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Harnesses are a great option for taking dogs who like to pull on a walk and can be helpful for training. They not only help prevent an excited walker from straining their neck (like a collar might) by spreading the load over your pup’s shoulder and chest instead but also give you a much better angle and more control.
You might even be surprised to find that you’re able to walk your dog on a loose leash while using a harness. Harnesses can be pretty stylish too, coming in many different colors and textures, plus sizes suitable for every breed of dog. A well-fit harness should be comfortable enough on your dog's shoulders and chest to be worn for hours.
Here are the best dog harnesses.
Best Overall: Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness
The Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness is made with versatility in mind. The soft, padded harness has a place to clip a leash on both the front, for correcting dogs who like to pull, and the back, for taking jogs, hikes, or runs with dogs that are already leash trained. There are a several points where you can adjust the fit to make sure the harness sits just right across your dog's chest and back.
We really like the sturdy top handle for those times when you need to keep your pup extra close, and the reflective stitching helps make nighttime walks a little safer. If your dog is hesitant to wear a harness, especially one with two buckles that need clipping, note that this one can be trickier to get on.
Best No-Pull: PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
By attaching your leash to the loop on the front and center of your pup's chest, this classic harness redirects their attention to the side—and toward you—whenever your dog pulls. The PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness offers four adjustment points for a fit that’s always secure, plus a Martingale loop in the front to prevent twisting. Owners like that the belly strap is a different color than the rest of the harness, so it’s easily identifiable when you want to put the harness on your dog. One downside is that owners of larger dogs say it’s too narrow for their more powerful pets.
Best for Hiking: Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness
If you plan on taking your dog along with you on regular hikes, it’s worth it to spend a bit more on a harness that they’ll be able to wear for extended periods in total comfort and safety. The Ruffwear harness has foam-padded construction that won’t chafe or irritate your pup. With four adjustment points, you can ensure you always have the proper fit, and your dog won’t be able to escape it.
It has a beefy aluminum V-ring on the back, perfect for rugged outdoor activities, and a fabric loop on the chest for leash training (though we recommend using the Ruffwear with dogs who are already leash trained and/or only need mild correction). Other thoughtful touches include the harness's 360-degree reflection and the ID pocket for your dog’s info, should their collar or tags get lost.
Best for Walking: PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness
Whether you’re headed for a stroll around the neighborhood or taking a power walk, both you and your pup will enjoy this harness. It has two sturdy aluminum alloy leash attachment points with reinforced webbing—one on the chest and one on the back—and is made of a breathable mesh. The dual elastic construction on the belly straps offers a little bit of give, so if your dog lunges at that squirrel, it will help absorb the jerk. It’s highly reflective for extra safety on nighttime walks and has a padded and comfy handle that can double as a seat belt attachment in the car.
Best for Small Dogs: Wild One Harness
Smaller dogs are likely to prance with pleasure when you slide them into this attractive harness. The body of the harness is inspired by performance materials. It's soft, lightweight, stretchy, and easy to adjust at both the neck and the chest. It has three coordinating plastic loops for the leash attachment, one on the chest and two in the back, so you can experiment to find which one works better for you and your dog. You’ll definitely want to pick up a matching leash and poop bag carrier, available in eight chic shades.
Best for Large Dogs: HDP Big Dog No Pull Dog Harness
Everything about this harness is designed big—so big, even giant breeds can walk comfortably in it. The HDP Big Dog No Pull Dog Harness has a wide, padded design that helps to distribute pressure evenly. The large, center D-ring allows for increased control and freedom of motion, while the harness's coated grip handle is more than sturdy enough for anytime you need to hold your dog in close. It has three adjustment points and a single plastic clip closure. The polyester harness is recommended for older dogs too, since the extra padding helps take strain off their bodies.
Best Budget: EcoBark Max Comfort Dog Harness
If your dog is new to harnesses and you’re not sure how they’ll react, or they’re still a growing puppy, this affordable harness makes a great entry point. The EcoBark Max Comfort Dog Harness has a chest loop for leash training and a back loop for everyday walks. The harness is made with soft, double-layered mesh and double-reinforced stitching with an anti-rub stitch shield for extra comfort. Plus, the straps are made from recycled plastic bottles. The Max Comfort harness is available in six different sizes and 17 different color or print choices.
Most Attractive: Awoo Roam Harness
Not only is this harness stylish, with matching plastic clips and brass hardware, it's also made from recycled material. The threads of Awoo's Roam Harness are made from 100 percent recycled polyester, verified by a third-party Global Recycle Standard certification. The minimalist design of the Roam Harness (created by a fashion industry veteran and her Awoo co-founder) emphasizes thoughtful touches, like the uncoated brass hardware that develops a natural patina with use. But the Awoo harness is also practical—pop a dirty Roam into a pillowcase or lingerie bag, and it's machine washable. After your harness has frayed over the years (even if it's been chewed a lot), you can return it to Awoo for recycling and receive a credit towards your next order.
The Rabbitgoo Dog Harness is a versatile harness that helps prevent pulling and has ample padding, making it comfortable for your pooch (view at Amazon). The reflective stitching is an added safety feature for evening walks.
For more stubborn pullers, the PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness features a unique front loop that prevents twisting and turning on your walks (view at Chewy).
What to Look for in a Dog Harness
When it comes to selecting a dog harness, keep these factors in mind:
First and foremost, a harness must fit your dog properly. A too-small harness can chafe your pup, and if it’s too big, they may be able to escape it. You’ll want to measure them according to the manufacturer’s suggestion to order the corresponding size. Most harnesses are adjustable with room for growth. You’ll know the harness is properly sized and fitted if you can slip two fingers between it and your dog.
The best harnesses are made of durable materials such as nylon or polyester. You’ll want a stainless steel, aluminum, or other type of metal loop for attaching the leash. Reflective night stitching is a nice addition for those who walk their dogs in the dark (which is almost everyone in the winter months).
Where the Leash Attaches
Harnesses will either have a chest loop or a back loop where you can attach your leash. A chest loop is better for leash training and dogs that pull, while a back loop works for calmer dogs.
Harnesses come in a range of colors and finishes. In addition to picking one that appeals to you, consider what size and shape will best fit your individual dog. If you have a dog that’s skittish about having things put over its head, look for a harness that fastens around the back.
Is a dog harness better than a collar?
Harnesses are a better choice than a collar for most dogs. Because they go around the dog’s chest and behind their front legs, they won’t choke or strain a pulling dog's neck like a collar can. Harnesses also provide you with better leverage to control a large dog or a dog who likes to pull.
How do you measure a dog for a harness?
You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for measuring for a harness. In general, you’ll measure your dog’s neck circumference and chest girth with a tape measure to find their size.
How do you prevent pulling with a harness?
If you’re purchasing a harness to stop your pup from pulling on a walk, you’ll definitely want to select one with a chest loop attachment for the leash. The placement helps to gently correct by pulling your pup to the side if they get too far out ahead of you.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Anne Fritz, who has been researching pet products for The Spruce for more than two years. Before writing this article, she gathered information from customer reviews, third-party articles, and brand websites' details. She has a fetching Awoo Roam Harness for her 10-year old mixed breed who is past his pulling days.