• Home  / 
  • Product Reviews
  •  /  Best Dog Walking Harness: Be Savvy about Canine Comfort and Safety

Best Dog Walking Harness: Be Savvy about Canine Comfort and Safety

All medical claims reviewed by Dr Pippa Elliott. BVMS, MRCVS.

Last Updated on

A husky being walked with new dog harness.

Choosing the right dog walking harness is essential to your dog’s comfort and safety. But not all harnesses are created equal. As well as significant variations in design (which can impact your dog’s well-being), certain harnesses have different functions.

This article looks specifically at the dog walking harness, as opposed to travel harnesses. [The latter are imperative for keeping a dog safe in the car. To find out more read our Best Dog Harness for the Car review.]

If you're in a hurry, check out the top rated Best Dog Walking Harness
Company of Animals Halti Harness
The best dog walking harness for pullers that gives you control and helps the dog walk to heel.
Check on Amazon

 

Why chose a dog walking harness over a collar? In a nutshell, the reasons for choosing a harness include:

  • No pressure on the dog’s windpipe. Dogs have very little sense when it comes to pulling on a collar. Many dogs will faint rather than stopping pulling. Not good. Not good at all.
  • Flat-faced dogs: Those adorable squish-faced dogs such as pugs and pekes, also have large, but shallowly placed eyes… Pulling hard on a collar can increase pressure and possibly pop an eye out of its socket.
  • Better Control: A harness can encourage the dog to walk beside you, rather than surging ahead. Clever placement of the D-rings helps with this.
  • More Secure: Ever had your dog slip their collar? Terrifying isn’t it! A good harness is much more secure and means pooch stays attached to your wrist.
  • Canine Comfort: Modern harness are made from light, breathable materials and are surprisingly comfortable to wear.

Of course, fit is crucial. The best dog walking harness but in the wrong size is not going to work for anyone. To avoid expensive mistakes check out How to Put on a Dog Harness

Product Details
ddt-table__image
Pet Love Padded No Pull Harness
  • A well padded harness that is easy to put on. A whole lot of harness for very little money.
  • A well padded harness that is easy to put on. A whole lot of harness for very little money.
Check on Amazon
ddt-table__image
Julius K-9 Power Harness
  • The grand-daddy of the canine harness, designed originally for working service dogs.
  • The grand-daddy of the canine harness, designed originally for working service dogs.
Check on Amazon
ddt-table__image
Raffaelo Vest Harness
  • Extremely comfortable to wear and the option of a front lead attachment for dogs that pull
  • Extremely comfortable to wear and the option of a front lead attachment for dogs that pull
Check on Amazon
ddt-table__image
Blueberry Pet Step In Harness
  • This step-in dog walking harness is ideal for head shy hounds. The minimal strapping helps the dog stay cool in hot weather.
  • This step-in dog walking harness is ideal for head shy hounds. The minimal strapping helps the dog stay cool in hot weather.
Check on Amazon
ddt-table__image
LSW Pet Design Mesh Harness
  • A superbly comfortable starter harness for puppies or youngsters that are learning about life
  • A superbly comfortable starter harness for puppies or youngsters that are learning about life
Check on Amazon
ddt-table__image
Company of Animals No Pull Harness
  • Designed by a dog behaviourist this harness uses the 'squeeze and lift' method to deter dogs from pulling
  • Designed by a dog behaviourist this harness uses the 'squeeze and lift' method to deter dogs from pulling
Check on Amazon
ddt-table__image
Top Rated
Company of Animals Halti Harness
  • The best dog walking harness for pullers that gives you control and helps the dog walk to heel.
  • The best dog walking harness for pullers that gives you control and helps the dog walk to heel.
Check on Amazon
ddt-table__image
ThinkPet Comfort Harness
  • Sometimes you just want a comfortable harness that looks cute! This product does the job!
  • Sometimes you just want a comfortable harness that looks cute! This product does the job!
Check on Amazon

Pet Love No Pull Padded Harness

pet love dog harness

This dog walking harness comes in a wide range of sizes from XXXS to XXL. In practical terms this ranges from a chest measurement of a diminutive 41cm up to an impressive 122cm.

It is easy to put on and take off, even the wriggliest of dogs. Simply slip the harness over the dog’s head and click-closed around the chest. There’s no fiddling around trying to fit legs through holes, or snap shut multiple fastenings.

There are five colour options including black, bright green, orange, red, and classic camouflage. Stitched into the harness straps is a double layer of reflective stitching, to help with visibility on those walks in dark winter nights.

The fabric of this Pet Love harness is strong but lightweight, with a padded chest strap. The manufacturer’s tell us the fabric improves in strength under tension, meaning it holds a pulling dog securely.

Likes

There’s an great grab handle centered over the back of the harness. This gives the owner great control if their medium or large dog decides to tank off after a squirrel at an inopportune time.

I can’t believe what a brilliant harness this is considering how reasonable the price is. It’s well made, very comfortable and it’s stopped my dog from straining at the leash like he did when the lead was attached to his collar. It has a lock where the stomach strap clicks together, that gives added security too. I thoroughly recommend this harness.

Christine, Amazon

Dislikes

Although there’s plenty of adjustment in the harness, purchasing the right size initially is crucial. Don’t rely on your instinct when choosing a size, as some owners found a ‘small’ way too big for their pint-sized pooch. Instead, measure the chest circumference and select the size accordingly.

OVERALL VALUE

9.2 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

Further plus points to consider include that this is an almost escape proof dog walking harness. One pet parent of a Jack Russell with a history of slipping out of harnesses, told us this one was the answer and they wished they’d discovered it long ago.

Another satisfied pet parent told how their nervous rescue dog quickly got used, and accepted, wearing the Pet Lover harness. This is an important consideration, as even the safest harness is a non-starter if your dog hates wearing it.
Yes, you can have great quality and function at little cost. As one of the best dog walking harnesses for pullers, the inexpensive purchase price makes it a no-brainer for those wanting to try their dog on a harness for the first time.

Check on Amazon

Julius K-9 Power-House Harness

Julius K9 dog harness

There’s a hint in the name that this harness is a serious contender for those with large dogs that are strong pullers. The Power-House harness from Julius K-9 is to canine equipment what an army backpack is to hiking.

That said, it comes in a wide range of sizes to fit a Chihuahua up to a giant dog. This particular style is available in a wide range of colours from black through to pink, camo, and pastel shades.

Originally designed for working rescue dogs, Julius harnesses are all about function and safety. The high-quality fabrics include features such as a scratch-resistant surface and a breathable inner lining. There’s also a reflective strip stitched into the breast strap for all-important visibility.

The lead attaches to a strong D-ring on the centre back of the harness. Of course, it wouldn’t be right to discuss Julius products without mentioning the grab handle. This is sufficiently strong to be able to lift your dog by it, should the need arise. If this sounds a strange thing to do, remember, this design is used in service dogs to lift them out of sticky situations.

Likes

Each harness comes with a detachable hook-and-loop patch. This is customizable with a message such as ‘Nervous’ or the dog’s name.

“I would buy another one, if they didn’t last so long! I can say after 2 years of owning one it’s still in perfect working order, we have broken two leads but not the harness in that time.”

Alucard, Amazon

Dislikes

For some dogs the location of the breast strap may fall across their shoulder joints. This could restrict full extension of the dog’s forelegs and place them at a disadvantage when running or exercising hard.

OVERALL VALUE

9.4 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

This is very much the harness that sets the standard for others of a similar design. Why go for imitation when you can have the real thing?

Check on Amazon

Raffaelo Vest Harness

raffaelo dog harness

A change of style now with this vest harness from Raffaelo. If you associate soft harnesses with toy dogs or puppies then think again. This vest harness combines comfort and practicality for heavy pullers of medium to large size.

The Raffaello is made from waterproof webbing with a breathable lining, plus nylon strapping. It has adjustable neck and chest straps. To put the harness on simply slip it over the dog’s head and clip the chest straps closed.

This is a comfortable lightweight product, with the advantage of a front leash attachment. This is a boon for heavy pullers, since the dog’s own momentum turns them around toward the ower. Thus, pulling is pointless and the dog soon learns that walking on a slack lead means faster progress.

Likes

This is a comfortable lightweight dog walking harness for large breeds. The front lead attachment point gives the owner extra control over a dog that pulls.

” Really does help to keep my dog in close control. Very easy to put on. Washable. Appears to be very comfortable.”

ASMarsh54, Amazon

Dislikes

The D-rings are made from heavy duty plastic. Whilst they are tough, we can’t help feeling a metal attachment point would be more secure.

OVERALL VALUE

9.4 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

A durable no-frills harness that’s washable and comfortable. If your priority is comfort for a bigger dog and you don’t want to spend big, then the Raffaela is a good choice…

Check on Amazon

Blueberry Pet Step-In Harness

blueberry dog harness

Not every dog likes having a harness pulled over their head. If your dog is nervous or head shy, then consider a step-in harness. As the name suggests, the Blueberry Pet product, once adjusted to your dog’s size, just requires them to step into it.

The Blueberry Pet harness comes in a pleasing rainbow of colours, from royal blue through citrus yellow and into sea green. It comes in three sizes, spanning a chest size of 42 – 98 cm. Thus, be sure to measure both your pet’s neck and chest size before ordering, to ensure an accurate fit.

Made from good quality webbing, the design lacks some of the large ‘saddle’ shaped pieces of other harnesses. This is a boon in hot weather, as it’s more like wearing shorts than long trousers.

Likes

Available in super-colourful choices, this harness is pleasing on the eye.  The lightweight design is ideal in hot weather.

” Our cockapoo HATED her ‘over the head’ harness, and would run away rather than have put on! But since buying this step-in style… she’s as good as gold.

Susan Prosser, Amazon

Dislikes

Sizing can be an issue. Get the size wrong and the lack of padding means there’s potential to chafe the dog’s skin.

OVERALL VALUE

9.2 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

A great alternative for the head shy dog. It comes in a range of cheerful colours, is well made, and good quality. This harness may not be for everyone, but for those it does suit…it does an excellent job.

Check on Amazon

LSW Pet Design Mesh Harness

lsw dog harness

Everyone has to start somewhere. We’ve chosen this LSW Pet Design harness as a great first harness for you little bundle of loveliness.

Available in five sizes, it spans the range from a tiny teacup pup to that of a miniature schnauzer adult. There are five colourways, in a playful polka dot design. Made from soft, breathable cotton, this is as close to a hug as a harness can get.

Likes

Comfy and cosy this dog walking harness is a great option for introducing a puppy to the idea of wearing a equipment.

This harness she <img draggable=” /> and as really taken to it…Think it’s because it is made from soft fabric.

Sharon W, Amazon

Dislikes

Not escape proof! Supervise at all times since a wriggly worm of a pup may be able to escape

OVERALL VALUE

7.6 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

This soft harness has a niche market for the smaller dog or puppies. Whilst the design and materials mean it’s not ideal for all dogs, it is a great purchase for some.

Check on Amazon

Company of Animals No Pull Harness

 

 

Company dog harness

The Company of Animals was established by eminent dog behaviourist Roger Mugford. The company’s aim is to produce products that are sympathetic to dog behaviour and dog psychology.

As the best dog walking harness for pullers his no-pull product has a unique design. The idea is that when the dog pulls, the pulley arrangement of the straps tightens around the dog’s chest. This has the effect of pressing on their sides and raising them off the ground – both of which deter pulling.

The harness itself is light and airy. There are a mesh breastplate and fleece lined sides pieces for the dog’s comfort. To put the harness on requires it to be placed over the dog’s head and then step into the leg pieces. There’s a special toggle that locks to prevent the harness tightening too much if the dog does pull hard.

Likes

The design allows for totally unrestricted movement of the shoulder joint. This makes it ideal for active dogs with a long stride length

This has made such a difference to walks – no more pulling off kerbs, gasping and choking to get across roads! We actually enjoy our walks now

Katrinoa, Amazon

Dislikes

There are possibly some issues with product quality, as we found several owners whose No Pull Harness fell apart after just a few uses.
Also, one pet parent reported how their dog learnt how to reverse out the harness and run free!

OVERALL VALUE

7.8 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

The harness is well made with comfortable fleece ‘sleeves’ over the strapping to prevent chafing. Very much a love-it or loathe-it product. When it works well, it works very well, but not everyone is a fan.

Check on Amazon

Company of Animals Halti Harnesshalti dog harness

Sticking with the Company of Animals we look at another of their innovative products, the Halti dog walking harness. The name ‘Halti’ may be familiar to you from their head harness, which controls the dog by controlling their head. If you want the control of a Halti but worry about your dog’s neck, then the Halti Harness may be just the ticket.

The design is super simple which is why its one of the best dog walking harness for pullers. It comprises of a hoop of nylon webbing that goes around the dog’s chest, and a semi-circle of webbing that sits across the brisket. The cleverness of the design is the placement of the D-rings: one in the centre of the brisket and the other over the back.

With the lead attached to the chest D-ring, when the dog pulls, they are steered around to face you. This halts their forward movement and makes pulling pointless. For extra control use a Halti Training Lead with it’s double ended clips.

Likes

When it works the Halti dog walking harness really works. It turns nightmares pullers into well-mannered happy walkers.

An additional safety clip is included that attached to the dog’s collar. This gives extra security if you are concerned about the dog slipping out of the harness.

Miracle Product. Gives full steering control of your dog and guides them back towards you (with them facing you which is the most important thing) should they feel the urge to pull too much. Walking my dog on the lead is now a pleasure and not an arm from shoulder removing experience. Small size just fits my 7month old working Cocker (big sizing I think) with plenty of room to spare. Team it with the Halti lead which is very versatile! Attach to the front D ring using the halti double ended training lead (used in a standard lead setup) and instant results awaited! Padded on the shoulders so your dog is comfortable. Had a couple of dog owners saying it looks a bit gnarly or uncomfortable on her but she is fine and it’s what works for you and your dog! There are a lot of straps and loops and it seems complicated at first but I just copied the picture on the box for the correct positioning.

Amazon Customer, Amazon

Dislikes

For some narrow chested dogs the front chest piece can be too big. This cancels out the effectiveness of the front D-ring.

Finding the correct size can be a bit of a battle. One owner of a German shepherd found their dog was swamped by a large, switched to a medium and found even this too big.

OVERALL VALUE

7.6 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

Finding the correct size for your dog tends to hold this product back. When it fits well then it works well. However, some dogs don’t seem to be the right shape which means it loses its dynamic pulling power.

Check on Amazon

ThinkPet Comfort Harness

thinkpet dog harness

If your dog is a sweetie that walks well on the lead, then all they need is a comfortable harness that looks good. Enter the ThinkPet Comfort Harness, a small dog walking harness.

Available in small and medium and is suitable for chest girth measuring 25 to 55 cm in diameter. Choose from three colourways: Pink, purple, and black. Made from durable nylon webbing, it is well made with reinforced stitching and metal fixings

Likes

Safe and comfortable! A well made functional harness that looks good.

It’s easy to put on at the dog merely steps into the leg holes and a single buckle over the back secures them in place.

Dislikes

Only available for smaller dogs.

OVERALL VALUE

6.4 Rating out of 10

SUMMARY

If your dog is well-behaved then don’t reinvent the wheel! This small dog walking harness is designed to last and comfortable to wear. If you like it…buy it!

Check on Amazon

 

And Finally…

Remember a dog harness is in contact with your dog’s fur and skin. Be sure to clean the harness after muddy walks, as mud can irritate the skin and cause infection.

Also, safety is paramount. If your dog chews the harness or the stitching starts to fail, don’t take any risks. Better to invest a few pounds in a new harness than risk the unthinkable and the dog escaping by a main road.

Happy waggy walks, pet people!

P.S. Don’t forget our sister article on How to Put on a Dog Harness

Leave a comment: