About Dog Harness for Active Dogs

Are you shopping online for the best dog harness but do not know which type is right for your pet? Considering the hundreds of choices available, choosing the right harness can be challenging. Reading dog harness reviews can show how each model stands up to heavy everyday use and which type of harness will work well for a specific breed. These days, you’ll find many styles of harnesses designed for different purposes, and ultimately, the best model for your pet will be highly adjustable, sturdy, and, above all, comfortable.

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Dog Harness Buying Guide

To start, you must determine what you want from using a harness. A harness can be used for pulling, daily walking, anti-pulling, tracking, rock climbing, training, dog identification, assistance, and guide work or rehabilitation after surgery.

A pulling harness can be used to develop a dog’s muscles. Some models also allow you to attach cargo to it, so a dog must work much harder when pulling. Cargo can include bricks, sand, or stones. Users can also attach different sizes of weight or even tires. These harnesses can be purchased for fun outdoor activities or to train for pull competitions. Many service animals are also trained to pull using this type of harness. Other uses included bicycle pulling, rollerblading, jogging, and skateboarding. Dog owners must be very careful with this type of training and ensure they don’t end up overtraining their pets.

These harnesses are made from leather or nylon. Nylon models are perfect for hotter climates or places known for high humidity.

There are some ways to train a dog; sometimes, trainers must use a double-stitched harness for extra durability. Dog training harnesses are often used in sports competitions and for protection training. This type of harness is often heavily padded to ensure a dog’s comfort during use. A well-fitting harness will allow a dog to move, breathe and walk freely.

A traditional walking harness is perfect for dogs with specific behavior issues, including pulling, dog aggression, or a high hunt or prey drive. There are several techniques and tools used to correct behavior problems such as shock collars, prong collars, or choke chains, a harness is the most gentle way to apply correction when needed.

An assistance harness is designed for the dog who provides mobility or physical assistance. Typically, it’s reinforced for added durability and provides maximum comfort. The shape and durability of this type of harness will depend on its usage.

A tracking harness is used for search and rescue missions or sports competitions. This harness style will ensure that a dog’s movements are not restricted, so your chosen model should be heavily padded and lightweight. The weight of the harness allows the dog to wear it for longer periods and also works to avoid irritation and skin rubbing. You’ll find models made from nylon or leather.

A vest harness consists of fabrics designed to handle the cold and keep a dog’s body warm during colder weather. There is usually a handle on the top, allowing pet owners to assist their dogs when the terrain is more challenging or the snow is deep. A leash can also be attached via a D-ring, so a regular collar is unnecessary.

A harness for guide dogs is probably one of the most comfortable models because they’re designed for all-day wear. These harnesses have a handle, giving the user better control.

An identification harness is necessary for search and rescue, security, police, military, or service dogs.

A rehabilitation harness is used to help an injured dog to go through the recovery and therapy period without causing injury or decreasing mobility. Some harnesses will also remove pressure and tension from problematic areas; some can be connected to a special wheelchair.

Dog Harness Must-Have Features

It would be best to closely examine the manufacturer’s sizing chart when shopping for a new harness. You should also measure your dog before you begin searching. Measure their neck, girth, and length. Most harnesses are adjustable to a certain degree. However, you’ll need to find the closest fit to prevent the dog from backing out of the harness. Harness sizes can vary from brand to brand. Your dog may wear a medium harness for one manufacturer and need a large with another, which is why it’s so important to read the measurements listed on a sizing chart.

You’ll want to choose a nylon harness for high humidity and wet weather climates. In dry weather climates, leather or nylon harnesses will work fine. If you choose a leather harness, you should also buy some leather conditioner, allowing you to use the harness in wet weather.

Padding will always be important, especially if your dog wears a harness for several hours daily. Models with heavier padding will always be on the pricey side. Look for felt or fleece lining for ultimate comfort. Models that use fleece lining are also less likely to slip and slide during use.

A harness with a built-in handle will allow you to grab your dog if they run off-leash quickly. Handles can also give you more control during a walk and are ideal for service, working, and guide dogs. Control handles aren’t usually important for small dog harnesses because the user will not control their dog using the handle. However, a handle can make it easier to lift a small dog securely.

A harness equipped with reflective trim can save your pet’s life. This trim will make a dog visible to passers-by and drivers in low-light conditions. It’s also the perfect feature for dog owners who enjoy taking their pets for a walk or run at night.

If you’re looking to use a harness mainly for light-duty or walking with easy dogs, then a plastic buckle system is the way to go. These systems make taking the harness on and off easy and quick. If you need a harness for a more energetic dog or for dog safety in a vehicle, then you should go with metal buckles. Metal buckles will not pinch a dog’s skin or fur-like plastic buckles can.

The two basic designs of harnesses include the step-in harness and the over-the-head harness. The step-in models feature a figure-eight shape and require the dog to enter them. These harnesses can be easier to put on for some breeds but are less secure than over-the-head harnesses. Over-the-head models are the kind that easily slides over a dog’s head and are then secured around the back of the harness. These harnesses also offer more points of adjustment and more padding.

It’s important that the harness you choose has many adjustment points to get a custom fit for your dog. Experts recommend selecting a harness with at least four or five points to ensure you get the best fit. At the very minimum, you’ll need to be able to make adjustments around the chest and neck. Some models are designed with one-piece or a continuous webbing loop, allowing the user to adjust the harness to fit nearly any breed.

Dog Harness Buying Tips

There are many reasons to consider purchasing a harness for your dog, including medical conditions, safety concerns or training purposes. Using a harness can help relieve the pressure caused by a standard leash and collar around a dog’s neck and keep it from slipping out of its collar.

A harness can be the perfect training tool if you’re looking to prevent a more powerful, larger dog from pulling on its leash. By taking control of the dog’s weight at its chest, the owner will have more control over correcting unwanted behaviors quickly and without injuring a dog’s neck and throat. Additionally, a harness can be used as a safety device for bigger breeds secured in a car.

Before you buy, the first thing you should do is speak with your dog trainer or vet. They will be able to provide you with your pet’s breed and medical history and will be able to recommend specific harnesses that will align with your needs.

Look for an adjustable model that’s durable and easy to fit. Pay attention to the harness’s size, width, and material while ensuring the buckle system is comfortable and secure.

If you want a harness to restrict pulling, there are a couple of types to choose from. The first option attaches at the center of a dog’s chest and works to guide them gently back when they begin to pull. The other option will tighten around the dog’s legs and chest area and restrain them when they begin pulling. This second choice is probably the best option for the dedicated puller.

After you’ve done a little research and picked the right harness for your pet, double-check to ensure the thickness of the harness straps is right for your pet and that they’ll be comfortable walking in the harness. A harness designed to prevent pulling may fit differently than a traditional harness, so follow the directions carefully the first time you take your dog out. You can also have your trainer help you to fit it for the first time.

The harness should be snug enough to prevent the dog from slipping it, but not so tight that it inhibits mobility. Allow your dog to walk around the home to gauge their comfort and determine if the harness needs further adjustments. A harness can loosen with washing or wear, so check the fit each time you take your dog out.

The most important thing to remember is to pay attention to your energy while walking your dog. Using a harness can be a training tool for both of you, so stand up straight and take the lead the entire time you walk.

Dog Harness Comparison Chart

Ruffwear Doubleback Strength Rated Safety Dog Harness Review

The Doubleback Ruffwear strength-rated dog harness is designed for rock climbing and hiking over rough terrain. This model is strength-rated and has a metal buckle system for added safety. The harness features seven adjustment points, reflective trim, padded belly support, and leg loops. This harness received a perfect consumer rating, which makes it our top-rated product.

Doggie Stylz Service Dog Harness with Removable Saddle Bag Backpack Review

Doggie Stylz Multipurpose Pet Dog Nylon Harness with 2 reflective Patches and 2 Side Bags. These harnesses are perfect for service dogs, therapy dogs, medical alert dogs, law enforcement, and a lot more. The Saddle Bags provides two convenient bags on each side for your wallet, cell phone, keys, or other items you may need for yourself or your dog. These harnesses can be used for walking, biking, hiking, tracking, hunting, various support tasks, and much more.

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Walking Harness Review

The Kurgo Tru-Fit smart dog walking harness is available in five sizes and features a lifetime product warranty. It also features a couple of leash attachment points that you can use based on your dog’s level of experience walking on a leash. This model also comes with an additional clip that owners can use to secure the harness to a seat belt, preventing a dog from distracting its owner during a drive.

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