There are plenty of reasons to use a dog harness instead of a collar. For dogs that pull on the lead, or dogs with health issues, a harness may be the better option. Harnesses are fantastic for small or short-faced breeds as they are especially susceptible to pain or injury from pressure around the neck. Harnesses provide better control, and so work better for training and with dogs that pull on the lead. So how do you pick the best harness for your dog?
Front clip vs back clip dog harness
Harnesses can either be back-clipping or front-clipping (or both). Back-clipping harnesses have a lead connecting clip between the shoulders and are a great option for dogs who do not pull on the lead. They take the pressure off the neck and collar and are a good general harness and are excellent for small breeds that can sometimes find front-clipping harnesses uncomfortable. However, back-attaching harnesses can actually encourage pulling in some dogs, and so are not ideal for reactive dogs or strong pulling dogs.
Front clipping harnesses have a lead connecting clip on the chest and are excellent for large dogs or dogs who pull on the lead. These harnesses give excellent control, as the dog’s centre of gravity is located at the chest, so when the dog pulls, the harness will turn the dog around towards the handler. These harnesses often also have a back-clip, allowing you to connect a double-ended lead to both the chest and back clips, giving ultimate control. Front-clipping harnesses are excellent for training and are a very useful tool with reactive or strong pulling dogs.
Every dog is different and that is why it is important to understand the differences between harnesses to pick the right one for your pooch. Below are some of the harnesses we recommend and the differences between them.
The Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness has been designed by Ruffwear to be the perfect harness for everyday use, suited for trail running and your day to day dog walk. This classic harness is available in six different colours, so you’re sure to find a style to suit you and your pet.
- Four points of adjustment so you can get a perfect, secure fit for your dog.
- Two lead attachment points – an aluminium V-ring on the back and reinforced webbing on the front.
- Padding on the front and belly of the harness to ensure even load distribution on your dog and comfortable wear.
- A reflective trim to ensure your pet is visible in low light conditions.
- ID pocket to store dog tags.
The Front Range Harness is available to buy here.
Red Dingo’s Padded Dog Harness has soft padding on the chest and back areas for maximum comfort. Fully adjustable and easy to fit – incorporating all of Red Dingo’s quality features.
- Reflective trim for safety and style
- Dual D-rings which give the owner more control of their pet
- Twin bucklebones which makes this harness incredibly secure but also easy to take on and off
- Matching double-ended training lead available
Red Dingo’s Padded Harnesses come in 5 different sizes and colours to cater for every size dog. The harness features two lead attachment points: a D-ring on the dog’s back for everyday walks, and another D-ring on the front for training and/or additional control.The harness is available to buy here.
One main advantage with this harness is the matching double-ended training lead. This six-in-one training lead provides different configurations for every need. The three D-rings on the lead give handlers the flexibility to use the lead as a short, medium or long lead, as well as a double lead for two dogs, a shoulder lead for hands-free walking or a temporary tie. This lead is available to buy here.
The Yeti harness is elegant and stylish, but it’s also a comfortable wear for your pup. It’s easy to put on and its pleasant to the touch material will make your dog not want to leave the house without it! This back-clipping harness has a lead connecting clip between the shoulders and is a great option for dogs who do not pull on the lead. It takes the pressure off the neck and collar and is a good general harness especially for small breeds that can sometimes find front-clipping harnesses uncomfortable.
- Lined with a super soft faux fur material
- Fully adjustable straps on the body ensure maximum comfort
- Reflective trim on straps to increase visibility on night time walks
The Bowl & Bone Yeti Harness is available to buy here.
Pulling and jumping up are not ideal with either a collar or a harness, so if you struggle with either of these things, simply switching to a harness will not solve your problems – a reward-based training plan will also need to be in place, however a harness can help you with this. A regular (flat) collar with the owner’s name and address is a legal requirement in the UK for all dogs (Control of Dogs Order 1992) as is a microchip (since April 2016). Whilst your dog must wear a flat collar and ID at all times, you do not have to walk your dog on a collar unless you choose to.