How to choose a dog harness for your pet? 

Easy tips and tricks for choosing a dog harness. Determine the right size and type of dog harness for your pet with these simple guidelines.

A dog harness is much more comfortable for the pet and its owner than a collar, whether for a simple walk or a sporting activity. But how to choose one? A collar is not recommended if your dog is overflowing with energy and tends to pull on it, as it may cause irritation, coughing, or even deformities in the neck. The harness is more pleasant for the dog by keeping its body even and distributing the pulling force well. Plus, it is easier for the handler to control the dog with a harness. In addition, harnesses are functional and come in different models.

Types of dog harness for different purposes

  • Classic harness for walks. The most popular models of these harnesses often have adjustable straps in polyester lined versions for even more comfort. Choose a harness with metal ties reaching up to the upper part of the back which is hairier than the sides to avoid irritation.
  • Shoulder harness to give them a boost. These harnesses are designed for dogs who have difficulty moving, either because they have a disability or injury, or because they often take long, tiring walks. If your dog likes to drag its paws, this is the ideal harness since you can help the dog by pulling a little but without hindering its movements, as the device is very stable.
  • Anti-traction harness for the more spirited. Unlike other harnesses, this harness is intended for dogs who pull constantly on their leash. The anti-pull system directs the pulling force upward, not forward, preventing the dog from moving forward. This harness type makes it easier for you to keep the dog well-behaved without putting too much strain on your hands.
  • Husky harness for discipline. This harness type is used for dressage and bodybuilding exercises. This ultra-robust model allows dogs to easily tow loads on the ground by using all the muscles in their body.
  • Flyball harness for sport. This harness type is perfect for dog training, canicross and doing sports activities with your dog (running or cycling, for example). Since it is very flexible, the flyball harness allows your dog not to be hampered in its movements.

How to choose the size of a dog harness?

The effectiveness of a good harness relies heavily on its size. It must be perfectly adapted to the body of the dog to be able to fulfill its function. To calculate the size, first measure around your dog's chest (place the tape measure just behind its front paws). Add 2 inches to this number and you will get the ideal harness size.

However, most harnesses do not come in inches. As a guide, a size XS is 10-16 in and is generally suitable for small puppies, chihuahuas and Yorkshires.  

  • Size S: from 16 to 20 in (Jack Russel, puppy);
  • Size M: from 20 to 27.5 in (French bulldog, Michon Maltais, miniature pinscher);
  • Size L: from 27.5 to 35.5 in (miniature schnauzer, Australian shepherd);   
  • Size XL: over 35.5 in (labrador, dalmatian, large poodle).

The fact remains that these are generic dog harness sizes, so feel free to take a larger or smaller size if necessary. It's all about the safety and comfort of your four-legged best friend!