HOW TO CHOOSE A DOG HARNESS
by Ahoo Entesarian
We have reviewed the most popular dog harnesses in the market!
First thing first;
Why we believe harnesses are better than collars?
- They offer better control on walks
- Most types discourage pulling by redirecting your dog
- Harnesses can double as mobility aids for dogs who need a little help getting up and down
- If your dog has a habit of backing out of their collar, some harnesses can be a literal life-saver
- Brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds such as: pugs. French bulldogs, chow chows, etc. sometimes have trouble with collars that put pressure on their necks. A harness helps redistribute pressure and keeps your Pug or Frenchie breathing easy.
Now that we agreed that harnesses are better options for your dog, let’s look into the advantages and disadvantages of each type and what we think is the best option based on your dog’s size.
To help you pick the perfect dog harness for your pet, we've tried out some of the most popular options on our own dogs.
With some help from Tilly, Raisin, Ludo and Raf, we've been able to put a range of dog harnesses through their paces. For each model below, we've paid close attention to ease of fitting, durability and comfort.
It consists of a spine with two loops attached (one around the neck, one around the chest) and a strap that connects the two loops between the front legs.
- Suitable for larger dogs
The H harness is the oldest type in history. The biggest advantage of the H harness is that it is highly adjustable in size. Therefore, it can also accompany long-term growing dogs: the resulting good seat is, of course, another advantage, through which the harness can be used for sports activities: jogging, biking or crawling is easily possible with harness.
- Suitable for activities
Even the classics have weak points: to make it feel good, the H harness must be ideally configured. This works mainly well due to the many adjustment options, but if the back bar is too short, that doesn't help. Make sure the straps are wide enough. Otherwise, it can be painful to press the larynx or sternum during exercise and cause injury.
- Complicated to adjust
- Straps width matters
- Can be painful
- May cause injury
This type of dog harness is a modification of the harness, except that the area of the chest here has a Y-shape (usually padded) and is not connected by a ring or similar construction. By this construction, it is generally more or less directly in the shoulder blades and is also close to the dog's armpit.
- Suitable for medium to large dogs
It can be easily put on without the dog having to lift the legs: simply put on the head strap, make the lower part between the front legs and then close the locks on the chest, but this is only possible if there are closures on both sides.
- Easy to wear
The fact that the harness is designed "narrow" and the leashes are tight (a good fit is also extremely important here), dogs may feel restricted in the movement of the anterior limb. Furthermore, even if it is theoretically well established, it can be very abrasive even with the wrong material: the result is bald skin or, in the worst case, even eczema.
- It’s too narrow
- Restriction in movement
- Can be abrasive
- May cause bald skin or eczema
One click Norwegian Harness
One click harnesses (also known as Norwegian harnesses) are now among the most popular types. In principle, it is constructed quite simply: it consists of a horizontal chest strap, which is fastened on both sides with the trunk strap, which once leads around the chest behind the front legs. Above all there is still a tie on the back of the dog, where you can hold four-legged friends.
- Suitable for any sized dog
The biggest advantage of this harness design is that all the pressure is directed to the dog's chest; Sensitive areas such as the larynx are not loaded at all. It is also positive that it can be put on and removed so easily and quickly: it is put on the head and closes the chest strap, that's all. As it has no leash between the front legs, it is also suitable for sensitive dogs that feel quickly contracted. Finally, it is very suitable as an alternative to normal harness if the dog cannot transport it due to health problems, such as recent surgical scars. There are also two D-rings in the front and back of the harness allowing you to attach the leash where you desire, or if you wish to hang an ID tag to the front loop. The front strap sits on the chest further from the neck which never results in choking. They also ease the sensitive areas such as the spine, neck and head of your dog and prevent unnecessary pulling.
- No- choke
- Suitable for sensitive dogs
- D-rings on the back and front
- Quick-snap buckles make it easy to put on and take off
- Strong, soft nylon is secure and easy to clean
- Suitable for any sized dog
- Great for everyday walk
The only disadvantage is that this harness may not be suitable for restless dogs, as they could relatively easily get out of the harness.
- Not suitable for restless dogs
Step In Harness
This dog harness (also known as chest harness) is less common because it is suitable for daily use only in some types of dogs. It basically consists of two loops that rise on the front legs of the dog like a "pair of pants" and connect on the shoulders.
- Suitable for puppies and small breeds
The biggest advantage here is that you don't have to throw your head: perfect for dogs with a shy head. In addition, it does not exert pressure on sensitive areas in the chest and neck area, which is particularly important for impetuous puppies and young dogs that are still growing.
- Suitable for dogs with shy head
In general, it is more suitable for small and light dogs: large and heavy animals or breeds with a deep chest could escape from the harness quickly. In addition, it can quickly restrict freedom of movement, even if it is theoretically good. This often leads to friction behind the armpits. In addition, dressing and undressing is always an effort, especially if dogs are not accustomed to it or are generally restless types.
- May cause choking
- Not suitable for large dogs
- Restrict freedom of movement
- Cause friction in the armpits
- Difficult to put on
- Not suitable for larger breeds
After testing all the above harnesses on our furry team, we have come to the conclusion that the “One-Click” harness is the best option for any dog size or breed. Not only they are light in weight, also their ergonomic design makes them ultra soft and extra comfortable. They are fully adjustable and they help dogs with breathing problems, collapsing trachea and bad backs.
To see all available One-Click harnesses click here