Interested in figuring out the best dog harness?
After much research, we have assembled a list of what we believe are the five best. Harnesses are highly recommended by both trainers and vets due to the fact that they all prevent the dog from hurting themselves by pulling too hard.
The biggest decision you have in choosing a harness is if you want a “no pull” harness or a regular harness. The difference is the attachment point of the leash. The no-pull harnesses have an attachment point at the front of the dog’s chest. If the dog pulls, it causes them to turn around. It actually works surprisingly well.
Dog Harness – Durability of Materials
Durability is absolutely critical for medium and large dogs. This is especially true for dogs that tend to pull and will be testing the harness. There are many reports of cheaper harnesses breaking. We believe this is the single most important factor.
The more expensive harnesses like the Ruffware Front Range harness are extremely durable. The heavy-duty construction makes failure very unlikely. We were unable to find any reports of this harness breaking.
The highly rated and frequently recommended Kurgo Tr-Fit harness does have problems with the front snap coming undone, resulting in the harness not staying in place during walks. This front snap has also been reported to break off, so we do not like this one for bigger, hard pulling dogs.
Attachment Points and Owner Control
To figure out which model is the best dog harness for you, you need to decide how much control you need. Does your dog naturally walk beside you and rarely pull? If this is the case, then you really only need a back attachment point. However, if your dog is powerful, beware. Using the back attachment gives does more pulling power than a collar gives them. Don’t set yourself up to be pulled over!
The front attachment points are great for bigger dogs and hard pullers. If the pull on the leash, the positioning causes them to turn toward you, which will actually help correct the pulling problem. They work wonderfully.
If you have an especially big or powerful dog, the Freedom No-Pull Harness is the best option. It is very durable, you can customize the fit for just about any large dog, and it will prevent even the hardest pullers from yanking you around.
Adjustability and Fit
As mentioned before, there are basically two styles – vest style and double collar.
The first slides over the dogs head and under their chest. Then there are two buckles that snap into place. I call this the vest style and find it the fastest and easiest to put on. The first time you do it, it will require you to take it on and off three or four times to get the fit just right. Then you are set and it is easy going.
The second style is the double collar variety. This is similar to attaching two collars, they typically have two buckles. They are slightly more difficult to get on, but they are better for very big dogs because they are more adjustable.
Ease of Putting On
You will like the best style best. The Ruffware Front Range and Kurgo Tru Fit are definitely the easiest harness to put on. They slip right over the dogs head, then an easy buckle and you are done.
We prefer the Ruffwear Front Range and Freedom No-Pull Harness for safety. While they both cost a little more, they are two of the highest quality harnesses out there. We have a Ruffwear harness we have been using daily for years and it shows no signs of wear. Reports of failures in either brand are rare. These are both very safe.
The Best Dog Harnesses
Editors Choice – Ruffwear Front Range Harness
- MADE FOR EXTENDED WEAR: Lightweight, durable, and made for all-day outdoor adventures; Designed for easy on and off
- 2 LEASH ATTACHMENT POINTS: Reinforced webbing at chest stands up to pulling and gives additional control (ideal for training, too); Aluminum V-ring centered on back
- PADDED FOR COMFORT: Foam-padded strips across the chest and belly provide equal load distribution and comfort when running, walking, or resting
- CUSTOMIZABLE FIT: 4 convenient points of adjustment for full range of motion; Easy access ID pocket for safe storage of your dog's tags
- EASY TO SEE, DAY AND NIGHT: Bright, easily visible fabric with reflective trim helps your dog stand out against any landscape day and night
Ruffwears products are durable, good looking, and very well made. They all have heavy duty hardware and double stitching. This harness is easy to put on – just slip it over your dogs head and buckle two buckles. This harness also features two attachment points, one in front and one on top.
Ruffwear makes the Front Range Harness in 7 sizes. This really helps with fit, although some dogs seem to not quite fit on their sizing chart. Worst case, you may have to exchange the harness for a different size. Fortunately, Amazon makes this very easy.
The entire harness is appropriately padded and there is a pocket you can put a dog ID into. The straps all adjust easily and the padding should prevent chaffing. Some people think the front attachment is small or weak, but our hard pulling boy is no match for this harness.
I really think this is the best harness out there. the only exception would be if your primary reason for buying a harness is to control the dog. If that is the case, then Freedom No-Pull may be best.
Freedom No Pull Harness
- The Freedom No-Pull Harness design minimizes or eliminates pulling, neck strain, and the chance of escape.
- Contains a soft Swiss velvet lining on the strap that goes behind the legs to help prevent rubbing, chaffing and sores.
- Multi-functional: The harness can be used for discouraging pulling when attached to the front or for exercise when attached to the back.
- Reduces pulling!
- Dual Connection makes it easy to walk your dog!
The Freedom No-Pull Harness is also a great harness.
If you have a wild and crazy, strong dog that is driving you crazy, this would be my first pick. It works just a little better than the Ruffwear when dogs pull. It is designed in a way that is less resistant to twisting on the dog.
This is the best choice for big dogs. Especially really bid dogs.
Budget Choice – Kurgo Dog Harness
- Everyday Dog Harness - Comfortable, lightweight walking harness with five easy adjustable points and plastic quick release buckles to make it easy to take on and take off when on the go. Suitable for walking or jogging.
- No-Pull Training Clip - Pet harness has a front D-Ring to use as leash attachment to train dogs not to pull; it will turn them around when try to pull; also features back leash ring for regular walking or jogging.
- Includes Dog Seatbelt - Comes with dog seat Belt 10-inch tether that can be used during car travel as a pet seatbelt to restrain dog and prevent distracted driving: or as a training tether. Harness is not crash tested.
- Size and Fit - Small fits dogs with neck 12-20 inches and chest 16-22 inches; Please refer to Kurgo size chart for information on how to properly measure your dog
- Committed to Quality - Product comes with hassle-free Kurgo lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects. Call Kurgo customer service at 877-847-3868 for more information.
The Kurgo has a no pull D ring in the front, a seat belt attachment, and a lifetime warranty. It is an excellent harness at a good price.
Here is a great review from Amazon.
Day 1. I attached this to my monster 130 pound Rottweiler. We proceeded to embark (pun intended) on our best walk in years. We came across other dogs, squirrels, and mailmen. None were devoured and my arms remain comfortably in their sockets. Not only was pulling nearly impossible for him, this harness also forced the beast to stay pretty close to my side instead of lagging behind or lunging ahead, Quality seems good but we’ll see how this holds up in another month or two.
Conclusion – picking the best dog harness
There are some great dog harness options available, and I standby all three listed. You really can’t go wrong. While the Front Range may be best for most dog owners, it is more expensive. For large dogs, the Freedom No-Pull is best. And the Kurgo is our value pick.