Ultimately, there isn’t going to be one ‘perfect’ harness. There are benefits for training techniques, physical health and safety issues. Each harness will benefit your dog in varying ways. Fit and function are the two key things you want to keep in mind.
When you think about shopping for dog harnesses, think about how you shop for shoes. What will you be doing? Hiking, training, running, walking, etc. We all have multiple shoes, and getting your dog a few different harnesses is worth it. Choosing a harness with a front clip option over a collar helps with:
- Injuries (our friend Emily has lots of information on this)
- Pulling (back clip only harnesses can encourage pulling)
- Safety (collars are easy to slip out of)
The front clip is a great teaching tool when it comes to loose-leash walking. Your dog is more likely to turn back to you rather than pull away. Using a harness that has both a front and back clip option is ideal. We will teach you when to use the front or the back clip depending on the activity and ability of your dog. The two following harnesses are the ones we prefer out of the many we have tried:
Freedom No-Pull Harness
The Freedom harness is our top choice for teaching dogs loose-leash walking. It offers a variety of colors and sizes. Due to the many points of adjustment, this harness can be tailored to the size of just about any breed. The chest strap is lined with Swiss Velvet, which helps prevent rubbing and chaffing sores behind the legs. The adjustable martingale can create less pulling but some dogs are too sensitive to this.
Ruffwear Front Range Harness
The Ruffwear harness is comfortable for most dogs. The padded chest and belly panel offer all-day comfort for extended walks, runs, and hikes. This particular front clip is not ideal for teaching a strong puller. It’s front clip is not as sturdy as the Freedom and others. This harness also features a reflective trim which allows you to get out earlier and stay out later. And best of all is the fun variety of beautiful colors!
If the two above don’t work well, we’ve heard great things about the Balance Harness & The Perfect Fit. The perfect fit provides a custom fit for narrow and/or odd shaped dogs. Some small dogs don’t fit into front clip harnesses. In this case, we recommend the Gooby harness.
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