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Best dog harnesses according to pet owners

We’ve channelled our inner Border Collie to round up the best dog harnesses on the market – whether your pet is a well-mannered walker, a puller pooch or a hairy Houdini. 

By Louise Cole | Last updated Feb 16, 2022

Three dogs wearing harnesses, sitting facing away from the camera

Safer and more comfortable than the standard collar-lead combo, dog harnesses are now peaking in popularity. Offering more control for pet parents and less likely to injure your four-legged friend by helping to protect their neck and back, a well-chosen harness can also teach desirable canine conduct, discourage pulling and prevent any lead tangles. 

Yet the vast array of styles, materials and features available can leave your head spinning like a titchy terrier chasing its own tail, so we’ve gone on the hunt for the best with the help of recommendations from Mumsnet’s faithful pack of unbiased dog owners, countless consumer reviews and guidance from pet experts such as Dogs Trust

In-depth research for our roundup took into account each dog harness’s durability, ease of use, value, fit and other factors, including arguably the most important one of all – the likelihood of your dog escaping from it. 

Whether you’ll be pounding the pavements or embarking on rural runs, here are the best dog harnesses for 2022. 

1. Best overall dog harness: Perfect Fit Dog Harness

Perfect Fit dog harness

Price: £49 | Buy now from Perfect Fit

“I really rate the Perfect Fit harnesses – they’re durable, strong, don’t tighten or pinch when the dog pulls and can be sized for just about every dog.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user AvocadosBeforeMortgages)

“The best. Amazing for hard-to-fit dogs and impossible to escape from once the fit is correct.” (Rated by Mumsnet user somethinginthewater)

“We have a Perfect Fit harness now – expensive but impossible to get out of.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user BatleyTownswomensGuild)

With more positive mentions on the Mumsnet forums than you can shake a squeaky toy at, Perfect Fit is top dog of the harness world. As the name suggests, the brand caters for all shapes and sizes, with modular harnesses made up of adjustable, interchangeable pieces for a safe and snug custom fit that prevents escape artists from doing their thing.

Each piece of the harness can be replaced as and when required – whether due to wear or growth – making it particularly suited to younger dogs and puppies. Easy to clip on around the neck, there’s no need for the harness to go over your pet’s head and it can be machine-washed when it inevitably gets filthy.

Made in the UK, Perfect Fit dog harnesses come in 14 colours, from emerald green and sky blue to rainbow and reflective.

While choosing the right size can seem complicated, the simple sizing calculator on the company’s website or a quick call to its helpful customer service team will do the trick.

Pros

  • Customisable
  • Ideal for hairy Houdinis

Cons

  • Quite pricey
  • Choosing the correct size can be a little confusing  

Key specs

  • Type: Front and back clip harness
  • Number of sizes: Custom-fit   
  • Smallest chest size: 24cm
  • Largest chest size: 122cm

2. Best budget dog harness: Nobby Preno Mesh Norwegian Harness

Nobby dog harness

Price: From £9.35 | Buy now from Amazon

“Nobby harness. You can get them on the internet and they are much more reasonably priced than many alternatives and utterly escape-proof. How they haven’t caught on, I don’t know.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Theoscargoesto)

Cash-conscious pet parents will be pleasantly surprised by the high quality of this low-cost dog harness that hundreds of happy customers deem to be just as practical and robust – if not more so – as those of better-known brands.

Easy to put on, take off and adjust, it simply slips over your dog’s head and closes via a side buckle.  

The sizing of this neoprene-padded and lightweight harness is confusing, however – with this 50cm to 64cm version translating to a M/L, fitting breeds such as Pugs, Shiba Inus and Staffies – and reviewers advise going up a size.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Unclear sizing
  • May be smaller than expected

Key specs

  • Type: Back clip harness
  • Number of sizes: Five
  • Smallest chest size: 38cm
  • Largest chest size: 98cm

3. Best dog harness for durability: Ruffwear Web Master Dog Harness

Ruffwear dog harness

Price: From £71.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Ruffwear harnesses are excellent, pretty much last forever and come in sizes from XXS to XL.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user VetOnCall)

“Ruffwear gear lasts years.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Scattyhattie)

“The only one he can’t escape from is the Ruffwear Web Master. It’s expensive but he’s only needed one, so it’s been worth it!” (Vetted by Mumsnet user HappyThursdays)

“Ruffwear Web Master. Worth every penny.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Purplecatshopaholic)

Best in Show in terms of durability is Ruffwear’s hardwearing Web Master harness, which could well outlive your beloved pooch. As rugged as the terrain you and your furry friend will be exploring, it’s especially suited to active dogs and outdoorsy owners who take their pet hiking, climbing or running.

While it’s certainly the priciest of our picks, thousands of dog owners justify the investment by being able to place their full trust in this harness thanks to sturdy buckles and five adjustment points that make it virtually escape-proof.

With hi-vis reflective trim and available in three inoffensive colours, this dog harness will show little sign of wear even after months – or years – of use and is a great choice whether your dog will be walking or working.

Pros

  • Hardwearing
  • Suitable for dogs of all sizes and breeds

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Material rather stiff

Key specs

  • Type: Back clip harness
  • Number of sizes: Five
  • Smallest chest size: 33cm
  • Largest chest size: 107cm

4. Best dog harness for smaller dogs: Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness

Julius K9 dog harness

Price: £28.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have recently bought a Julius-K9 IDC harness for my Cocker Spaniel. I won’t say it’s completely stopped her pulling, but it’s certainly helped a lot.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Beaglewanderer)

“I swear by Julius-K9 for my Scottie, especially as you can buy Velcro labels for the side (mine says ‘Do not pet’). Buy from a reputable source – there are fakes out there!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user SistersOfPercy)

“Our Staffies both have Julius-K9 harnesses. I know some people don’t like them, but I love them – they’re so easy to fit and adjust if need be and I’ve never had any problems.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Louise24902)

A big name in the dog harness domain and particularly popular among owners of compact canines, Julius-K9 is a favourite with pet parents who rate the brand highly for its strong and stylish products.

The adjustable IDC Powerharness comes in a wide range of colours and designs and we love that it’s possible to purchase customisable, interchangeable side patches. 

But this dog harness is more than just a pretty face – it’s a no-fuss, comfortable tool that’ll also keep your petite pooch under control.

While some reviewers claim that their pet has escaped this harness, more are convinced of its reliability when fitted correctly.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Extensive range of sizes available

Cons

  • Handwash-only
  • Dog could wriggle free if poorly fitted

Key specs

  • Type: Back clip harness
  • Number of sizes: Nine
  • Smallest chest size: 29cm
  • Largest chest size: 138cm

5. Best dog harness for larger dogs: Ferplast Ergotrekking Dog Harness

Ferplast dog harness

Price: From £28.57 | Buy now from Amazon

“I really like the Ferplast Ergo harnesses for bigger dogs – soft chest plate, adjustable straps and easy to put on if you can get the dog to put one paw in. Great for our hounds.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user HeavensToTenby)

Boasting hundreds of five-star reviews for its straightforwardness and security, Ferplast’s Ergotrekking Dog Harness is a reassuring buy for pet owners from Barcelona to Berlin.

With six ratchet buckle fastenings (think ski boots), it can be done up or undone on one side only when being put on or taken off, meaning it can be donned without the need to pull it over your dog’s head – ideal for harness-averse pups. This does mean keeping an impatient-for-walkies pet relatively still while you do up three clips though.

This padded harness can be simply and speedily adjusted for a customised fit that offers comfort-factor and is unlikely to irritate your dog’s skin.

Our only niggles about this superb harness are that there’s no size option for tiny breeds and that it’s available only in black or brown.

Pros

  • Unlikely to rub
  • Ideal for anxious dogs

Cons

  • Limited colour choices
  • Heavier than some alternatives

Key specs

  • Type: Back clip harness
  • Number of sizes: Three
  • Smallest chest size: 46cm
  • Largest chest size: 80cm

6. Best dog harness to prevent pulling: Halti No Pull Harness

Halti dog harness

Price: From £10.70 | Buy now from Amazon

“Halti does a no-pull body harness that’s pretty effective.” (Rated by Mumsnet user BeanFreak)

“We use a Halti on our Lab – stopped pulling instantly. Was really surprised.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user MrsShelton)

Walking a dog that drags is not only frustrating, it can also be dangerous for both pet and owner too. While nothing compensates for adequate training, a suitable dog harness will certainly help to keep pulling to a minimum, which is where this dual-clip version comes into its own.

Guaranteed by the manufacturer to live up to its name, Halti’s unrestrictive No Pull Harness has attachment points at the front and back for optimal support and steering control. Thousands of satisfied pet owners report a noticeable reduction in their dog’s pulling when using it, with many wishing they’d bought one sooner.

Working wonders on breeds from Beagles to Bullmastiffs, walkies will be a chore no more with this harness because there’ll be no more yanking and tanking along the way.

Pros

  • Perfect for pullers
  • Unrestrictive

Cons

  • May be fiddly to fit
  • Can become slack when off-lead

Key specs

  • Type: Front and back clip harness
  • Number of sizes: Three
  • Smallest size: 22cm (neck)
  • Largest size: 62cm (neck)

7. Best dog harness for control: TrueLove Dog Harness

Truelove dog harness

Price: From £17.90 | Buy now from Amazon

“I use TrueLove harnesses on my two. They have rings on the back and the chest. My older dog walks beautifully with or without the harness – and with the younger one, the harness keeps her in check.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Quickchangeartiste)

“I’ve got a TrueLove one as well.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user tabulahrasa)

Pet owners in their droves are delighted to have taken a punt on this dog harness from lesser-known brand TrueLove – particularly those with an exuberant pooch. With two lead attachment points ­– one on the back, the other on the chest – to keep Rex in check, it has helped to control hyper Huskies, lively Labradors and chaotic crossbreeds.

Strong and durable, this harness is thickly padded, meaning extended drying time after wet walkies or washing. It’s also fiddly to adjust – especially when being worn by a perky pup – but this should need doing only once.

Available in 11 colours including green, grey and neon yellow, it also features a writable label for vital info.

Pros

  • Ideal for lively dogs
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Can be fiddly to adjust
  • Quite stiff and inflexible

Key specs

  • Type: Front and back clip harness
  • Number of sizes: Five  
  • Smallest chest size: 28cm
  • Largest chest size: 102cm

8. Best dog harness with handle: 3 Peaks Ascent Dog Harness

3 Peaks dog harness

Price: From £28 | Buy now from Pets at Home

“We use a 3 Peaks harness. It has a comfy, padded chest piece and decent handle on top. I’ve used it to pull my dog out of the river before, when she couldn’t get her footing to get out.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user SoapyChoc)

“Ruffwear Webmaster – or Pets at Home do a cheaper version called the 3 Peaks harness that does the same job. My beagle used to slip his harnesses, but he’s never got out of either of those.” (Rated by Mumsnet user icedcoffees)

A handled harness can be a lifesaver – quite literally – if your dog ever needs rescuing from water, is involved in a fight or tries to chase livestock (farmers are within their rights to shoot threatening pets), as owners can easily grab and remove their furry friend from harm’s way. A handle is also useful when your dog is overenthusiastic about meeting their canine and possibly feline counterparts or when they need to be kept still, while you remove ticks or a splinter for instance.

This lightweight Mumsnetter-recommended model from 3 Peaks is especially ideal for avid explorers, being designed to perform in tough outdoor conditions. It prevents pulling and features reflective trim for increased visibility, plus it can be effortlessly adjusted if your dog has one too many tasty treats on their adventures. 

Pros

  • Grab handle
  • Ideal for removing pets from hazardous situations

Cons

  • Comes in only three sizes
  • May not suit escapologists  

Key specs

  • Type: Front and back clip harness
  • Number of sizes: Three
  • Smallest size: 53cm (back length)
  • Largest size: 93cm (back length)

9. Best user-friendly dog harness: Eagloo No-Pull Dog Harness

Eagloo dog harness

Price: From £20.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have an Eagloo harness from Amazon which fits our Beagle just as well as the Ruffwear one does.” (Highly rated by Mumsnet user icedcoffees)

“We’ve got an Eagloo which works well - no escapes.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user singingstones

Perfect for those in a hurry, Eagloo’s No-Pull Dog Harness simply slips over your pet’s head and – click, click – it’s walkies time. With straightforward instructions and a short video on how to fit it, this easy-on-and-off harness is user-friendly for both dog and owner.

Highly alterable at the neck and chest via four adjustment points, it has quick-release buckles and is padded and elasticated in all the right places, making it uber-comfortable for your fur baby. It does hold water like a sponge, however, which may be a drawback in wintry months, but could be seen as a bonus in hotter weather.

With sturdy metal rings on the chest and back, as well as a discreet handle, there are eight colours to choose from.

Pros

  • Clear instructions
  • Simple to fit

Cons

  • May need occasional adjustment
  • Could start to fray over time

Key specs

  • Type: Front and back clip harness
  • Number of sizes: Four
  • Smallest chest size: 36cm
  • Largest chest size: 97cm

10. Best dog harness for running: Neewa Bib Running Dog Harness

Neewa dog harness

Price: From £19.80 | Buy now from Amazon

“Dogs MUST be run on a harness, even if you think your dog doesn’t pull much – the strain on its neck from a collar can cause horrendous long-term damage.”  (Recommended by Mumsnet user LochJessMonster)

“My dog goes running with a friend and his Spaniels and they wear proper harnesses to keep everyone as safe as possible.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user cupsofcoffee)

Harnesses are safer for your dog to wear when running than a standard dog lead and collar – and this one from Neewa is one step ahead of the rest. Made from quick-drying, breathable material, it’s the perfect canicross partner for your four-legged friend.

Padded at the belly, neck and armpits, it offers complete freedom of movement and is soft and comfortable from first use.

The straps may loosen with wear, but it should be noted that this durable dog harness was not designed with pulling in mind and is therefore best suited to non-draggers.

Pros

  • Ideal for running  
  • Soft and comfortable

Cons

  • May need regular adjustment
  • Lacks a handle
  • Vague sizing

Key specs

  • Type: Back clip harness
  • Number of sizes: Five
  • Smallest chest size: Not specified
  • Largest chest size: Not specified

Is it better to walk a dog with a harness or a collar?

An increasing number of pet parents are ditching the dog collar and switching to a harness – and for good reason. Because a harness distributes tension more evenly than a collar, the likelihood of your pooch suffering a neck injury is significantly reduced and many dog owners claim that a no-pull version is a game-changer in terms of their pet’s behaviour on walks. A harness can be less convenient and more restrictive than a collar and lead though, and may take your dog a little getting used to.

It’s a piece of canine kit that divides Mumsnetters, with opinion split over whether or not a harness is more comfortable than a collar and lead, and whether it offers enhanced control or discourages pulling (it was originally invented for that purpose after all).

One point on which most dog owners agree, however, is that no collar or harness is a substitute for adequate training, and a well-trained dog can use either. Both help to control and guide your dog, as well as keeping it away from potential hazards.

A collar can be worn at the same time as many harnesses, which ensures that your dog is sporting an all-important ID tag when out and about. Alternatively, consider attaching it to the chest ring if you opt for a front- and back-clip harness.

Should you leave a harness on a dog all the time?

The short answer is: no. Leaving a harness on your dog at all times can cause chafing or irritation to the skin, matting of the fur and general discomfort for your pet. It could also get caught on something, may get chewed and ingested and could even be a choking hazard for your dog.

How do I choose the best dog harness?

The type of harness you opt for will ultimately depend on the size, age, personality and energy level of your dog, as well as personal preference.

  • Puller pets: Boisterous pets and those that are prone to pulling or lunging will benefit from a front-clip or no-pull harness that causes your dog to move in the wrong direction when they tug.
  • Mutts with manners: A back-clip version will suffice for less excitable and better-behaved dogs – these are simple to use and will take little time for your pet to adjust to.
  • Daredevil dogs: A handled harness is a wise choice for adventurous owners as it’ll effectively transform your four-legged friend into an easy-to-seize suitcase that can be grabbed and lifted over stiles, out of rivers or away from fights. Some manufacturers advise against lifting pets using a handled harness, while others of this style are ideal for owners of older pets that can be lifted into the car or up the stairs if need be.
  • Fit: Check at how many points the harness is adjustable – the more the better for a snug fit. Your dog could well escape a badly-fitting harness.
  • Ease of use: How simple and quick is the harness to don or remove? Getting a placid or older dog to remain still while you faff around with a harness is relatively simple. A young or boisterous pooch? Not so much.
  • Quality: A dog harness needs to be well-made and durable to withstand countless walks in the Great British weather.
  • Washability: The harness will get dirty. Fact. Check how easy it is to clean or, even better, if it can go in the washing machine.
  • Comfort: Vest-style harnesses tend to be the most comfortable, fitting like a piece of clothing and least likely to rub. Other styles can still be comfy, though, and may be less restrictive.
  • Step-in or over-head harness: Nervous dogs may prefer a step-in harness to one that goes over their head. But they may be less secure, less padded and have fewer adjustment points.
  • Budget: Dog harnesses range in price from under a tenner to around £70 or more, so choose one to match your budget.
  • Honest recommendations: Reading as many reviews as possible and asking for recommendations from friends and family members is advisable when in the market for a decent dog harness.

How do you fit a dog harness?

It’s imperative that your dog’s harness fits well. Too tight and it can be uncomfortable for your pet and may chafe, particularly under the armpits; too loose and Fido could wriggle free – a frightening prospect wherever you happen to be walking.

  • Once you’ve measured the circumference of your dog’s chest (or other relevant measurement) and chosen an appropriate harness, it’s time to put it on. Use treats when introducing a harness for the first time to encourage positive association – they’re especially useful if you have an anxious or reluctant dog.
  • It’s easiest to adjust a harness before putting it on your dog and is often a case of trial and error. Use the slide buckles to tighten and loosen the straps. You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between the harness and your dog’s body, at the neck and back, not including the fur.
  • Finding the correct fit for your pet should need to be done only once. Check the harness every time it’s used, however, as some adjust with wear. Any harness will need regular adjustment if you have a growing pooch.
  • For a standard harness, slip it over your dog’s head, with the D-ring on their back. Secure it around the chest by bringing the straps behind the front legs and closing the clasps in turn, making any necessary adjustments.
  • For a step-in harness, encourage your dog to walk over it and place their legs in the relevant openings. This style of harness can often be done up and undone on one side only, making the job of putting it on much simpler the next time it’s worn.
  • Sporadically check for redness or fur loss under the harness, as this may indicate a bad fit.
  • If you’re still unsure about fitting your dog’s harness, refer to its instructions – there are often how-to guides or videos on the manufacturer’s website too, as well as plenty of tutorials online.

What is the best dog harness on the market?

The Perfect Fit Dog Harness is the best dog harness on the market. Sturdy, unrestrictive and non-chafing, it’s possible to ‘build’ a custom-fit harness for your pet – no matter the breed, age or size – with a huge range of chest sizes, from a tiny 24cm to a whopping 122cm.

Impossible to escape from and highly recommended by pet-owning Mumsnetters from Falmouth to Falkirk, these harnesses can grow with your dog and parts can be replaced when necessary.

Machine-washable and UK-made, they have clips at both the front and back, so can even discourage pulling and lunging.

How we chose our recommendations 

The majority of products featured in our roundup are recommended by real pet parents, who’ve tried and tested various types and brands of dog harness. We first spent several hours scouring the Mumsnet forums to discover which dog harnesses performed well and were rated most highly among honest Mumsnetters. We noted their fit, ease of use, durability, quality, affordability and other special features and were careful to avoid any that performed poorly.

From there, our research took us across the wider web, where we consulted independent expert review sites and considered what consumer reviews said about the products featured, ensuring that customers were satisfied with their purchases.

Having collated all that information, we then drew up a shortlist of the dog harnesses that were repeatedly mentioned, choosing only those that we thought were worthy of taking the titles in an array of interest categories.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

Main image credit: Perfect Fit