A dog harness can improve connection, safely restrain your pooch, and allow for better control in a myriad of situations. Here are the best dog harnesses of the year.

Going on walks together can form the basis of a joy-filled relationship between you and your furry friend. Time spent out of the house and exploring the world with your dog is one of the greatest gifts of dog ownership.

While out on walks, not only is the emotional bond between you and your dog strengthened, the physical bond of the leash also joins you together as a unit. For both you and your dog, the use of a dog harness can be a helpful and comfortable difference-maker.

Collars can cause uncomfortable pressure on your dog’s spine and trachea. And they can be especially harmful to dogs with a tendency to pull while on a leash. Compared to a traditional collar, a well-fitted harness provides improved comfort and safety for your dog and much better control for you.

A Safer, More Comfortable Solution for Your Dog

Harnesses are available in a wide array of sizes and styles. They limit pull by dispersing the force across the entire front half of a dog’s body. Because the leash attaches to a harness at fixed attachment points instead of around the neck, your dog experiences less potentially damaging leash pressure.

When selecting the best harness for your pup, there are many factors to consider. The options within the dog harness market vary by adjustability, leash attachment options, visibility, size, style, material, and durability.

Of all the available options, we carefully selected our picks for the best dog harness in several different categories. With a new high-quality harness for your and your beloved pup to enjoy, your walks together will be more enjoyable and safer than ever before.

Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys, or jump to the category you’re looking for:

The Best Dog Harnesses of 2021

Best Overall: Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness

ruffwear front range dog harness

Redesigned in spring 2020, this harness is a great choice for the outdoors-loving pup and owner. The Ruffwear Front Range ($40) features a padded chest plate for comfortable everyday use. The harness also has two separate attachment points: an aluminum V-ring centered on the dog’s back for everyday walks and a reinforced front clip made from webbing that works to redirect dogs that pull strongly while on a leash.

For nighttime or low-light strolls, reflective trim and a built-in light loop help you keep an eye on your dog when visibility is limited. Other Ruffwear products work seamlessly with the Front Range Harness, such as The Beacon — a small and bright safety light — and the Front Range dog leash. For long-term durability, the updated 2020 version of the harness is made with polyester shell fabric that holds up to wear and maintains its color.

The Front Range comes in five sizes from XXS to L/XL. To determine the best size for your dog, measure the girth of the widest part of your dog’s ribcage. Ruffwear recommends that dogs in between sizes wear the next size up. Accessible buckles along the harness’s webbing allow for easy adjustment of the harness, even while it’s being worn.

Pros:

  • Four points of adjustment for easy fitting
  • Fully padded for maximum comfort
  • Light, breathable mesh lining prevents overheating
  • Dual attachment points offer good options for training and everyday use
  • Heavy-duty and easy to wash

Cons:

  • Must be put on over dog’s head
  • Neck and chest straps may be loose on dogs with small necks

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Runner-Up: Kurgo Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Dog Car Harness

kurgo enhanced strength trufit dog

This dog harness ($40) offers a reliable option — even for those super-strong pups who pull on the leash. Further, its design borrows from rock climbing harnesses for maximum strength and security.

There are five individual adjustment points on this harness, meaning lots of changes can be made to establish a custom and comfortable fit. For extra hardiness, all hardware and buckles are made of steel.

There are leash attachment points on the front and back of the harness. Each gives you options for various activities or for training your dog to stop pulling. An included carabiner makes it easy to attach this harness to your car’s seatbelt for security while driving. The Tru-Fit was actually crash-tested using the Federal Motor Vehicle Standard, which should give you extra peace of mind during long family road trips.

Pros:

  • Padded chest plate ensures fit and comfort
  • Extra-strong construction featuring steel buckles and hardware
  • Five points of adjustment ensure proper fit
  • Includes a 10” seatbelt tether compatible with any vehicle
  • For dogs up to 75 pounds, the harness is crash-tested
  • Machine washable
  • Sizes available for a wide range of dogs

Cons:

  • Some dog owners find that not all dogs fit due to gaps between sizes

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Best Budget: Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness

rabbitgoo no-pull dog harness

This affordable harness ($26) has two metal leash rings for safe walks with your dog and less pulling. Because both attachment points are metal, they stand up to even the strongest dogs and offer reliable strength.

To use this harness, slide it over your dog’s head and buckle it up. After a quick adjustment of the straps, you’re ready to walk, hike, or jog. Two neck straps and two chest straps add up to lots of adjustability. So rottweilers and greyhounds alike should be able to make this product from Rabbitgoo work perfectly.

Made from durable nylon and thoroughly padded, the harness protects your dog’s skin from uncomfortable rubbing while breathable mesh keeps things cool. Super-bright, reflective piping makes it easy to spot your pup during night walks and low-light conditions.

Pros:

  • Nicely padded air mesh keeps your dog cool during exercise and warm days
  • Four adjustable straps allow a customized fit
  • Abrasion-resistant nylon stands up to wear and weather
  • Dual attachment points offer effective opportunity for no-pull training
  • Sturdy top handle allows for instant control of your dog
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Must go over dog’s head to put on or take off

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Best for Skijourning: Ruffwear Omnijore

ruffwear omnijore

The Omnijore harness ($75) from Ruffwear offers a fun and safe way for a dog and human pair to work together as a team. While the dog leads the way and pulls, the human hangs behind and skis or rolls on a bike or skateboard.

The complete Omnijore system includes a harness, a hip belt for the human to wear, and a towline. These components work together to create a comfortable and exciting way to get outside and work together with your pup.

As the main component of the Omnijore system, the harness is built with four different adjustment points for a customized fit, which is specifically designed for dogs who are actively pulling. Slide the harness over your dog’s head and use the adjustment points to tighten until comfortable and snug.

Because this harness has been designed with active use in mind, it doesn’t restrict mobility or ease of breathing. With this kit, you and your dog will be ready to pair up for endless hours of outdoor fun in every season.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and breathable, yet durable materials
  • Pulling-specific design doesn’t impede dog’s movement
  • Reflective trim and Ruffwear Beacon capability allow you to see your dog in the dark
  • Easily customizable fit

Cons:

  • Dogs can potentially take harness off by backing out of it
  • Expensive

Check Price at Ruffwear

Best for Small Dogs: Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness

voyager step-in air dog harness

For the smaller pups, the Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness ($13) is a simple and well-designed harness for the active small pup in your life. Made with an all-weather mesh, this harness is lightweight and breathable, which helps to prevent overheating.

Best described as simple and streamlined, this harness has only one attachment point, located near the center of the dog’s back. The attachment point is made up of double overlapping metal D-rings. Because this harness doesn’t have a front attachment point, it’s not ideal for dogs prone to pulling.

Available in a wide range of sizes, it’s important to measure your dog and refer to Voyager’s sizing chart before purchasing.

Pros:

  • Lightweight mesh for all-weather comfort
  • Simple construction allows for quick fitting
  • Double D-ring clip-in point offers secure and redundant attachment
  • Can double as a harness for some cats

Cons:

  • Lack of front attachment point
  • Has been known to irritate some dogs in the chest area

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Best Tactical Dog Harness: Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness

auroth tactical dog training harness

This no-pull dog harness ($30) is specially equipped to train your dog to safely stop pulling on the leash. With two leash rings, including a front no-pull D-ring, dogs will be naturally turned side to side when attempting to pull while wearing this harness. This helps to naturally ingrain better behavior and less frequent pulling.

Once this harness is slipped overhead, it clips on securely with just two buckles. Your pup won’t have to wait long to head out the door and enjoy your next adventure together.

Four adjustment points make the harness easily customizable. Auroth’s CLAD buckles and military-grade Kevlon straps are quick to adjust but provide complete security once locked into place.

Strategically placed padding makes this harness comfortable and irritation-free yet still lightweight. With four different size options, this harness can accommodate dogs from 18 to 135 pounds. Always measure your dog and refer to Auroth’s sizing chart before purchasing.

Pros:

  • Durable materials throughout
  • Sturdy harness holds up to use from large, strong dogs
  • Front-end attachment point for no-pull training
  • Included Velcro patch system for customizable appearance

Cons:

  • Small dogs may trip over front attachment point, which sits low

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Best No-Pull Harness: Atlas Pet Company Lifetime Harness

atlas pet company lifetime harness

This no-pull harness was thoughtfully designed for active dogs. With high-quality materials and an innovative and simple magnetic buckle design, the Lifetime Harness ($74) was crafted to improve the life you and your dog share.

To create the perfect fit, adjustments can be made to this harness in the chest, back, and belly areas to prevent the chafing and slippage that some dog harnesses are known for. With outdoor adventure in mind, the Lifetime harness is quick-drying, and its reflective nylon webbing is double-reinforced. As a sign of the thorough consideration that went into this harness, all of the webbing’s seams are outward-facing for extra comfort.

At the front end, a martingale-style chest attachment keeps your pup from pulling by redirecting their energy to the side. As the name suggests, this harness comes with a lifetime warranty — just in case your four-legged friend somehow damages it.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and quick-drying
  • Effective chest attachment point with anti-pulling in mind
  • Durable, double-reinforced nylon straps
  • Comes with lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Hardware can be heavy for very small dogs
  • Expensive

Check Price at Atlas Pet Company

Best Coat-and-Harness Combo: Ruffwear Overcoat Fuse

ruffwear overcoat fuse

After years of working to figure out the best way to create a coat-and-harness hybrid, Ruffwear has introduced the Overcoat Fuse ($80). For dogs who usually have to layer their warm layers on top or underneath a full-strength harness, the ultimate do-all single piece of gear has arrived.

In cold or wet weather, many dogs are more comfortable wearing an insulating layer that also keeps the rain off of their fur. The Overcoat Fuse features a 300-denier polyester shell with a water-repellent finish. Also, a soft fleece lining adds extra warmth to keep the shivers away.

With integrated full-strength webbing and two leash attachment points, this coat doubles as a versatile harness. Two low-profile zippered pockets allow your pup to carry extra treats, doggie bags, or other small pieces of gear. Side release buckles are quick and easy to use, making it a breeze for your pup to suit up.

With six sizes available, measure your dog and refer to the Ruffwear sizing chart before purchase.

Pros:

  • Outer fabric is durable and resistant to abrasions and weather
  • Reflective trim helps you to see your dog in low light
  • Water-repellent finish keeps moisture out
  • Side buckles are easy to release for quick on and off

Cons:

  • Dogs with longer torsos may not be fully covered depending on sizing
  • Coat can sometimes flip up in the wind

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Best Leather Harness: Filson Dog Harness

filson dog harness

Made with saddle-grade bridle leather, the Filson Dog Harness ($95) is carefully crafted in the U.S. to work well and look great. Simply put, the 0.6-inch-wide leather strap and rust-proof brass hardware look very handsome and make this harness a great option for everyday use or special occasions.

Made in four sizes, this harness is easy to put on thanks to a standard, belt-like closure that fits around the chest area. In the center of the back, a sturdy brass ring provides a sole attachment point.

Offered in two classy-looking tones, the leather strap can be easily wiped down to quickly clean after a muddy adventure. This harness doesn’t have a chest leash attachment point, so it’s best for dogs that don’t have an issue with pulling while on a leash.

Pros:

  • Elegant look and handmade feel
  • High-quality saddle-grade bridle leather and brass hardware
  • Easy fitting system with straightforward buckles

Cons:

  • No chest leash attachment point
  • Expensive compared to other harness options

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Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Dog Harness

The perfect harness for one dog may not be the right choice for another. When shopping for a harness for your pup, there are many factors to consider.

Measure for the Right Fit

Girth & Back Length

First, no matter what style or function you’re seeking in a harness, the proper fit should be your No. 1 consideration. Before ordering any harness, we recommend carefully measuring your dog to ensure a good fit.

Many harnesses are sized according to girth, which is measured at a dog’s widest area, just behind the front legs. Use a tape measure to fully wrap around your dog’s ribcage and note the girth in inches.

Some harnesses are also sized according to the length of a dog’s back. Back length should be measured starting at the base of a dog’s neck and ending at the base of its tail. Back length is an especially important sizing concern for harnesses that double as insulating or rain-repelling coats, such as the Ruffwear Overcoat Fuse.

ruffwear overcoat harness
Photo credit: Ruffwear

Consider Neck & Coating

Another measurement you’ll want to have on hand is neck circumference. Neck girth varies a lot in dogs, so if your dog has an especially thick neck like some pitbulls, or a thin neck like many Dobermans and poodles, search for a harness designed to work for their body type.

A thick coat can add lots of circumference to girth measurements. If your dog has lots of hair, it may be wise to order one size up to get the best fit. The same goes for overweight and deep-chested pups.

When a harness is fitted comfortably and properly, there will be a healthy bit of wiggle room in between the harness material and your dog’s skin. A good fit usually allows the owner to fit two of their fingers underneath the harness. If a harness is overly snug, rashes and hot spots can cause discomfort for your dog.

With this consideration in mind, we recommend sizing up one size if your pooch happens to sit in between two sizes according to the sizing chart of the harness manufacturer.

Define the Purpose

Once you have your dog’s measurements figured out, it’s time to decide what you and your dog want and need in a harness. Different harnesses are designed with different applications in mind. For example, a training harness will provide certain features that make it a useful tool for improving your dog’s behavior.

Training

For training to pull less while on leash, owners will want to purchase a harness with a front-end leash attachment point. A front-clip harness will turn a dog’s body to the side if they pull too hard, which helps them to establish new behaviors. A good no-pull harness will distribute the force of the pull and keep your dog’s throat and neck safe to eliminate gagging and discomfort.

Car Ride Safety

If you’re seeking a harness that can double as a seatbelt for your dog during long car rides, search for an option that easily attaches to your car’s seatbelt system. The Kurgo Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Dog Car Harness is crash-tested for dogs up to 75 pounds and offers an easy way to attach your dog to the seatbelt safely.

kurgo car harness
Photo credit: Kurgo

For the Active Pup

For the active and outdoorsy pup, a comfortable harness should be made from materials meant to withstand the conditions of adventuring outside.

The Ruffwear Front Range Harness is hardy and breathable while also offering extra handy features like a place to mount a beacon light and dual attachment points. Harnesses like the Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness prioritize durability in their design and make good long-term options for everyday use.

Some harnesses are easier to put on than others. While some dogs don’t mind having a harness slipped on over their head, for other dogs, this process can be a battle. When putting on a dog harness, consider your pet’s personality and preferences. Some harnesses can be laid flat on the ground for your dog to simply step into without much hassle.

FAQ

What Is the Best Harness for a Dog That Pulls?

Pulling on the leash can be difficult behavior for an owner to manage, and it can also be potentially unsafe for the dog. Strong pulling on a leash attached to an around-the-neck dog collar can potentially injure a dog’s neck, spine, and trachea. The right harness can offer dog safety and effective no-pull training.

First, it’s important to find a harness that has a front-end leash clip, such as the Ruffwear Front Range. By clipping a leash into an attachment point near a dog’s chest, pulling will cause the dog to turn from side to side as the force of the pull is redirected laterally. Combined with other training methods, a front-end leash attachment point can help a dog to form new behaviors and begin to stop pulling while on a leash.

A sturdy harness will not put unsafe pressure on a dog’s neck and spine, even while pulling on a leash. Instead, the force of the pulling will be safely distributed across the front of the dog’s body.

Certain harnesses, like the Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness, have additional training-focused features, like a large, strong grab handle located along the dog’s back for quick control.

ruffwear front range dog harness
Photo credit: REI

Does a Dog Pull More With a Harness or Collar?

While a dog can pull on the leash with either a harness or collar, a well-fitting harness is a much safer option. A harness with front-end leash clips can be effective for training your dog to stop pulling.

Can Dog Harnesses Be Washed?

Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for how to wash our dog harness. While some are made to be machine washable, others, like the Filson Dog Harness should be washed gently by hand.

How Should a Dog Harness Fit?

Different dog harnesses are made to fit differently depending on their style and application. Measure around the widest area of your dog’s midsection to determine their girth. Also measure their back length from the base of the neck to the base of the tail as well as the circumference of their neck. If your dog has lots of thick fur or is overweight, account for this while measuring.

Once you’ve got your dog’s measurements, look for a harness in a size that aligns closely with the dimensions of your dog. When actually fitting a harness, follow the provided directions carefully and be sure not to pinch your dog’s skin or fur while securing the harness in place. If your dog happens to be in between two harness sizes, we recommend opting for the larger size.

Harnesses should generally fit snugly but not be so tight that they are causing discomfort or friction hot spots. Owners should be able to fit two fingers underneath the harness straps. If this isn’t possible, we recommend slightly loosening the harness.

best dog harness
Photo credit: REI

How Do I Put on a Dog Harness?

Different styles of dog harnesses go on in different ways. Some of the more common styles include over-the-head and step-in.

For a step-in harness, begin by unbuckling the harness and laying it flat on the ground. Next, have your dog stand over the harness. Place your dog’s paws into the corresponding loops. If the harness indicates which paw should go in each loop, be sure to follow these directions. Finally, clip any buckles together and use any straps to customize the fit to your dog.

For an overhead harness, begin by sliding your dog’s head through the neck loop. The top strap will sit on their back, and the bottom straps will go across their belly. If your harness is pre-connected on one side, have your dog step into the loop and buckle the straps together on the other side of the harness. If not, be sure to secure all buckles and straps on all sides.

Finally, double-check that the harness is well-fitted and that none of the straps are sitting on the dog’s throat. If everything looks good, let the walk begin!


Have a favorite dog harness? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll check it out for future updates to this article.


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