How to Fit Your Dog for a Harness—Plus, Our Pick of the Best Ones
Keep Fido well-equipped on walks. Shop these styles in step-in, no-pull, front-clip, and back-clip—all designed for small and large breeds alike.
You can leash your dog with a collar, but using a harness may be a better choice depending on your specific pup. Harnesses reduce the risk of choking injuries because the leash attachment never pulls on the delicate areas of the dog; instead, the harness wraps around the dog's torso and allows more freedom of movement. Dogs that tend to be nervous may also benefit from the hug-like feeling of a harness. That's why it's important to choose the right harness and to make sure the one you do bring home has a good fit.
Nikki Naser, resident pet expert at Chewy, says that you need to measure your dog to ensure it fits the way it's meant to. "Small, medium, and large don't tell you much, but most brands will provide you the numerical measurements in inches in a handy chart," she explains. "Make sure you match up your dog's lower neck and chest measurements; these are the most common. The lower neck is right above their shoulders, where a loose collar would rest. Measure the widest part of the chest, just behind their front legs, and add 2 inches for comfort." This will help you to select the correct size harness for your dog.
A basic harness resembles a vest and has a small hoop on the back where you secure the leash. Some harnesses have extra padding. If you have a dog that tends to pull on their leash, Naser recommends looking for a no-pull harness that attaches the leash on the chest as opposed to the back. Large dogs with tremendous strength will need a harness that is sturdy with thicker straps. You can get a typical vest-like harness for smaller dogs or choose one that has a breathable fabric for flat-faced dog breeds like pugs and English bulldogs.
Shop our favorites here, and you'll be ready to embark out on your next walk together.
This harness is cushioned with an adjustable neck and chest. You can choose from seven colors, so you and your dog could match on your walks if you wanted. It also has three leash attachment points that makes it easy to lead your pup in different ways.
Shop Now: Wild One Harness, in Blush, $48, wildone.com.
For adventurous dogs and their humans, a strong harness that can endure the excursions ahead is essential. This harness from RuffWear offers security and strength for outdoor activities like rough terrain hiking and rock climbing.
Shop Now: Ruffwear Double-Back Full Body Dog Harness, in Cloudburst Gray, $125, ruffwear.com.
For puppies and smaller breeds, this adjustable harness, which will fit dogs from eight to 22 pounds, is a great choice. It's a two-in-one step-in style and the leather is dyed, not painted over the top, meaning it will not come off or lose color.
Shop Now: LoveThyBeast Rolled Leather Step In Harness, in Beige, $69, lovethybeast.com.
This harness is easy to put on and super comfortable for your pup to wear. It doesn't rub the under-arm area and constructed of breathable air foam mesh.
Shop Now: Charlie's Backyard Buckle Up Easy Harness, in Yellow, $32, shopdogandco.com.
Lucy & Co.
Get two prints in one with this reversible harness: Both sides have water-repellent fabric, and there is an adjustable chest strap to ensure the perfect fit.
Shop Now: Lucy & Co. "The Enchanted Forest" Reversible Harness, $32, lucyand.co.
This heavy-duty tactical harness is built for dogs who love to work. Made from durable canvas, it features waterproof fabric to withstand the elements and two pouches on either side.
Shop Now: Rabbitgoo Molle Tactical Dog Harness, in Green, $56, rabbitgoo.com.
Do you like to take walks at night with your dog? This harness features 3M reflective strips that will make it easier to see your pup on your late evening walks. You can attach the leash on the O-ring on the chest to discourage pulling on the leash, too.
Shop Now: Chai's Choice Outdoor Adventure 3M Reflective Dog Harness, in Neon Yellow, $25, chewy.com.
Step-ins are a popular wrap around style dog harness with an easy one-click buckle. This one is made from water resistant, non-rusting materials and reflective stitching for nighttime visibility.
Shop Now: EzyDog Quick Fit Harness, in Denim, $40, store.ezydog.com.
With a unique O-to-D-ring, front-clip design, this harness corrects pulling by redirecting pup from the core, gently and effectively. Add in some positive training and prepare to enjoy many happy walks ahead.
Shop Now: Wildebeest "Linden" No Pull Dog Harness, in Charcoal, $30, wildebeest.co.
Does your dog tend to pull a Houdini trick on you whenever you put him in his harness? Not anymore: The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness has enhanced strength and can be adjusted to custom fit your dog. It also doubles as a safety harness for car rides.
Shop Now: Kurgo Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Dog Car Harness, $45, kurgo.com.