There’s probably nothing in the world that a dog likes more than going out for a walk. This must be a part of your daily routine if you have a canine friend at home. You need a leash and a good harness to do this safely. They will prevent your dog from escaping and from straying too far from you when you’re strolling about.
Dogs need to go out to relieve themselves, stretch their legs, release their energy and socialise with other dogs. However, you have to make sure that your pet doesn’t run across the road, get lost or fight with other animal. Nowadays, a harness and a leash are the most frequently used solution.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best dog harnesses on the Australian market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about dog harnesses
- 3.1 Why should I walk my dog with a harness?
- 3.2 Does my harness also work to tie my dog in the car?
- 3.3 Are people afraid of dogs who don’t wear harnesses?
- 3.4 Are there laws on walking dogs with a harness?
- 3.5 Is a collar the same as a dog harness?
- 3.6 What problems can a collar cause that a harness won’t?
- 3.7 How do I get my dog to not pull too much on the leash?
- 3.8 Are harnesses suitable for dogs of all weights and sizes?
- 3.9 Can harnesses make my dog pull more?
- 3.10 What advice should I follow when taking my dog for a walk?
- 3.11 What happens if I just harness my dog so it can relieve itself?
- 3.12 How long should I walk my dog for?
- 3.13 Can I take my puppy out with a harness?
- 3.14 What vaccinations are required before my dog can go out?
- 3.15 Do all harnesses prevent my dog from pulling?
- 3.16 How should I use a no-pull harness with my dog?
- 3.17 How will my dog react the first time it goes out with a harness?
- 3.18 Should I also muzzle my dog?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- The harness you choose must fit the body, size and needs of your dog, as well as your comfort of use.
- Going out is the best time of the day for your canine friend, and wearing a harness will make it a pleasant moment for you, other people and other dogs walking about near you.
- Dog owners are required to have their animal on a leash in most public areas and when travelling by car. Unlike collars, harnesses can divide the weight evenly along the body of the canine, allowing you to pull on the leash without harming it.
Ranking: The best dog harnesses on the Australian market
In the following section, we’ve analysed products to come up with our selection of the very best dog harnesses available on the market right now. You’ll discover what the main features of each one so you can compare different models. This will make your job all that much easier when you have to pick the harness that best suits your dog and yourself.
No. 1: No-Pull Dog Harness by Rabbitgoo (with reflective straps)[amazon box=”B01M6YASY1″ description_items=”0″]
Founded in 2015, Rabbitgoo is a California-based dog accessory company that specialises in e-commerce, and their products have received fantastic reviews all over the world. This is why this no-pull dog harness tops out ranking. It is designed in such a way that the pressure caused by your dog pulling on the leash are distributed evenly throughout its body, preventing it from suffocating.
It features two metal rings. The first one is located on the chest and used for training, as it controls your dog’s pulls. The other is on the back and better for walking or when travelling by car. It comes with straps that will reflect light sources, making your pet visible at night. This model is available in four different sizes, from S to XL. Past Buyers have praised its great resistance, even for larger breeds. Six colours to pick from.
No. 2: Eco-Friendly Control Dog Harness by Seacue[amazon box=”B07C13XJK7″ description_items=”0″]
Seacue is a Chinese brand of pet supplies, and this no-pull harness has also received quality reviews by other dog owners. The chest straps allow you to adjust them so the harness perfectly fits your canine friend. Made from non-toxic mesh, this product won’t irritate your pet’s skin and is also eco-friendly. The flexibility of the material makes this model ideal for long hikes or other more intensive outdoor activities.
It is both breathable and durable. The quick snap buckles make it easy to put on and off, but impossible for your pet to take off as long as you adjust the harness correctly. The leash ring is located on the back and won’t restrict your dog’s movements. Please check the complete neck base and chest girth measurements to know exactly which size best fits your pet. Four are available, ranging from small to extra large. The harness comes in a blue or orange design.
No. 3: Journey Air Dog Harness by Kurgo[amazon box=”B07D7DSLRF” description_items=”0″]
Kurgo is another American company, and they focus specifically on dog products. As one of the fastest growing companies in the industry, they offer great accessories for active canines. The Journey Air harness was designed for “active dogs that are always out in front”, and user ratings have confirmed this. While it may be more expensive than other models on this list, this dog harness will withstand just about anything your pet can throw at it.
It’s a long-term investment you won’t regret. It comes with two leash attachment rings, one on the back for more freedom, and one on the front for no-pull training. The four adjustment points allow you to tailor the harness to your dog’s body. The chest is padded for more comfort, and the mesh is breathable. this model also features reflective edges for night-time visibility. Available in XS, S, M, and L, the Journey Air harness comes with a lifetime manufacturer warranty.
No. 4: Halti Front Control Dog Harness by The Company of Animals[amazon box=”B004ZCJ8PW” description_items=”0″]
Britain-based Company of Animals doesn’t simply design accessories for dogs. They are also recognised training experts since the 1970s, which means that their products are created to offer the very best for pets and owners alike. Designed to gently control your dog via the chest ring, it also features padded side straps to provide greater comfort. The front clip allows you to hook the harness to the collar for more safety.
Made from nylon webbing, this harness is extremely durable and resistant, and its no-frills design won’t get in the way of your canine friend’s freedom of movement. Another ring is located on the back, and the manufacturer recommends using a double-ended leash for dual steering if you have a large dog. This product is available in two sizes, so make sure you choose the one most suited to your dog. Owners have said that this was the training solution they were looking for.
No. 5: Voyager No-Pull Dog Harness by Best Pet Supplies[amazon box=”B076BW3771″ description_items=”0″]
Last but not least, here is the Voyager dog harness by American brand Best Pet Supplies. With top quality and affordable prices at heart, this company has become a favourite on the market, and this model has received over 5,000 reviews already – with a 4.3 overall rating. This should give you the confidence you need in terms of quality. We know that style is also important, and the elegance of this padded vest will satisfy you.
What’s more, it is available in 15 different colour combinations to best suit your canine friend. But the Voyager is first and foremost a very safe harness for active dogs. This is why it includes a triple closure on the front end: a powerful velcro, a standard snap buckle and two D-rings to which you can attach the leash. That way, your pet isn’t slipping away from you, which is particularly useful for energetic breeds. Afraid you won’t find the right size? It comes in five, so any dog will have its own Journey harness.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about dog harnesses
Before you buy a harness for your dog, you should absolutely know the functionalities of this canine product and its benefits for your pet and yourself. This will naturally depend on the model you choose. In the section below, we discuss some of the most important aspects regarding harnesses, so that you can make an informed decision. We’ve also answered the most frequently asked questions.
Why should I walk my dog with a harness?
Your dog needs to be on a leash when you go out so that it cannot escape or go to a place where its life could be at risk – the road, for instance. This is why it is necessary that you equip your dog with a harness, too. This will also result in a more comfortable environment for other pedestrians and dogs that are around. You should also have your dog on a leash when you’re driving.
Dogs need to be restrained in all public places, except those specifically designed for them. You can only let your canine friend loose in parks where these animals are allowed or in other specific areas.
Does my harness also work to tie my dog in the car?
A dog needs to be well fastened when travelling by car. Harnesses specially created for car use are available, or you can simply use the one you already have for walking. With the latter, you’ll have to tie a ribbon to one of the rings of the harness and to the seat belt simultaneously.
To travel legally and safely, you must wear a seat belt at all times in your vehicle. The exact same goes for your dog. You are advised to attach the belt to a harness for greater comfort. This accessory will ensure that your canine friend is protected and that the force of braking doesn’t cause it any unwanted harm.
Are people afraid of dogs who don’t wear harnesses?
Some people are simply not accustomed to interacting with dogs, and they may not understand their ways of expressing themselves to humans. Certain dogs also have the tendency of becoming more nervous when they are around people who are afraid of them. By smelling the adrenaline, the animal starts to feel uncomfortable with the body gestures of someone who fears them and can bark at them.
If you walk your dog on a leash, you can avoid these risky situations and not disturb other pedestrians who are afraid of animals. Situations can quickly escalate if your dog runs loose. It may become uneasy before a fearful person, and that person will further increase the discomfort and fear they feel.
Are there laws on walking dogs with a harness?
There is legislation in place regarding dog control and care in most countries. In Australia, the laws will vary depending on the state you live in. These regulations are designed to protect dogs from abuse, and avoid any incident involving these animals. Owners must abide by the law at all times. You can have access to every state’s dog laws on the website of Australian pet education organisation Pets4Life.
Most laws will require you to have a liability insurance and be up to date on your dog’s vaccinations. These animals must be on-leash in most public places, unless the park rules specifically state that they can be off-leash. Certain breeds considered potentially dangerous c
an never be set loose and must wear a muzzle.
Is a collar the same as a dog harness?
While they are designed to fulfil the same function, these two accessories are not the same. Both allow you take your dog for a walk in complete safety. Used with a leash, they also prevent your animal from straying too far and running onto the road. You can control their movements and avoid them getting too close to a dog with whom they might fight.
A harness with the corresponding hook is necessary when travelling by car, while a collar cannot be used in that case. It would cause greater harm to your dog in case of an accident or braking.
What problems can a collar cause that a harness won’t?
Collars have generally been used more frequently than harnesses to walk our pets. However, in recent years many experts have talked about the problems of using collars. Others still stand by it. We’ve listed the advantages and disadvantages of both accessories in the table below:
|Collar||Some say that the harness can be pulled on, as it was its original purpose. It’s also an indication that pet and owner are going for a walk.||Pulling can actually cause damage to the neck of your dog, which is a very delicate part of its body.|
|Harness||Pulling won’t harm your pet since the weight of the leash is distributed over its body. Recommended when travelling by car. Ideal for dogs with respiratory problems.||A dog that you are often correcting for pulling may think that it can indeed pull. Do not tolerate it.|
How do I get my dog to not pull too much on the leash?
How you raised your dog ultimately determines its attitude when you go out for walks together. Some will constantly pull on their leash, and these outings become a torment for their owners. You could even suffer from back pain for holding your pet dog firmly to avoid it going where it should, to get it to follow the right path or so it walks slowly.
If this is your case, experts advise you against using retractable leashes, as these give freedom that your dog cannot have during training. very short leashes, on the other hand, will oppress your pet. Remember that, while you ultimately set the rules, you should also try and walk at their pace. This is their happy time, so don’t stop too often.
If your dog pulls more than it should, stop until it calms down before continuing your walk. If you can’t get it to obey, simply change direction and your pet will know exactly which way you’re going. Keep in mind that you should always be calm, as it would notice if you are nervous and will be too.
Are harnesses suitable for dogs of all weights and sizes?
As you might have realised from our product selection, the vast majority of harnesses come in various sizes to fit every dog. You’ll find the right harness for your pet, whether it’s a small chihuahua or a Great Dane. That being said, you should pay particular attention to the overall quality, seams and resistance of the product if your dog is very big.
Very small dogs are lighter and easier to control, so a harness is more of a nice accessory. It is a great tool to train larger breeds in the beginning: it allows you to direct their movements and make them understand what they can and cannot do. You also have better control over them.
Can harnesses make my dog pull more?
Some people believe that the harness can lead to dogs pulling more on the leash. The reason behind this reasoning is that this accessory was originally created and used for dogs pulling sledges or carts. That being said, this market has developed very much and you can now find various types of harnesses, many of which are ideal for canine training.
This is why it is not evident whether a harness will make your pet pull more or not. In fact, the market offers certain models designed to teach your dog not to pull on the leash. It’s also interesting to know that a harness will cause less physical harm to your dog than a collar if it has the tendency to pull a lot during walks. As we mentioned earlier, this is because the weight is more evenly distributed.
What advice should I follow when taking my dog for a walk?
Going out is the best time for your animal, and we encourage you to respect its tastes. However, you’ll still need to follow your own rules. This is why it is recommended to start your outing by heading to a place where your dog can be completely free, like a park. Allow it to sniff around and explore, play and relieve itself.
After you’ve given your pet some fun time, you can go for a walk together. This is when you want to set some proper rules. You can still allow it to smell or mark its territory from time to time, but you don’t want this to be so frequent that you can’t walk.
What happens if I just harness my dog so it can relieve itself?
You are not advised, under any circumstances, to leave home just for your dog to do its business. This will make it think that it has to hurry every time you go out, and it won’t want to move forward or do anything else but mark its territory. This means that your dog’s only goal will be to urinate as many times as possible before going back home.
Your dog won’t be able to keep up with you anymore when you decide to go out for a longer walk. It will continue to think that you’ll be going home soon and won’t stop marking its territory every other step, making the walk very difficult and tiresome. Remember that this isn’t your pet’s fault, but rather what you’ve been teaching it every day.
How long should I walk my dog for?
When you’re about to add a canine member to your family and if you live in an apartment, you have to know that you will need to dedicate several hours a day to entertain it. Dogs must go out to do their business, play and socialise with other pets. As a matter of fact, experts recommend three daily outings of at least 30 minutes each.
These animals need to discover new smells and interact with dogs and people alike to get their minds working. If you always go out for a good 20 to 30 minutes of walking every time, your canine friend will know that it has the time to do everything it wants. This will mean that it is also more obedient to you.
Can I take my puppy out with a harness?
If you adopt your dog when it is still a puppy, you should know that you have to wait for the vaccination period to be over before taking it out. This means that it generally cannot know the outside world before approximately 12 weeks of age. This is why you should consider the size it will be at that age before buying its first harness.
Puppies will need to have a suitable place at home to do their business. Experts say a dog will learn everything you teach it between the age of 3 and 14 weeks. This is therefore a crucial time in terms of education. In that regard, you can start putting a harness on your dog and walk together inside your home so it is prepared for its first outing.
What vaccinations are required before my dog can go out?
Whether your dog is a puppy or fully grown already, it is essential that you check its vaccinations. Make sure you give it any missing ones before heading out for your first walk. That way, your new pet won’t be at risk of contracting diseases. In Australia, mandatory vaccinations – also called core – will protect your dog from canine distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus. Non-core vaccines are for parainfluenza virus, bordetella bronchiseptica and leptospira interrogans.
- The first round of vaccines is given between six and eight weeks of life.
- The final vaccine is not given until your dog turns sixteen weeks.
- Your puppy will be ready for the street after you check one last time with your vet.
- It is recommended to chip your dog before going for the first walk, in case it gets lost.
Do all harnesses prevent my dog from pulling?
All harnesses allow you to better control your dog and where it wants to go. However, not all models are designed to prevent pulling. In fact, the majority are simply made to take your dog out on a walk. This is why you’ll need to pay attention to whether the harness you want to buy is designed to avoid pulling or not.
You are advised to opt for a no-pull harness if your pet is particularly big, strong or still learning to follow your orders. These specifically-designed models will slightly close up on your dog and restrain its legs if it pulls on the leash. In that case, the leash is attached to the animal’s thorax.
How should I use a no-pull harness with my dog?
Dogs, especially large breeds, can drag us along as they please by pulling on the leash during walks. Nowadays, you have access to models tailored to educate your dog to respect your walking speed. Training harness are created specifically for you to walk while controlling your pet’s movements.
The harness is adjusted to the dog’s body, and generally features several grips so that you can control it and decide the direction to take. These harnesses have a ring on the chest and another on the back, so you can choose which one suits your use best.
How will my dog react the first time it goes out with a harness?
Dogs are smart creatures. They learn quickly, but we have to teach them to understand what we want from them. The first few times you go out together, the outside world will offer many stimuli. This isn’t always pleasant for animals, and you might see that your puppy isn’t comfortable in this new environment. If that’s the case, take it out several times a day for short periods of time.
You are advised not to force your dog on its first walks, or expose it to the outside world for long if it is not comfortable. Let your pet smell around and find its own rhythm while getting accustomed to the surroundings. Don’t force it to interact with other dogs or people. Your animal needs to do what it wants to gain confidence.
Should I also muzzle my dog?
While having your dog harnessed may be mandatory in public places in the state you live in, the muzzle generally depends on the breed. This means that you may never have to put one on your pet. That being said, you may have to use a muzzle if you’re travelling with your dog on a train.
Depending on your state laws, breeds such as pit bull terrier, Presa Canario or Fila Brasileiro (Brazilian mastiff) will need to wear a muzzle in public spaces at all times. Other dogs that have shown signs of aggressive behaviour, or that may potentially be aggressive, should also be muzzled for extra safety.
Dog harnesses aren’t only useful to make walking your pet more comfortable: they are sometimes mandatory by law. In any case, you will always need one of these accessories, and you want to buy one that fits both your dog and yourself. To help you make the right decision, we’ve discussed the following key criteria in the next section:
- Night-time visibility
It is very important that you measure the size of the harness so that it fits your dog’s head without disturbing it. This is also true for the lower part of the harness, which goes around the thorax. If it’s loose, it may chafe its body while walking, and your dog will be able to escape. Overly large harnesses also make it more difficult for you to control the animal.
On the other hand, your dog will feel oppressed and may even have difficulty breathing if it’s too tight. Most models sold on the Australian market come in different sizes to fit all breeds. You can naturally adjust the harness using the straps to make it wider or narrower depending on your dog.
A wide array of materials are used to manufacture these accessories. You can even buy harnesses designed specifically for winter or summer. One of the most important things is that the product be resistant enough to withstand your dog pulling on it. Pay particular attention to this if you have a large dog. The straps connection each part of the harness tend to be made from nylon, a very strong material.
During summer, you may want to opt for a mesh model. It will help your dog to breathe and sweat won’t become an issue. Some harnesses are designed to withstand going in water so your animal can cool off when it gets very hot. Nylon webbing products are also useful for the heat. In winter, you should prefer padded models.
The climate will naturally influence the material you choose, but you also want to ensure that the one you opt for won’t damage your dog’s skin. Nowadays, most harnesses are made from products that respect canine skin. We strongly encourage you to pay attention to this criterion, as poor quality materials may lead to wounds.
Dog harnesses come in different shapes and designs, each performing specific functions. They can adapt to different bodies and sizes to perfectly fit each animal. We’ve listed the main harness designs available right now on the Australian market, so you can choose which is best suited to your pet:
- Y-harness: Made with nylon straps, it generally wraps the chest and legs of the animal, closing near the ribs. Other materials are also used for the straps, such as leather. They give little control, so they are ideal for smaller breeds or dogs that have learnt to walk without pulling on the leash. These models keep your dog cool in summer.
- Safety harness: This model is also called a three-point harness. Similar to the Y-harness, it features a waist strap to prevent your dog from turning back. It is most commonly used with breeds like hunting dogs and greyhounds. That third point on the waist will make your pet feel more protected.
- Training harness: Also known as no-pull harnesses, these accessories are designed for you to stop your dog from pulling on the leash. They have a ring to hook the leash in the centre of the chest, and sometimes another at the top of the back. Also made from nylon straps, they are particularly helpful during training.
- Vest harness: This type of harness is usually padded and more comfortable during the colder months because it covers a greater part of the body. The Julius-K9 products has made them very trendy. You can also use them for summer if they made from light mesh. Fearful animals feel more protected with these models, and it allows you to better control your pet.
Today, many harnesses are visible in the dark. They will allow you to find your pet in case it gets lost at night or starts running in dark places. There are two main types of harnesses that will let you keep an eye on your dog in almost any situation. They are made with the following straps:
- Reflective straps: They are made with a material that sends light back to its original source. This means that they are only visible when light hits them. Otherwise, you will not be able to see the harness. In other words, models with reflective straps are useful to find your dog if there are lampposts, cars circulating or if you’re using a flashlight.
- Luminescent straps: These models of dog harnesses are less common than those mentioned above. The material they are made from receives and stores energy, later transforming it into a light source in dark environments. This basically means that you will always be able to see the harness, even if there is absolutely no light around.
As you now know, you have to take your dog out several times a day. These animals needs to stretch their legs, have fun and do their business. However, many Australian states have regulations requiring dogs to wear a leash attached to a collar or a harness.The former have become particularly trendy, due to the fact that they are very comfortable to use, both for the dog and for its owner.
You’ll realise that a harness is a great tool to take your dog out, to train it, to guide it and to control its movements. These accessories are also mandatory to use with the seat belt when you’re travelling with your pet. You will find a wide range of models on the market, manufactured with different materials and in all sizes to fit the needs of your dog and yourself.
If you liked our shopping guide on dog harnesses, feel free to rate it and share the article on your social media. You can also leave us a comment in the section below, and we’ll be happy to answer any question you may have.
(Source of featured image: Jaromir Chalabala: 32461779/ 123rf.com)