Category Archives for Dog Harnesses

Best Dog Harness Australia (2021 Buyers Guide)

Best Dog Harness Australia - The Ultimate Review

Our #1 Pick

Adventurer No Pull Dog Harness

The Best Value Overall

True Love - Adventurer No Pull Dog Harness 

  • No Pull & Escape proof, meaning your dogs won't slip out
  • Tough, durable materials
  • Extremely easy to put on and take off
  • Completely adjustable for a perfect fit
  • Comfortable and safe design
  • Comes in a variety of colours and sizes
  • 1000's of 5-star reviews worldwide
  • Free shipping

In today's canine world there are two main types of dog harnesses (which we will touch on a bit later in this guide), both serving slightly different purposes to ultimately achieve the same result.

This means choosing a new harness for your dog or puppy can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it’s hard to know which one is right. 

Our best dog harness Australia guide is here to solve this question with some concrete suggestions.


How To Choose The Best Dog Harness?

The times when dogs wore collars only are long gone. Pet parents everywhere have been recognising the benefits of harnesses - from increased safety and easier training to lots of special features a harness can offer (1). But how do you know which harness is right for your doggo? These are some things to consider:

Types of Harnesses

When it comes to dog harnesses, there are a lot of options to choose from. First of all, it’s possible to distinguish between H-shaped harnesses and step-in harnesses. The first kind is seen most often. The harness is put on over a dog’s head and it wraps around their body. Usually, there is a wider chest panel, two or more straps, and an optional panel made of fabric on the back. You can find all kinds of designs.

Step-in harnesses are designed differently. To put this type of harness on a dog, you place it on the floor and the dog needs to step into the designated areas. After this, you just need to connect the two parts of the harness on the back. Step-in types are great harnesses for smaller breeds, as it’s easier to put them on. In general, however, a step-in harness and an H-shaped harness performed the same function and work in a similar way. Both are reasonably easy to put on if the harness is well-made and which one fits better will depend on the individual dog.

Besides these 2 basic types, there are many specialty harnesses available too. Tactical harnesses, for example, are a great choice for serious outdoor activities. These harnesses are designed to be worn for longer periods and come with a variety of options for attaching light gear. Service dog vests, on the other hand, are suitable for all kinds of working dogs. Finally, there are special harnesses designed for dogs who participate in activities that involve pulling - like sledding, canicross, or skijoring.

Lead Attachment Points

Dog harnesses can have one or multiple lead attachment points. The most common, and the standard place to attach the lead is usually located somewhere around the middle of the dog’s back - usually called a back-clip harness. The other option is having the attachment in the front - usually called a front-clip harness. Which kind of attachment is right will highly depend on the breed and temperament of your dog, but some harnesses do come with both which gives you room to experiment.

A halter with a back clip, as opposed to a front clip, may be better for brachycephalic (short-nosed dogs), small breeds, and dogs with tracheal collapse or other tracheal issues. This is because front-clip harnesses may put too much pressure on the throat region when the dog pulls on the leash. - Dr. Susan C. Nelson for PetMD

That being said, the front-clip harness is also sometimes called a no pull harness. This is because it gives you better control over your dog, which makes it perfect for leash training. Back-clip harnesses might encourage pulling, as they make the behaviour more comfortable for the dog.

On the other hand, if you have a pet who is already leash-trained and not too interested in pulling or making any crazy tricks, there is no reason to use the front clip - attaching the lead at the back is far more comfortable for both you and your dog.

Labrador Retriever puppy wearing a harness

Dog Harness Reviews Australia 2021: The Top 10

So where are those good quality harnesses? We’ve done the research and tested out some of the most popular options. These are some of the best harnesses you can find in Australia:

Adventurer No Pull Dog Harness

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • No Pull & Escape proof, meaning your dogs won't slip out
  • Tough, durable materials
  • Extremely easy to put on and take off
  • Completely adjustable for a perfect fit
  • Comes in a variety of colours and sizes
  • Comfortable and safe design
  • 1000's of 5-star reviews worldwide
  • Free shipping

This is the cream of the crop when it comes to dog harnesses available in Australia, we explain why below.

Sifting through the plethora of different harness options and attempting to find the perfect one for your dog can be overwhelming. Factors to consider are breed, age, size, and the level of activity your dog takes part in.

If we had to choose one harness that could fit any dog, and cover everything you need it for, it would be this one from True Love.

This harness is extremely popular and has received thousands of 5 star reviews from pet parents around the world, and the reason for this is simple, 

It is so exceptionally versatile and practical it can be used on your daily walk, or hiking up a mountain. The design makes it virtually escape proof (meaning your dog won't slip out and run onto the road), plus it's got no pull functionality, making it a great training harness as well.

It's extremely comfortable and lightweight and can be used all day and night (although we recommend taking all harnesses off at home for maximum doggy relaxation), while also being strong and durable. Moreover, the harness is completely adjustable at different points to fit all kinds of body shapes perfectly.

The harness also features a scratch-resistant oxford material outer layer and super comfortable soft sponge padded interior, no rubbing and chafing around the front legs and no pressure on the throat.

The fabric pieces are connected with strong straps that feature nylon webbing with 3M reflective material, ensuring great visibility at night. The lead attachments at the front and the back are metal, which is always a more durable option.

Verified Review - 4/01/2021
Great Durable Harness
"We got this for our Staffy cross Husky (~10 months old), fostering to adopt puppy. He is a puller on a back attaching harness. We saw significant improvement with the front attaching harness but he has figured out how to pull. In saying this, he is still much easier to manage with this harness. It's easier to don and doff with the quick release buckle. Highly recommended this product."

Pros

Cons

  • Front and back lead attachment
  • Not the best choice for warm weather
  • Completely adjustable for a perfect fit
  • Comfortable and safe design with soft padding on the inside
Cell
  • Easy to put on and off
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  • Comes in a variety of colours and sizes
Cell

#2: Best Front Attaching Dog Harness Australia: Dog Nation Ultra Light No Pull Dog Harness

dog nation front attaching dog harness
  • Strong but comfortable
  • Reflective strips for nighttime visibility
  • Two lead attachments, front and back
  • Fully adjustable
  • Good value for money

You think a front clip dog harness will help your dog be calmer on the leash, but you would also like to have a back attachment available for other activities? Well, this option from Dog Nation might just be what you are looking for.

This harness features a chest plate that distributes weight evenly in case your dog pulls, as well as a similar piece of fabric on the back. Both pieces are made of strong nylon Oxford fabric combined with soft padding on the inside for maximum comfort. The straps that connect the chest plate with the back piece are completely adjustable, so it’s easy to get the right fit.

Getting the harness to fit perfectly might take some fiddling around with the adjustments, but after you do it once, you are done! Next time you want to put the harness onto your canine buddy, you just need to put it over their head and snap a large buckle in place.

The main selling point of this harness is the multiple lead attachments. You can use the standard attachment on the back of the harness for casual walks or running with your dog, for example. However, if your canine friend needs more guidance for properly walking on the leash, the front attachment will allow you to guide them gently. If a dog tries to pull, the leash attached at the front will simply bring them back towards you.

Pros

Cons

  • Strong but comfortable
  • No a great amount of colours to choose from
  • Reflective strips for nighttime visibility
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  • Two lead attachments plus a handle on the back
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  • Fully adjustable
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  • Good value for money
Cell

#3: Best No Pull Dog Harness Australia: True Love No Pull Dog Harness Adjustable Reflective

True Love No Pull Dog Harness
  • Lightweight and easy to put on
  • Designed to let you humanely control heavy pullers
  • High quality scratch-resistant, breathable materials
  • Quick-release clips
  • Comes in 5 different sizes

A front attaching harness is great for training a dog not to pull, but some canines just never stop pulling when they are overly excited, no matter how much time and love you put into training them. If your dog is big and heavy, that’s a whole different level of pulling intensity. Luckily the No-pull Mesh Harness by True Love presents a possible solution.

The design of this harness is somewhat different than other no-pull dog harnesses. When you look at it, you’ll immediately notice that there are two main lead attachment points, one on the back and another on the chest. The stretchy mesh chest plate absorbs the movement of your dog when they're pulling. From this front piece, two straps extend under your dogs front legs and onto the back. The parts of the straps that go behind your dog legs also feature padded sleeves so there is no discomfort caused to your dog when walking. However, if they do pull, the positioning of the straps will cause slight discomfort, thus discouraging the behaviour.

Now, this harness probably won’t stop your dog from pulling by itself - this can only be achieved with training and patience. However, if you have a hopeless puller on your hands, this harness should make it much easier to manage the situation.

Verified Review - 23/02/2021
10/10 Recommend
"Great material (soft, breathable & strong). The design is perfect, doesn't rub under doggos armpits and no chance of slipping out. Great buy."

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight and easy to put on
  • No front lead attachment
  • Designed to let you humanely control heavy pullers
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  • Durable hardware
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  • Comes in 4 different sizes
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#4: Best Puppy Harness Australia: EzyDog Quick Fit Harness

EzyDog Quick Fit Harness
  • Comfortable and easy to put on
  • Durable stainless steel lead attachment
  • Reflective stitching for visibility
  • Suitable for all weather conditions

When you want to get a puppy harness for your new baby and introduce them to the big wide world, your best bet is to get a comfortable harness, so they won’t feel it too much while wearing it. Rather than trying to prevent a puppy from escaping a harness, it’s better to find a harness they won’t want to escape from - and the EzyDog Quick Fit Harness might just be it.

The design of this harness is a bit different than most standard harnesses. There is a chest strap, a belly strap, and an additional strap leading to the lead attachment that ensures the weight is distributed more evenly if a dog pulls. Minimalistic, but definitely functional!

Another great thing about this harness is that it’s adjustable, so it can grow with your pup. However, when you adjust it once, you won’t have to do it again - to put the harness on, you just need to snap one buckle. The chest strap is adjusted via an easy velcro strap, but the velcro is also hidden behind a neoprene sleeve. This sleeve is extra soft and ensures that the chest strap doesn’t damage the gentle skin of a puppy! Overall, if you are buying your pup’s first harness, we think this is a great option.

Pros

Cons

  • Comfortable and easy to put on
  • Not escape-proof
  • Durable stainless steel lead attachment
  • No front lead attachment
  • Reflective stitching for visibility
Cell
  • Suitable for all weather conditions
Cell

#5: Best Tactical Harness: OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest

OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Weather-resistant
  • Integrated MOLLE system
  • Soft padding for comfort

Tactical harnesses are a great option for pet parents who like to spend a lot of time outdoors with their canine companions and the OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest is definitely among the most popular tactical harnesses out there.

The body of this harness is made from a high-quality nylon material that ensures the harness is lightweight (which is important if the dog will wear it for extended periods of time), and also very strong and not likely to rip. The nylon exterior is combined with soft padding on the inside to ensure your pooch will remain comfortable on your adventures.

What makes this harness fall into the “tactical” category are the numerous attachment points on the exterior that are compatible with the MOLLE system. Strong velcro strips, loop strips and a bungee cord crisscrossed on the back - it’s all there. You can use those to attach MOLLE pouches, lightweight pieces of gear, and ID patches - whatever you need to.

Overall, this is a great harness for all kinds of outdoor activities. It’s modular, so it works as a good walking harness and as a dog backpack, according to your needs. It’s also strong enough to withstand rough terrain and very secure, so you can rest assured your dog won’t lose the harness along the way.

Verified Review - 16/03/2021
Loosens
"Great product, straps get a little loose when dog tugs"

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Could trap in heat in warm weather
  • Weather-resistant
  • A bit too much for everyday walks
  • Integrated MOLLE system
Cell
  • Soft padding for comfort
Cell

#6: Best Service Dog Harness Vest: Excellent Elite Spanker Service Vest

Excellent Elite Spanker Service Vest
  • Durable material and strong stitching
  • Soft padding on the inside for comfort
  • Large lead attachment and handle on the back

If your canine companion is a service dog, a therapy dog, or an emotional support dog, an appropriate harness is in order. This vest from Excellent Elite Spanker is a great choice for service dogs, guide dogs, and working dogs alike.

First of all, this harness is designed to be comfortable for both the dog and the human. The shell of the harness is made of durable nylon, but inside it features extremely soft padding to make the harness comfortable. This harness comes with a neck strap, a belly strap, and a chest strap connecting the two. All of these are adjustable, so you’ll surely get a perfect fit, However, you should keep in mind that this vest is designed for medium and large breeds, so there might not be a size small enough if your canine companion is on the smaller side.

On the back of the harness, you’ll find a large metal lead attachment as well as a large handle for getting hold of the dog easily. There is also a velcro strap where you can stick a patch of your choice.

Verified Review - 21/09/2019
A Solid Harness
"This is a well constructed harness with a 'service dog' attitude, featuring hard wearing materials and serious design. Its not for all canines though- I believe it is designed for Alsatian type dogs so the sizes will reflect this i.e.: S = a small/young German Shepherd, M = Mid sized German Shepherd, etc. My pup is a Staffy x Bull Arab, a muscular mid-size pooch, so an XS size was the best fit. If your dog is a puller, there is a lack of padding in the front T harness so you may want to adapt or choose a more padded style. Overall, a great dog kit that will last a long time."

Pros

Cons

  • Durable material and strong stitching
  • Not suitable for small breeds
  • Soft padding on the inside for comfort
Cell
  • Large lead attachment and handle on the back
Cell

#7: Best Car Harness: Kurgo Car Harness for Dogs

Kurgo Car Harness for Dogs
  • Adjustable and comfortable
  • Easy to attach to any seatbelt
  • Extra secure metal hardware
  • Multifunctional

The thing we love the most about this Kurgo harness is how multifunctional it is. It will work perfectly as a regular walking harness, but it turns into a car harness instantly when you want to hop in the car with your canine companion, making it our best dog car harness option.

If you regularly take walks with your pooch that involve a car ride first, this harness will be a godsend. After all, who wants to have two harnesses - one for walking and one for the car?

The Kurgo harness is strong, tight-fitting, and adjustable. It features a wide padded chest plate that always distributes the weight evenly combined with strong straps that meet on the back. This harness also features lead attachments both at the front and at the back, so you will not miss anything when taking your dog for a walk.

The way this harness is attached to the seatbelt is quite simple, but it also seems to work perfectly. You will get an additional loop with a carabiner with your harness. This loop gets attached to the harness and you clip the seatbelt into the carabinier. It couldn’t get any easier than that.

Verified Review - 28/03/2021
Dog Hates It But It Seems Very Sturdy
"I bought this harness in preparation for a long road trip I am planning to do with my corgi in a month. She is 10 kgs and we bought her the size small. All of the adjustable points on the harness are useful, and while I agree with some of the other reviews that it took some time to initially get the adjustments right, it was worth it in the end
."

Pros

Cons

  • Adjustable and comfortable
  • Only comes in one colour
  • Easy to attach to any seatbelt
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  • Extra secure metal hardware
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  • Multifunctional
Cell

#8: Best Step-In Harness: Rogz Utility Step-in Dog Harness

Rogz Utility Step-in Dog Harness
  • Well-made and durable
  • Easy to put on
  • Adjustable
  • Reflective stitching for better visibility

Yes, there are many fancy harnesses available these days, but sometimes all we want is something simple that works well. That’s exactly what this step-in harness from Rogz is.

This harness is simply made of interconnected adjustable straps. To put the harness on, your dog just needs to step into it, and then you close a single buckle on the back. The leash is attached to two metal O-rings that are placed exactly above the buckle. In this way, the harness is double-secured so you know there is no way it would accidentally come off.

Overall, this is a great harness for daily walks in all kinds of weather conditions. There are no large pieces of fabric, so you know your pooch will not get too warm in the summer months. If it’s training, the harness will be fine, and there is even reflective stitching so your canine companion is more visible at night.

The only thing to keep in mind is that you should really pay attention to getting the right size and adjusting the harness just right. If it’s not properly fitted, this harness could cause some irritation under the front legs due to the shape of the straps.

Verified Review - 18/09/2020
Great Durable Harness
"A dog collar by Rogz was very good quality and lasted 10 years (my dog's life time). I bought this lead to attach to a harness for extra assurance to walk a blind rescue dog. It is well made with strong double layered material. It's a bit heavy for my liking though. I put it over my shoulder and work perfectly but if I hold a lead, then my hand hurts because there is no padded cushions. Overall I'm happy with this product."

Pros

Cons

  • Well-made and durable
  • The shape of the straps could cause some discomfort under the front legs
  • Easy to put on
  • Lead attachment only on the back
  • Adjustable
Cell
  • Reflective stitching for better visibility
Cell

#9: Best Harness For Small & Tiny Dogs: Puppia Soft Harness

Puppia Soft Harness
  • Soft and breathable
  • Conforms to the dog’s body
  • Available in a variety of colours
  • Machine-washable

When you have a small dog or tiny dog, finding the right harness can be quite difficult. Although many harnesses boast durability, multiple lead attachments, and a variety of other features, they often tend to be too robust for the smallest of canine companions. Well, not the Puppia Soft Harness!

The whole body of this harness is made of soft and breathable polyester mesh - it looks just like a lightweight sporty shirt! The fabric gently wraps around your dog’s body, and when it gets dirty, you can simply throw the harness into the washing machine.

In addition to this, the shape of this harness is designed to distribute pressure evenly across the chest if your dog pulls. This is especially important for brachycephalic breeds, like Pugs or French Bulldogs, for example. They have extra sensitive throats so wearing anything rigid in that area is not recommended - with this harness from Puppia, where will be no issues!

Pros

Cons

  • Soft and breathable
  • Lead attachment only on the back
  • Conforms to the dog’s body
Cell
  • Available in a variety of colours
Cell
  • Machine-washable
Cell

#10: Best Pulling Harness: Neewa Sled Pro Harness

Neewa Sled Pro Harness
  • Designed for pulling sleds and similar sports
  • Distributes weight evenly
  • Padding in strategic places
  • Reflective patches for visibility

Some dogs, like Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, were born to run and pull heavier weights - and they love doing it. If you are a pet parent of such a dog, exercising together and trying out things like bikejoring, skijoring, and canicross can be great fun and beneficial for you and your dog too. However, standard harnesses are not appropriate for such activities. It is important to get a harness designed especially for pulling weight. The Neewa Sled Pro Harness is a perfect example of such a harness.

This harness consists of strong polypropylene straps with padding in all the necessary places (especially important around the neck and the chest). This harness from Neewa features a sleek design that should be very comfortable for any dog providing that the harness fits right. Overall, it’s a great choice for outdoor adventures.

Verified Review - 6/04/2021
Fits Small But Nice Product
"I purchased a large. Colour is awesome but fits very small around head to neck. The large barely fits my 6 month old 5o pound dog so i won’t be able to use for very long"

Pros

Cons

  • Designed for pulling sleds and similar sports
  • Not for everyday use
  • Distributes weight evenly
  • Only for wolf-like breeds
  • Padding in strategic places
Cell
  • Reflective patches for visibility
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  • List Element
Cell

Best Dog Harness Australia: The Final Verdict

Your canine companion is probably your best friend, so you are surely the one who will know what kind of harness is best for them. And if it’s the first harness you are getting - don’t worry, you might have to try out a couple of harnesses before you settle on the right one.

However, as a universal solution, we recommend True Love Reflective No-Pull Dog Harness. This harness simply comes with everything a harness should have, and fits dogs of all shapes and sizes. On the other hand, if you need a harness specifically to prevent pulling behaviour, the Dog Nation No-Pull Harness might be worth looking into. In any case, we hope this guide has helped!

FAQ

How do you measure a dog for a harness?

While sizing suggestions based on weight of the dog are also often available, this is not the best way to tell whether a harness will fit. What you need to do in order to ensure a perfect fit is to measure your dog’s chest and neck circumference. To measure the chest, simply take a tape measure and wrap it around the widest part of your canine friend’s chest. When measuring the neck, make sure to measure the widest part of the neck - close to the collar bones. This way you’ll make sure the harness won’t be too tight around the neck.

How should a dog harness fit?

A dog harness should fit closely to your dog’s body, but it shouldn’t be so tight that it causes chafing or irritation. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you can insert two fingers between the harness and you pet’s fur.

Are harnesses good for dogs?

In general, a harness tends to be the better and safer option than a collar for any dog. Collars are nice for attaching ID tags, but if you attach the leash to the collar and the dog pulls for any reason, you risk injuring their throat. A harness distributes weight more evenly and gives you better control of the dog.

Can I leave my dog's harness on all day?

Dog harnesses were not designed to be worn all day. While your dog would probably be fine wearing a harness for a day, there is no reason for them to wear it unless you are outside. Always remove the harness if you leave the dog unsupervised.

References
  1. Hohenhaus, A. August 5, 2011. “Collars vs Harnesses”. WebMD. Retrieved October 4, 2020. https://blogs.webmd.com/from-our-archives/20110805/collars-vs-harnesses
  2. McCarthy, C.Surprising Dog Harness Dangers to Avoid”. PetMD. Retrieved October 4, 2020. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/surprising-dog-harness-dangers-avoid

Best Service Dog Vest (2021 Buyers Guide)

The Best Service Dog Vest Australia - Assistance & Therapy Options

Our #1 Pick

The Best Value for Money

Rabbitgoo Service Dog Vest with Handle

  • Two lead attachment points
  • A sturdy handle on the back
  • Padded in all the right places
  • Metal buckles and leash clips
  • Good value for money

Service dogs do not only provide priceless assistance to their owners, but they are often also very close to our hearts. And the least we can do to thank them for their service is to equip them with appropriate gear.

This guide is here to help you find the best service dog vest for your precious helper.


How to Choose a Service Dog Vest?

The category of service dogs (often also called ‘assistance animals”) usually includes dogs who are trained to assist a person suffering from any kind of disability. This includes ‘seeing eye’ and ‘hearing ear’ dogs, those trained to help with a variety of daily tasks and mobility issues, medical alert dogs, and even dogs who can help with certain psychiatric conditions (1).

Therapy dogs and emotional support dogs don’t always belong to the same category, depending on the legislation (2). However, they all need an appropriate vest to allow both the dog and the owner to be comfortable. Here is what to look for when choosing a vest for a service dog:

Comfort and Fit

Since service dogs often wear their vests for extended periods of time, you really want to find something that’s comfortable. With regular dog harnesses, the biggest concern regarding comfort is how the harness handles the weight when the dog pulls. With service dogs that are properly trained, this is usually not an issue, but you still want to ensure comfort for them.

This means, first of all, finding a vest or harness that fits well. The vest shouldn’t be too tight, but not too loose either. The rule of thumb is that you should be able to insert two fingers between the vest and your dog’s skin. Other than that, it’s also probably a good idea to find a vest with padding inside. This prevents any chafing from wearing the vest for too long. Choosing padding that’s breathable can also result in a more comfortable experience for the dog.

Durability

Yes, a service dog vest should be comfortable, but it should also be durable and secure. For this reason, it’s important to look for vests made from durable materials. The critical spots of every vest or harness are usually the seams and the lead attachments. Vests with reinforced seams (especially in places where different pieces of fabric meet) will generally last longer. Metal lead attachment rings also tend to perform much better than plastic.

If you are concerned with durability, it might be a good idea to look for a tactical dog harness. What makes a harness or a vest ‘tactical’ is having any functionality added besides a lead attachment. So, there is no reason why service dogs shouldn’t wear them. An added benefit is that tactical vests are usually much stronger and wear-resistant than regular walking harnesses.

Lead Attachment and Handles

As we mentioned, assistance animals can perform a variety of different tasks. Depending on their job, there might be specific requirements when it comes to lead attachment. No matter if you need front or back lead attachment or a large handle on the back, it is all possible to find. This is just a reminder to check this out before you settle on a harness.

Patches

Truth be told, it is not required for a service dog vest to have the words ‘service dog’ written on it. However, this can be really helpful. In the case of service dogs, it can help prevent strangers from petting the dog. Moreover, a ‘service dog in training vest’ is not the same as an’ emotional support dog vest’, for example.

When you go shopping for vests, they will either come with a random patch that says any of those things. Or, more likely, patches won’t be included, but you can buy one separately.


Best Service Dog Vest Australia

Ready to shop for a harness for a service dog or an emotional support dog? Below, you’ll find some great options available in Australia (and beyond).

  • Two lead attachment points
  • A sturdy handle on the back
  • Padded in all the right places
  • Metal buckles and leash clips
  • Good value for money

This durable multifunctional harness from Rabbitgoo works great for all service dogs. No matter if it’s an emotional support dog, a therapy dog, or a working dog, this harness will be up to the challenge.

This is a great harness for any dog, but first let’s talk about why it’s specifically great for service dogs. First of all, it offers plenty of space for attaching velcro patches (not included). You can place a patch on either side or even at the front.

Moreover, this harness offers multiple possibilities for attaching the lead. There is a lead attachment clip on the chest in addition to the standard attachment on the back. There is also a large handle with reinforced stitching on the back, which is super easy for the owner to grab. With all these options, you can achieve any kind of setup you might need.

Last but not least, this vest was designed to be comfortable for the dog too. It features wide chest and back panels which are padded on the inside. The adjustable straps go over these panels, so there is no chance of them painfully rubbing against your dog’s skin - even if the vest is worn for a long time.

Finally, this is also an extremely well-made harness that can easily last for years. The exterior is made of quality 1050D nylon, the buckles and lead attachments are made of metal, and all the critical points feature reinforced stitching to increase durability even more.

Pros

Cons

  • Two lead attachment points
  • Only available in three sizes
  • A sturdy handle on the back
Cell
  • Padded in all the right places
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  • Metal buckles and leash clips
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  • Good value for money
Cell

  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • Good for warm weather
  • Durable
  • Easy to put on and take off

This harness from Excellent Elite Spanker is another quality product designed for service dogs. The main advantage of this harness compared to other similar options is that it’s not too bulky. It is also more of a harness than a vest, as it doesn’t cover a lot of the dog’s skin. If you are living in a warm climate, this is great, because this vest won’t trap in heat like some other options.

Moreover, the shape of this harness allows it to fit snugly onto a dog's body, so it gives the owner great control of the dog. There is a large, comfortable handle on the back for grabbing that allows easy contact with the dog.

The shape of this harness is a bit different from what we are used to, though. The neck strap in itself is not adjustable. However, due to the shape of the harness, it is still possible to achieve a good fit by adjusting the other straps. There is an adjustable vertical strap that goes down the chest, and it is all connected with a belly strap. On the back, there is a wider panel that holds everything together. Of course, a velcro strip for attaching a service dog patch is there too!

Pros

Cons

  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • Neck strap not adjustable
  • Good for warm weather
  • Lead attachment only on the back
  • Durable
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  • Easy to put on and take off
Cell

#3: Lightweight Harness for Service Dogs: EzyDog Express Harness

  • Easy to fit
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Large and comfortable handle on the back

This harness from EzyDog was not designed for service dogs, but we do think it can work great for some of them. This harness offers the necessary spot on the side for attaching a ‘service dog’ patch, it’s super lightweight and designed to be comfortable for the dog, and it has a large comfortable handle on the back. What more does one need from a harness?

The design of this harness is rather different from the standard H-shaped harness. It is not escape-proof, but for a well-trained service dog or therapy dog, we think it works quite well. The belly strap and the chest strap are adjustable so it’s easy to achieve a good fit. In addition to this, the inside of the harness features contoured ergonomic EVA foam pads that ensure the ultimate comfort for the dog, even when the harness is worn for longer periods of time.

On the other hand, the Express harness also is very comfortable to handle for the pet parent. The harness is super easy to put on using a large quick release buckle on the side. In addition to this, there is a large handle of the back for grabbing. This is one of the best handles of this type we have seen in dog harnesses. It’s not only large, but it also includes an external cover that makes it more comfortable to hold. In addition to this, there is a magnetic lock built into it that keeps the handle locked in place when not in use, so it doesn’t annoy the dog.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to fit
  • No space for attaching accessories
  • Ultra-lightweight
Cell
  • Comfortable and breathable
Cell
  • Large and comfortable handle on the back
Cell

#4: Best Tactical Harness: OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest

  • Well-made and durable
  • Easy to put on
  • Multiple lead attachment points
  • Handle on the back
  • Adjustable

This harness from OneTigris is another great option for all dogs on a serious task. While this is technically a tactical dog harness, it doesn’t mean it works only for intense outdoor activities (although it certainly does work for that). It is also a comfortable and reliable harness for any service dog.

This harness features a large back piece that wraps around the dog’s body along with a fairly wide chest plate. The back is what makes this harness tactical. The sides are covered with large hook and loop panels perfect for attaching service dog patches and ID tags (also works with MOLLE pouches). On the top, you’ll find a crisscrossed bungee cord that is perfect for attaching small objects when outdoors.

The wide front panel, on the other hand, does a lot to ensure that the dog remains comfortable. It keeps the harness away from the dog’s throat and distributes any weight evenly. Both the front and the back parts are padded to keep the dog comfortable.

All of this is put together with sturdy nylon straps connected with 4 quick-release buckles. The 4-buckle system means the harness is extremely easy to put on too.

Finally, the OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness Features D-rings for lead attachment both in the front and on the back. There is a large, reinforced handle too that allows the owner to get hold of the dog easily.

Pros

Cons

  • Well-made and durable
  • Finding the right size can be tricky
  • Easy to put on
  • Could trap in heat in warm weather
  • Multiple lead attachment points
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  • Handle on the back
Cell
  • Adjustable
Cell

#5: Best Therapy Dog Vest: Dogline Emotional Support Dog Vest

  • Simple and practical
  • Available in six bright colours
  • Water-resistant
  • Very comfortable
  • Emotional support patches included

This vest from Dogline was designed specifically for emotional support dogs. It even comes with patches saying ‘Emotional Support’ for both sides of the vest. This doesn’t mean this vest doesn’t work for other service dogs, or even as a regular walking harness, though. All you need to do is replace the emotional support patches (hook and loop mechanism) with anything else you want the vest to say.

This Dogline vest is also simply great for walking. The strap that goes over the chest, and the other one that goes down to the belly are super easy to adjust. Both straps are connected by a hook and loop mechanism, which is much easier to set up than standard straps! The back side features a large panel with velcro strips for patches on both sides and a large handle on the back. Both the chest and the back part are lined with neoprene to ensure the vest is as comfortable as possible for the dog.

It is not necessary to deal with the hook and loop straps on the chest every time you want your dog to wear this vest. To put it on, you can just put it over the dog’s head and attach using a single quick-release buckle.

Last but not least, this vest can make your dog visible in all kinds of conditions. There are six colour options to choose from, from classic black to neon yellow or even pink. Bright colours are not just for those who want the dog to look cute, though, but they also make your canine more visible. In addition to this, this harness features a wide reflective strip at the front plus additional reflective trim.

Pros

Cons

  • Simple and practical
  • No front lead attachment
  • Available in six bright colours
  • List Element
  • Water-resistant
Cell
  • Very comfortable
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  • Emotional support patches included
Cell

Choosing an Assistance Dog Vest: Final Thoughts

Not sure what to pick? Our favourite is the Rabbitgoo Service Dog Vest because it’s durable, functional, and versatile. On top of that, it’s adjustable and padded which makes it very comfortable for the dog.

If this option appears to be too bulky for your needs, then check out the Excellent Elite Spanker Patrol K9 Service Dog Vest. It’s also a perfectly functional vest for a service dog with a much simpler design.

FAQ

What size harness should I get for my dog?

Different dogs have very different body shapes. On top of that, dog vests and harnesses come in all sorts of forms which makes choosing the right size more difficult. This is why it’s not always useful to rely on sizes like S or XL. They simply don’t always mean the same.

To be sure the harness will fit, always measure your dog. Dog vest manufacturers will usually tell you the exact measurements that fit into a certain size. To fit a harness, you’ll usually need to measure the neck width and chest girth. The neck is measured at the base, at its widest point. In a similar way, you’ll need to measure the circumference of your pup’s chest at the widest point. (3)

Can anyone buy a service dog vest?

Yes, anyone can go online and buy the exact same kind of vest that service dogs usually wear. However, if your dog is not a trained and certified service dog, claiming they are a service dog is largely frowned upon. This doesn’t mean your dog can’t wear service dog vests. Just make sure that the patch you attach adequately describes the status of your dog (i.e. an emotional support dog is not the same as a service dog).

What do different colour service dog vests mean?

This is a question frequently asked, but actually, these colours have no specific meaning. Blue and red are the most common colours used in service dog vests, probably because they look somewhat official. However, service dog vests can be in any colour, from black to pink and anything in between.

References
  1. “What is an Assistance Animal?” RSPCA. Retrieved March 9, 2021. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-is-an-assistance-animal/#ftn1
  2. Schade, V, June 30, 2020. “What’s the Difference Between Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs and Therapy Dogs?”. PetMD. Retrieved March 9, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/training/whats-difference-between-service-dogs-emotional-support-dogs-and-therapy-dogs
  3. PetMD Editorial. March 21, 2016. “How to Properly Put on a Dog Harness?”. Retrieved March 9, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/training/evr_dg_how-to-properly-put-on-dog-harness

Best Puppy Harness (2021 Buyers Guide)

The Best Puppy Harness Australia -
The Overview

Our #1 Pick

The Best Value for Money

Dog Nation Ultra Light No Pull Dog Harness

  • Lightweight but strong
  • Front and back lead attachments
  • Reflective strips increase visibility
  • Fully adjustable
  • Good value for money

Looking for the best harness possible for your new puppy? It can be a hard choice, especially when it’s the first harness you are getting for your new canine companion to learn about their new world. 

How can you introduce and train a pup to walk on a lead in the most gentle way possible? This guide is here to help you with everything you need to know about a puppy harness.


What to Look for in a Harness for Puppies?

English Bulldog puppy waiting for her harness to be put on

Comfort

If it’s your puppy’s first harness, it’s crucial to find one that’s comfortable. If the first harness a dog uses is restricting and uncomfortable, it will be much harder to get them to accept using it. For puppies, it’s best to choose lightweight harnesses that are either made of softer materials or have lots of padding. This way, they might even end up liking the harness.

Safety and Adjustability

The primary purpose of a harness is to keep the dog safely on the lead. To achieve that, a harness must fit right. Not too tight but not too loose either. If the harness is too loose, it could be easy for the dog to wiggle out (when they want to). Moreover, harnesses that don’t fit well can even be dangerous.

“If a harness doesn’t fit well and a dog pulls hard on his leash, there is some potential for a chest injury.” - Susan C. Nelson, DVM, for PetMD.

If you get an adjustable harness, you’ll make the task easier for yourself. If you choose a harness where each strap is adjustable, you’ll be able to get the fit just right (there are plenty of options like this on the list below). An additional benefit of an adjustable harness is that it can grow with your puppy, at least to an extent.

Shape

Most dog harnesses fall into one of these 2 categories: H-shaped harnesses and step-in harnesses. The “H” shape is the most common. These harnesses usually have one strap that goes over the chest and one over the belly. They are fairly secure and functional and they work great for walks and all forms of exercise. However, you do usually need to pull the harness over your dog’s head when putting it on. It’s not too difficult, but there are easier options.

With step-in harnesses, your dog literally steps into the harness. You then just lift the harness and clip the buckle on the back. Some pet parents use exclusively step-in harnesses, but not everyone loves them. Depending on the model and your dog’s body shape, these harnesses can fit a bit awkward and be easy to escape from.

Control

The role of the harness is to give you control over your puppies movements. The way this is achieved will depend on where the lead is attached to the harness. The lead attachment on the back is the most common, and it tends to work well for dogs who have completed leash training. However, with some energetic and stubborn canines, this goal can be difficult to achieve.

“Some dogs pull strongly on the lead no matter how much training you put in, and some owners are unable to invest the necessary time to teach their dogs loose-lead walking with a collar and lead. The most appropriate management tool in these instances for most dogs is a front-attach harness.” - RSPCA

A front-attach harness will have the lead attachment loop on the chest. This way, your dog will gently be brought back to you when they try to pull. While it is a great tool for training, the front attachment is usually not a permanent solution. This is why we recommend picking a harness that offers both front and back options for lead attachment.


Best Puppy Harness Australia: Our Top Picks

  • Lightweight but strong
  • Front and back lead attachments
  • Reflective strips increase visibility
  • Fully adjustable
  • Good value for money

Puppies need time to get used to harnesses. This is why you want to start them with something that is not too heavy and cumbersome. You need a harness that is lightweight and comfortable, but also secure at the same time. After all, you don’t want the pup running away during the first walk outside.

This harness from dog nation offers all that! The chest and back panels are made of Cordura fabric which offers the perfect balance between weight and durability. Hint: it’s lightweight, and very strong. In addition to this, the panels are padded so the only thing your puppy will feel against the skin is softness.

In addition to this, this harness is equipped with strong nylon straps and metal hardware to ensure it always stays in place. Speaking about hardware, you’ll find two lead attachments on this harness - one at the front and one on the back. This is great because it offers a lot of flexibility when lead training your pup.

Another great feature of this Dog Nation harness is that it’s fully adjustable. Each of the 4 straps comes with an adjustment mechanism. Thanks to this feature, it’s not only possible to achieve the perfect fit, but the harness can grow with your puppy too - at least to an extent.

This is also our number 1 small dog harness choice!

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight but strong
  • Not too many colours to choose from
  • Front and back lead attachments
  • List Element
  • Reflective strips increase visibility
Cell
  • Fully adjustable
Cell
  • Good value for money
Cell

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Adjustable chest strap
  • 8 colours to choose from
  • Easy to clean

This True Love harness is a great choice if your puppy is gonna be wearing a harness for the first time. The harness is extra lightweight and soft. If you are trying to get a dog used to wearing a harness, this is what you need to start with.

The body of this harness is made of mesh fabric. The wide strip of mesh nylon gently wraps around the dog’s neck and goes down the chest. The shape of the mesh piece ensures that there are no edges cutting into your pup’s skin. In addition to this, the weight is equally distributed across the chest when the dog pulls instead of cutting into the neck. The fabric is also very breathable, so any chance of discomfort is eliminated.

The soft mesh part goes behind the front legs. The part made of soft fabric also covers this sensitive area. Behind the front legs, a sturdy adjustable is attached to the soft mesh piece. The strap wraps around the dog’s back, which makes the harness relatively escape-proof too.

Another cute thing about this True Love harness is that you get to choose from 8 colour options. If you are looking for a neutral colour, there is black and brown, but it also might be a good idea to choose neon yellow or orange. This way, you’ll always be able to spot your puppy, even in low visibility conditions.

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Neck not adjustable
  • Adjustable chest strap
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  • 8 colours to choose from
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  • Easy to clean
Cell

#3: Best Step-In Harness for Puppy: Urban Step-In Dog Harness

  • Soft and comfortable chest plate
  • Adjustable straps
  • Easy to put on
  • Reflective lining for safety

This is not a harness made specifically for puppies, but it does work great for them! There are a couple of reason for this:

First of all, this is a step-in harness. This means that there is no need to wrangle the harness over your pup’s head. All you need to do is lay the harness on the floor, put the two front legs inside the holes (hence “step in”), lift the harness up and close a single buckle on the back. With puppies who are not used to standing still to have the harness put on, this can be great.

Second, this harness is designed to be really comfortable. It features a large chest plate made of soft and breathable fabric. The wide chest piece ensures that the straps don’t dig into your dog’s skin - which is just what puppies need.

In addition to this, the chest piece lies low due to the shape of the harness. It distributes the weight evenly and keeps the harness away from the throat. This feature makes the Urban Step-In Dog Harness a good choice for brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs.

Overall, this is a great harness. It’s easy to put on, it’s adjustable and comfortable. The colour schemes are cute too and there are even reflective strips along the edges to make your pooch more visible during night walks!

Pros

Cons

  • Soft and comfortable chest plate
  • The smallest size could still be too large for puppies of tiny breeds
  • Adjustable straps
Cell
  • Easy to put on
Cell
  • Reflective lining for safety
Cell

#4: Best No-Pull Harness for Puppies: True Love No-Pull Dog Harness Adjustable Reflective

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • High-quality durable materials
  • Easy to put on
  • Front and back lead attachment

This harness is especially great for outdoor adventures with puppies! Once they are old enough to enjoy outdoor activities, you’ll quickly notice that young dogs also never seem to run out of energy. The best thing you can do for a canine in such situations is let them get as much exercise as they need, and this harness is perfect for that.

The True Love No-Pull Harness is made from synthetic fabric that is strong and lightweight. The harness features soft padding on the inside distributed strategically to prevent chafing and discomfort. At the same time, the outside is strong and scratch-resistant, so you can rest assured this harness will last.

What makes this harness stand out among the others are the multiple options for attaching the lead. Besides the standard attachment on the back, you’ll also find this harness has a D-ring in the middle of the chest. The front lead attachment is great for energetic puppies that need a firm hand to prevent them from pulling.

 In addition to this, there is a built-in handle on the back. The handle might seem unnecessary, but it does come in handy in a variety of situations. When you need to lift your dog for whatever reason, the handle will help. Plus, it lets you quickly take control of the dog when needed.

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Could be too bulky for some puppies
  • High-quality durable materials
Cell
  • Easy to put on
Cell
  • Front and back lead attachment
Cell

  • It’s escape-proof
  • Two lead attachment points
  • 5 adjustment points
  • Well-made and durable

When your puppy belongs to a breed that is small anyways, it can be difficult to find a harness that’s small enough for them while they are still a puppy. Well, in that case, this harness could be a solution. The smallest size will fit dogs with a chest girth of 23 centimetres, which is quite tiny. No need to worry if your new canine companion is large, though. This harness comes in a variety of sizes, up to extra large.

So, this harness comes in appropriate sizes for virtually every dog, but this is not its main selling point. What makes it special is the fact that it’s escape-proof. This is possible because the harness is shaped differently than most other options. This one has two belly straps, in addition to the chest strap. Imagine a standard H-shaped harness, and then an additional belly strap in the back. This additional strap doesn’t change anything in terms of the comfort of the harness, but it makes it impossible to wiggle out from!

This harness is a bit more expensive than most other options, but it is well worth it. The higher price comes from the quality of materials used. The padding on the chest and back pieces is made of breathable microfiber, while the exterior is made of strong and water-resistant Cordura fabric. This is all completed with strong nylon webbing and quality buckles.

Pros

Cons

  • It’s escape-proof
  • A bit complicated to put on
  • Two lead attachment points
Cell
  • 5 adjustment points
Cell
  • Well-made and durable
Cell

#6: Best Puppy Car Harness: Dog Nation Car Harness Seat Belt Set

  • Designed for car rides
  • Doubles as a walking harness
  • Dog seat belt included
  • Easy setup

Car safety for dogs is a serious issue. The rules prescribed by law are often vague, so it’s up to the owner to ensure the safety of their pet. There is one thing everyone can agree on, though: it is safest to have the dog restrained while driving. A dog car harness like this one will ensure your dog is safely restrained and comfortable at the same time.

This harness from Dog Nation has a wide padded chest panel at the front. This ensures that the harness doesn’t hurt your dog's body even if you were to break suddenly or (hopefully not) an accident would happen. Just like with a regular harness, there is a chest strap and a belly strap that meet at the back.

There is a lead attachment on the back, just like on a regular harness, so you can use it for walks too. However, the main purpose of this harness is to attach a seatbelt to it (included). The doggie seat belt attaches to the harness just like a leash, but on the other end it includes a seat belt attachment that clips right into your existing seat belt sockets.

Pros

Cons

  • Designed for car rides
  • Only 3 sizes available
  • Doubles as a walking harness
Cell
  • Dog seat belt included
Cell
  • Easy setup
Cell

Final Verdict

What harness should you buy for your puppy? If you want a quick answer, we have two suggestions for you. Dog Nation Ultra Light No Pull Dog Harness is a perfect everyday harness for a puppy. It is lightweight but it can handle some serious wear & tear. Plus, you can use the front lead attachment when necessary.

However, if this seems like a bit too much for a pup’s first harness, go with the True Love Breathable Mesh Nylon Dog Harness. It’s incredibly soft and comfortable, so the puppy will not feel over-encumbered!

FAQ

When can a puppy start wearing a harness?

Technically, puppies are never too young to start wearing a harness. However, there is usually no need to trouble them with this before 8 weeks of age. It’s a good idea to introduce the harness early, even before you plan on going for walks outdoors. Puppies often need time to get used to wearing a harness.

Is a harness or a collar better for puppies?

There are advantages to both options. There is nothing wrong with a puppy wearing a collar, and it is nice when they can wear a name tag on the collar with your contact info - just in case. However, when teaching a puppy to walk on lead, a harness is definitely the gentle option. If a puppy pulls, the collar can press into their throat in a very uncomfortable and possibly dangerous way. The harness is a much more comfortable and safer alternative.

What size harness should I get for my puppy?

When first-time pet parents start getting prepared to welcome a puppy into their home, they usually try hard to be prepared. This includes having a harness ready before the puppy arrives. However, it can be difficult to choose a harness without knowing the exact measurements. If you don’t have those, you could try an estimate based on the weight. If unsure, either wait until you can take the pup’s measurement, or go with the larger size when in doubt. The larger harness might not fit at first, but the puppy will surely grow into it!

At what age should you start lead training a puppy?

Veterinarians and dog trainers usually recommend starting to train your puppy as early as possible. Since puppies usually move to a new home around 8 weeks of age, this is a good time to start lead training too. Start the training with short sessions indoors to get the puppy used to the lead and the harness/collar (3).

References
  1. McCarthy, C.Surprising Dog Harness Dangers to Avoid”. PetMD. Retrieved March 2, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/surprising-dog-harness-dangers-avoid
  2. “What equipment should I use when teaching my dog or puppy to walk on a lead?”. RSPCA. Retrieved March 1, 2021.  https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-equipment-should-i-use-when-teaching-my-dog-or-puppy-to-walk-on-a-lead/
  3. Loos, Shelby. July 30, 2020. “How to Start Training Your Puppy”. PetMD. Retrieved March 2, 2021.  https://www.petmd.com/dog/training/when-start-training-puppy

Best Small Dog Harness (2021 Buyers Guide)

Best Small Dog Harness Options -
The Complete Overview

Our #1 Pick

dog nation front attaching dog harness

The Best Value for Money

Dog Nation Ultra Light Harness

  • Ultra light & breathable material
  • Great range of sizes
  • Machine washable
  • Soft padding
  • Escape proof

Though it is satisfying to have a huge hug from a Scooby-doo-like Great Dane, the sausage dogs and mini dogs of the world are truly special.

We love small dogs for their quirky habits, handsomeness, and larger than life personas wrapped up in a tiny package! However, many small dogs tend to charge ahead when going for walks and pull on their leads. Not quite so cute.

A dog harness can help you to instill good walking habits, whilst keeping your pup warm and comfortable when out and about with you. (1) They also tend to be better suited for smaller dogs that can have throat and tracheal issues with collars. Each breed of dog has slightly different needs.

So, in this article, we’ll cover the different types and qualities of the best dog harnesses, our top recommendation for a small dog harness in Australia, and an array of options for specific small dog breeds. After this, you’ll come away with all the information you need and a shortlist of harnesses for your small dog. Let’s dive in!

Dachshund harness

How To Find The Perfect Harness For Your Small Dog

Dog harnesses come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and materials. Collars may be easier to find, but they can cause a whole manner of health issues if your little pup is a puller. (2) A badly fitted harness, however, can be equally damaging. Here are some key factors you need to know to choose the right harness for your small dog.

H-Shaped Harnesses vs Step-in Harnesses

There are two main types of harnesses: The H-shaped harness and the step-in harness. Both have their merits.

The H-shaped harness is made of two loops. The first loop goes over the dog’s head and the second loop wraps around their ribcage. Typically, the lead attachment for H-shaped harness is at the top of the second loop, lying on their back. This means the lead is pulling well away from your dog’s neck and enables you more control whilst you are walking together. This style of harness is extremely popular because they are very easily adjustable. The straps are often changeable in length. Even if your dog puts on a little weight, you can alter the structure accordingly for a lasting fit.

Step-in harnesses are great because of how easy they are to slip on. You lie the product on the floor and line up your dog’s paws. You then pull on the harness and clip at the back. Step-in models tend to be a bit more padded and fitted than the H-shaped models but there are modern, malleable, and comfortable options in both categories.

Quick Guide to Lead Attachments

The beauty of using a harness in the first place is that they take the pressure off of your dog’s neck whilst walking. Instead, the pressure points are around the chest should your dog pull ahead from you. This is much safer in the long run. Another aspect of this is the lead attachment.

Dog collars typically have D-ring attachments at the front of the collar, right by their windpipe. You can imagine how unpleasant this is! Now the concept of having a front-attached lead is not bad at all. The issue is the placement. Collars put pressure on the neck. Harnesses distribute light pressure around the chest. If you are training your dog to walk nicely, the front attachment halts your dog from pulling too far as the front placement effectively spins them around. So front-attached harnesses are fabulous for pulling dogs and/or puppies in training. French Bulldogs and Pugs, however, have tender throats that you need to be wary of.

Dr John Brookes from Small Dog Place writes, “Brachycephalic breeds such as the Frenchies and English Bulldogs love taking walks just like any dog, but their unique anatomy makes it difficult for them to use a typical collar.  A strong pull of the leash can put undue pressure on the soft tissues of the neck and throat leading to more serious complications such as tracheal collapse.” (3)

That very same issue can make front-clip harnesses uncomfortable for Frenchies so they would be better off with back-clip models.

Mostly, harnesses will have their lead attachments at the back which has many benefits. There is far less pressure on the trachea and it gives you quite a bit of control whilst walking. They aren’t as effective when walk training your pooch though.

As for the small dog harnesses we recommended, most have both a back clip and front clip so you can adjust to your dog’s unique needs and anatomy.

What padding does your dog need?

Manufacturers are generally very aware that dogs will be wearing harnesses from anywhere between 20mins and several hours, depending on if you are going on a long adventure together. Therefore, you need to take your dog’s comfort levels into account when choosing the right dog harness for your pup. Some H-shaped harnesses are pretty basic, with simple hardy straps; no special cushioning. They are other harnesses that are very padded, adding an extra layer of warmth during the winter. It all depends on your dog’s needs.

PRO TIP: The humble harness will become a daily tool as you walk your furry companion. Comfort is therefore paramount.


Best Dog Harnesses for Small Dogs Reviewed

Now that we have identified the key factors of a fabulous small dog harness, let’s dig into the best small dog harnesses Australia has to offer. Here we’ve identified a few specific breeds and what we recommend for them, but you can translate these qualities to any and all breeds. We just wanted to help you by further personalising our picks.


#1: Best Overall: