how to choose a harness for a dog photo

How to choose a harness for a dog. Owner Tips

Increasingly, on the streets of megalopolises, large cities and small settlements, you can find dogs wearing not collars, but harnesses. This accessory is becoming more and more popular and in demand among owners of four-legged pets.

Let’s figure out what are the advantages of the harness, as well as find out what types and types of this type of ammunition are presented on the domestic market.


  • What is a harness
  • Types of harnesses for dogs
    • Walking harness
    • Harness vest
    • Riding harness
    • Harness with weights
    • Puppy harness
  • Which harness to choose
  • How to choose the size of the harness

What is a harness

This product is a kind of ammunition for walking and training, which is not attached to the pet’s neck, but to its body. Manufacturers often use leather or strong belts that can withstand impressive loads as a material for making harnesses.

All models are made according to a certain scheme. They encircle the animal’s chest and converge in the ridge region between the forepaws.

Experts insist that this type of harness is the safest and most comfortable for the dog. With a sharp jerk, it does not overload the neck muscles and does not lead to injury.

It is important: For some dog breeds, wearing a collar is contraindicated. For example, a pug has a larger neck than a head. Therefore, the classic collar will slide off the neck. Or else it will have to be tightened too much. This will disrupt the blood supply, and can also lead to injury to the lymphatic vessels and the development of swelling in the neck. It will also be difficult for the animal to breathe while walking. Therefore, for such pets, a harness will be the most preferable option.

Types of harnesses for dogs

Experts remind that there are several varieties of this ammunition. And the owner should decide in advance what kind of product his four-legged pet needs. Consider the main types that can be found on the shelves of pet stores and veterinary pharmacies.

Walking harness

Dog harness photo

This is the most common product variant. For manufacturing, manufacturers use leather or nylon. These materials are lightweight and highly durable.

Particular attention should be paid to the correct selection of the size. This will allow you to use the harness for constant wear and not remove it after every walk.

Harness vest

harness-vest for dog photo

Has become very popular with the advent of decorative dog breeds with short hair. Such models make it possible to exclude hypothermia of representatives of miniature breeds during a walk.

This type of harness has become widespread among Chihuahua owners, Spitz, Pekingese and other small four-legged pets.

Riding harness

Dog riding harness photo

Riding harnesses are made of high-strength materials. It can be nylon or canvas. Such models are used for animals taking part in competitions or being part of a sledding team in the northern regions of the country.

Manufacturers pay special attention to the choice of durable material, as well as fasteners. Sled harnesses are great for dog breeds such as Husky and Malamute.

Harness with weights

harness for dogs with weights photo

Found its application for training pets and prevention of weakness of the musculoskeletal system.

Cynologists do not recommend using this type for decorative dogs. For representatives of medium, large or giant breeds, such equipment provides an increased load on the paws and helps to strengthen the muscles.

The model is equipped with special pockets for storing cargo. Experts recommend gradually increasing the load so as not to provoke muscle sprains, joint injuries or other unpleasant consequences.

Puppy harness

“Children’s” models are usually made of soft, durable and light materials that do not put stress on the puppy’s fragile musculoskeletal system and do not lead to the development of any disorders. The ammunition does not hinder movement, but reliably fixes the baby at the moment of sudden jerks.

Perhaps you will be interested in our article Choosing a collar for a dog. Owner Tips

Which harness to choose

This question is often asked by dog ​​owners who decide to abandon the use of a collar and switch to this type of harness. Cynologists recommend giving preference to a harness that:

  • Made from quality materials. It can be nylon, canvas or leather. It should be easy to wash and dry quickly. If your pet gets dirty on the street, then such a product can be washed and dried quickly. Therefore, on the next walk, the dog will again be able to go out in the usual ammunition;
  • Fasteners must be strong and not cause inconvenience during movement. It is important to pay attention to their location. Rings, carabiners and other fasteners should not chafe or cause discomfort;
  • Perfect fit. A model that is too tight will chafe when moving and can lead to the formation of bald spots. And too free it will not be enough to reliably fix the dog.

It is important: when choosing a model for medium or large dogs, you should give preference to reliable metal fittings. But for miniature decorative pets, plastic clips and fasteners will be enough.

How to choose the size of the harness

In order for the purchased product to be comfortable for the pet, it is necessary to choose the correct size at the time of purchase.

This can be done quite simply:

  1. Take your pet with you and try on the model you like in the store. Consultants will easily select the appropriate size and help in choosing the type of product (if the owner cannot make a decision on his own);
  2. Take measurements from your own dog and choose a suitable harness for them.

In order to correctly take measurements, the owner should know a few nuances:

  • Neck volume should be measured at the location of the collar;
  • The girth of the chest is determined at the point of greatest width. 2 cm should be added to the result obtained. This will allow the product not to squeeze the chest at the time of fast running or overexcitation, when the animal has rapid breathing;
  • Back length is the distance from the withers to the base of the tail.

How to choose the size of the harness

It is important: Measurements should be taken without any increments and the pet’s coat should be carefully pressed. And only after all measurements have been taken should a slight increase in the volume of the chest be made.

If the dimensions are not taken correctly, then the product will cause discomfort to the pet. Too tight model will hinder movement and rub at the points of contact with the body. A larger product will hang freely on the dog.

Experienced dog handlers conduct a simple test to determine if the selected option is appropriate for a particular dog.

It is necessary to put the harness on the pet and try to slip your palm under the belts. If the hand passes without much effort, then the measurements were taken correctly.

If you can’t put your palm in or you need to apply force for this, then it is better to refuse to purchase such a product. The pet will not be comfortable in it.

Take a look at our articles: Dog leash. What are they and which one to choose and How to choose the right muzzle for a dog

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