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Harness Your Pup: Step-by-Step Guide to a Comfortable Fit (2024)

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how to put on a dog harnessFrom a gentle stroll through the park to an invigorating hike up a mountain, every canine deserves the freedom to explore safely and comfortably.

Unleash the joy of worry-free walks with our step-by-step guide to putting on a dog harness.

Ensure your furry friend’s comfort and security with each step, creating a bond that thrives on trust and adventure.

Let’s embark on this journey of harnessing your pup, fostering a connection that’s as enduring as it is fulfilling.

Types of Dog Harnesses

Not as easy as most of us thought, when you start researching dog harnesses, you will notice that there are a few different types:

  • Standard Dog Harness
  • Step In Dog Harness
  • Front Clip Dog Harness
  • Overhead Harness

The type of harness you choose will depend on many factors, including their temperament, character, and health:

  • Dogs with neck-related health problems are often seen in cross-chest tackles (entry or front-clip harnesses).
  • Larger dogs are sometimes found in front harnesses, as they are often told to use an exercise leash attached to the front and back that can unbalance the dog if they become difficult to handle.
  • Dogs that can be nervous or wary are often tied around a harness above the head.

Let’s take a look at each harness and how to put them on safely and correctly.

How to Put on a Dog Harness Safely and Correctly

Each harness style has its own set of techniques to consider when putting a harness on a dog. Usually, the harness requires your dog to get in, or you have to slide it over your dog’s head and let him step through the armholes.

Here are the steps of each dog harness :

1. Standard Harness For Dogs

kiwitatá Adjustable No-Pull Dog Harness Image 4Different types of harnesses must be put on in different ways. Let’s start with the steps for setting up a standard harness. A standard harness has one loop around the ribs, one loop around the neck, and a D-ring on the dog’s back to clamp the leash on.

  1. Stand, sit, or squat and put it in a standing or sitting position. This is best done when your dog is calm.
  2. Slide the harness over your dog’s head. Make sure the harness is positioned so that the D-ring is on your dog’s back. The full loop (the one with the buckle) comes first, and the narrower circle goes second.
  3. Insert your dog’s leg through the first leg hole of the harness. The pin should now be between the rib loop and the neck loop.
  4. Attach the harness so that your dog’s other leg is in the correct leg hole. If the buckle cannot reach to close it, loosen the strap.
  5. Once the harness is fastened, adjust it to fit correctly. You should be able to slide two fingers under a belt. Try pulling the harness over your dog’s head to make sure it is secure.

2. Step In Dog Harness

Step-In Dog HarnessThe dog harness step in is excellent for dogs who are a bit wary of overhead harnesses.

This design has holes for the legs, and the clips are fastened over the shoulders. It can be a bit trickier to get them right.

Because they come with adjustable straps, they fit on their chest and over their shoulders.

Fit This Harness

Again, you will need to measure your dog’s size and chest to match the manufacturer’s measurements. While many manufacturers identify recommended breeders for their custom harness.

Some dogs learn to pull their shoulders forward in the harness very quickly and escape quite easily, so you should check the fit regularly.

Again, it should be snug, but you should be able to put two fingers between your harness and dog at any time.

3. Front Clip Dog Harness

Eagloo Dog Harness No Pull, ImageLet’s take a look at how to put on front-clip harnesses. A front clip harness has the belt clip in the front across the dog’s chest and is designed to discourage pulling. Some clip-on harnesses are the same shape as the standard harness or the boarding belt. If so, follow the steps for those harnesses.

Some front-clip harnesses have a different design, with a loop around the ribs and a single strap across the chest. There is no separation between the dog’s legs. If this is the type of harness you have, follow the steps below.

  1. Kneel on the right side of your dog while sitting or standing quietly.
  2. Put the harness loop over your dog’s head. The harness tag should be on his left shoulder, and the metal strap for the strap should be in the center of his chest.
  3. Reach under your dog’s belly and fasten the belly strap.
  4. Adjust the harness to your dog. Make sure you can’t pull it over his head.

Some harnesses can be tricky to figure out, but they’re easy once you’ve mastered them. The most crucial step is to make sure the harness fits snugly but not too tight so that your furry friend is safe.

4. Overhead Harness

The overhead harness is often available in various designs, so if you want your dog to follow the latest fashions, you will find a more useful pattern in this harness.

Top harnesses often have more padding all over the body, so they are usually preferred for comfort.

If you are purchasing an overhead harness, measure your dog’s size and neck to meet the manufacturer’s guidelines.

As the name suggests, your dog will put his head through the neck hole and attach the harness to the leash with clips.

These two have adjustable straps, so make sure you adjust to your dog and again, make sure you can always put two fingers between your dog and harness.

If you plan to bring your dog near water, the head harness is similar to most life jackets, so introducing your dog to this design will help you learn more about the fact that they accept a life jacket at a later stage.

Some designs have V-shaped padding across the chest, and some have a straight strap across the chest. Some have webbing, and some have padding on the back with extra handles.

These are popular with large breeds or those less mobile dogs if you need them to go up or downstairs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Your Dog Might Need A Dog Harness?

Why Your Dog Might Need A Dog Harness?

A pet parent can consider getting a harness over a collar for several reasons. Individual dogs with medical conditions such as megaesophagus (an enlarged esophagus) or neck injury are better off with a harness because it does not pressure the neck.

You can also consider a harness to train your dog not to pull or jump. Harnesses are a less severe option compared to crimped or chain collars as training methods.

We recommend harnesses over those other styles because crunch and chain collars have specific behavioral issues, such as lunging or growling in other dogs while on a leash. Can enlarge.

Why Is It So Important to Know How to Put a Harness on a Dog?

You never know when to put a harness on a dog.

If your dog ever has health problems, which means he can no longer be kept on a leash by a collar, you may need to use a harness someday.

It is always better to train him as a puppy in a calm and controlled manner.

How to Measure a Dog for a Harness?

When choosing a harness for your dog, make sure it fits correctly and that the clip hangs higher on your dog’s chest. If it dangles too low, it can’t help manage forward momentum.

You should also make sure that the harness is not too snug or challenging to snap or fasten and that it does not fall under the armpits of a dog or anywhere else.

If possible, take your dog with you to try out a few options before making your first purchase.

Harness sizes are usually offered in sizes ranging from extra small to extra large.

The size is determined by the size of your dog around his rib cage and chest. If your dog cannot try out a potential harness before purchasing it, measure across your dog’s rib cage and chest, and add two inches.

If your dog is in between sizes, please select the next size up. These sizes typically correspond to the following sizes:

  • Extra small: 8 to 14 inches
  • Small: 10 to 20 inches
  • Medium: 16 to 28 inches
  • Large: 26 to 40 inches
  • Extra-large: 40+ inches

Is a Dog Harness Better Than a Collar?

Whether you choose to use a harness is an individual choice.

There’s no denying that harnesses cause less trauma to a dog’s neck than a dog collar.

Dogs can still pull on a harness, but if you’re looking for a pull dog solution, opt for training.

A collar can be worn with their identification tags at all times, so if your dog comes out, you have a higher chance of finding it again.


Whichever dog harness you choose, make sure to measure your dog to get the right fit before know how to put on a dog harness.

Some harnesses can be tricky to figure out, but they’re easy once you’ve mastered them. The most crucial step is to make sure the harness fits snugly but not too tight so that your furry friend is safe.

Introduce the harness slowly, with lots of rewards and encouragement.

Be patient and remember that a harness is only aid during your journey as a pet parent. It is not a magical solution to draw!

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.