More and more dog owners are discovering the advantages of using a harness on their puppy or dog. A well-fitting dog harness is an asset for puppy training and most have adjustable straps so that you can be sure of a snug but comfortable fit. A harness is vital for travelling in a car with a dog and useful for when out trekking in the countryside with your four-legged friend.
There are plenty of dog harnesses to choose from. They come in several different styles and have different leash attachments. They are all made of strong but comfortable fabric and the choice of colors is impressive! To help you choose the best harness for your dog’s age and breed, check out our comprehensive guide right here.
The Best Puppy Harness
A dog harness that has all the features you need to make walk time with your dog a pleasure rather than a pain. It comes in a wide range of attractive colors and is made from soft mesh which is both breathable and lightweight. It’s so comfortable that your pooch will not even notice that they are wearing it! There’s a wide range of sizes so it will suit all breeds and can be used in all sorts of weather. There are two bands of reflective fabric on the sides.
Further safety features include the double D-rings leash attachment, the hook and loop fastener for fine adjustment of fit and the buckle which offer triple protection when out for a walk. To put it on, your dog simply steps into it and it fastens easily around their chest.
Wide range of colors
Made from soft mesh
Double D-ring leash attachment
- BrandBest Pet Supplies, Inc.
- Weight2.08 ounces
This cute dog harness is available in three sizes (size chart provided) and is suitable for dogs who have a chest girth up to 21 inches. It also comes in a range of attractive colors. It’s made from a lightweight polyester fabric that is both soft and breathable for comfort.
The snap close strong plastic buckle can be adjusted to get a perfect fit around the chest but the neck is not adjustable. It’s quick and easy to get the harness on and off your dog. The leash can be fixed on using the metal D-ring attachment.
Available in three sizes
Lightweight polyester fabric
D ring leash attachment
Adjustable straps around the chest
- Weight0.3 ounces
Perfect for dog owners who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle with their four-legged friend, this sturdy harness is available in five sizes and three colors. It’s been designed for very active dogs and has five adjustment points to ensure a perfect fit and foam padded straps for comfort.
This would be the best dog harness for working dogs, rescue dogs and dogs that need a helping hand over obstacles including amputee dogs. Thanks to the padded and reinforced handle, it is safe and comfortable to lift your dog using the harness without exerting uncomfortable pressure at any point of their body. The leash attachment is provided by two anodized aluminum V-rings which are fixed to a webbing loop and still allow a full range of movement.
Despite being lightweight, this harness is built for durability and can be used in all weathers. It has a reflective trim for night time safety and a light loop.
Five points of adjustment
Double leash attachment
- Weight6.4 ounces
For your cute little pooch, this is a small dog harness with adjustable straps and is available in four sizes. There are six bright colors to choose from and they are all in a durable Oxford nylon with additional padding for comfort. The breathable mesh keeps your dog’s skin cool and there are reflective strips for night time safety.
For dogs that are not great at walking to heel, it also functions as a no-pull dog harness and can be useful when training your pooch to walk nicely by your side. There are two metal leash attachment rings on the harness and the chest attachment clip is the one to use to discourage pulling.
It’s very easy to put the harness on over your dog’s head and take off it off again using the fast-release buckles. There is a top handle for safely controlling your pooch and adjustable neck and chest straps.
Adjustable neck and chest straps
Comfortable nylon mesh fabric
Two leash ring attachments
Fast release buckles
- Weight6.4 ounces
If you are looking for a harness that is very easy to put on – by simply slipping it over your dog’s head, this would be the one for you. It is made from strong nylon mesh which does not pull but stretches as your dog moves. The hardware is nickel plated to resist corrosion even if you like to go out for walks in the rain.
The small size is ideal as a puppy harness or for small breeds such as Toy Poodle or a Jack Russell. This harness can be used for training your pooch to walk on the leash without choking and makes sure you are always in control. It is very easy to put on and has adjustable straps for a perfect fit. The sliding cord lock will keep the harness securely in place. The O ring is for convenient and secure leash attachment.
Harness for puppies and small adult dogs
Several sizes available
Nylon mesh stretches with dog’s movement
Nickel plated hard ware
- Brand Sporn
- ModelZW1210 12 83
- Weight0.8 ounces
For dog people who like their pooch to be a trend setter, this harness has a stunning plaid pattern and is available in pink or beige. As well as being super stylish, it’s also functional. It comes in three sizes but is most suitable for a small breed dog.
For your dog’s comfort, it’s made from a breathable polyester air-mesh. The harness is fixed on using a strong buckle and there are adjustable clips to get the fit just right. There is also a D ring for leash attachment.
Fashionable plaid fabric
Durable and breathable
Adjustable straps on the harness
D ring for leash attachment
- Weight3.7 ounces
This Poypet dog harness is made from Oxford nylon which is both scratch-resistant and very easy to clean. It dries quickly and has a mesh design so it keeps your pooch comfortable no matter what the weather. At the top there is a padded handle so that you can lift your dog safely and the stitching is reflective for safety at night. It fixes on quickly with the snap buckle at the chest.
The adjustable straps can be altered in four directions to get the best fit and the harness is available in five sizes. The leash attachment point is a front clip with extra-strong webbing which discourages pulling and is very useful for leash training.
No-pull front clip
Strong, durable harness
Suitable for all weathers
- Weight3.5 ounces
This is the eco-friendly harness option for your puppy or dog. The straps are made from recycled water bottles so when buying it you are doing your bit for the environment. The harness is designed to distribute force over a large area and therefore does not cause choking.
Its breathable fabric is great for both hot and cold weather. The design of the stitching is such that it will not rub your dog’s skin. You will notice that this harness sits higher up the body than some other harnesses. This makes it much harder for your puppy or dog to get out of it and escape. It also has a robust safety buckle and a strong attachment for a leash at the top.
Eco friendly harness
Distributes force over the chest
Strong safety buckle
- Weight2.4 ounces
This is a harness for puppies and small breed dogs and should not be used on dogs who weigh over 25 pounds. It will stop your little pooch from pulling and could be very useful when you are leash training. There are several sizes available and it has a snug fit. However, because the fabric is soft and breathable, it is still very comfortable.
You put it on using the quick attach buckle and fix the leash using the D-Rings which are reinforced for extra safety. Your pooch will have several bright colors to choose from!
Snug fit harness
Useful for leash training
Quick attach buckle
Strong D ring attachment
- Weight0.32 ounces
Pawtitas Reflective Puppy Harness
This ergonomically designed harness has minimal fabric and does not get in the way of your dog’s movements. It’s so lightweight that they will not even notice that they are wearing it. The thin straps pass around your dog’s neck and chest and attach securely with a plastic snap on clip.
The high quality fabric (65% polyester with 35% cotton) is available in many colors and is reflective for safety. This is a step-in harness and is available in four sizes to suit a range of breeds.
Minimal design and lightweight
Strong and comfortable fabric straps
Reflective for low light conditions
- Weight0.32 ounces
Best Puppy Harness Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Look for in a Puppy Harness
There are a few features that you can look out for when you are buying a harness for your pup or dog. Here are the main ones.
- Size: A harness must fit your dog correctly for comfort and safety. Is the harness available in a range of sizes? Make sure that the manufacturer supplies a size chart to help you choose which size to buy. Adjustable straps are very useful for finely adjusting the fit.
- Fabric: Breathable fabric is most comfortable for your dog but it must also be durable. Reflective strips are very handy if you go walking at night.
- Leash attachment: The leash attachment (often a D ring) must be strong. Also, a back-attachment is best for the smaller breeds because they do not like the pressure that a front attachment causes.
- Fitting on and taking off: The harness must be quick and simple to fit on your dog and quick to take off again. Dogs don't generally like to hang around whilst you fiddle with a harness! Some dogs prefer a harness that they step into but others prefer one that goes around their neck.
- Colors and styles: This is a matter of personal preference. They can be a design statement or they can be plain and functional.
Benefits of Puppy Harnesses
Whilst the collar may be the traditional attire for a pooch, dog harnesses are becoming more and more popular. If you have not considered one before, here are the main reasons why you should.
- They can be used with seat belts
To safely travel in a vehicle, a dog needs a harness that can be attached to either a dog seat belt or the human seat belt. It would be very dangerous to attach the seat belt to a collar as it could cause strangulation.
- They are useful for training
Sometimes a puppy pulls very hard on the leash and this is a habit that must stop. A good harness gives you total control of your dog and discourages pulling when attached to leashes. It also prevents neck injuries if your puppy does pull.
- They allow you to lift up your dog
Sometimes, you may have to lift up your dog. This may be because you are out trekking in the country and come across an obstacle or it may be because your dog is an amputee. Whatever the reason, it is crucial that you can do the lift safely. Many harnesses have padded handles at the top. When you lift, the weight is distributed around the dog's body and they are not injured. Also, the padded handle protects your hand.
Collar Vs. Harness: Which Is Best For Your Puppy?
To take your dog out for a walk, you have to have some way of attaching the end of the leash to your dog's body! There are two options for this - a collar or a harness. The one you choose is a matter of personal preference and will depend on the behavior and personality of your puppy or dog.
Dog collars are the traditional choice. As long as your pooch does not have a respiratory problem and does not pull when on the leash, this is a perfectly acceptable option. They tend to be cheaper than harnesses and can be left on all the time so there is no problem with getting them on and off. However, if your dog pulls very hard when they are out on a walk, they could injure their neck when wearing a collar. Also, a puppy or a dog that has a slim head but a thicker neck (such as Greyhounds and Bulldogs) can slip their heads out of a collar which is dangerous.
For these dogs, a harness may be the best option. You do need to be careful with dogs with long hair because it can get caught up in the harness. A harness is a great way of keeping control of a puppy that has not yet learned to walk on a leash. Smaller breeds with delicate necks will also do better with a dog harness because there will be no strain on the neck area. A harness is also the best option for a dog or puppy that has breathing restrictions such as that seen in Pugs or French Bulldogs.
Best Puppy Harness FAQ:
Q: What age can you put a harness on a puppy?
A: A puppy harness and leash can be real asset when it comes to training your pup to walk to heel nicely and to refrain from constantly pulling on the leash. It's actually easier to carry out harness training with a pup that it is to train an older dog so it pays to start early.
Most pups have no problems with harness training but others take a bit longer to get used to it. Any pup over the age of eight weeks can be introduced to harness training. Most people get a new pup at eight weeks so you can start as soon as your pup has settled into their new home.
Q: How do I measure my puppy for a new harness?
A: If your puppy harness fits your little friend correctly, it will feel comfortable and will be safe. This means that your pup is more likely to want to wear it and training will be easier. The manufacturer will often give dimensions for the different sizes of harness. To choose the correct size, you need to know the neck and chest size of your dog.
Stand your dog on a hard, even surface. If necessary, give them a treat to get them to stand still. Measure the circumference around their chest at the fullest part - this is directly behind the front legs. To do this, you need a flexible measuring tape or you could always use a piece of string and check it against a ruler to find the measurement. Use the same method to measure the circumference of the neck at the base where the collar would sit - closest to the body. The neck measurement is very important as not all harnesses have an adjustable neck.
You can now use the size chart provided by the manufacturer to choose the correct harness for your pooch.
Q: Can a puppy wear a harness all the time?
A: It is possible for a puppy to wear a harness all the time but it is not good practice. It may interfere with the way they move and it may start to rub their coat. It will also get quite dirty and will have to be taken off eventually to be washed!
If your pup has long hair, wearing a harness all the time can lead to matting. Also, if your pup is allowed to wander around your yard, they could get the harness caught on something. The best plan is to save the harness for walk times.
Q: How do I put on a harness correctly?
A: It is essential that the puppy harness is put on correctly so that it works safely and is comfortable for your pooch. If there are instructions provided with the harness, it is important that you follow them. Harnesses are fitted in slightly different ways and have clips in different positions.
With most harnesses, you start by putting your dog's front legs into the provided holes. This can be done by placing the harness on the floor and getting your dog to step into it. Then you pull the harness up around their chest and secure it using the straps on their back. Secure the harness in place using the buckle and make sure that it is not pinching or rubbing your dog's body. Now you can clip your leash onto the D-rings if they have been provided.
Other harnesses are slipped over your dog's neck and fastened at the back.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick dog harness comes in a wide range of colors. The soft mesh fabric is breathable, lightweight and comfortable. There's a wide range of sizes so it will suit all breeds and can be used in all sorts of weather. There are two bands of reflective fabric on the sides.
For added safety, there is a double D-ring leash attachment, a hook and loop fastener and a buckle. To put it on, your dog simply steps into it and it fastens easily around their chest.