Archive Post: My three favourite harnesses

Nov 22, 2011

Yesterday we looked at six reasons a harness will stop your dog pulling, when you use as part of training with a double-ended lead. Today we will consider which harness to use.  When I am choosing a harness I am looking for a central front connection ring that will lie at the breastbone, a neck piece lying at the base of the neck (not where a collar would be but just above the slope of the shoulder) and a central back connection point just behind the shoulder. Side rings can also be useful as sometimes, with very strong dogs, I want to be able to pass the lead across the dog's chest and connect to the opposite side, to give a stronger connection at the chest. I want the harness to be made out of comfortable, soft but strong material and have strong, rounded clips and connectors. With these criteria in mind, there are three makes that I use a lot and am happy to recommend. One of these will almost certainly fit your dog comfortably and securely.

TTouch Harness

Designed by TTouch instructor Sarah Fisher, this is an H-style harness with front and back connection rings. The back piece is shorter than most H-style harnesses, keeping the connection further forward to balance the dog and discourage pulling. Both the neck and body straps can be unclipped, so this is a great design for those dogs that don't like things going over their heads. The harness is very adjustable, allowing adjustments on either side of the neck, on either side of the body and on the chest, and it comes in three sizes, so can fit most dogs comfortably. It comes in green, black, blue or purple webbing.

XtraDog Fleece Walking Harness

Designed by TTouch Practitioner Marie Miller, this is a fleece-lined harness with both front and rear rings, designed with a short cross-over back piece to keep the back connection just behind the shoulder on the dog. The neck is a single piece that goes over the dog's head, with clips to attach it round the dogs body. It is a very comfortable harness with webbing over wide fleece. As such it is particularly recommended for thin coated breeds like sighthounds, and those with skin condition, though is suitable for all breeds. It is only adjustable at the body straps but this harness comes in 11 standard sizes, with a made-to-measure service as well, so you can get a good fit. It also comes in a huge range of lovely colours, including high visibility - and with matching double-ended leads - so is perfect for the fashion conscious!

Mekuti Balance Harness

Designed by TTouch practitioner Rachael Greenland, this is a well-established and popular harness and among the first available to allow the flexibility of connection needed to bring dogs into balance. It is also an H-style harness, but is slightly longer in the back than the TTouch one. The Mekuti has the most options for connection of any of the harnesses, including side rings, which make it very flexible. Side rings are particularly useful if you have a very strong dog as you can pass the lead across the chest and attach the clip to the side, giving you a stronger connection at the front. It comes in five sizes and 7 colours, with coordinating leads, so again plenty of options for your dog. It is adjustable behind and in front of the legs and underneath the chest. As standard,  the neck piece goes over the head but there is an option to have an extra clip on the neck piece to allow it to be clipped round like a collar. I use all three of these harnesses regularly with my own dogs and with clients and can highly recommend them. Whichever one of these three harnesses you choose, you won't go far wrong! What is your experience of harnesses? Have you used any of these three or do you have another that you particularly like? Use the comments to let me know. Would love to hear from you.

ARCHIVE POST: The original Canine Confidence blog was active from 2011-2014. In April 2016 I resurrected it here but there were some posts in the original blog that are still relevant. Rather than repost as new material, I am including them here as Archive Posts, along with the original publication date. This avoids the need to edit to remove references to time for instance. Each archived post will include a PDF of the original comments, where appropriate, as in some cases these include additional clarification of the post.

This post was first published on Canine Confidence on 22/11/2011.

Archive of comments from original posting.

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