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How to choose a harness for your dog?

Nearly one in three dogs wears a harness, and this device is gradually replacing the collar somewhat shunned by many canine owners. But when you are about to buy a harness for your dog it is very important to choose it taking into account the morphology of the animal and the use. Not so easy when you see the number of variations proposed today in this field. In any case, this equipment is not chosen just for its look. It must be above all comfortable and perfectly adapted to the dog in order to avoid any injury. Here are the main criteria to review when choosing the ideal harness for your dog.

Main criteria for choosing a dog harness

Some owners prefer to opt for the harness because they are convinced that the collar can hurt their dog. This is not wrong if the dog pulls a lot on the leash during walks, especially since the traction compresses the trachea artery of the animal, which, in addition to causing pain, has the effect of making him cough. Of course, these disadvantages are not encountered with a harness.

Here are the main criteria to consider before buying a harness to give your dog the best adapted one.

The use

  • For rescue dogs: the water working harness is especially suitable for Newfoundland. Thanks to its lateral buoys, it allows the dog to limit its efforts in the water and to protect it from the risks of drowning.
  • Equip a hiking dog: the backpack harness allows the animal to carry, for example, his water bottle and his bowl, his small cookies or a first aid kit during long walks.
  • To help the handicapped dog to move: the carrying harness maintains the hindquarters of the animal when it suffers from invalidating arthritis for example.
  • Training your dog: the anti-pull harness is essential when learning to walk on a leash because it does not cause any pain to the animal even if it pulls a lot on its leash.
  • Pulling an object: the pulling harness is the one used to maintain the muscles of very athletic dogs. These four-legged athletes need intensive training.
  • Towing a human: this is the Husky harness, adapted to the practice of a dog sport and to sled dogs.
  • Without specific needs: the multi-harness is versatile since it has a handle, a back attachment and a chest attachment.


Generally, dog harnesses are labeled, which makes it possible to choose the right size. However, just as the owner does when he wants to buy clothes, it is better that the dog can try the harness coveted because depending on the morphology of the animal, a device yet the right size may not suit him. Harnesses are available in sizes XS to XL to fit both small and large dogs.

However, it is important to make sure that the harness is not too tight because it will not be comfortable especially if the dog gains 1 or 2 kilos. A harness must be able to give the animal some room to grow. In any case, it is possible to adjust it as well as possible thanks to its tightening links.

If the owner wants to order a harness for his dog on an online site, it is in his best interest to choose a site that does not charge return shipping costs. So, if he hesitates between two sizes, he can order two harnesses and send back the one that doesn't fit.

The material

This is a criterion not to be neglected because the material of the harness counts a lot in terms of comfort. It must be pleasant to the touch, easy to clean, but it must also allow perspiration to evaporate in order to bring more comfort to the animal, especially when it is very hot. This is essential to limit bad odors.

The style

As far as the look of the dog harness is concerned, it should be chosen according to the animal, its sex, age, physique and personality. For example, colorful or funny harnesses are preferred for small mischievous dogs, those with pearls, hearts and tassels for females, and we rather focus on refined and sober models, much better suited to a large elegant and composed dog. Choosing a harness for your dog deserves special attention, especially since it can be quite expensive, with prices ranging from 15 to 80 €, depending on the model.

Finally, whenever possible, choose a harness that is easy to hold when not using a leash. That's why we strongly recommend a harness with a handle on top, like the multi-use model. It is very useful to hold a big dog that is a bit nervous during training or learning sessions. The handle is very practical for the master to assert himself as a dominant.