How to Choose and Maintain the Right Harness for a Large Dog?

If you’re the proud owner of a large dog, you know that they come with their own unique set of challenges. One of these is finding the right harness that can handle their strength and size, without causing them discomfort or restricting their movement.

In the following article, we will guide you through the process of choosing the right harness for your large pet dog. We will also provide tips on how to maintain the harness to ensure it stays in good condition for as long as possible.

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Finding the Right Size

Before you even begin to choose a harness, you need to know your dog’s size. This is an essential step that will greatly impact the fit and comfort of the harness.

Begin by measuring your dog’s chest and neck circumference. You can do this with a flexible tape measure. Make sure the tape is snug but not tight around their body, and always measure at the widest part of their chest and neck.

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The length of the leash will also depend on your dog’s size. Larger dogs may require longer leashes to allow them more freedom, while still keeping them under control.

Remember, a harness that is too tight can restrict your dog’s movement and cause discomfort, while a harness that is too loose can be easy for your dog to slip out of.

The Right Harness Depending on Your Dog’s Breed

Not all dog breeds are the same, and different breeds will have different needs when it comes to harnesses. Some dogs have a strong instinct to pull, such as Huskies, while others like Greyhounds have a more delicate skin that can be easily irritated by a harness.

If your dog tends to pull, consider a front-clip harness. These harnesses clip onto the leash at the chest, which can help to discourage pulling by directing the dog’s attention back towards you.

For dogs with sensitive skin, a harness with a soft, padded lining can help to prevent chafing and irritation.

Training Your Dog to Wear a Harness

Training is a crucial step in making sure your dog feels comfortable in their new harness. This process will require patience and consistency, but it will be well worth it in the end.

Begin by letting your dog sniff and explore the harness. You can then start by putting the harness on for short periods of time, gradually increasing the duration as your dog gets used to the feeling.

It’s important not to force or rush the process. If your dog shows any signs of distress or discomfort, remove the harness and try again later. Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to make the experience more positive for your dog.

Maintenance of the Harness

Maintaining your dog’s harness is vital to ensure its longevity and functionality. Regularly check the harness for any signs of wear and tear, such as frayed straps or broken clips.

Cleaning the harness regularly can also help to prolong its life. Most harnesses can be hand-washed with mild soap and warm water. Always make sure to dry the harness thoroughly before putting it back on your dog, as dampness can lead to skin irritations.

Making the Final Decision: Which Harness is the Best?

The best harness for your large dog will ultimately depend on your dog’s individual needs and characteristics. Always prioritize their comfort and safety above all else.

A harness is more than just a tool to help you control your dog. It’s also an important part of their daily life and should be chosen with care. Whether you opt for a front-clip harness for a strong puller, or a padded harness for a sensitive-skinned Greyhound, the right choice will make all the difference to your dog’s wellbeing.

Remember, a well-fitting, comfortable, and durable harness can greatly enhance your dog’s walking experience, making it more enjoyable for both of you.

Harness Features to Consider for Large Dogs

It’s not just about getting any dog harness but choosing the right harness that caters to your dog’s distinct needs. The size and breed of your dog are not the only factors to consider. Different harness designs offer unique benefits. For instance, a front clip harness is advantageous for training purposes, particularly for dogs who tend to pull, while a back-clip design is more suitable for small dogs or those well-trained on leash.

Attachment points are another feature to pay attention to. Leash attachment points can be on the back, front, or both. Back-clip harnesses are generally more comfortable for dogs to wear and less likely to tangle under the front legs. In contrast, front-clip or dual-clip harnesses provide more control over your dog’s direction.

Depending on your dog’s behavior and your training goals, certain styles may be more beneficial. Dogs that pull excessively might benefit from a pull harness or a front-clip design that provides better control. On the other hand, if your large dog is calm and doesn’t pull, a back-clip style might be perfectly adequate.

Also, consider harnesses with adjustment points for a perfect fit. Fit dog harnesses with multiple adjustment points are more flexible and can accommodate dogs of varying shapes and sizes. They offer a more bespoke fit, ensuring that the harness is not too tight around the dog’s neck or too loose around their front legs.

A harness handle can be a lifesaver when dealing with large dogs, especially in situations where you need to quickly restrain your pet or assist them in difficult terrain.

Lastly, always opt for a harness made from durable materials that can withstand the strength and energy of large dogs. Remember, the best dog harness is one that caters to your dog’s comfort, safety, and training needs.


Choosing the right harness for your large dog can seem like a daunting task with so many options available. However, by taking the dog step by step approach outlined in this article, you will be able to find the perfect fit.

Remember to consider your dog’s size, breed, behavior, and specific needs when making your decision. The most important thing is that your dog is comfortable, safe, and happy. Whether it’s a front clip or back-clip harness, or one designed specifically for pullers, there is a perfect fit out there for every dog.

Maintaining the dog harnesses correctly ensures it remains in top condition, serving your dog for a long time. Regular checks for wear and tear, and proper cleaning, are essential steps in taking care of the harness.

In conclusion, the time and effort you put into finding and maintaining the right harness for your large dog will pay off in the form of a happier and healthier pet. Your walks and training sessions will become more enjoyable, and most importantly, your bond with your dog will strengthen.

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