As Cesar Millan would say, "We have to use exercise, discipline, and affection every day". Looking for the best dog harnesses for hiking and running in 2021?
The quote from Cesar Millan is the basis on which any true dog lover should build their relationship with a dog because dogs live in the moment. It doesn't matter what breed; dogs require control, and control requires discipline, and discipline requires commitment. And of all the commitments you can make to your dog, daily walks are the most important. Dogs need daily walks for their physical and mental health. So walking your dog alone is a sign of affection that they recognize. This exercise requires control, and the safest way to control a dog is with a dog harness.
With so many options available, we have consulted the internet to come up with the best options for various dog walking needs.
Best Dog Harnesses for Hiking and Running Buying Guide
A harness, as opposed to a collar, is the best way to walk a dog safely and comfortably. This is because a dog collar only provides a singular point of control. In contrast, a dog harness redistributes your dog's pulling force more evenly and over multiple points of control. According to research, dogs that pull a lot when on a leash run the risk of increasing blood flow to their eyes, straining or spraining their neck, and many more damaging effects. The best dog harnesses make dog walking easy while keeping your pet comfortable and secure. But even among harnesses, some types are better than others at delivering this result, and it can be a challenge to know what type best suits your dog. This is why we have prepared this guide to help you understand the basis on which to choose and buy the best dog harness in 2021.
Should You Get a Front-Clip, Back-Clip, or Dual-Clip Dog Harness?
The clip refers to the leash attachment or rings on the harness. This positioning can affect a dog positively or negatively, so it is crucial that you get it right.
When a dog harness has a D-ring (leash attachment) on the back and between the shoulder blades, it is called a Back-clip. A back-clip harness creates a single anchor point for the dog to pull its owner, and as a result, it offers less control than a front-clip harness. They are best for small dogs, dogs with respiratory problems, and dogs with neck injuries. They are not ideal for large, powerful dogs or have a high prey drive and little training.
The D-ring is placed on the front and at the center of the chest on this dog harness. A front-clip dog harness allows you more control of your dog's forward and directional motion. This is why most "no-pull" harnesses are front-clip. This harness is for dogs that pull, jump or are easily distracted when walking. They are terrible for aggressive dogs or dogs with an uncontrolled prey drive.
A dual-clip or multi-clip harness has two D-rings on both front and back. Some even more than two. Dual-clip harnesses combine the advantages of a back-clip and a front-clip harness into one versatile dog harness. They are popular among dog trainers, but pet owners can buy them as well.
However, they are more expensive, a bit uncomfortable, and dogs get too dependent on them. We advise that you use a dual-clip harness only for a short while and then switch to one of the above two.
What Are the Types of Dog Harnesses?
There are a few unique types of dog harnesses that serve different purposes in terms of dog control. These include:
The Mobility Harness, also known as dog sling harness, is designed to support dogs with sicknesses associated with limited mobility, e.g. hip dysplasia, joint degeneration, joint injuries, etc. They also work for large dogs with joint injuries, dogs recovering from surgery, and older dogs with limited mobility. They sometimes feature hip-lift handles, back handles, or wraparound handles. Mobility dog harnesses are best for:
This somewhat controversial dog harness tightens and applies pressure on a dog when they pull or jump to discourage such negative behaviors. So if your dog jumps at people, creating slight discomfort as the harness tightens (safely), your dog would know not to do that again.
This is a more controversial dog harness often referred to as a "head collar". This type of harness doesn't fit around the body; instead, it fits the dog's muzzle and head. Much like a horse's bridle, this harness provides more control over a dog's direction by controlling head direction and movement when used correctly without force. They are also used to create pressure to discourage negative behavior. But, there is some controversy over the potential of a head harness to cause damage to a dog's neck. So head harnesses are only advisable for patients and experienced dog trainers. If your dog has respiratory difficulties, or you are quick to get frustrated, we don't recommend this one.
What Type of Dog Harness Will Fit Your Dog Properly?
Depending on your dog's build, different types will fit differently. Some are better than others. There are two common types of dog harnesses when it comes to fitting: the step-in dog harness and the roman harness.
Step-In dog harness
Best for smaller or lighter breeds, a step-in dog harness resembles a figure eight. It is called step-in because the dog simply steps into the harness, and it clips at the back.
Roman dog harness
This type of fit has two straps; a strap that fits around the dog’s chest and a strap that fits around the shoulder blades. These two straps meet along the back and under the chest, similar to the back-clip harness. The Roman harness proves a bit more difficult to wear in and out a dog.
What Should You Know About the Durability and Strength of a Dog Harness?
Two common design considerations categorize the durability and strength of a dog harness; single-ply and two-ply. These harnesses may be made of nylon webbing or leather, but what sets them apart is that: A single-ply dog harness is always constructed with a single layer of material, while a two-ply is designed with two layers of material. It goes without saying that the two-ply dog harness is stronger than the single-ply and is recommended for larger dog breeds or dogs with a significant amount of pulling power.
How Do You Measure Your Dog for a Harness?
A dog harness that is too loose allows for little control, and a harness that is too tight creates discomfort. It's crucial to measure your dog accurately for its harness. For most dog harnesses, you need two measurements; the lower neck and chest. Here's how:
Pull out a measuring tape, and measure around the lower portion of your dog’s neck. You do this by placing the measuring tape just above the breastbone and around the back of the neck.
Next, measure around the widest part of your dog's chest by placing the tape just behind the front legs and wrapping it around, all the way to your dog's back.
We recommend that you allow for a little "give" when fitting your dog's harness to prevent chafing and pinching. At most, two fingers of space between your dog and the straps of their harness should do.
The Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness is made of 900D Nylon and boasts a quality construction with sturdy stitching for extra durability. With the Auroth, you have more control over your dog when around people, dogs, or anything that may invite him for a chase.
The Auroth uses a Molle system, the same webbing used on military and law enforcement backpacks and vests. This is where the “tactical” in the name comes in. There is room to attach pet accessories, water, treats, and bags to help burn some energy when exercising.
The Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness is lightweight and versatile.
The Molle webbing on this dog harness doubles as a velcro patch holder.
This harness makes leash training a breeze.
This product is sufficiently padded for comfortability.
This ThinkPet No Pull Harness harness is made of premium nylon that makes the harness robust against wear. It features quick snap buckles that make wearing on and off a seamless operation and a lock design to ensure maximum safety. What sets this pet harness apart is its widened straps that evenly distribute a dog’s pulling pressure to prevent pulling and choking.
The ThinkPet No Pull Sport Harness has a padded yet breathable inner layer of soft mesh optimized for absolute skin ventilation comfort for your dog. This inner lining also helps protect your dog from bruises.
The ThinkPet No Pull Harness has two metal leash D-rings for casual walking and to stop pulling.
The padded soft handle offers you more comfortability and control.
The Eagloo Dog Harness is designed with double metal leash rings for complete control and an extra handle for looping the seat belt through to secure your dog while driving. The two metal rings -the V-Ring on the back and the O-ring- on the chest serve for casual walking and training your puppy on how to heel. This durable harness is specially built to prevent choking by distributing pressure evenly around your dogs’ chest rather than its sensitive neck.
The inner lining on this harness is made with a breathable soft sponge padded material, to prevent injuries and for extra comfort and protection.
The Eagloo Dog Harness is easy to wear with two quick snap buckles and four fully adjustable buckles.
Fully adjustable, no-choke, lightweight, and durable are a few of the words used to describe the rabbitgoo Dog Harness. This easy-to-use dog harness is as quick to put on as it is to take off with its double fast-release buckles. Just slide the harness over your dog’s head, lock in the buckles, adjust the straps, and there you go. The harness is solid and sturdy, and the straps are soft and padded. Just what your dog needs for excellent control and comfortability.
The rabbitgoo Dog Harness is recommended for medium to large-sized dogs. Still, you should measure your pup before buying one.
The rabbitgoo Dog Harness gives you control and prevents your dog from the tangling and choking inherent from using a leash.
The PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness was designed for both the dog and the dog walker with an ergonomic design and adjustable straps. This dog harness, designed with a scratch-resistant oxford material on its outer layer. And on the inside, fast-drying, soft, breathable, mesh padded fabric that will provide optimal comfort for your dog.
As a good harness should, the PoyPet harness distributes pulling pressure over the body to prevent choking. The handle that comes with this do harness is padded and comfortable for extra control to guide your dog.
The PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness is lightweight and durable.
This fantastic dog harness is super easy to clean.
It features reflective stitching for night use.
The PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness comes with no regrets.
Best Dog Harnesses FAQs
Q: Do dogs pull more with a dog harness?
A: Some believe that harnesses encourage a dog to pull using the opposition reflex, but this is not the same as pulling. It's just a natural reflex. Putting your dog in a harness does not cause it to pull more
Q: Are dog harnesses better than collars?
A: For walking a dog, yes. Even the softest collar can cause issues with a dog's neck and spine. You don't want too much pressure on your dog's neck, so it is wise to start with a harness. When you're more comfortable walking your dog, you can graduate into a leash and then into collars.
Q: What does Girth mean?
A: The term “girth” refers to your dog’s measurements. Girth is the measurement around the widest part of a dog’s chest.
Destin has experience working with dogs in the most high stress environments on earth. He currently is a canine handler as a security contractor, helping to keep US diplomats safe in some of the most dangerous regions of the world.