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Choosing a Dog Harness and Leash Set: Everything You Need to Know

Choosing a Dog Harness and Leash Set: Everything You Need to Know

Taking walks with your dog isn’t just fun, although it might be something you look forward to. Getting enough exercise is critical for your dog’s health and wellness, mentally and physically. With that in mind, and walks being something you do every day, you want the best equipment.

For training, safety and comfort, you need the right dog harness and leash set. Don’t overlook the importance of choosing a dog harness and leash set that are high-quality, multi-functional, safe, and comfortable. Whether it’s made from cheap materials, isn’t the right fit, or doesn’t serve the purposes you need it for, ditch your old leash and collar and find one that has it all.  

We’ll guide you through what you need to know as far as choosing dog harnesses and leashes.

Types of Dog Harnesses and Leashes

You’ll notice that we’re talking primarily about harnesses and leash sets rather than collars. There’s a reason for this. We advise using a harness instead of a collar because there are safety risks associated with collars, and they don’t work as training tools.

Dog Harness Designs

We compare the key features of the different types of harnesses below.

Step-In Dog Harnesses

Does your dog hate having things go over its head? If so, it’s no problem with a step-in harness design. A step-in harness has two loops that are formed by the straps. You pull the straps up and buckle them at the back.

Step-in dog harnesses are good not just for fussy dogs who don’t like anything on their head, but they also work well for small dogs. They’re good for you too, since they’re user-friendly as long as your dog will stand fairly still while you put it on.

Back-Clip Dog Harnesses

A back clip dog harness has the leash attachment point at the dog’s back, or basically the top of the harness. Back clips give your dog a fair amount of freedom as far as where and how they walk. This particular type of harness is ideal if your dog is trained. If your dog pulls and isn’t completely trained, then you might want a front clip harness.

Front-Clip Harness

A front-clip harness is one that you’ll also see referred to as a no-pull harness. The overall design is similar to a back-clip harness, except the D-ring for the leash is at the chest.

When your dog tries to pull forward, there’s front pressure. A dog has a natural instinct to oppose the pressure, making them slow down and reducing their tendency to pull.

With a front-clip harness, you’re going to have more control directionally and overall.

Dual-Clip Harness

If we were going to recommend one type of harness, we’d say a dual-clip gives you so much versatility in how you use it. It has the ability to be a no-pull training tool because it has a front clip, and once your dog is ready, you can switch to using the back clip.

Are Harnesses Better Than Collars?

Our quick answer to the question of whether or not harnesses are better than collars is yes, but we like for our clients to understand why.

The risks of collars include:

  • Strangulation: Unfortunately, particularly with small dogs, there is a risk of strangulation with a collar. Even if the collar fits well, your dog could become tied on something with his collar and leash. Trachea and neck injuries can occur too, especially if your dog does try to jump or lunge.
  • Limb injuries: If your dog has a collar that’s too loose, its leg can get stuck inside it, breaking it.
  • Neck damage: If you were to jerk your dog’s leash and it’s attached to a collar, even inadvertently, it can lead to a neck injury. With ongoing collar use, there’s also the potential for health issues like damage to the salivary and thyroid glands.
  • Discomfort: Even if a serious injury doesn’t occur, a collar just doesn’t tend to be the most comfortable option for dogs.

The advantages of a harness over a collar include:


A harness is a safer alternative to a collar. A harness disperses pressure evenly, reducing the risk of injury.


When you’re training your dog or even walking in crowded places, you need control. Using a harness offers maximum control over your dog’s movements and direction.


Without that tightness around the throat and neck that comes with a collar, a dog will feel generally more comfortable. More comfort means your dog will enjoy your walks more.

Basic Types of Dog Leashes

Okay, once you’ve settled on a harness, you’ll want to think about the right leash. Do you want a retractable leash or a regular option? What’s the best harness and leash for dogs and how do you make the comparison?

There are two main categories when you’re looking for dog harnesses and leashes, at least as far as the leash specifically. There is a regular leash, and then there is a retractable leash.

Regular Leash

A regular leash is one that has a fixed length. You can’t change how much leash length your dog gets, although you can buy it in a particular size. A regular leash can get tangled, and your dog doesn’t have a lot of freedom.

Retractable Leash

Our personal preference at Pet&Cuddle is the retractable leash. A retractable leash lets you adjust the amount of leash line you give your dog. You can maneuver in different settings comfortably. For example, if you’re on the sidewalk with other people and animals, you can use a retractable leash to keep your dog nearby.

Then, when you get to the park or an open area, you can let your dog have a lot more leash line to explore and build his confidence.

Retractable leashes are less prone to tangles and are easier for you to use.

We’re going to recommend that you use a retractable leash for functionality and usability. There’s no reason not to use something that’s going to give you versatility and make your dog happier as well.

Benefits of Using a Dog Harness and Retractable Leash

The combination of a retractable leash and dog harness is going to bring benefits to you and your dog. It’s the optimal combo when you’re looking for leash and harness sets for dogs.

Why Should You Choose a Retractable Leash?

When you’re deciding between a retractable leash or regular, a retractable version has benefits including:

  • More freedom for your dog.
  • Your dog will develop more confidence as he’s given more room to roam.
  • Retractable leashes are good for training because your dog learns to come back to you on his own but in a safe environment.
  • They’re easier to use and hold than a regular leash. A retractable leash tends to have an ergonomic handle, and you’ll find there’s less stress on your arm and back compared to using a fixed-length leash.
  • When your dog can move around and has more length on its leash, he’ll burn more calories and stay healthy.

What Are the Advantages of a Dog Harness?

A dog harness is the best piece of equipment you can invest in for your dog’s wellness and safety. Benefits of harnesses include:

  • They’re safer. A traditional collar is putting a tremendous amount of pressure on your dog’s throat. It can cause choking and discomfort, trachea or thyroid gland damage, or strangulation. Alternatively, harnesses disperse pressure evenly around your dog’s body, reducing the risk of pain or injury.
  • Harnesses are a training tool. If your dog pulls while you walk or is tough to control, using a harness will help you alleviate these problematic behaviors. A no-pull dog harness has a clip at the front, and if your dog tries to pull, he won’t be able to go forward. He’ll have to come back to you but you don’t have to exert a lot of pressure during training.
  • You have more control with a harness. This includes as far as preventing pulling, but you can also directionally maneuver your dog more easily.
  • A harness is more functional and versatile than a collar, especially if you choose one with both a front and back clip. You use the front clip for training, and then as your dog is ready, you can give him more freedom with the back clip.

Should You Really Get a Dog Harness and Leash Set?

The walks you take with your dog are something that helps them thrive. They can stay physically active, reducing problematic behaviors at home like chewing. Walks also mentally stimulate them, keeping them happy. As part of that, choosing the best harness and leash for dogs will facilitate the best walking experience for you and your dog.

At Pet&Cuddle, not only do we prioritize quality dog harnesses and leashes designed for everyday use, but when you shop with us you can customize a personalized set. Choose the color and style you want!

We’re dog lovers and our passion is creating stylish, fun, and functional dog harnesses and leashes, so take a look at our options now.

Questions About Dog Harnesses

We know your pet’s well-being is your top priority. If you still have questions about choosing harnesses, we hope that the answers below are what you’re looking for.

Is It Good To Use a Dog Harness and Leash Set?

With quality construction and materials, using a dog harness and leash set is a great option.  Take your time and get the right fit and features for a comfortable walking experience. The more you love your walks and the more comfortable your dog is, the more frequently you’re going to be inspired to head out on adventures.

What Age Can You Put a Harness on a Dog?

Every dog is different as far as their needs, so we recommend that you talk to your vet about when you can start using a harness. Overall, when using dog harnesses and leashes, the recommendation is to start when your puppy is around eight months old.

Measure carefully and compare to the Pet&Cuddle size chart for safety.

How to Get the Right Harness and Leash Size?

Our recommendation for sizing is to first use a tape measure and get your dog’s neck, chest, and length measurements. We have size charts for harnesses and leashes that you can use, and if your dog is between two sizes, go up. You also want to check the fit after you adjust the harness by slipping two fingers under the straps.

Tighten it if your fingers can go in too easily and loosen it if the opposite is true and it feels too tight.

Should a Dog Wear a Collar and Harness At the Same Time?

Our advice would be that you don’t put a harness and collar on your dog at the same time. There’s no reason to because the two have the same features, plus a harness is the safer option.

Get Your Best Dog Harness and Leash set on Pet&Cuddle

When you’re preparing to choose the perfect dog harnesses and leash set, we’re ready for you at Pet&Cuddle. We’re a team of experts who also happen to be dog lovers. With all of our designs, we make sure you have it all-function, safety, and style .

Take your dog’s measurements and start shopping now or reach out to our experts who can help you choose the right leash and harness set in the colors and style you like.

Discover the latest dog harness collection we created exactly for your dog here!



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