What's The Best Harness For A Puppy
What's The Best Harness For A Puppy

Deciding on the best harness for our adorable, playful puppies can sometimes overwhelm us with options. With so many choices available in the market, it can be challenging to determine which one will provide the perfect balance of comfort, ease of use, and security for our furry friends.

In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when selecting a harness for a puppy, ensuring that our little companions can enjoy their walks with utmost safety and enjoyment. Whether for training or strolls, finding the best harness for our puppies is essential to ensure their happiness and well-being.

Choosing the correct harness for your puppy is crucial to ensure their comfort, safety, and ease of use during walks and other activities.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various considerations to remember when choosing a puppy harness, the types of harnesses available, the materials used in their construction, and the training-friendly features to look for.

We will also provide recommendations for the best puppy harnesses for small, medium, and large breeds and budget-friendly options. Additionally, we will discuss how to measure and fit a puppy harness and provide some valuable tips for introducing and using a harness with your furry friend.

Considerations for Choosing a Puppy Harness

Size and Fit

When selecting a puppy harness, it is crucial to consider the size and fit to ensure optimal comfort and safety for your furry friend. Measure your puppy’s chest girth, neck circumference, and length to determine the appropriate size. Look for harnesses with adjustable straps to accommodate your puppy’s growing size. It is essential to choose a harness that fits snugly but allows for smooth movement without restricting their breathing or causing discomfort.

Durability and Quality

Puppies are known for their playful and energetic nature, so choosing a harness made from durable and high-quality materials is essential. Look for harnesses made from solid and tear-resistant fabrics to withstand your puppy’s roughhousing and occasional chewing. Reinforced stitching and sturdy hardware, such as buckles and D-rings, are also essential factors to consider when assessing a puppy harness’s durability and overall quality.

Ease of Use

As first-time puppy owners, we understand the importance of simplicity and convenience. Look for harnesses with easy-to-use buckles or clips that allow for quick and hassle-free wear. Adjustable straps are also beneficial for achieving a secure and customized fit. Consider the design of the harness, ensuring that it does not have complicated or intricate parts that could confuse or frustrate your puppy when putting it on or taking it off.

Comfort and Safety

The comfort and safety of your puppy should be top priorities when choosing a harness. Look for harnesses with padded interiors, which provide added comfort and help prevent chafing or irritation to your puppy’s delicate skin. Additionally, consider harnesses with features like reflective strips or bright colors to enhance visibility during walks, especially in low-light conditions. A harness with a secure handle can also provide extra control and support during training or emergencies.

Types of Puppy Harnesses

Step-in Harness

Step-in harnesses are designed to be low-maintenance and easy to put on and take off. They typically have two-leg openings your puppy can step into and adjustable straps for a secure fit around the chest and neck. Step-in harnesses are popular for small and medium-sized breeds, providing comfort and ease of use.

Back-clip Harness

Back-clip harnesses have their leash attachment on the back, near the shoulder blades. This design suits puppies who do not pull excessively on the leash and helps distribute any pulling force more evenly across the body. Back-clip harnesses are generally easy to put on and take off, making them a practical choice for puppies still used to wear a harness.

Front-clip Harness

Front-clip harnesses have their leash attachment on the front of the chest, between the puppy’s shoulder blades. This design helps redirect your puppy’s attention towards you when they pull on the leash, promoting better manners. Front-clip harnesses can benefit puppies who tend to pull or lunge forward during walks, providing greater control and discouraging pulling behaviors.

Vest Harness

Vest harnesses cover more of your puppy’s body and provide additional support and control. They usually have adjustable straps and are suitable for puppies of all sizes. Vest harnesses distribute pressure more evenly across the chest and back, making them a comfortable and secure option for larger breeds. Some vest harnesses also feature a handle on the back, providing a convenient way to grab or lift your puppy.

Materials Used in Puppy Harnesses


Nylon is a popular material used in puppy harnesses due to its durability, strength, and resistance to wear and tear. It is also lightweight, making it comfortable for your puppy to wear. Nylon harnesses are available in various colors and designs, offering versatility and personalization options. They are easy to clean and maintain, requiring a quick wipe-down or machine wash.


Leather harnesses are renowned for their timeless appeal and durability. While they may be initially stiff, they gradually mold to your puppy’s body shape over time, providing a custom fit. Leather harnesses are known for their longevity and classic aesthetic, making them a preferred choice for many dog owners. However, they may require more maintenance, such as occasional conditioning and careful cleaning.


Mesh harnesses are lightweight and breathable, making them suitable for puppies in warmer climates or during hot summer days. The breathable fabric prevents your puppy from overheating and allows for optimal airflow. Mesh harnesses also tend to be softer against your puppy’s skin, reducing the likelihood of chafing or irritation. However, ensuring that the mesh used is high quality and does not tear easily is essential.


Cotton harnesses offer a natural and eco-friendly option for puppy owners. They are soft, comfortable, and hypoallergenic, making them ideal for puppies with sensitive skin or allergies. Cotton harnesses are typically machine washable and easy to clean. However, they may not be as durable as other materials and may require more frequent replacement, especially for more active or energetic puppies.

Training-Friendly Features to Look for

Reflective Strips

Harnesses with reflective strips are an excellent safety feature, especially during evening walks or in low-light conditions. The reflective material enhances visibility, allowing you and your puppy to be seen by motorists and other pedestrians. This feature provides an additional layer of safety, reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring peace of mind during nighttime adventures.


A harness with a handle can be a valuable training tool and aid in controlling your puppy during walks or crowded areas. The handle lets you gain quick control or assist your puppy when encountering potential hazards or obstacles. It also provides a convenient way to lift or carry your puppy, whether for crossing a busy road or navigating challenging terrain.

Adjustable Straps

Harnesses with adjustable straps are particularly useful for puppies that are still growing. These straps can be easily adjusted to accommodate your puppy’s increasing size, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit. Adjustable straps also allow you to customize the harness to your puppy’s unique body shape and prevent any slippage or discomfort during walks or playtime.

Padded Interior

A harness with a padded interior offers an extra layer of comfort for your puppy. The padding helps distribute pressure evenly across the chest and back, reducing the risk of chafing or discomfort. Padded harnesses are especially beneficial for puppies with sensitive skin or those prone to skin irritations. The additional cushioning provides a cozy and snug fit, ensuring your puppy feels comfortable and content while wearing the harness.

Best Puppy Harnesses for Small Breeds

Puppia Soft Dog Harness

The Puppia Soft Dog Harness is popular for small breeds due to its soft, breathable, and lightweight material. It features an adjustable chest strap and a sturdy buckle, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit. The harness also has a back-clip design, making it easy to put on and take off. It comes in various colors and sizes, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your small furry friend.

Blueberry Pet Soft & Comfortable Dog Harness

The Blueberry Pet Soft & Comfortable Dog Harness is designed with your small breed’s comfort in mind. It is made from high-quality polyester and offers a soft and cozy feel against your puppy’s skin. The adjustable chest strap ensures a secure fit, while the quick-release buckle allows easy on and off. The harness also features an adorable bowtie accessory, adding a touch of style to your puppy’s ensemble.

Gooby – Padded Vest Dog Harness

The Gooby Padded Vest Dog Harness is an excellent choice for small breeds that require lightweight and comfortable support. Its unique step-in design makes it easy to put on and take off. The harness is made from soft, breathable mesh fabric, providing optimal airflow and minimizing irritation. The Gooby Padded Vest Dog Harness offers both style and functionality with its reflective accents and sturdy D-ring for leash attachment.

Best Puppy Harnesses for Medium Breeds

Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness

The Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness is a reliable option for medium-sized breeds that tend to pull on the leash. Its front-clip design discourages pulling by redirecting your puppy’s attention towards you. The harness is made of durable nylon and features adjustable straps for a customized and secure fit. The Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness prioritizes safety and comfort with its reflective material and ergonomic design.

Sporn Dog Harness

The Sporn Dog Harness is known for its no-pull design and gentle control. It features a patented system that provides instant control without causing discomfort or pain to your puppy. The dual-clip attachment allows for flexible leash positioning, accommodating different training needs. The Sporn Dog Harness is made from durable nylon and offers adjustable straps for a snug fit. Its simplicity and effectiveness make it a popular choice for medium-sized breeds.

PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness

The PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness discourages pulling and promotes better leash manners in medium-sized breeds. It features a front-clip attachment that redirects your puppy’s forward motion, making it difficult for them to pull. The harness is made from high-quality nylon and integrates safety features like reflective stitching. The PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness offers comfort and control with its comfortable padding and adjustable straps.

Best Puppy Harnesses for Large Breeds

Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness

The Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness is a top choice for large breeds that require a durable and secure harness. It features a robust handle on the back, allowing for greater control and assistance. The harness is made from high-quality materials and has adjustable straps for a perfect fit. The Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness combines safety, practicality, and style with its reflective elements and customizable patches.

EzyDog Quick Fit Adjustable Dog Harness

The EzyDog Quick Fit Adjustable Dog Harness offers a comfortable and secure fit for large breeds. Its unique design allows for easy one-click application, making it ideal for wriggly puppies. The harness is durable and features reflective stitching for enhanced visibility. The adjustable straps ensure a snug fit, and the soft neoprene lining provides extra comfort for your furry friend.

Kurgo True-Fit Harness

The Kurgo True Fit Harness is designed with large breeds in mind, combining functionality, durability, and comfort. It features a no-pull ring on the front and a back clip for versatile leash attachment options. The harness is made from strong, high-quality materials and is adjustable to ensure a secure fit. With its padded chest plate and back handle, the Kurgo True Fit Harness offers optimal control and comfort for your large-breed puppy.

Budget-Friendly Options for Puppy Harnesses

Pawtitas Solid Color Step-in Dog Harness

The Pawtitas Solid Color Step-in Dog Harness offers affordability without compromising quality or style. It features a simple step-in design and adjustable straps for a secure fit. The harness is durable nylon and incorporates reflective stripes for improved visibility. With its range of colors and sizes, the Pawtitas Solid Color Step-in Dog Harness provides an excellent budget-friendly option for your puppy.

Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness

The Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness is an economical choice that prioritizes breathability and comfort. It features a lightweight mesh design that allows for optimal airflow, making it suitable for warmer climates. The harness has adjustable straps for a secure fit and a step-in design for easy wear. With its affordability and practicality, the Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness is an ideal option for budget-conscious puppy owners.

Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness

The Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness offers both affordability and high-quality construction. Its durable and comfortable design makes it suitable for daily use and outdoor adventures. The harness has adjustable straps for a customizable fit and features two leash attachment points for versatility. With its reflective trim and lightweight construction, the Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness provides excellent value for your money.

How to Measure and Fit a Puppy Harness

Measuring Your Puppy

You will need a flexible measuring tape to measure your puppy for a harness. First, measure their chest circumference by wrapping the tape around the widest part of their chest. Next, measure their neck circumference by placing the tape snugly around the base of their neck. Finally, measure their length by running the tape from the base of their neck to the base of their tail. These measurements will help you determine the appropriate size harness for your puppy.

Adjusting the Harness

Once you have selected the correct size harness for your puppy, adjusting it properly for a secure and comfortable fit is essential. Start by loosening all the straps, and then place the harness over your puppy’s head, guiding their front legs through the leg openings. Position the harness so the strap with the D-ring attachment is on its back. Next, adjust the straps evenly on both sides, ensuring the harness fits snugly but is not too tight. Check that you can fit two fingers between the harness and your puppy’s body for optimal comfort. Lastly, fasten the buckles or clips and make any final adjustments.

Tips for Introducing and Using a Harness with Your Puppy

Positive Reinforcement

Introducing a harness to your puppy should be a positive and rewarding experience. Use treats, praise, and gentle encouragement to associate the harness with enjoyable experiences. Gradually increase the time your puppy wears the harness, starting with short sessions and gradually extending the duration. Pairing the harness with enjoyable activities, such as outdoor walks or playtime, will help create positive associations and make the overall experience more enjoyable for your puppy.

Sensitization Gradually

Some puppies may be initially wary or nervous about wearing a harness. To help them adjust, introduce the harness gradually. Start by having your puppy sniff and inspect the harness while offering treats and praise. Gradually progress to touching and handling the harness before putting it on. Take your time and patience, allowing your puppy to adjust at their own pace. If your puppy shows signs of stress or discomfort, step back and try again later.

Start with Short Sessions

When first using a harness with your puppy, start with short sessions to allow them to get used to wearing it. Begin by putting the harness on for just a few minutes and gradually increasing the duration. Monitor your puppy’s behavior during these sessions, ensuring that they are comfortable and not exhibiting any signs of distress. By gradually increasing the time your puppy wears the harness, they will become accustomed to it and more accepting of the experience.

In conclusion, choosing a suitable harness for your puppy involves considering factors such as size and fit, durability and quality, ease of use, and comfort and safety.

Step-in, back-clip, front-clip, and vest harnesses offer different benefits and are suitable for various needs. Materials like nylon, leather, mesh, and cotton have advantages and considerations. Training-friendly features like reflective strips, handles, adjustable straps, and padded interiors can enhance the overall experience for you and your puppy.

Depending on the size of your puppy, there are specific harness recommendations for small, medium, and large breeds, as well as budget-friendly options available.

Measuring and fitting the harness correctly is essential for your puppy’s comfort and safety. Introducing and using the harness with positive reinforcement, gradual sensitization, and starting with short sessions will help ensure a successful transition for your puppy.

Considering all these considerations, you can confidently choose the best harness for your puppy and enjoy many safe and enjoyable adventures together.

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Dylan Mills
Hello there, I'm Dylan Mills, a seasoned veterinarian, committed dog enthusiast, and your go-to entity for all things dog-related. As an expert in the field and an award-winning advising member of several canine organizations, I bring unparalleled dog knowledge. Having dedicated my life to understanding these incredible creatures better, I've been honored with prestigious awards, recognitions, and a commendable reputation in the industry. As a published author, my books have turned into trusted manuals for dog owners across the globe. Raised in a family of dog lovers, my love for these beautiful animals runs much deeper than just my professional credentials. I've keenly observed, nurtured, and trained different breeds, gaining firsthand experience that feeds my expertise. I co-founded MyDogTrainingCollar with a singular mission - to make the rewarding dog training journey accessible, straightforward, and meaningful for you. As you browse the site, you will find a curation of up-to-date, evidence-based tips and advice on training collars, all designed with your furry friend's best interest in mind. Remember, every dog deserves to be understood, loved, and properly trained, and every dog owner should be equipped with the right know-how. That's exactly what I promise here at MyDogTrainingCollar - reliable solutions and expert guidance one click away. Brace yourself for a fascinating journey into the canine world. Let's decode your dog together.