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

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Last Updated: December 6, 2023 | 11 min read | Leave a Comment

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Dog harnesses have certain advantages over using a collar when taking your dog on walks. For some owners, a harness can help manage a strong puller and may be more comfortable to use than a traditional leash and collar. Is a harness a better alternative for your pup? And which type and brand of harness will be the best fit for your needs? I’ll help you decide in our best dog harness reviews. I cover some of the top products and share personal harness experiences from several of my team members and me.

At A Glance: Best Dog Harnesses

Walking & TrainingNo-PullLarge DogsSmall Dogs
PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Rabbitgoo Harness RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog HarnessVoyager Step-In Air Dog Harness
PetSafe Easy WalkRabbitgooRUFFWEAR Front RangeVoyager

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
  • Harnesses are more secure than a collar, especially for smaller breeds that can wriggle out of the traditional collar
  • Good for dogs who like to slip out of their collar
  • It is an effective 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

Why I Use A Dog Harness – My Personal Story

I prefer to use a harness over a collar, and here’s why.

I am a long-time dog owner and have owned several different breed sizes, from a 5-pound Chihuahua to an 85-pound Labrador Retriever. I switched from collar and leash walking to harnesses because my Labrador Bear was a colossal puller. He would not stop, even when on a choker chain. He was very hard to manage, especially because I have a long-term back issue and cannot withstand a lot of pressure or pulling on my body. The harness was a significant improvement and reduced the pulling.

Bear never entirely stopped, but the harness was much easier to control him with and did not put strain or stress on his neck as a chain did. The harness also took the pressure off my back and shoulders, which took the brunt of the force and pain from the pulling.

I have also owned small dogs and prefer a harness when walking them as it offers more control and prevents them from wriggling out of the collar. This was especially true for my tiny Chihuahua, as few collars fit her properly. My current dogs, a smaller Poodle Beagle mix and a larger Pitbull Lab mix, also wear harnesses to walk.

The advantages of a harness are beneficial for my dogs and for me. While most of the time, dog walking is focused on the dog getting exercise, using a walking harness is a true game changer for owners with physical mobility issues. As someone with long-term mobility and back pain, a harness makes the walk more enjoyable and safer and helps my dogs, and I enjoy that time rather than dreading it.

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 into categories to help you choose the best harness for your individual needs.

Best For Walking & Training: PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Review

PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk

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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 six weeks old to start training good leash behavior.

It’s easy to put on because it clips around the body instead of going over your dog’s head. It has a front chest leash attachment to deter pulling and 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.

Our Personal Experience With The Easy Walk Harness

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 Schenker, Rescue Dog parent
ProsCons
Low price pointCan take some time to get the fit just right
Deters pulling on the leashOnly has a front leash attachment point (can cause the leash to slide under legs and trip)
For training and everyday walksMay not be sturdy enough for heavy pullers
Very lightweight for comfortSome owners say the chest strap sags
Quick-snap buckles on shoulder and belly strapsSome complaints that it rubs and causes irritated skin
4 points of adjustability for a solid fit
Reflective trim for night safety
Easy to clean

Price

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

  • Starts at: $25.95

Read Our Easy Walk Harness vs Gentle Leader Collar Comparison

Best No Pull: Rabbitgoo Harness Review

Rabbitgoo Harness

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The Rabbitgoo Dog Harness is the best harness for dogs that pull and is a well-crafted and effective no-pull harness. It’s made from durable materials, is well padded for comfort, and has a breathable mesh that helps keep 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.

Our Personal Experience With Rabbitgoo Dog Harness

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

Alex Schenker, Rescue Dog Parent

I use the Rabbitgoo harness with my Pitbull Lab mix, Daisy. She is a large dog, about 75 pounds, and pulls very strongly. The pulling makes it impossible to control her on a regular collar without a chain. This harness has been very helpful in controlling her during walks and helps reduce pulling, without needing the chain. She has gotten out of most other harnesses, but not this one. It is sturdy and stands up to her pulling.

– Danielle DeGroot, Mixed Breed dog parent
ProsCons
Excellent valueIt is not ideal for very small or very large dogs
Deters pulling on the leashNot chew-proof
Has front and back metal leash attachmentsA few complaints that it ripped after a few months
Easy to put on and adjust with 4 adjustment points
Padded with a soft cushion
Breathable air mesh to keep your dog cool
Bright reflective strips
Handle on the back to hold onto your dog

Price

The Rabbitgoo is available in 4 sizes and 12 colors.

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

RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness

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RUFFWEAR is known for its highly 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 two 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.

ProsCons
Extremely durable and sturdyPricey
Deters pulling on the leashNot quite as escape-proof as the Rabbitgoo
Has front and back leash attachmentsSome users say the sizes run a bit small
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

Price

The RUFFWEAR Front Range is available in 5 sizes and 8 colors.

  • Starts at:

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

Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness

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If you don’t need a heavy-duty harness or have a puppy, the Voyager is our best puppy harness pick. It is one of the best dog harnesses for younger pups and smaller breeds. This harness could be a nice 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 two metal D rings and breathable air mesh on the back so your dog won’t get overheated.

ProsCons
Budget-friendlyDoesn’t have a front leash attachment
Secures easily with Velcro and buckle on the backThe largest size is not suitable for dogs over roughly 30 lbs
Breathable air mesh to keep dogs coolNot ideal for escape artists
Reflective strips
Wide range of sizes for small and medium dogs

Price

The Voyager comes in 7 sizes and 20+ colors.

Check Out Our Best Harness Options For Small Dogs

Best For Hiking: RUFFWEAR Web Master Review

RUFFWEAR Web Master

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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 feature that makes this ideal 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. It has a back leash attachment, five adjustment points for a secure fit, and reflective strips.

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

Price

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

  • Starts at:

Read Our Hiking, Backpacking & Camping With Your Dog Guide

Best For Car: PetSafe Deluxe Car Safety Dog Harness Review

PetSafe Deluxe Car Safety Dog Harness

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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 three 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 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. 

ProsCons
Excellent valueSome complaints that dogs get twisted up in the tether strap/seat belt
Certified crash-testedOnly comes in one color (blue)
Fits all vehicles
Easy to buckle your dog in
A 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

Price

See Our Car Safety Products For Dogs Reviews

Best Lift: Labra Canine Support Sling Review

Labra Canine Support Sling

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If your dog suffers from limited mobility due to joint pain or 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. The sling-style harness also helps keep pressure off a dog’s neck.

This Labra support harness has a wide sling design, is long enough to support your dog’s core, and has a soft fleece lining. 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 dogs. It can be used as a walking harness and a tool to get older and less mobile dogs ready for a car ride.

Our Personal Experience With The Labra Canine Support Sling

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

– Michelle Schenker, Rescue Dog parent
ProsCons
Sturdy materialSome owners with large-chested dogs said it bunches up at the belly or hips
Easy-to-use sling designOnly comes in one color (black)
Adjustable straps for your comfort
Soft fleece lining
Wide Velcro closure at the top
Rolls up and snaps for portability

Price

Comes in multiple sizes.

Best For Night Walking: JoyRide Dog Harness 2.0 Review

joyride led dog harness

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The JoyRide dog harness is a top night walking harness pick due to its comfort and durability. The addition of an LED light-up harness makes JoyRide’s harnesses even better. LED lights are rechargeable and long-lasting, 6 to 8 hours. The high visibility makes JoyRide a top pick for dusk and nighttime walks and foggy and wintry weather.

The JoyRide harness has a reflective front and broader spacing on the handle, making it easier to grip. Six sizes are available from XS to XXL. The company makes plenty of other harness options as well. Soft material, Velcro straps, and an easy-off, easy-on design make it easy to use and wear. The company offers a 365-day warranty and free exchanges. Every purchase helps benefit rescue dogs in need, a cause we always support.

Our Personal Experience With JoyRide LED Harness

Cavalier wearing JoyRide led dog harness.

We received the JoyRide harness to try out in exchange for an honest review. With daylight savings and earlier darkness, the JoyRide harness helps Georgie stay visible when on walks. The harness is easy to adjust the size, and the padding is very comfortable and snug on his chest. It has a big, sturdy hook to clip in and take on and off. The glow is very bright and has three different light settings (fast or slow blinking or steady on). It lasts for weeks without a recharge, and Georgie feels like a rockstar while prancing around the block.

Sadie Cornelius, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog parent
ProsCons
Sturdy, soft materialSome owners do not like the placement of the Velcro strap
LED, rechargeable lightsThe strap may loosen after extended use
Wider handle
Reinforced stitching for durability
6 sizes available, fits very small to giant-sized dogs
Rolls up and snaps for portability
3 leash attachment rings

Price

The JoyRide LED Dog Harness 2.0 comes in 6 sizes and 8 colors

How To Pick The Right Size Dog Harness

We have presented some of the best dog harnesses. However, even the most well-made dog harness will not work if the size is incorrect.

Steps To Measure Your Dog For A Harness

  1. You must measure a dog’s neck, chest, and body length to fit a harness properly. Use a soft measuring tape, string, or ribbon.
  2. Measure around the neck, where the collar sits. You will need the neck circumference, also called the neck girth. Start at the nape or center of the neck and wrap the measuring tape over the shoulders, around the neck to the top of the chest. When the two ends meet, there should be enough room to fit two fingers comfortably under the measuring tape.
  3. To measure the chest girth, you must locate the widest part of the ribs and then measure the full circumference of that area.
  4. Body length should be measured from the shoulders to the hips. Measure from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. If you need height, you can measure the highest point of the shoulder, down the length to the start of the paw.
  5. Read the sizing requirements and guidelines on any harnesses you consider.
  6. Not all harnesses work for every dog. Choose one that best fits your dog’s body type. Broad-chested dogs need different harnesses than toy-size pups.

There are different harness types to consider, and not every type will work for every dog. Learn more about top tactical dog harnesses, the best harnesses for dogs that pull, and escape-proof dog harnesses.

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 on a leash, check out this video with some effective tips on stopping these behaviors.

Do You Need A Leash Or Collar Too?

We’ve also researched a ton of collars and leashes that you might want to consider for your pup. See our guide on picking the best collars and leashes for your dog, which includes a handy fit and sizing guide. We also cover the best dog bark collars. And be sure to read our reviews of the best remote dog training collars to help train your dog to behave better off-leash. If you need more help, consider an online dog trainer or training course to assist you in working through bad behavior at home.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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