• September 13th, 2023
    Written by: Kimberly

    Making sure your dog is walked regularly and correctly is one of the most important responsibilities of a pet parent. This is why making sure that you have the proper dog-walking harness for your pet is essential.

    Of course, dogs wear the collars more frequently, but a normal collar can put your pet at significant safety risk, as they can harm a pet's neck or back. Harnesses are safer for walks because they cover more surface area, which means the leash isn't able to pull as hard on the area around the neck.

    This means harnesses can perform the same function as a collar, but are much safer in the long run.

    Types of Dog Harnesses

    A dog harness is a great option for exercise whether you are running or walking with your pet. When taking dogs for walks or jogs, dog harnesses are also the best way to reduce any bad pulling habits.

    Picking the right kind of harness for your dog can be difficult, however, as there are several different kinds of harnesses, all with their specific uses and benefits. Here are a few of the various dog harness designs that are offered and the advantages they can provide for your furry friend:

    • Over-the-head Harnesses or Step-in Dog Harnesses? – First, it is important to figure out if your dog is going to be able to use an over-the-head or a step-in harness. Putting something over their heads can be distressing for some dogs. This means that a step-in dog harness may be a good choice for your dog. However, placing a step-in harness on your dog can sometimes be difficult, as many dogs tend to get excited before going for a walk. Both of these styles of harnesses can be attached with a back clip or a front clip, which we’ll get into next, so this option is all about figuring out the best way to put a harness on your dog.
    • Back-clip Harness – With a ring on your dog’s back that attaches to the leash, a back-clip style harness is normally used with dogs that already walk correctly and need little instruction. Sled dogs or dogs who enjoy pulling aren’t ideal for back clips, as they will be able to continue pulling with little resistance from the harness.
    • Front-clip Harness – A front-clip style harness attaches the leash to a ring on the front of the dog’s chest. While it is unwise to use this sort of harness on a smaller dog as they may get tripped up in the leash, this is the ideal harness for a pet that is prone to pulling or going after critters during a walk. A tug of the leash will pull their chest area to the left or right, making it difficult for them to rush ahead, while still not harming your dog.
    • Harness Material – The final choice you’ll need to make is the material of the harness you buy. Typical choices include thick or thin padding around the back and chest area and mesh or nylon straps throughout. Consider your preferences for handling a heavier harness and whether your dog will be bothered by the material's weight or feel. The better option tends to be the lighter and less constrictive choice, but every dog has unique needs and larger dogs often benefit from the greater control of heavier materials.

    While a harness is not going to change the way your dog walks, it can allow you to train better habits into your pet without injuring them during the process. Teaching your dog not to pull or take off running during a walk can be difficult at times, but the right harness can be the perfect tool to passively teach your dog how to walk nicely on their leash.