There are a ton of great reasons to have your dog wear a harness. A dog’s neck and trachea are sensitive, and lots of pulling or jerking on a collar can do serious damage (which a harness can avoid). For dogs who pull, a harness can also help manage their strength while you work on training.

We also love harnesses for dogs who are an escape risk and might slip out of a normal collar. And as always- we like being able to choose fun colors and designs for our doggos! We’ve listed out some general ideas about harness options, but one of our trainers can always help you with more details!

Harnesses for dogs who pull

Remember, a harness is just a management solution- you definitely want to work with a positive reinforcement trainer to work on your dog’s leash skills! But a front-clip harness can help in the meantime. When your dog pulls, the tension on the leash essentially pulls that clip on your dog’s chest, forcing them to turn slightly to the side. So instead of being able to brace and pull directly forward, your dog gets turned to the side every time they pull.

When using a front-clip harness, it’s essential that you fit the harness snugly enough. If you can fit more than two fingers under the straps, or if you notice the harness sliding around, it’s too loose. Not only will it not work to stop the pulling, but it can also cause injury this way. So fit your harness snugly!

Our favorite front-clip harnesses:

  1. Balance Harness- great for an escape risk, and Y shaped (we’ll talk more about that).
  2. Freedom Harness- T shaped, but soft straps under the armpits. And SO MANY colors!

Other harnesses

Look for something that fits your dog’s shape! Some harnesses have more adjustable straps (or fewer). A Y-shaped harness is a great idea, especially for puppies and young adult dogs whose bones are still forming. The Y means that the straps go around their neck versus across their shoulders. A T-shaped harness instead has straps across the front/shoulders, which restrict movement and can sometimes cause issues, especially with development.

Our favorite harnesses:

  1. Ruffwear– so many options and colors!
  2. PetSafe 3-in-1

*Remember that many dogs aren’t super comfortable having harnesses or other things put on them or over their heads. If your dog isn’t loving their harness, set up a private training session.