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What are the Main Types of Dog Harnesses?

If you're a dog owner, you know there are some must-haves for your furry pal, including a great harness. But there are many different types to choose from: step-in dog harness, dog vest harness, training harness, front, back, and dual clip dog harnesses – the options are seemingly endless! With so many types of dog harnesses to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your pup? 

Overall, the harness you choose will depend on you and your dog and the lifestyle that you lead. For example, if you do a lot of sports activities with your dog, you'll need a different harness from a person that is beginning leash training. 

At Pet & Cuddle, we know just how important it is to get the right harness for your furry friend, so keep reading to learn all about the different types of dog harnesses and which one might be right for you. 

Types of a Dog Harnesses

There are several different types of dog harnesses that are worn in distinct ways. How they're worn will depend on the style and type of harness you've chosen for your dog. The way it's worn can have a significant impact on your dog's comfort, so getting the right style and size is vital for getting the most out of the harness. Here are the main types of dog harnesses

Step-in Harness

As the name implies, step-in harnesses are put on the dog by having him step into it. You must have an accurate measurement of your dog's chest to prevent injuries and escaping. Also known as "easy-on, easy-off" style harnesses, step-ins are recommended for dogs sensitive to having harnesses pulled over their heads. 

Padded Chest Harness 

This type of harness is very similar to the step-in type; the placement is usually the exact same. The main difference is that this type features a padded chest area for increased comfort, especially for dogs who pull. 

Dual Strap Harness 

A dual strap harness has straps that go around the dog's neck and body. They can be more difficult to put on your dog, but they do offer extra support and security. 

Halti Training Harness 

Halti training harnesses were designed specifically to stop dogs from pulling. If the dog pulls, their shoulders are lifted up slightly to provide discomfort and discourage that action. Dual control options with adequate padding make these harnesses ideal for leash and agility training. 

Vest Harness 

Vest harnesses are the most popular dog harness choice, thanks to the comfort and ease of use they provide. To put it on your dog, simply slip the neck hole over your dog's head and adjust the clips appropriately. 


Clip Location Matters Too

When it comes to features on any type of harness, you'll want to consider the leash clip location. Different types of outdoor activities will require different leash positions. For instance, a back clip location works well for running and walking, but a front clip is better for training. Here's how the clip locations differ: 

  • Front Clip Dog Harness. This will have a single clip located at the front of the harness, usually at the center of the chest. This clip location prevents your dog from walking or running ahead of you. If Fido tries to get ahead, the front clip will pull him to the side, back towards you. 
  • Back Clip Dog Harness. Most harness types have a back clip only. This standard clip location is great for daily walks or runs. However, a dog that pulls or runs could become quite uncomfortable in this harness. 
  • Dual Clip Dog Harness. This type of harness has both a front and back clip. You can use both clips at once to have greater control during training before moving to the front clip only. Once your dog learns not to pull, you can use just the back clip. This is the best option for any dog owner, thanks to its versatility. 

 

How to Choose the Right Harness for Your Dog

Getting the best harness type for your dog is more than just choosing the right clip location. Getting the correct size and fit is crucial for your dog's health, safety, and comfort. Here's how to get the best harness that will suit you, your dog, and your lifestyle together. 

Step #1: Find the Proper Size

First, it is essential for any wearable dog accessory that you purchase the correct size. Luckily, selecting the right size of any harness is as easy as taking three measurements. 

  • Neck. Measure your dog's neck circumference by wrapping a flexible measuring tape around the base of the neck. 
  • Belly. Take the measuring tape and wrap it around your dog's body a couple of inches in front of the rear legs. 
  • Body. Measure your dog's body length along his back, from just behind the front legs to just behind the back legs. 

Once you have your measurements, you can look at our dog harness size chart to choose the size that matches them. 

Step #2: Achieve the Perfect Fit

Because no two dogs are exactly the same size and shape, you'll have to make some adjustments to get the perfect fit. To make sure your training or other harness fits just right, follow these two simple tips. 

Tip #1: If your dog's measurements fall between sizes, choose the larger size. Always follow the size chart and the measurements instead of relying on previous experience with other harnesses. 

Tip #2: To make sure that the size and fit are correct, you should be able to fit two fingers comfortably under any strap. It should also be impossible to pull the harness over your dog's head when it is worn. If it's too tight or loose, adjust the straps as necessary. 

Step #3: Look for Several Important Features

Now that you know what size to get, it's time to consider the materials and safety features. The importance of getting the right size and materials cannot be understated. 

Must-Haves for Training Harnesses

  • The material should be soft, durable, and breathable for maximum security and comfort. 
  • The harness should be lightweight so it doesn't disrupt the dog's movements. 
  • There should be multiple points of adjustment to ensure the perfect fit. 
  • Multiple clip locations will add versatility for all types of training and activities. 

Nice-to-Haves for Training Harnesses

  • Reflective straps will help make your dog more visible to drivers and pedestrians during nighttime walks. 
  • A great harness should be easy to use. Ideally, it should take no longer than a minute to properly place the harness. 
  • The harness should be comfortable for your dog to wear. The style that is right for you will depend on your dog's breed, shape, fur length, and the type of activities you plan on doing. Vest harnesses are the ideal style to work in any situation, thanks to their adjustability and versatility. 
  • A harness that comes with a retractable leash adds convenience to your training sessions and daily walks. 

 

Choose Your Next Harness from Pet & Cuddle!

As you can see, the best harness will have plenty of valuable features, fits properly, and will ensure your pet's safety and comfort. 

At Pet & Cuddle, we know just how important it is to get the right harness for your dog. Each of our collections of harnesses features unique designs that are convenient to use, easy to adjust, and comfortable to wear. With a focus on high quality, durable material and safety features like reflective straps, our harnesses are suitable for any dog, owner, and lifestyle. 

With hundreds of great options at your fingertips at Pet & Cuddle, you're ready to start shopping! And thanks to the experience and practical knowledge of our team, you'll be able to find the perfect harness that's comfortable and safe for your beloved four-legged friend. 

Check out our latest products for dogs here!

 

Questions about Different Types of Dog Harnesses

Find answers to some of the most common questions about different kinds of dog harnesses below. 

What are the main criteria of the best dog harness?

The best dog harnesses of any style will have features that enhance your dog's safety and comfort. You should also pay attention to the quality of materials used, the style and design, and the overall cost. 

Which harness type is better: front clip, back clip, or dual clip?

Dual clip dog harnesses are the best kind. Because they offer different ways to clip the leash, they're suitable for any outdoor activity. 

How to pick up the best harness for puppies?

Puppies have different needs than adult dogs, but the main criteria apply to choosing a harness for puppies. It should fit properly and use high-quality, durable materials with multiple clip locations. 

Is a vest harness better than otherpet types?

A vest harness design provides the best safety and control for your dog. Strap harnesses can irritate and chafe your dog's sensitive skin and cause too much pressure to be applied on the ribs or neck. Vest harnesses prevent escaping, and a dual clip vest harness will help you train your dog not to pull during walks.