This is our review of the best harness for Labradors in 2022.
Labrador Retrievers are a gentle, loyal, outgoing and intelligent breed making them great pets for families who love the great outdoors.
They are powerful though and have boundless energy, meaning unless they are perfectly trained, a traditional dog collar and lead may not be the best option for your daily walk in the park.
Harnesses have numerous benefits, not least they offer less chance of injury than a standard collar and leash if your dog pulls (and many Labs do) they also offer more control. But how do you choose the right one for your pup?
In this guide we’ll be looking at some different types of harnesses for Labrador retrievers, whether you have just brought home a new puppy or need the best no pull harness, we’ve got you covered.
Our Best Harnesses for Labradors
Perhaps it’s time to look at the best dog harnesses not only for the safety and training of your Lab but for your peace of mind.
We have put together this article which contains some advice and tips that will make choosing a Labrador harness a breeze, along with our recommendations for the best Labrador harnesses available.
We wanted something that was comfortable and safe. See our top Lab picks and which company may be the best choice in today’s market.
This dog harness is designed for no-pulling and is a popular choice with Labrador owners. Constructed using premium materials, this dog harness boasts a breathable mesh outer lining perfect for pooches who love swimming and the interior is padded for extra comfort
The rabbitgoo dog harness is fully adjustable on both the neck and chest straps, so will fit your dog’s body comfortably and there are two points to attach the leash giving you the option of using the back clip for a casual walk or the chest clip if your dog is prone to pulling.
They are easy to use and come in a wide range of colours; they’re reflective too, so your pup is visible on an evening walk or when hiking in low light conditions. There’s also a handle on top ideal for close control or helping your Lab in and out of vehicles.
Offering great value for money along with all the features you would expect from the best harness for Labs, this option is one certainly worth considering and with over 50,000 5 star reviews, we’re not alone in thinking this harness is a winner
- Some reviews mention it’s a bit stiff to adjust on smaller dogs.
The Eagloo multi-purpose Lab harness is another one popular with dog owners and it comes with a front leash attachment clip to prevent your dog pulling. It offers comfort and thanks to the four adjustment points on the neck and the dog’s chest, you are guaranteed a snug fit.
The reflective trims on this no-pull harness improves nighttime visibility. There is a handle on the back that you can use to either restrain Fido in the car, gain extra control when walking in crowded areas, or help your pooch over obstacles.
We think this is the best harness for a Labrador puppy as it has all the features that make a good harness, has a lot of adjustment as your Lab grows but it’s also well-priced, so you can replace it without breaking the bank when needed
- Goes over the dog’s head which some pups don’t like
The Adventure Harness by Embark is the best Labrador Harness for pups that pull the two leash attachment points can be used separately; the front attachment point is ideal for helping with pulling; they can also be used together with a double-ended leash for training.
The harness is constructed from No-Rip-Nylon, ideal if your Lab enjoys all sorts of outdoor adventures and there is a handle on the top in case Fido needs a hand when hiking or gets over excited when meeting new friends
The chest and back are padded for comfort and the outer layer is water repellent and easy to clean with a damp cloth, although the inner layer is harder to keep pristine.
If you are looking for a sturdy, heavy duty harness, this one by Embark is hard to beat!
- Some customers find the front clip is a little low.
This is a sturdy dog harness for labs which is specifically designed for large and powerful dogs. Used by military and service dogs, it has a durable waterproof outer layer with reflective stripes for increased visibility.
The inner lining is breathable and gentle on the skin as it is constructed from OEKO-TEX, with tough hardware and a shatterproof buckle. It is easy to fit and this size will fit a Lab with a chest circumference of 71-96 cm or 28 -36 inches.
There is a leash attachment point on the top, along with a handle for even more control, plus the interchangeable patches allow you to display important information such as “working dog” or “in training”.
This brand is extremely popular with Labrador owners. Their products are robust and reliable and can be used either by family or service dogs; excellent reviews back this up.
- No front clip for the lead, but a chest strap with leash attachment can be purchased separately.
If you need a large Lab harness for car rides, then this one by Slowton is a real winner. Available in a range of colours and sizes, this travel harness is designed to fit most vehicles and the double mesh fabric is edged with flannelette for comfort.
This Lab harness has 4 adjustment points and quick release buckles should you need to take it off in an emergency and the included seat belt leaves enough room for your pooch to lie down or turn around in the back seat unlike some other options. The large size fits dogs with a 27.5-37 inch chest circumference.
It can also be used as a regular harness for walks once you reach your destination, just attach the leash and away you go, so you are getting plenty of bang for your buck.
- Check your car model is compatible before purchase.
If your pup is an escape artist, your options for a harness are usually limited but this fantastic sports harness is the solution; not only does the welded leash clip on the chest make it an excellent anti-pull harness, the extra belly straps mean that your furry friend can’t get loose during a walk.
There is a padded chest plate on this harness and because the strap is around the tummy instead of behind the front legs, there is less chance of the rubbing and chafing that occurs with some harnesses.
The harness is constructed from durable Oxford fabric and padded for comfort with breathable soft mesh on the front and neck; like most of the other dog harnesses on this list, it also has a handle and reflective strips for increased visibility.
- Overhead design which some dogs are not keen on
This adjustable harness, which comes complete with a special training leash, is another option to stop your dog from pulling when walking. It’s is easy to fit and comes in 4 sizes, from Small to Extra Large.
The side leash attachment, which can be fitted either on the left or the right, gives you greater control over your dog making this harness fantastic for larger breeds like Labs and it comes with a handy training DVD so you can learn exactly how to use it to curtail pulling.
There is a fleece belly strap for extra comfort, making it ideal for Labradors with sensitive skin and it’s also extremely lightweight.
This harness gets some fantastic reviews and the Ancol harness brand is trusted for dog products plus, this harness is great value for money; what’s not to love?
- Like any no-pull solution, there are exceptions to the rule.
What to Look For When Buying Harnesses for Labs
Whether you are looking for a good no-pull harness or a puppy harness for Labradors it’s not just a case of picking a pretty colour and the right size there are a few other things to think about!
Look for labrador dog harnesses constructed from heavy-duty, hardwearing materials like nylon or scratch-resistant Oxford fabric with reinforced stitching for strength, like the front range harness by Ruffwear.
Labradors are incredibly strong, so you’ll need leash and harness fabrics that can withstand a lot of force daily.
The best harnesses for Labrador Retrievers will have robust quick-release buckles and metal leash rings; plastic just won’t cut it here. The last thing you want is for things to break or snap off when walking and your pup sees another dog or is by a busy road.
Whether you need a back clip harness like the Julius k9 harness for Labrador Retrievers or an anti-pull harness, safety is the number#1 priority.
As mentioned above, the quality of the fabric and hardware is important, but other safety features should also be taken into consideration when choosing the right harness for walking your dog.
Do you walk your Labrador in the early morning or dark evenings? If so, a reflective harness such as the Kurgo dog harness is ideal. If you have an escape artist look for one with a strap around the belly as these are usually much more difficult to slip out of.
Lab harnesses need to be washable; this may not seem like a significant feature but believe me, it is. Labs love muck, be it a muddy puddle, a dead Pigeon or Fox poo and once spied when walking, there is every chance your pup is going to luxuriate in the disgustingness.
Traditional harnesses may be able to be wiped down with a damp cloth and that’s fine for many dogs, but Labs get dirty, so you’ll need one you can just pop in the machine after any incidents.
This is an extremely useful feature, especially with larger breeds. Not only does it give you much more control in sticky situations or crowded places it is invaluable if you have an older dog with joint issues.
Having a hande means you can assist Fido over obstacles when walking in the countryside, or give them a hand getting in and out of the car or onto public transport.
You’ll have noticed that dog harness prices range from less than £20 to over £100 and whilst we always recommend getting the best dog gear you can afford, some cheaper options offer the same quality as more expensive options.
Obviously you want something that is durable but if you just take trips to the dog park or around the neighbourhood you might not need a premium quality hiking harness. Check reviews to see if the item is good value for money. The rabbitgoo dog harness offers everything you need at an affordable price point!
Different Types of Labrador Harnesses
There are dozens of different styles of harnesses for dog walking out there. Many have similar features but also a few different benefits from others whether its to prevent pulling behaviour or a MOLLE system to attach gear.
Back Attachment Harness
If your Labrador doesn’t pull, you don’t go on long treks or have any special requirements; this style may be the best harness option.
You will still have more control with a back clip dog harness than with a collar and it won’t put any pressure on the delicate throat area, mainly the trachea even if they do lunge forward occasionally
Front Clip Harness
Many pet owners have a hard time holding onto their Labs if they pull, after all when your pooch is between 50 -80lbs it’s a lot to handle. Choosing a no pull dog harness is the best option for training and trying to stop Fido from forging ahead.
Be aware that an anti-pull dog harness won’t work for every dog, though and they are not a substitution for good training, which is the best way to tackle pulling behaviour.
Tactical dog harnesses
A Tactical dog harness is multi-functional and these are often used by military or rescue dogs because they have a MOLLE system allowing the attachment of equipment, water bottles etc.
They are constructed from military-grade fabric so can handle a lot of wear and tear making them some of the best harnesses for hikers or owners of hunting dogs and retrievers like Labradors.
Sports or Adventure Harness
If you and your lab puppy spend a lot of time outdoors, and love to walk miles in the countryside these harnesses really are worth the extra money; they are usually lightweight and breathable, meaning Labradors can wear them all day without getting too hot or uncomfortable.
They also have safety features that come as standard – like reflectivity and a strong handle to assist your pooch over difficult ground.
If you drive with your Labradors in the car it’s essentail to have them secure and properly restrained and for larger dogs a harness is a fantastic option.
They give your pooch the opportunity to sit or lie down comfortably whilst also preventing them from being a distraction and keeping them safe should you have a bump or have to brake suddenly.
Many harnesses for Labradors can be attached to a car seat belt but we recommend getting one like the Slowton one above which comes with a specifically designed carabiner clip.
A Support Harness
If you have an elderly Labrador retriever, one that has recently had surgery or has ongoing problems with their joints, a support dog harness could be just what you are looking for?
This type of dog harness is useful if your pup suffers weakness in their hind legs, especially for getting them in and out of the car or supporting them on uneven ground.
What’s the Right Labrador Harness Size?
The size of an adult Labrador Retriever can vary quite a bit, but they usually stand at around 22-25 inches, with females slightly smaller at 21.5-23.5 inches. This makes them a medium-large sized breed. Usually, a large size will fit a Lab but each manufacturer has its own specifications so for some brands, it may be an XL or even a medium
For a puppy, you will need a smaller size but be aware they will grow out of it very quickly unless it has a lot of adjustment room so there is no point in forking out loads of cash if it’s only going to last a few months.
Take a Measurement of your Dog’s Chest
We always recommend that you measure your dog before ordering to avoid any fit issues – place the tape around the widest part of your dog’s chest, this is located just behind the front legs, you should add an extra inch so your pooch’s movement is not restricted in any way
While it might not be necessary to measure the neck to establish the size, if it’s an overhead harness, it may be a good idea to make sure it will fit over your dog’s head.
Getting your Dog Used to Wearing a Harness
Some dogs take to wearing a harness without any issues whilst others hate them. Obviously if you have a puppy it’s essential to get them used to the contraption at an early age. This can be done easily with a little patience and some treats. However, problems may occur if you adopt an older dog who isn’t used to wearing a dog harness.
Here’s a short guide to introducing your pet to their dog walking harness:
- Leave the harness where your dog can see and sniff it, rewarding them when they touch it.
- Slowly encourage them to either step into the leg holes or put their head through (depending on style) and again lots of praise when they do
- Once they are happy to do stage two, try doing up the fastenings. It may help to get a family member to distract them in case you need to make any adjustments to fit
- Leave the harness on for a few minutes, increasing the time slowly whilst you distract them
- Once they are comfortable wearing the dog harness inside you can venture outdoors.
(Top tip – a step in harness is better in this situation as some dogs detest things going over their heads)
A Guide To Exercising
As we’ve already mentioned Labradors are a high energy dog with lots of stamina. If you’d like to know how often your Labrador likes to walk, run and play then check out our guide on how much exercise Labradors require.
Should I get a collar or harness for Labrador?
A labrador dog harness is a better option as it gives you more control when walking. Labradors are prone to pulling too so a harness will ensure they don’t put pressure on the delicate throat area
What’s the Julius K9 Labrador size?
If your choosing one of the Julius K9 harnesses for Labrador Retrievers it would probably be a size 1 or 2 for large dogs, although we recommend you measure first as Labradors come in many shapes and sizes and it’s essential to get the correct fit.
What size harness for a labrador puppy?
Each manufacturer has its own sizes and charts so I would measure your puppy first to get the correct chest size then go for a harness that has lots of adjustment. Lab puppies grow incredibly quickly and you don’t want to be replacing it every 2 months, so don’t go for a top of the range Ruffwear option for an eight week old pup.
Will a no pull dog harness work for my Lab?
No pull harnesses are the greatest for Labs; however, they are not a miracle cure while they work for many dogs; if your pooch is the stubborn sort, they may still continue with the bad habit. Training your dog to walk on a loose dog leash is the best solution, but a no-pull harness can certainly help.
How Do I Stop My Lab Pulling?
This page lists several ways to stop a labrador from pulling on the lead.
Final Thoughts and Top Pick
Whether it’s a no pull harness or puppy harness I think we’ve established that good dog harnesses are probably better for Labradors than a standard dog collar.
They put no strain on your pooch’s neck area and can even help with problem pullers. However choosing the right one can be challenging!
If you’re looking for our winner of the top harnesses for labradors, the rabbitgoo no-pull harness is our top pick. It’s the best selling dog harness online and for good reason This padded harness is ideal if your dog pulls and is bursting with features such as reflective trim and a back handle for extra control, plus it doesn’t cost the earth.
If you and your faithful friend are ready to enjoy more pleasurable dog walks or outdoor activities? All of the harnesses for Labrador Retrievers on the list above are great choices, dog owners highly rate them and you can trust they offer the support and comfort your fur baby needs