They may be little, but they certainly are strong.
There are a lot of good reasons to use dog harnesses, and a lot of different good reasons. Dogs that pull are walked more easily on harnesses designed for walking than a collar, while active dogs may use a harness on outdoor adventures, and any dog in the backseat of a car should be harnessed for safety in a crash, just like we wear seatbelts. I have had several dogs that are active and frequent travelers for over 20 years, and I’ve tried a lot of different stuff, as I believe that man’s best friend deserves only the best. These are the best harnesses I’ve found.
The Easy Walk Harness by PetSafe is the perfect basic leash walking model, and comes in a staggering … [+]
Walking: Some dogs (like mine) are perfect off leash, and perfect with a walking harness, but react poorly to a leash on the collar. That’s why so many dog owners use walking harnesses to connect the leash instead of the collar. These are lightweight and not meant to immobilize the dog but simply to move the point of contact tension to their chest, which naturally discourages dogs from pulling, takes pressure off their neck and makes on-leash walking easier on everyone. They are also often used as training aids. For this kind of basic walking around town harness you don’t need a lot of special features, but you do need comfy fit, low profile straps, easy on and off, and plenty of colors to choose from that accessorize you dog’s style. You also want a Martingale loop in the harness material where the leash attaches, a four-point section that eliminates twisting and gives your dog the most comfortable fit. I use the widely available Easy Walk from PetSafe, which was recommended by our trainer, comes in seven colors and eight sizes, has contrasting colors to make it easy to tell the top from the bottom, and uses quick snaps that make it a breeze to put on and take off with just one snap. I’ve had the same one for three years, and it’s washable. It is holding up great and looks good, feels good and costs just around twenty bucks. That’s hard to beat.
Kurgo’s Enhanced Tru Fit combines all the best elements of a great walking harness with crash tested … [+]
In & Out of the Car: Your dog should wear a safety harness attached to a seatbelt in the car for the same reasons we wear seatbelts, to keep us from flying into the dashboard and through the windshield in a crash. But with a dog it also keeps them from moving around too much (they are still plenty comfortable) and distracting the driver, making it safer for everyone. But because the industry is not regulated, anyone can throw together a flimsy harness and call it a car restraint, and very few of them are actually tested in a meaningful way. Serious quality dog gear manufacturer Kurgo makes two models of safety harnesses for dogs riding in cars, both crash-tested at the University of Michigan Transportation Lab using the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 for child restraint systems model. The Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Smart Harness (shown) is a standard dog harness (a beefed-up version of their bestselling Tur-Fit) made of better and heavier duty materials that connects to your seatbelt with a mountain climbing-style carabiner tether. The advantages of this model are that its faster and easier to use, and doubles as a regular canine walking harness when you get out, two in one. The Impact is Kurgo’s newest design, very heavy duty, better for larger, heavier dogs, and still quite comfortable (my Golden Retriever likes it a lot better than its predecessor) and forgoes the tether altogether so the seatbelt goes through the back loops. It’s a great safety aid but doesn’t work as a walking harness. Both come in multiple sizes and have a lot of adjustability to dial in the perfect fit on all size pets.
RuffWear’s Web Master harness is the top choice for extremely active dogs, service dogs, or any dog … [+]
Athletic Dog: Ruffwear’s Web Master harness is the top choice of hardcore working dogs like ski patrol pups and search & rescue animals. But because it is an exceptional lifting harness, for giving your dog a vertical assist, it is also great for older dogs, amputees, service dogs and hiking over rough terrain. Whether you need to boost your dog into a car, a helicopter, a chairlift or over a big rock, the Web Master is the way to go. It is anatomically designed to be ultra-secure, has a padded, reinforced handle to safely and comfortably help your dog up and over obstacles, features a highly customizable fit with five adjustment points and two options of sturdy leash connection points, uses foam-padded straps for comfort, allows a full range of motion, is rugged, and has reflective trim and a safety light loop for Ruffwear’s Beacon light (sold separately). For service and working dogs, it features a designated area for adding patches and signage. Comes in five sizes and four colors.
If your dog likes a touch of class, check out the domestically tanned bridle leather harnesses from … [+]
Classy Dog: Since 1897 the motto of Filson has been “Might as well have the best,” and if you believe that also goes for your dog, check out Filson’s classic bridle leather harness. Popular with sporting dogs, it’s a dressed up version of a basic walking harness in the finest materials: nothing but saddle-grade bridle leather from North American hides, tanned in the USA, and rustproof brass hardware, including an O-ring for the leash clip.
Many smaller breeds with protruding chests, especially French bulldogs and pugs, are hard to fit. … [+]
French Bulldogs & Friends: Necessity is the mother of invention, so when owners and lovers of French Bulldogs found that their breed was especially hard to fit into harnesses, they designed their own, a two-color model called the Duo Reversible Harness by Frenchie Bulldog. They then found that several other small-to-medium sized dog breeds with protruding chests, including Dachshunds, Mini Doodles, Schnauzers, Pugs, and Boston Terriers, as well as others, had the same issues, so if you have one of these dogs and need a highly adjustable, good looking harness that fits – and doubles as dog bling – looks no further. These come in more than 30 color and patterns combos, from pink leopard print to skulls and crossbones, each in four sizes – and all are available with coordinating at leashes.
Let your dog’s personality shine with a personalized harness from LL Bean.
Personalized Harness: Maine’s L.L. Bean is famous for its high quality, lifetime guaranteed products, exceptional customer service – and its long running use of cute dog models in its catalogs. If you need to go an extra step towards making your dog feel special, take their walking harness and personalize it with your pup’s name. They start with a basic high-quality nylon webbing harness with Martingale leash attachment loop, and depending on size, you can fit 24-28 characters. In three sizes and four colors.
Noxgear specializes in very high visibility lighted, flashing and reflective safety wear for humans … [+]
Nighttime: For both dogs and their owners, walking along roads with traffic after dark is a sketchy proposition, and the only answer is to be seen. That’s where garment specialist Noxgear has carved out a niche in making the highest visibility garments you can imagine – including dog harnesses. It’s hard to jam more features into a single item, but consider this: the Noxgear Lighthound visibility dog vest has two 360-degree wrap-around illumined LED tubes in all sorts of bright color choices, and these can be set to remain on or to flash. It flashes in multiple colors which has been shown to attract more attention from the human eye, and in addition, the rest of the harness is extremely reflective, using 3M’s fluorescence material. It is rainproof, all-weather, washable and has a rechargeable battery that runs for 12 hours at a time – enough for a lot of nighttime walks on a single charge. Walking a dog after dark in the Lighthound vest will also make you safer, a win win.
When you combine the best features of a very high quality camping dog backpack with a harness you … [+]
Camping Dog: A lot of campers and backpackers like to take their dogs on the trail, and many let their athletic dogs carry their own food and supplies. But some doggie backpacks slide around, don’t fit that well or are not great when your dog has to be on leash. Collar and harness specialist Ruffwear makes a hybrid harness/backpack model that offers the best of both worlds, with plenty of storage for the backpacking dog plus the great fit and leash connectivity of a harness. It’s got two options for leash attachment, a convenient and functional handle for boosting your dog over obstacles or into and out of the car, and is designed like high performance human backpacks to carry the load efficiently and comfortably without shifting. The Approach dog pack comes in three sizes and two colors.