If you have a large dog you’re definitely going to need a way to keep them under control when you’re taking them out. Harnesses can be used for greater control, or even so your dog can carry items with them while you’re out and about. That’s where choosing the right big dog harnesses is so important. But how do you make sure that you have the harness that your dog needs?
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Big Dog Harness Reviews
Here we have some of the top big dog harnesses available, so you can make sure that you’re choosing something high quality, but still comfortable for your dog.
1. RUFFWEAR Dog Harness
Whether you need a harness for your dog for training purposes or for general walks, you’ll like this one that offers reflective accents. It keeps your dog safer, comes in several different colors and it’s padded to keep them comfortable. Lightweight and easy to get on and off, it also has two different attachment points for a leash, which means more comfort for your dog and less chance of them getting away from you.
- Foam padding to provide equal distribution
- 2 attachment points for leash
- Reflective strips for added safety at night
- Plastic buckles may not be the most durable
- Front attachment point can be tricky to use
2. Journey Air Dog Harness
This air dog harness is designed to be comfortable, breathable, and easy for your dog to wear for an extended period. It has a padded chest plate to provide better weight distribution and also has a back handle so you can hold onto your dog as needed. Not only that but you can attach the leash to the front or back, there are quick release buckles and you get reflective trim to keep your dog safe even at night or in low light conditions.
- Quick release buckles
- Four adjustment points to get the best possible fit
- Back handle as well as two leash attachments
- Would like better padding on the back leash attachment that sits on dogs back
- Chest attachment can alter dog’s stride
3. Rabbitgoo Dog Harness
If you’re looking for a budget option that still provides you with all of the features that you and your pup need then this is a great way to go. It has 2 leash clip options, a control handle, plenty of padding and reflective accents. Designed for larger dogs, this collar is a no pull, no choke option with fast release buckles and 4 adjustable straps to get a good fit.
- Nylon construction for durability and comfort
- Plenty of padding to keep dog comfortable for extended use
- Keeps dog from being able to get out
- Straps loosen with continued use
- Could be better at deterring pulling behavior
4. Julius-K9 Powerharness
The variety of colors and sizes are only the first part of why this harness is going to be a great choice. It has interchangeable hook and loop patches that can be fun for you to show off your favorite options. It also has a simple design, adjustable straps at the front and under the belly and the buckles are designed to be durable and long lasting. Not only that but the inner liner is specially designed to keep your dog more comfortable for longer walks and outings.
- Reflective accents for safety during nighttime walks
- Wide range of color and size options for better fit
- Easy to put on dog
- Can be somewhat bulky for dog
- Not ideal for dogs that are escape prone
5. Eagloo Dog Harness
If you’re looking for a sleek, inexpensive, quality harness that will help keep your dog safe this is a great way to go. It’s designed for different size dogs and has a breathable material that’s great for even warmer days. It also features 2 metal rings, a handle, and front clip to keep control of your dog wherever you go. There’s even a system to make sure you can keep your dog secure while you’re driving, but all of this still makes sure your dog is comfortable throughout the day.
- Easy on and off with quick release
- No choke collar to keep your dog comfortable
- Reflective material accents to protect at night
- Harness will loosen itself over time
- Difficult to adjust the straps for best fit
Big Dog Harness Buying Guide
If you have a large dog you want to make sure you get a quality harness, but you may want to do a little research on your own. That’s why we’re going to take a look at a few important factors to consider before you do.
The right size harness is going to be essential to keeping your dog safe and keeping them with you. After all, you don’t want to find yourself with a harness that hurts your dog or one that allows them to easily get away from you while you’re walking. Instead, check the sizing at the collar, length, and girth.
Measuring at the collar means taking a flexible or fabric tape measure and wrapping it around the dogs neck. Add 2” to this measurement to get a good fit. This means you will be able to get two fingers in between your dog’s collar and their neck, which keeps them comfortable and safe but still under control.
The length of your dog should be measured from the base of their neck to the base of their tail. Keep in mind that this will depend slightly on the type of dog you have as well. Dogs with thicker coats or those that are larger overall (either in general or because they are overweight) may need to go up a size in this measurement.
Finally, the girth is the distance around your dog just behind their front legs. This is the thickest part of the dog in most cases. Make sure that you measure all the way around with your flexible tape measure. You’ll then want to compare this measurement to the sizes for the harness that you’re looking to get.
In general, if your dog is at the edge of the limit for the harness you will want to go to the larger size rather than stick with the smaller. This will help keep them comfortable in the harness while not allowing them to escape.
A harness needs to be adjustable in order for you to get the right fit. That means making sure you look at the different areas that can adjust and how they adjust as well. Some harnesses are designed with minimal adjustments, which can be convenient because you don’t have to make a lot of changes.
The downside is that if your dog is slightly larger than average in any area or slightly smaller than average it can be hard to get a good fit. Instead, choose a harness with several adjustment options but one that holds those adjustments until you change them.
The more sturdy the harness the more likely it is that the straps won’t loosen on their own when you’re trying to keep your dog safe. That will be more convenient for you but still makes it possible to get a highly adjustable harness.
Straps might adjust around the chest, over the back, around the neck, or any combination of the above to get you a comfortable fit.
The material of the harness that you choose is another important aspect. You want something that will be comfortable but also durable. After all, you want to be able to continue using the harness for an extended period of time. In general, you’ll find these harnesses made with synthetic fabrics, nylon, or leather.
Synthetic fabrics can be a good option because they can be made in many different ways and will generally be comfortable and soft. They’re inexpensive and will give you a lot of freedom to choose things like design and even colors.
Nylon fabrics are great for durability in most cases and will stand up to general use and abuse. They’re also designed to do well in areas where there’s a lot of humidity because they don’t absorb the moisture that could be uncomfortable for your dog.
Finally, leather harnesses are the most durable and long-lasting option, but they’re going to be expensive. They also tend to be less flexible and they’re likely going to be less comfortable until they’re broken in. Not only that but they will absorb moisture if you live in a hot or humid climate (or a wet one).
Big Dog Harness FAQ
There are some questions you may want to ask when it comes to choosing the right harness, or deciding if a harness is even the way to go, and that’s where this section comes in.
What’s the Difference Between a Standard Harness and a No-Pull Harness?
A standard harness is designed simply to balance out the pressure of the leash on your dog. So, instead of the leash being attached directly around their neck and pulling there, the ‘pull’ from you holding your dog back on the leash is spread out. The harness disperses it across their chest and their back. This makes it more comfortable for the dog.
With a no-pull harness you’ll actually be helping to teach your dog not to try pulling away from you. These harnesses fit in much the same way, dispersing the weight and ‘pull’ of the leash, but they also tighten just a little if your dog tries to pull. This tightening effect is felt under the front legs rather than on the neck, however, which is safer for your dog.
Standard harnesses are generally good for smaller dogs or those that are a little less rambunctious. They still will let the dog pull at the leash and will simply be more comfortable. On the other hand, no-pull harnesses are designed for more rambunctious or larger dogs that you need more control with.
Should I Get a Back Clip vs. Front Clip?
Many harnesses actually come with both types of clips, which means you can switch between the two whenever you choose. This can be a great option if you’re working on training your dog part of the time but also want to be able to simply walk with their dog or get them used to walking with a harness and leash.
A front clip is great for dogs that tend to pull. This is great option for dogs that want to pull away or constantly try to get control while they’re walking. It’s a good training option and makes sure that the pressure for the dog doesn’t pull at the neck but across the chest and back instead.
A back clip is great for getting your dog used to a harness or leash or just walking in general. It distributes the weight of the leash across their back and chest, which can keep them more comfortable than a standard leash that pulls at the neck and collar.
Is a Harness Better Than a Collar?
It depends on what you’re looking for. If you only take your dog outside for short periods or you don’t usually have them on any type of lead you may be fine with just a standard collar that you can attach it to. This collar can stay on them and it makes it easy enough to lead them when necessary.
On the other hand, if your dog is larger, more rambunctious, or tends to pull, or if you intend to take them on longer outings and walks, a harness might be a better option. The harness makes sure that any pulling (from you or them) is distributed across their back and chest rather than on their neck.
This means that a harness is good for keeping your dog more comfortable and safe, while a collar will serve the basic needs of a walk.
Find the Big Dog Harness That’s Right for You
The best harness is going to be one that fits your dog well and allows you both to have long and enjoyable outings. So, take a look at each of these harness options and some of the top features to consider and make sure you’re getting a harness that works.