A dog harness was originally used for pulling loads and mounting signs or devices. Today, harnesses are gaining popularity for its durability, better canine control features, and better support. There are many different types of dog harnesses in the market that choosing one can be overwhelming.
Such a choice should not be confusing if you just focus on these 3 considerations:
- The size of your dog
- The specific use for the harness
- Your Pet’s behaviour
Let us discuss those 3 aspects in detail.
Is your dog still growing? Go for an adjustable harness. For large dogs, a durable harness with wide straps and secure closures is ideal. The no-pull type—the one with a ring in the front—is also recommended to discourage tugging by such large canines.
It is very important that the harness fits your dog comfortably. Here is how you fit a harness for your pooch:
- Ensure that the harness fits underneath the deepest point of his chest (about 5–12cm from his front legs). This is the optimal spot that allows you to lift or hold your pet up by his sternum. If the harness goes beyond this area, it will slide to your dog’s neck at some point.
- The belly strap is in ‘T’ position, not sideways and in ‘Y’ position.
- The strap fits your pooch snugly without creating bulges in his skin. You should be able to slip in two fingers in the straps.
- The front part is not loose, dangling, tugged to the side, or bunched up in the dog’s chin or neck.
- The strap that goes across the chest should be a tight but comfortable fit. It should be above the dog’s shoulder joints and should not go round the armpits so that he has a full range of motion.
Purpose of Dog Harness
There may be many kinds of harnesses, but they can be generally classified according to their uses, which are as follows:
Dog harnesses under this category are also known as no-pull harnesses. They are primarily meant to teach canine pets to walk on leads, stop pulling, and learn obedience skills.
Tip: When choosing a dog harness, take into consideration the dog coat you might use together with the harness. Some coats have an opening at the back that allows you to attach the lead to the ring at the back.
2. Exercise and Restraint
If you want a dog harness for walking your dog or keeping him in check whilst engaging in outdoor activities, variations of the following type are recommended. However, these are best suited for dogs that do not have issues with their walk and have no obedience problems.
The front-clip harness, which is also used for training, it is also suitable for exercising your canine.
Under this category are dog harnesses that help secure your dog from accidents.
Tip: If you are deciding between a flashing tag and a flashing collar for walks when the light is restricted, a flashing/lit-up collar will be a better option, as when your dog is facing away from you, the tag might not be visible.
This classification covers dog harnesses that provide support to injured or ageing dogs. It also includes guide dogs.
Typically, nylon and leather are the materials used for harnesses. Some are padded with neoprene or foam, boosting canine comfort. Whilst the synthetic option is durable, economical, easy to maintain, and versatile style-wise, the leather dog harnesses are more comfortable. Leather also improves with age and can outlast nylon.
For bigger, stronger dogs, leather is highly recommended. With smaller dogs, lightweight nylon is suitable enough.
What is your dog’s temperament? Is he very playful and apt to jump about? What about his energy level? If you answered yes to both questions, you will do well to choose the front attachment harness. This allows you to manage all that frisky movement without causing injury to your dog.
If your dog is calm and has already been trained to walk on a lead, the back attachment types will be suitable for him.
Tip: Watch out for tangles. If you are using a long lead or you have an energetic pooch, ensure that your dog’s legs will not be entangled by the lead’s length.
Harnessing Your Dog’s Potential
The dog harness, when chosen correctly, can help your pooch become or remain a well-behaved, happy dog.