How to Put on a Dog Harness Correctly

When it comes to putting on a dog harness, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure that the harness fits your dog properly. Second, make sure that the harness is snug but not too tight, and that the straps are evenly distributed across your dog's chest. Finally, make sure that the leash is long enough to allow your dog to move around freely but not so long that it becomes a safety hazard.

It's easy to get tangled up in the process if you've never used a dog harness before or are considering trying out a new style. Each new style offers a unique set of advantages ranging from training to comfort. There are also distinct guidelines and methods for putting on the various types of harness. Fortunately, there are a few simple methods for determining which harness is best for you and how to properly fit it to your dog.

"Walking your dog should be fun for both the dog and the walker," said Susan Konecny, RN, DVM, Medical Director at Best Friends Animal Society®. "Body harnesses are ideal for dogs because of the comfort they provide and the ease with which most dogs adapt to them.". Depending on the dog and the situation, different types of harnesses can be used.”

Why Does Your Dog Need a Dog Harness?

A pet parent may prefer a harness to a collar for a variety of reasons. "Some dogs with medical conditions like megaesophagus (an enlarged esophagus) or a neck injury are better off with a harness because it doesn't put any pressure on the neck," said Ashley Atkinson, CPDT-KA, behavior consultant at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Consider using a harness to help train your dog not to pull or jump. Harnesses are a less severe option for training than pinch or chain collars. "We recommend harness collars over those other styles because pinch and chain collars can actually increase certain behavioral concerns, such as lunging or growling at other dogs while on leash," Atkinson explained.

Types of Dog Harnesses

Collars are fairly simple, but harnesses can quickly become overwhelming. "There are many different types of harnesses on the market today," Annie Angell, CPDT-KA and co-owner of My Two Dogs, explained. The options may appear to be a jumble of strings and clips, but there is more to it, as each type of harness has a slightly different style and fit, according to Atkinson. The following are the most common options.:

  • Back-clip: This is the most common style for most dogs to adapt to. Back-clip harnesses are designed for calm dogs who have been trained not to pull on the leash. They are especially useful for small dogs with sensitive throats who are easily irritated by collars.
  • Front-clip or Training Harness: This style features a leash attachment in front of the harness, which should be placed in the center of your dog's chest. Front-clip harnesses are frequently used by trainers to help reduce the dog's pulling on the leash. The chest clip gives you better control over your dog's direction and allows him to be redirected if necessary.
  • Comfort Wrap or Step-in Harness: This style is typically intended to allow your dog to easily step into the harness and close on his back. Place the harness on the ground, have him step into it, and then pull the harness up and around his shoulders before clipping him in.
  • Soft or Vest Harness: This harness is typically made of a mesh material that is available in a variety of colors and patterns. The style is similar to a vest and may appear thicker and wider than other options..
  • No-pull Harness: This style, like a training or front clip harness, is intended to discourage your dog from pulling. If your dog pulls, the leash attachment ring will be in the center of his chest, and the harness will tighten and add pressure, encouraging him to stay closer to you. Some styles also tighten around your dog's legs as well as his chest.
  • Auto Harness: These harnesses feature an attachment that hooks into your vehicle's seat belt and are ideal for pets who enjoy car rides.
  • Dog Mobility Harness: This style is appropriate for senior dogs or those who have leg or spine injuries. The full body style, unlike the other styles, is used for dog lifting and is not used for daily walks and outings.

The Best Way to Measure a Dog for a Harness

"When choosing a harness and trying it on your dog, make sure it's snug and the clip hangs higher up on your dog's chest," Atkinson explained. "If it dangles too low, it won't be able to help control forward momentum."." You should also make sure that the harness is not too tight or difficult to clip or buckle, and that it does not rub under a dog's armpits or anywhere else.". Before making a first-time purchase, take your dog to try on a few different options.

Harness sizes typically range from extra small to extra large. The size is determined by the circumference of your dog's rib cage and chest. If your dog is unable to try on a potential harness before purchasing it, measure across his rib cage and chest and add two inches. If your dog is in between sizes, go with the next larger size. Typically, these measurements correspond to the following sizes::

                  • Extra small: 8 to 14 inches

                  • Small: 10 to 20 inches

                  • Medium: 16 to 28 inches

                  • Large: 26 to 40 inches

                  • Extra large: 40+ inches

How to Put a Dog Harness On

When putting a harness on your dog, each style has its own set of techniques to consider. Typically, the harness will require your dog to step into it, or you will need to slip it over his head and have him step through the arm holes before clipping him in. It is critical to get your dog used to how you put on any style so that you both stay tangle-free. "I suggest teaching the dog to stand still," Angell advised. "You could teach them to stand and then put one paw through the harness before the other.".  If the dog is fidgety, give him a treat to eat while he is being harnessed."

Do you wear a dog harness over or under your clothes?

It is preferable to use a harness. underneath any pet clothing whenever possible, to ensure your pet's safety.

Where should a dog harness be worn on the chest?

Step 1: Place the harness around your dog's neck. Step 2: Swing the chest piece up to touch your dog's chest and belly. Step 3: Secure the chest piece's two buckles ( one behind your dog's front legs on each side ) to the harness's back.

Should the dog harness be clipped in front or back?

Dog trainers prefer front-clip harnesses because they limit how much a dog can pull on her leash. . Other people prefer back-clip dog harnesses because they are more versatile and give the owner more control over the dog's movement, especially if she is headstrong!.