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9 Best Dog Harnesses

A dog harness helps keep your dog safe and is a practical alternative to a collar. Use this list to help you choose the best harness for your dog.

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Dog wearing a harnessgollykim/Getty Images

Buying a Dog Harness

Do you need to buy your dog a harness? Yes! Like dog collars, a harness is an essential piece of gear that will help keep your dog safe and comfortable on walks.

For dogs that get excited and pull on their dog leashes, a harness is vital for distributing pressure away from their neck and preventing neck strain and choking. If your dog rarely pulls, a harness can still be useful — see the “Best for the Car” category, for example.

Many harnesses feature reflective strips that improve visibility, along with handles that make it easy to grab hold of your dog should you need to.

Every dog can benefit from the security a pet harness offers. Just make sure that it fits them correctly. Too tight and it can cause chafing; too loose and they may be able to slip out of it.

Know your dog’s weight and use a measuring tape to measure their girth before you head to the pet store or make your purchase online. To measure, simply wrap the measuring tape around your dog’s chest and just behind their shoulders and note the length in inches or centimeters.

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Best for Small Dogs

We love the Puppia RiteFit Back Clip Harness because its lightweight mesh is not too bulky on your small dog and the soft padding ensures a chafe-free experience. Chafing from a harness is more common in small dogs because they have less room between their legs and their bodies.

It also has an adjustable neckline to fit dogs that may be between sizes. Many small dog breeds are notoriously difficult for fit for harnesses, but this option comes highly rated from owners of toy breeds. It will help give your dog the perfect fit.

This harness tends to run small, so be sure to double-check your dog’s measurements before you buy.

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Best for Large Dogs

Large breeds need a harness that’s more durable but still offers comfort for when they see a squirrel and throw their whole body weight against the leash.

This Dean and Tyler DT Dog Harness is made of super-strong nylon and features three metal D rings as leash attachment points. The rings are large enough to accommodate any kind of leash buckle, and the nylon fabric even stands up to serious chewing, according to reviewers. It also includes a heavy-duty handle and reflective strips that are great for nighttime visibility.

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Best No-Pull Harness

No-pull leashes are designed with a D ring in the middle of the dog’s chest to discourage pulling. Despite their name, they won’t completely eliminate this dog behavior. That requires consistent training and the help of a sturdy harness.

There is so much to love about the rabbitgoo No-Pull Pet Harness! Its front clip leash attachment helps encourage your dog to walk calmly by your side and is perfect for training. Plus, this harness is adjustable and ridiculously easy to put on. It also has a back clip option for more relaxed walks and jogs.

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Best Step-In Harness

For dogs who don’t like having a harness put on over their head, a step-in style harness is a perfect solution. This Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness is an Amazon bestseller for a reason. It features comfortable all-weather mesh suited for hot summers, rainy springs and chilly winters.

The key feature of this harness is that it’s designed to go on your dog in two easy steps. Once your dog is standing in the harness, simply pull the sides up and secure the hook-and-loop fastener. From there, just clip the buckle on top and attach the leash. This hook-and-loop/buckle combo is a groundbreaking innovation that will keep your dog comfortable and secure.

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Best Safety Harness for the Car

You wouldn’t let a baby ride in your back seat without a safety seat, so why would you let your dog roam around back there?

There are various ways to keep dogs safe in the car, and one we recommend is this Tru-Fit Smart Harness by Kurgo. This harness lets you buckle your dog directly into the waist and the shoulder seat belt to keep them safe and secure when the car is moving. The metal buckles and carabiner have been crash-tested up to 75 pounds. This harness easily transitions to use as a regular walking harness when you get where you are going.

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Best Budget Harness

Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality. The Voyager Mesh Dog Harness offers the durability and comfort of a more expensive harness at an affordable price.

Made of polyester that’s breathable and durable, this harness comes with two sturdy metal D-rings that work just as well as those on a harness that’s twice the price. This step-in harness comes in sizes from XS to XL so you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit for your dog.

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Best Harness for Puppies

This Copatchy No-Pull Reflective Adjustable Dog Harness tops this category because it adjusts easily to grow with your dog, making it an essential puppy product.

The sliders around the buckles glide smoothly to adjust — no more tugging and struggling with straps! And it’s made of durable, chew-resistant material. This harness will help train your puppy to walk on a loose leash. It even has a handle for the times when you need to quickly grab onto your pup.

Tip: Copatchy understands puppies grow fast and will happily work with you on exchanging sizes.

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Best Tactical Harness

Sometimes you need something a little more heavy-duty for taking your dog on adventures. You won’t find anything better for that than the OneTigris Tactical Vest.

It offers MOLLE (modular lightweight load-carrying equipment) webbing and a bungee strap for storing food, treats and other necessities. It’s waterproof and easy-to-wash, so it’s perfect for time spent in the great outdoors. It’s also easily customizable with patches and badges! You dog will get plenty of exercise wearing this harness.

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Best Head-Halter Harness

If you have a really strong dog, or simply a large one walked by a smaller human, you might need more control than a no-pull harness offers. That’s where this PetSafe Gentle Leader Nylon Dog Headcollar can be especially useful. It’s highly recommended by vets and trainers and completely comfortable for your dog. Also, it’s fully padded and still allows your dog to open their mouth and even hold their favorite dog toy.

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John Woods
John Woods is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and has been a dog lover since he was 13 years old. He is also graduate in animal welfare and behavior and a recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.