The Different Types of Dog Harnesses: Find the One for Your Dog

Some dogs are fragile, small or timid, while some are big, strong and fierce. Some are gentle and some are aggressive. And all of these traits vary more strongly by race, although training and education certainly play a role. It may not seem like anything to worry about, but it is important to choose equipment that is best suited for your type of dog.

For example, there are many different types of dog harnesses that are designed for specific age/size groups and breeds. Read on to learn more about it.

What is a dog harness?

Dog harness

Image source: Pinterest

A dog harness is a type of device designed to keep your dog close to you whenever you are out walking together. It consists of straps that go around a dog’s torso, so the harness can be used to lift, lead or hold your dog by pulling on the leash.

Don’t worry, they won’t harm your dog or cause any discomfort. The fit is made so they don’t cause tension around your dog’s neck when pulled and allow them to breathe freely. However, to achieve this fit, you need to make sure you buy the right type of harness for your dog.

6 Different types of dog harnesses

1. Rear clip harness


Image source: Pinterest

Back clip harnesses are the most practical and basic harnesses available on the market. The metal clip D is sewn to the top and back of the harness where the chain is attached.


#1. They are available at almost any pet store.

#2. You are less likely to trip on the chain.

#3. It gives you more control over your dog compared to a flat collar.

#4. The D-ring is positioned away from the dog’s neck, preventing the risk of injury.


#1. The back clip does not discourage pulling behavior in dogs as it is designed for comfort, not training.

#2. It can be difficult to guide your dog with it.

2. Front clip harness

Front clip

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The front clip harness is also known as an anti-pull harness because it discourages pulling behavior. It is designed for dogs that have a lot of energy or a tendency to make noise and cannot accept commands. This type of harness is best suited for dogs still in training.

They are similar in design to the back clip harness, except that the D-ring is positioned on the dog’s chest. It won’t hurt the dog, but the more your dog pulls, the more pressure it creates on your dog’s chest. This will cause your dog to naturally respond to this by slowing down.


#1. Discourages your dog’s fetching instincts; great for puppies or young dogs.

#2. Easier to walk your dog.

#3. Available at most pet stores and comes with safety equipment.


#1. You should keep the leash high enough to avoid your dog’s legs getting tangled in it.

3. Harness with double buckles

Double clip

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Double clip harnesses are a versatile choice for owners with unpredictable dogs. They give you the option of attaching the leash to the D clip on the front or back of the dog, and sometimes both. This allows you to decide how you want to control your dog’s behavior based on their mood.


#1. It functions as a front and rear connecting harness.

#2. Versatile use.


#1. Your dog may find the feel of two metal loops touching their skin uncomfortable. Plus, the loop that’s not in use can rub against their skin as they walk.

#2. Expensive.

4. Open-in harness

Pass it on

Image source: Pinterest

Some dogs hate wearing things that go over their heads, and no matter how many times you try to put them on, they will resist. An opening harness does not go over your dog’s head. You simply lay it on the ground, let your dog get into it, and lift it up from underneath. The side straps tighten around your dog’s back. It is the ideal harness for moody dogs and small dogs as they tend to be more restless.


#1. Ideal for small and energetic dogs or puppies.

#2. Easy to put on and take off.

#3. Most come with a back clip so it’s comfortable too.


#1. To set it up, you need to get your dog to stay still in one place.

5. Safety harness

Safety harness

Image source: Pinterest

If you like to travel with your dog, a safety harness may be more suitable for you because they have components that connect to the seat belts. Safety gear keeps your dog comfortable and safe on road trips. It will also allow you to safely leave your dog in the car.


#1. Compatible with cars.

#2. Keeps dogs safe and comfortable in cars.


#1. Expensive

6. Daypack harness

Pack harness of the day

Image source: Pinterest

Speaking of long rides and road trips, if you’re planning on making your dog your permanent travel companion, you might as well invest in a day pack harness. It is basically a bag/harness as it allows you to store some toys or treats for your dog. Your dog needs its own gear for hiking and camping. Day pack harnesses are usually made for medium to large sized dogs.


#1. Additional space for storing small items.

#2. Keep all your dog’s daily essentials on the go for long outdoor excursions.


#1. Expensive.

#2. It can be a bit heavy.

Tips for choosing the right one for your dog


Here are some important considerations to make before deciding which type of harness to buy.

  • Determine what the harness will be used for

#1. Where will you take your dog? Planning to take a simple walk? A road trip? Hiking? Or are you planning to buy a harness to control your dog’s impulsive behaviors?

#2. You should consider the breed and size of your dog. A harness that is too big or too small is no good.

#3. Are you planning to use the harness to encourage a behavior change in your dog? Some dogs can be violent or aggressive towards strangers and require a more punishing harness model.

#4. If your dog has short hair, look for a harness with less padding to avoid skin irritation.

  • Measuring your dog for the harness

It goes without saying that getting the harness measurement right determines whether it will work or not. An ill-fitting harness can be dangerous for you or your dog, especially if they are not disciplined.

Here are some tips for measuring your dog’s harness size:

#1. It should not be too tight and not at all loose.

#2. The part of the buckle should be an average distance from the dog’s head.

#3. You can check the fit by pushing two fingers into the dog harness. If they fit and make the belt feel tighter, it’s a good fit.

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