments
  • Easy to put on and adjust with 4 adjustment points
  • Foam padding for comfort
  • Reflective trim and light loop to attach the Beacon safety light (sold separately)
  • Pocket on back to store ID tags
  • Pricey
  • Not quite as escape-proof as the Rabbitgoo
  • Some users say the sizes run a bit small

Price

The RUFFWEAR Front Range is available in 5 sizes and 12 colors.

Best Harness For Small Dogs: Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness Review

Voyager Step-In Air Dog HarnessView on Amazon

If you don’t need a heavy-duty harness and are just looking for a simple design, this Voyager harness could be a great fit for your small or medium-sized dog. As long as your dog cooperates, it’s easy to put on — you just have him step into the front leg holes and buckle the strap across his back. It has 2 metal D rings on the back and breathable air mesh so your dog won’t get overheated.

Pros

Cons

  • Budget-friendly
  • Secures easily with Velcro and buckle on the back
  • Breathable air mesh to keep dog cool
  • Reflective strips
  • Wide range of sizes for small and medium dogs
  • Doesn’t have a front leash attachment
  • Largest size not suitable for dogs over roughly 30 lbs
  • Not ideal for escape artists

Price

The Voyager comes in 7 sizes and 27 colors.

Best Dog Harness For Hiking: RUFFWEAR Web Master Review

RUFFWEAR Web Master Dog HarnessView on Amazon

Another rugged product by RUFFWEAR is our pick for the best dog harness for hiking and other outdoor activities — and an excellent choice for escape artists. One of the features that makes this so great for hiking is a large handle on the back that lets you safely help your dog maneuver over rough terrain. Its sturdy construction is padded for comfort but still lightweight, has a back leash attachment, 5 adjustment points for a secure fit, and reflective strips.

Pros

Cons

  • Extremely durable and sturdy
  • Lift handle to help your dog navigate rough terrain
  • Easy to put on and adjust with 5 adjustment points
  • Users say it’s great for escape artists
  • Foam padding for comfort
  • Reflective trim and light loop to attach the Beacon safety light (sold separately)
  • Pricey
  • Doesn’t have a front leash attachment point (only back) so it’s not a no-pull harness
  • May not fit very small dogs

Price

The RUFFWEAR Web Master comes in 5 sizes and 3 colors.

Read our guide on hiking, backpacking & camping with your dog

Best Dog Car Harness: PetSafe Deluxe Car Safety Dog Harness Review

PetSafe Deluxe Car Safety Dog HarnessView on Amazon

This PetSafe car harness is certified crash-tested* for the ultimate safety measure when your pup is in the car. To use this harness, you simply secure the vest to your pup, buckle in the seat belt and attach the tether to the belt and the vest.

There are 3 levels of attachments, so you can choose how tight or loose you want it. In the loosest position, your dog can stand, sit, lie down, and even stick his head out of the window. The system locks during sudden stops. You can also purchase additional tether straps for multiple cars.

*The small, medium, and large sizes are crash-tested. The extra-large is not. 

Pros

Cons

  • Great value
  • Certified crash-tested
  • Fits all vehicles
  • Easy to buckle your dog in
  • Dog can stand, sit and lie down
  • Padded vest area with a breathable liner
  • Separate leash attachment so you can walk your dog using the car harness
  • Some complaints that dogs get twisted up in the tether strap/seat belt
  • A few users say it’s hard to figure out how to use it at first

Price

See our reviews of other car safety products for dogs

Best Dog Lift Harness: Labra Canine Support Sling Review

Labra Canine Support Sling HarnessView on Amazon

If your dog suffers from limited mobility due to joint pain, arthritis, or is recovering from surgery or an accident, a high-quality lift sling harness is a must-have. It helps you safely assist your dog while saving you from back strain.

This Labra support harness has a wide sling design, is long enough to support your dog’s core, and has a soft fleece lining. And it has adjustable strap lengths for your comfort and ease of use. It comes in many sizes and is sturdy enough to handle even the heaviest of dogs.

Personal Experience

Our old lady Bella (yellow Lab) suffers from hip arthritis but she loves to go for walks. This lift harness is the best way to take her for walks while also allowing us to be comfortable. It’s truly a gift during these trying days. – Michelle, Canine Journal

Pros

Cons

  • Sturdy material
  • Easy-to-use sling design
  • Adjustable straps for your comfort
  • Soft fleece lining
  • Wide Velcro closure at top
  • Rolls up and snaps for portability
  • Some owners with large-chested dogs said it bunches up at the belly or hips
  • Some complaints that it slides too much

Price

Is Your Dog Reactive When On Leash?

If your dog lunges, barks, and has other reactive behaviors to cars, people, dogs, and other stimuli when he’s on leash, check out this video that has some great tips on how to stop these behaviors.

Need A Good Leash Or Collar?

We’ve also researched a ton of collars and leashes that you might want to consider for your pup. See our guide on how to pick the best collars and leashes for your dog, which includes a handy fit and sizing guide. And be sure to read our reviews of the best remote dog training collars that can help you train your dog to behave when he’s off leash.

What problems do you have with your dog on leash?

About The Author:

Sally holds a BA in English from James Madison University and began her 25-year writing career as a grad student at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism & Mass Communications. She’s been a pet parent since college years (and spent her whole childhood with pets). Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Now as a parent of two teenagers, she’s made sure to raise her daughters to learn how to love and care for pets (and other animals) in the most responsible and loving ways. As a result, she and her daughters now have 5 rescued dogs and cats who essentially rule their home! Sally has also volunteered over the years to help raise funds for various animal nonprofit organizations.

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