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How to Choose the Right Harness for a Long-Haired Dog

How to Choose the Right Harness for a Long-Haired Dog

If you have a dog with long hair, you know just how challenging it can be to keep your four-legged friend looking great, especially when choosing the right accessories. Finding the best dog harness for long-haired dogs means focusing on safety, comfort, and preventing matting and tangling. In this article, we’ll show you how to select the best harness for dogs with long hair and what you can do to keep Fido’s fur in excellent condition. 

What Harness Features Matter Most for Long Haired Dogs?

Getting the best harness should be a priority for any pet parent, but it is even more crucial if you have a long-haired dog. A great harness should fit securely and offer you control over your pup’s movements while out and about. Not only will a good harness offer comfort and safety for both you and your dog, but it will also help prevent tangling, matting, and sweating in long-haired breeds. Here are the features to focus on in your search: 

Low Friction

It is essential for dogs with long hair to keep the friction between the fur and the harness to a minimum. The more friction there is, the more likely the hair is to get tangled and knotted. Veterinarians recommend using a harness vest instead of a strap harness. Instead of thin straps that can rub against your dog’s fur, the vest offers more coverage and less movement - and that means a smoother coat. 

Proper Size

No matter what breed of dog you have, or the length of their fur, pay special attention to getting a properly sized harness. Doing so will ensure the safety and comfort of your pup, make walking and other activities more manageable, and will keep long hair from getting tangled. Recently, we've already reviewed the key reasons on why it's so important to get the right size of a dog harness and how you can pick up the best harness that ideally fits your furry friend


There is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to harnesses. That’s why the best harness for long-haired dogs will have several points of adjustment to suit any proportions and body shape. Selecting the right size harness is just the first step; you should then be able to adjust the shoulder and chest areas to get the correctly fitted harness on your dog that won’t tangle her long fur. 

Breathable Materials 

Dogs with long hair can overheat easily. Sweating underneath all that fur can quickly lead to matting and tangling. In severe cases, it can lead to skin infections and rashes. Prevent sweating by choosing a harness with soft, breathable materials. Nylon is an excellent material for preventing sweating and fur-tangling. 

Lightweight, Flexible & Comfortable

Overall, a great harness should be lightweight, flexible, and comfortable for your dog to wear. Nylon is a material that provides all of these features. It is nearly weightless and won’t restrict your dog’s movements during walking, training, running, or sports activities. 

Can a Dog Harness Cause Matting?

Long-haired dogs require a bit more attention to keep their fur in good condition. In general, a harness will not be the biggest threat to your dog’s hair as long as it is sized and worn correctly. Make sure that you use a harness with light, breathable materials, too; otherwise, your dog could suffer from intense fur matting. 

Another thing to remember when using a harness for long-haired dogs is never to put a harness onto wet fur. Not only will wet fur tangle more easily under a harness, but it could also lead to skin infections and a bad odor. 

What Causes Matting in Long-Haired Dogs?

Dogs with long fur are particularly susceptible to their hair getting matted and tangled, especially when pet accessories are misused. Below, you’ll find the primary causes of matting in long-haired dogs. 

  • Friction. A correctly sized dog harness will minimize contact with your pet’s fur, which will significantly reduce tangle-causing friction. 
  • Curly hair. Dog breeds with naturally curly hair may experience more tangling than other breeds. A vest-style harness will secure the long, curly fur under breathable mesh to eliminate tangling. 
  • Shedding. When long fur is shed, it may get tangled up in the rest of the fur instead of completely falling off the dog’s body. And in some cases, an incorrectly sized harness can snag and pull fur, causing it to shed prematurely. An adjustable dog harness for long-haired dogs will be easier to put on correctly and prevent mechanical damage and shedding. 
  • Moisture. Wet fur tangles much more easily than dry fur, so it’s vital to minimize sweating. A nylon vest harness with breathable mesh will help keep your dog dry and comfortable. 

Tips for Preventing Matted Dog Hair

As a pet parent, you know that harnesses are much safer than regular collars when it’s time for walks and activities. But do you know what you can do to prevent matted dog hair? We’ve gathered a few simple tips for helping you keep your dog’s coat soft and smooth. 

  • Don’t leave the harness on when you’re not going for a walk or doing an activity that requires it. 
  • Brush your dog’s fur daily to remove loose hairs and detangle any knots. 
  • Wash and condition your dog’s hair regularly. Use a blow dryer to dry the fur thoroughly before using a harness. 
  • Trim your dog’s fur in areas that tend to mat, like under the tail or the insides of the legs. 
  • Get the right harness that is correctly sized. 

Why You Should Pick Pet&Cuddle’s Harness

If you’re on the hunt for the best harness for long-haired dogs, pay special attention to the comfort and safety features available. The best harness will provide safety, security, and comfort for both you and Fido, so choose carefully. 

For the best selection of harnesses, take a look at Pet&Cuddle. All of our professionally-designed harnesses have been created with your dog’s safety and comfort in mind, no matter how long his fur is! With high-quality materials and conscientious design featuring easy-to-use leash clips, breathable mesh, and a snug fit, our harnesses are perfect for long-haired dogs, short-haired dogs, and everything in between. 

Find your perfect harness here

Questions About Harnesses for Long-Haired Dogs

If you’re still not sure how to choose the best harness for your long-haired dog, we’ve got all the answers you need! Keep reading for some commonly asked questions about harnesses for long-haired dogs

Can a long-haired dog wear a harness 24/7?

You should not keep a harness on your dog unless you are actively using it. Leaving a harness on at all times will irritate your dog’s skin, causes matted dog hair, and lead to severe health conditions. 

What kind of harness is better for long-haired dogs?

The best harness for long-haired dogs will be a vest-style harness. This type of harness features a smaller contact area between the dog’s hair and the harness padding, so the fur is less likely to get tangled. 

Is a mesh harness better for a long-haired dog? 

A harness with breathable mesh panels is an excellent choice for a long-haired dog. The mesh will keep the dog’s skin and fur dry and reduce tangling. 

What tools should I use for detangling and combing a dog’s hair?

Dogs with long fur require a few extra tools to keep them healthy and looking great. Shedding combs, slicker brushes, mat splitters, detangling spray, and a sharp pair of scissors will help you keep the mats out of your dog’s fur. 

Can you put a dog coat over a harness?

If you live in a cold climate, make sure to put any coats or clothing over your dog’s harness. The harness should always lie close to your dog’s body for optimum safety. Wearing a harness over a winter coat could allow for too much movement that is difficult to control. 

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