This is our review of the best harness for puppies in 2021.
Socialising your puppy as soon as they have had their vaccinations is essential if you want them to behave around other people and animals as well as get them used to all the sights and smells of the world; however, it’s crucial you control and restrain them if necessary which is where a good dog harness comes in and there are endless choices online.
In this guide, we will be reviewing the puppy harnesses:
Here at Dogsbarn, we have taken the time to test and review a huge range of dog harnesses: from the popular Julius K9 to the Gooby X shape harness with an adjustable back strap.
Our Best Harnesses for Puppies
We aim to help you choose the best harness for your puppy. Below are some of the best around with different price points and features
We hope we can help you find one the fits the bill
The Rabbitgoo no pull dog harness has over 40,000 5 star reviews on Amazon, with many happy customers mentioning the quality, stylish look, fit and great price as just a few of this product’s best features
It’s designed as a no-pull harness with the pulling force distributed across the dog’s chest if you use it as a back clip harness, whilst the front clip can stop pulling in its tracks.
The harness comes in a range of sizes from extra small to extra large, making it suitable for all breeds and you can fine-tune the fit with the adjustable chest and neck-straps.
We loved that the harness is easy to use and even though our resident pup Isla is a bit of a Houdini when it comes to collars and harnesses, she couldn’t wiggle out of this one. There’s also reflective trim for visibility in the dark.
Overall, this is one of the best dog harnesses available and with such a reasonable price point, what’s not to love?
- None really, but do make sure you measure your pooch before ordering.
Your best friend will love their daily walks in this comfortable dog harness by Suredoo. It is made of soft, breathable material that’s gentle on your dog’s skin and keeps them cool; plus, it’s lightweight and easy to clean.
Bright reflective stripes provide increased visibility when walking in low light and there is even a lead included.
The vest design means any pulling pressure is evenly dispersed across the body, which prevents choking and this back clip harness is really easy to put on and take off with its quick-release buckles. The harness is best suited to smaller breeds and puppies.
- Not the most robust on our list
The Ruffwear brand produces some of the best pet gear on the market, from collars and leashes to fashionable dog coats. The Ruffwear Front Range harness is ideal for puppies as it is strong and durable with some.
These dog harnesses are superbly designed and the soft padding makes them very comfortable and the perfect dog harness for pups. Unlike the Julius K9, it has two leash attachment points; you can use the front clip to stop pulling and the back one for casual walks.
One of the easiest puppy harnesses to adjust, the rear strap is elasticated and the nylon straps aren’t stiff like some other harnesses.
This Ruffwear harness is available in 9 vibrant colours and sizes from XX-small to extra large, so there’s one to suit any requirements.
- Some sizing issues
IDC Powerharnesses are one of the harnesses most loved by dog owners and for good reason. They are by far the easiest to fit and remove: simply put the large opening over your dog’s head, buckle up and you’re ready for the off.
The thick padded saddle contours comfortably to your dog’s back. A sturdy handle could be a lifesaver should your pooch get into difficulties; it also gives you more control when you’re walking an over-excited pup.
The sturdy construction using top quality materials is another bonus and the reflective trim gives extra safety on dark winter evenings as puppy harnesses go; this is a winner.
The only negative is the price you don’t want to be spending the earth if you have a large puppy that will soon grow out of it.
- Only one leash clip (You can buy a chest strap that turns it into a front clip harness separately)
The ThinkPet no-pull harness is designed to be hardwearing and works well for puppies that like to pull as it distributes pressure across the body instead of the neck, which avoids choking and potential neck injuries.
The lightweight mesh keeps Fido cool and comfortable in the summer; the harness also fits under most dog coats, so your pooch keeps warm during the cooler months and the adjustable straps ensure a snug fit.
It has two lead attachment points – one at the back for casual walks with well-behaved pups and another on the chest that you can use to help prevent pulling for those that are less so.
There’s also a handy seatbelt loop for car safety and this harness is fully reflective for safe nighttime walks.
- May not be the best option for larger breeds
This fantastic no-pull harness by Eagloo has all the key features other harnesses on the list do like two leash attachment points, the front one to stop pulling when walking your dog, reflective trim and a robust handle for extra control but may be more affordable for some.
Easy to use, the quick snap buckles make it simple to put on and take off, while the fully adjustable chest and neck straps ensure a secure fit without putting pressure on your dog’s rib cage or restricting the dog’s movements.
This is a good puppy harness for active dogs; it comes in a variety of colours and sizes, perfect for your furry fashionista.
- Some reviews mention it may not be the best for dogs with deep chests like Greyhounds.
What to Look for When Choosing a Puppy Harness
Harnesses come in all sorts of different shapes, materials and sizes, so it can be a bit mind-boggling if you’ve never chosen one before. So, below are some important things to consider when choosing a harness for your puppy.
Any dog harness needs to be solid and durable; the primary material is usually nylon or a breathable mesh; having something that is chew resistant is perfect for pups.
You will also need to check the clips and buckles. These can be made of plastic or metal; if you have a larger breed, I would always advise using the metal option as they are less likely to break.
It’s essential your puppy is comfortable in their harness; if it doesn’t fit properly, they may develop a negative association with wearing it, which can cause problems. Of course, there is the danger that if it’s too loose, they could escape which could be disastrous.
One of the benefits of a harness is that it doesn’t put pressure on the neck area, so it’s essential the harness distributes weight across the body and this is more comfortable for your pooch if these areas are padded to prevent rubbing. If you enjoy long walks, it’s a good idea to choose a lightweight harness.
You need to ensure the hardware on any harness is robust and the leash can be attached securely so that even the biggest of dogs can’t break it should they see another dog or become frightened. Reflective materials are also beneficial, especially during the winter months.
Easy to put on / easy to get off
Some harnesses can be tricky to get on and adjust, which can be a nightmare if you have a wriggly excited puppy. Some dogs prefer a step-through harness to one that goes over the head, but whichever you choose, it should be simple to put on and take off to avoid stress and save time.
Value for money
As with any dog gear, harnesses can be found at varying price points. Some of the ones on this list are a bit pricey, but pet parents are happy to pay for the brand’s quality and reliability; however, some like the Eagloo harness are excellent value for money.
Of course, you don’t want to be paying over the odds, especially if your puppy is growing quickly, but getting a harness that suits your dog’s lifestyle is the important thing and is worth paying that extra for
How to Put on a Pup Harness Correctly
Putting a dog harness on can be fiddly. This step-by-step guide gives tips on how to fit and secure a harness on your best friend.
Put the harness on the floor and place treats around it so your new puppy can investigate it; this way, they will associate positively with it right from the start. You can feed treats through the head hole or encourage Fido to give you a paw if it’s a step-through, don’t try to put it on at this stage.
Once your furry friend is comfortable, move your hand holding a treat back, so they have to reach through the hole to retrieve it, do this a few times. If they back away, go back to the first step and begin again.
It’s important to make sure your pooch is comfortable with the clips’ noise when being buckled, so do this a few times before putting the harness on. If they are ok with it, you can now place the harness over the head with plenty of praise and a reward before fastening the clips.
Once your furbaby has their harness on, get them used to wearing it in the house before attempting to go outside, distract them with a game or some simple training, so they become comfortable, do this regularly and by the time they are fully vaccinated, they will be ready to explore the world with no thought to the harness.
Ones That Go Over Your Dog’s Head
The overhead harness can be found in various designs and are usually more padded than step through harnesses; for this type of harness, you will need to measure your pup’s neck along with the chest.
As the name implies, your dog will need to put his head through the hole and the harness is then attached with buckles usually around the belly.
Once again, make sure it’s not too tight or too loose. Most hiking and specialist harnesses go over the head, so if you plan to go exploring with your pooch or intend to buy them a doggie life jacket in the future, an overhead harness will get them familiar with this type of restraint.
A step in style dog harness is ideal for pups who are a bit nervous about overhead harnesses.
This design has two holes for the front legs and is usually buckled up at the top of the shoulders before adjusting to fit.
Get out the measuring tape and wrap around the widest part of your dog’s chest, most manufacturers have a sizing chart so you can order the correct fit, but many reviews mention sizing issues; after all, dogs come in many shapes and sizes, so we always recommend measuring before ordering.
Once adjusted, the harness should be snug but not tight you should be able to insert two fingers between the harness and your dog.
Puppy Walking Tips
Keep it short
A puppy should have 5 minutes of exercise per month age, for example, 15 minutes for a three-month-old puppy, but of course, this can differ with your pup’s breed and energy levels; never walk a puppy too far as they will get tired and it can damage their development.
Train to walk on a loose leash
Even if you have invested in a no-pull harness for your canine companion, it’s essential to train them to walk on a loose leash. This video has some great tips on training your puppy to walk nicely.
Let your pup explore
The world is an exciting place for a puppy, so give him time to experience the sights and smells in his own time, let him sniff and enjoy the stimulation of the great outdoors, don’t pull him away, use treats to distract him and reward him for good behaviour.
Slow but steady
Never go jogging or bike riding with a puppy; their joints are not ready for this pace and won’t be until they’re about a year old; discuss with your vet if you have any worries about exercising your puppy.
If your puppy pulls
Many puppies use walks to push the boundaries; they may refuse to move, lunge after other dogs and people or pull in the opposite direction; always have some treats on hand and if your pup misbehaves, just stand still until you gain his attention.
At what age can a puppy start wearing a harness?
You can start getting a puppy used to wearing a harness for short periods from the day you bring them home, but obviously, they can’t venture out in one until they are fully inoculated.
Is a harness better than a collar for puppies?
Definitely, it can prevent neck injuries which can develop if you have a puller and gives you much greater control.
Last Word and Top Pick
We hope this article has helped you decide which harness is suitable for you and your four-legged friend. You can’t go wrong with our top pick, the rabbitgoo no-pull harness, one of the most popular in the UK; it has all the features you could want for a reasonable price.
Walking with your dog is one of life’s pleasures and having the correct harness makes the experience more pleasant for both you and your dog. Happy walking!