What to Consider When Choosing A Dog Harness

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When it comes to dog grooming, there are many reasons why you should consider making a switch from dog collars to harnesses. It could be for medical issues, for the comfort of your dog, or for correcting behavioral problems. People also buy harnesses for other reasons like weather, sports, or potty training.

When choosing a dog harness you should consider:

  • The type of harness
  • Dog Size
  • The material of the Harness
  • Visibility
  • Dog Behavior
What to Consider When Choosing A Dog Harness 1

Dog harnesses are a great choice for dogs with sensitive throats that may be easily irritated from the use of a regular collar. Unlike the collar, they are placed around the dog’s chest and ribcage, thereby reducing the risk of choking. Harnesses are also quite effective when you want to prevent dogs from slipping out of their collars while on a walk.

In our world today, harnesses are gaining more popularity because of its durability, better canine control features, and its ease of use. There are numerous options available on the market regardless of the reason for purchase, selecting the right harness for your dog can be somewhat difficult and demanding. Especially if you never used a leash before

To choose a dog harness that fits well there are different factors you need to consider. Factors like knowing your dog’s general weight range, and probably a few more measurements. It also helps to take your dog with you when you go harness shopping to make sure you get a proper fit. Always remember to carefully select a harness that doesn’t pinch your dog anywhere.

Do you need to know more about grooming harnesses? Are you interested in knowing the various factors to consider when choosing a dog harness? Don’t look too far. In the rest of this article, you will find answers to your questions as well as a detailed guide to help you find a harness that is conducive for you and your dog.

Why do I need a dog Harness

There are some factors to look out for before you decide whether or not your dog needs a harness. As we mentioned earlier, if your dog has neck problems, or if you have a puppy, or if your dog is a smaller breed, then a collar might pull too forcefully during their walks. This is where a harness comes into play. Not only is it advantageous because it fastens around the dog’s body, but it also has a leash loop on the shoulders that helps to take off pressure from your dog’s neck.

Harnesses are also a great tool for potty training. It can be somewhat hard to housebreak your dog, but putting a harness on your dog will help when you want to walk your dog around the house to show them the right spot for relieving themselves. When shopping for a harness, the best choice should be the one whose measurements fit your dog. A lot of harnesses are sold online or ordered. So before making your order, ensure that you have accurate measurements to avoid making your furry friend uncomfortable. To take necessary measurements, use a flexible measuring tape or a string. Carry out your measurements at least three times so that you don’t make any mistakes, you can then provide the average to the dealer. The measurement you need should include:

  • Girth

This is the circumference of the dog near the front legs at the most profound area of the chest

  • Length

The length of your dog should be measured starting from the base of the tail to the bottom of the neck

  • Sternum to Shoulder

 This is simply the distance of the sternum when angled up near the neck, to the small dip on the dog’s back between the shoulder blades

  • Height

This measures the distance from the top of the shoulder to the ground.

Type of dog harnesses

There are several types of dog harnesses — the best choice, however, will depend on your dog’s size and personality. Another important thing to know is that you should provide information about the age, sex, and breed of your dog. A good harness dealer would ask for these details. Here are some types of harnesses available for dogs:

● Standard Harness

The most common type of dog harness often distributes the force of the leash against a dog’s chest and back, and this works well for small dogs. However, it is not the best option for a large breed as it only allows them to pull hard against the leash.

● No-pull Harness

A no-pull harness will slightly tighten when a dog pulls, but the force is rather felt under the dog’s front “armpits” than around their neck. Remember to pay close attention to the fit and watch out for signs of rubbing or irritation, as this type of harness can sometimes pinch a pooch in the pits.

The Right Size and Fit

Obviously, different harness styles have different fits. Always ensure that the harness wraps around your dog’s ribcage before you buy it, also check the pack to make sure that you’re picking the right size. It is very important to get the size right for the safety and comfort of your dog. Harnesses that are too tight can be painful but harnesses that are too loose can make dogs wiggle their way out. Putting on a harness can be tricky so follow the provided directions. It might come in handy in case you accidentally slip on the harness in a backward or upside-down position.

Choosing the Right Harness for Your Dog

A well-fitting harness should not gap, pull, chafe, or irritate your dog and it should have minimal movement and stay put when the dog walks. Also, a properly fitted harness won’t cause folds of skin to bunch up around the dog’s neck or shoulders. If you see this, it is an indication that the harness is too tight. When the harness is taken off, you shouldn’t see indentations in the fur where the harness sat. You must remember that comfort is key, and some harnesses may either fit some breeds too tightly around the chest or shoulders or rub under the arms as the dog walks. To make finding a harness easier for you, here are the things you need to consider when choosing a dog grooming harness:

● Dog Size

You need to ask yourself, is your dog still growing? If yes, then you should go for an adjustable harness. For larger dogs, going for a durable harness with wide straps is ideal. The no-pull type is also recommended to discourage tugging by large dogs. Don’t forget, the harness must fit your dog properly. Here is how you fit a grooming harness:

  • Ensure that the harness fits underneath the deepest point of his chest which is about 5–12cm from the legs. This is the best spot to fix your harness. It allows you to hold your dog up by his sternum.
  • The belly strap should be in the ‘T’ position, not in ‘Y’ position or sideways.
  • Ensure that the strap fits snugly without creating bulges in his skin. You should be able to slip in two fingers underneath the strap.
  • Make sure the strap that goes across the chest is a tight but comfortable fit.
  • The harness should be above the dog’s shoulder joints but not go round the armpits so that the dog can move around easily and comfortably.

● The material of the Harness

There are several materials to choose from, and most of them are made from nylon or other synthetic materials. A nylon harness is one of the cheapest available. The leather may be a bit expensive, while the fabric is well suited for aggressive or large dogs because it is stronger than nylon. For the comfort of your dog, consider adding some padding. While padding makes the harness more expensive, it is best for dogs with short hair. Padded harnesses protect their fur from chafing. Remember to check if your dog has any allergies to these materials. In this case, it is advisable to consult your vet first before deciding on the material to pick.

● Visibility

If you like taking your dog on a housebreak or a walk at night, safety is important. This is why you find bikers using reflectors and lights for visibility. If you can, get a harness with a reflector, or better still, you can add a reflective tape yourself.  Then you can also use illuminated leashes specifically designed for safety at night.

● Dog Behavior

Is your dog very playful and likely to jump from time to time? What is the energy level of your dog? Do you know your dog’s temperament?

If your dog is playful, you should choose the front attachment harness. This harness allows you to properly manage all the frisky movement without causing any injury to your dog. If your dog is gentle and has already been trained to walk on a lead, then the back attachment style will be suitable.

The comfort of your dog is always key, so remember to make the safest choice. We hope that you found answers to your questions. Good luck!