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What to consider before purchasing…

Before you step out shopping for a new dog harness you will definitely need to know….

  1. Your dog’s weight
  2. Your dog’s neck measurement (Around the wide part just in front of the withers)
  3. Your dog’s chest measurement (Fit the tape around the widest part, usually about 4 finger widths back from the armpit for large dogs down to only 1 finger width for small dogs.
  4. Does dog still have any ‘growing’ to do
  5. The purpose for which they will be wearing the harness.

Designs are usually ‘step through’ or not.  Step-though will require the front legs to go through two loops for the harness to be worn.  The others are often a head popping through the front and the chest strap brought underneath to the other side.

There are two essential styles of harness. A body harness has back clip, which is necessary for attaching a tether when travelling in a vehicle.  A front-hook (or front clip) harness are designed for those who like to walk their dog using a front clip. (This topic alone requires a blog of it’s own so more on that another day.)  A hybrid style has a ring/hook on the back and the front. If your dog goes out with you at night or in low-light situations you might go for something reflective. Believe it or not, you can even get harnesses with little torch holders ! A soft handle on the top makes life for humans a lot easier but for some purposes such as work in bush areas a provision to ‘clip the handle down’ helps it not to catch on anything. Chest pads may be a fitted option.

Wherever possible take your dog along with you for a proper fitting, and so that you know how easy or difficult it is to put the harness on.

A great fitting harness will disperse weight evenly across the front of the body. Different styles are more suited to different breeds. There are pros and cons to the varying designs and soooo many features to on offer from heavy-duty buckles and rings through to skin friendly breathable linings. Shorthaired dogs can quickly be chaffed by an ill-fitting or too-tight harness.  Some brands use materials with this in mind e.g. the fabric of the strap itself or a layer of neoprene. We must also warn you that it is near impossible to find a ‘100% inescapable’ doggy harness.

Remember we usually get what we pay for so if’s its strength you require (particularly for vehicle travel) go for quality over price.
For a quick demonstration on measuring see the video below…


Leah & Angela OMeara

Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)