The Appropriate Harness
- Back-Clip Harness
Back-clip harnesses attach to the leash between shoulders. This type of harness is very comfortable and easy for your dog to walk in, and it is a great option for small dogs and those with throat issues. Another great perk of back-clip harnesses is that the leash is less likely to get tangled under your pet’s feet and it is easy to put on. These are also great for older dogs who may need a little “lift” now and then. Back-clip harnesses are probably most common but can actually cause more pulling effort by some dogs, especially large ones.
- Front-Clip Harness
Front-clip harnesses attach to the leash at the front of the dog, at its chest. This type of harness is commonly used for training dogs to walk on a leash and they restrict pulling and certain movements. This harness gives the owner more control over the movements of the dog and allows for redirection, but the leash can sometimes become tangled while walking. Although this harness offers more control for training, for dogs with aggression issues it may require additional training tools.
- Tightening Harness
These types of harnesses come in both front-clip and back-clip options, but have a space that tightens as the dog pulls providing pressure and “reminding” the dog they are pulling. The slight tightening is uncomfortable and for dogs that have almost mastered the art of walking on a leash, this is a gentle reminder. With this type of harness the objective is to apply gentle pressure.
Getting the Right Fit
Here are some tips when fitting your dog’s harness. We frequently have customers try their harness on in our store! Note that we have all three types of harnesses at Wholesome Pet Essentials!
- Get the Stats. Your pet’s weight, chest measurements and neck measurements are essential when picking their new harness.
- Check the harness. Harnesses will tell you what size is best for which weight and measurements. Choose a size that your pet falls mid-way in the scale. If your dog falls in the overlap of two sizes, go with the bigger size.
- If your dog is hard to fit, try to choose a harness with many points to adjust the sizing.
- When adjusting the harness use the “2-finger rule” as with collars. The harness should fit tight enough that the dog will not be able to escape or pull their legs through, but loose enough that you can fit 2 fingers between the harness and your dog.
How can you tell if your dog’s harness doesn’t fit?
If your dog can wiggle out or pull its leg through the harness it will need to be tighter. If the harness is too tight then you may notice hair loss or chafing on contact areas, commonly across their back or under their arms. A sign that the harness style might not be right for your dog is rotating while being worn, or if your dog is resistant to walking but has walked fine in other harnesses.