3 Tips for Fitting Your Dog's Harness

Many paw-parents prefer using harnesses than a collar when walking their dog as it provides a more comfortable and secure experience for both parties. While putting on a harness seems like a trivial task, doing it wrong can make life uncomfortable for both you and your dog. 

The right fit is crucial if you want to ensure the security and comfort levels of your dog. Wearing a harness that is too loose opens up the possibility of escape, while too tight runs the risk of injuring your dog. 

Fitting your dog's harness

With that in mind, the tips below should help you put on your dog's harness safely for a better time out in the great outdoors.

1. Take Accurate Measurements

Obtaining accurate measurements of your dog is the first thing you should do when shopping for a new harness. By getting measurements you can be certain you are buying the correct sized harness for you dog.

The most important measurements for fitting a harness are the lower neck and chest, as this is where most harnesses will sit on your dog. To measure the lower neck circle the tape measure above the breastbone and around the back of the neck. You can determine the size for the chest by measuring the widest part of your dog’s chest, which is normally just behind their armpits. The handy size guide below illustrates how to measure your dog for all kinds of accessories and apparel.

Dog Size Guide

Now that you have got accurate measurements of your dog, you can move on to the next step. 

2. Understand How the Harness Operates 

Whether you choose a standard dog harness such as a step-in harness or overhead harness, knowing how to put them on is crucial. Before anything else, it's essential to understand how the harness works by identifying all the parts and knowing where the D-ring clip is placed. There are three main kinds of harnesses to choose from; back-clip, front-clip, and dual-clip. Doing your homework will make the process go smoothly and faster, allowing you to clasp the lead on without a issue!

Choosing best dog harness

3. Placing on the Harness

When using a new harness, always let your pooch smell the material first, so the scent becomes familiar. This may cause them to become excited or nervous, depending on your furry companion's personality.

Dog Harnesses Online Australia

For step-in harnesses you want to start by unbuckling the harness and laying it on the ground. Prompt your dog to stand over the harness and then place one of your fur baby's front paws in one of the loops, and the same action applies to the other leg and loop. Lastly, snap the strap buckles securely. The placement can change depending on the specific type of harness you use, but the common ones are typically on your dog's back. 

For overhead harnesses you can slip the neckpiece over your dog's head. Next, gently pull the bottom straps under your pooch's belly, while the top strap sits across their back. Overhead harnesses come in two ways - if it's connected, be sure to let your dog step through the loop before closing the straps together on one side. If the harness is not connected, you can clasp the straps on both sides. 

Fitting Dog Harness

Wrapping Up

Learning how to put on your dog's harness is important for their safety and comfort. No matter the kind of dog harness you choose, it's critical to consider their comfort by checking the strap placement. All types of harnesses should fit comfortably below the neck and never put unnecessary stress on your dog's throat or shoulder joints. As for the tightness, be sure it's secure yet not too tight by ensuring at least two to three fingers fit in between your furry friend and the harness.


There you have it, the 3 Tips for Fitting Your Dog's Harness. If you have some further suggestions or ideas, let us know in the comments below!

Barket is Australia's favourite online provider of dog harnesses, shop now!


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