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Best Dog Training Harnesses for the Decade

Walking your doggo is one of the most ubiquitous, most common, tasks of having one. It can be fun or frustrating, depending on your doggo and the gear you’re walking it with. There are two types of dog walking equipment: leashes and training harnesses. Leashes, while simple, may not work for larger doggos or smaller hoomans. You need a dog harness. Let’s look at the best training dog harnesses for the decade.

Let’s look at the best dog training harnesses for this decade.

Why you NEED a dog harness

The problem with leashes

Leashes, while common and simple, come with quite a few problems.

  • They necessarily choke the doggo. This will happen when the doggo moves in any direction away from the hooman.
    • This problem is made worse in short-snoot doggos like pugs and French bulldogs, who because of their short snoots, have enough trouble breathing as it is.
  • They strain the doggo’s neck. This is due to there being a very small point of contact with the doggo in motion. It gets worse the larger or more energetic the doggo is.
  • They are ineffective for large doggos or small hoomans. Because there is that very little point of contact with the doggo’s body, leashes are only effective up to so much weight. Most of the tension ends up in the line itself, which, if the doggo is huge or energetic (say a mastiff or a pibble) or you are heckin smol you are going for a walk, not the doggo. (In Soviet Russia, dog walks YOU!)

    This good boye is also a heckin strong boye

How a Dog Harness Addresses These Problems
Harness works by fastening to the doggo’s body, rather than just their neck. 

  • This spreads the force from resistance or any deviation from the hooman’s path and the doggo’s path across their body instead of just their neck
  • This means no more choking or neck strain!
  • This makes for an easier walk because the entire body is supported.
    • Some dog harnesses work in such a way that, if your ambitious boye/gorl gives you struggle, the harness carries their own momentum into a circle instead of letting them keep walking/running.

What to look for in a dog harness

There are several factors that you should consider before running to buy a leash (down, hooman!):

Comfort for the Doggo

The doggo is the one that has to wear this device and be governed by it. Ideally, it should be so comfy for them that they’ll want to wear it. Also, the last thing you want anyone, be they a hooman, doggo, or something else to face when you’re trying to teach them something is pain, fear, or anxiety. Animals learn best when they are comfortable.

Of course, not all doggos are built equally. There are smol puppers, medium-sized doggos, big woofers, chonky doggos, slim doggos, and just plain stocky doggos. To each of those body types, comfort looks different.

Big doggos, such as mastiffs and greyhounds, require martingale (no-pull) harnesses. Smol doggos, such as pomeranians and shih tzus, are fine with front-attaching harnesses. Either way, the harness should be adjustable and customizable so as to maximize the product’s use over the life of your doggo.

Ease of Use for YOU

OK, so the dog has to wear the harness, but YOU have to put it on! It should be easy for you to do, and not a chore. (Otherwise, it will end up defeating its own purpose: to help you take your pooch for a walk/jog/run/whatever.) It should ideally also have features tailored to you.

Quick release on a harness could mean that you can put it on your doggo and take it off quickly, and hassle-free. It’s also safety feature for if the harness should become entangled in something, including another doggo’s leash/harness.

The harness also has to be sturdy. The last thing you want, as a dog parent, is to be jogging your doggo, they try to take off, pull against the harness, and somehow slip out of it or break free of it. This has happened to my gorl Lady a few times. Luckily I had quick enough reflexes to catch her before she could bolt off.

Excellent Fit

Always, ALWAYS, get your doggo measured BEFORE buying a leash or harness, especially online. It’s like buying shoes or clothes for yourself online: they may be too big or too small and you might have wasted your time buying it by not knowing the size beforehand. Don’t worry: this is really simple to do.

There’s only a few breeds of dog that are hard to fit for a harness:

  • mastiffs
  • sighthounds
  • pibbles/other stocky breed

Pay a little more attention when shopping for either of those doggos.

Safety

Comfort, ease of use, and excellent fit already factor into safety, but there’s more to it. Consider:

  • Hi-vis features – It may sound silly but, depending on where you are, it could get dark quick, you might be on the trail or some other place where you have to worry about traffic. Also, this allows you to see your doggo better in such conditions, giving you extra peace of mind walking your doggo.

Mighty Paw Padded Sports Dog Harness


What we like

  • This dog harness allows you to attach the cord to either the back or the front, making it versatile.
  • Doesn’t restrict the doggo’s shoulder when they run or walk
  • Adjustable straps
  • Quick-release buckles
  • Padded handle on the back for more control (e.g. in crowded areas)

Drawbacks

  • Not for really lorg doggos, such as mastiffs
  • Sizing may be a bit awkward
  • Neck is not adjustable

Freedom Harness


What we like

  • Two points of contact, for double control!
  • Doesn’t restrict your doggo’s movement
  • No more strain in controlling your pooch
  • Fits all doggos, regardless of shape or size

Drawbacks

  • The front-clip design is a bit counterintuitive.
  • Can get tangled

SureFit Harness


What we like

  • Affordable
  • More flexible design

Drawbacks

  • No reflective
  • Not that customizable
  • This type of harness was the one that my Lady slipped out of on multiple occasions

What do you think of this list? Do you have any that you’d recommend over any of these? Let us know in the comments.

Mike Warren

4 Comments

  1. Great post I only have a small dog but he isn’t an on lead kinda dog, if I have him in an area that requires dogs to be on leash he is a really bad puller, he even pulled my shoulder out, I didn’t think a small dog could do that kind of damage and totally agree with the post, a harness is the best way to go.
    I am not familiar with these harnesses as we don’t have them in my country we are quite an outdoors type of people so I’m a big fan of ruffwear adventure/active harnesses and ezydog. Thanks for the read I’ve learnt a lot, and about new brands to also check out.

  2. Hi Mike,
    I’m from New Zealand. We get very cheap rubbish that I wouldn’t touch and then we get ruffwear dog gear very high end and expensive designed mostly for high adventure/sport dog level. The most common mid range brands are Ezydog and Julius- K9. It is sometimes cheaper to bring them in and get better quality so I am always interested in product that is new to me.

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