There are more dog harness brands and types than ever before. I’m going to go through some of the most popular types and brands as well as some of my own personal favourites. Firstly let me divide them into three main types by how they fit.
I don’t recommend the use of any Bra-Style harness as dog’s are rarely comfortable with having their legs put through the holes. These harnesses also tend to sit too close to the elbows causing chafing. Therefore with the exclusion of Bra-Style harnesses I will go through the most popular in each category.
The great thing about over-the-head harnesses is that they’re very easy to put on a dog. A dog can easily be coaxed into it with treats. This makes them excellent for dogs which don’t like having a harness put on.
The downside is the pressure is on the chest as the dog pulls which isn’t great. I wouldn’t recommend these harnesses for any serious pullers but for most dogs they’re great.
You should also be careful when fitting them to ensure that the strap under the chest doesn’t come too close to the elbows to prevent chafing.
Julius K9 really rule the roost when it comes to Over-The-Head harnesses and I confess I am a huge fan of this brand. The build quality is always very good and I love the functional design of all of their products.
Beware of cheap copies of the Julius K9 harness as they’re unlikely to be built with the same level of quality. It’s really worth spending the extra money on the real thing in this case.
There are a number of different H-Harnesses and whilst the design is often the same the quality and price differs between brands. These harnesses offer some great options for people that don’t like the chunky appearance of the Julius K9 harness and would prefer something more slender.
They still fit over the head and are easy to put on. Whilst they are slightly more fiddly than the Julius K9’s you soon get used to it.
I find that generally these harnesses are more adjustable which is great for dogs with unusual body shapes. It also means you can keep the harness away from the elbows and allow more space near the chest or for escape artists you can adjust it for a tighter fit.
Haqihana provides the best quality, slender-style harness on the market in my opinion. They’re handmade in Italy and come with a 5 year warranty. We also tend to find they’re highly adjustable although make sure you get the right size as with any harness.
Haqihana are well known for their endorsement by Norweigan dog trainer Turid Rugaas author of My Dog Pulls. What Do I Do? (Amazon US) and On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals (Amazon US) among other books.
Unfortunately Haqihana aren’t available on Amazon and are only stocked in a handful of shops but you can find more information on their website.
Red Dingo are another classic H-Harness design. They are a cheaper option than Haqihana and as a result the quality isn’t as good. That’s not to say that it’s bad though. I generally consider Red Dingo to be a very middle of the road option. There are cheaper, lesser quality options but there is also the higher quality option of Haqihana or Ruffwear.
These Trixie H-Harnesses are perfect for puppies that will grow out of them quickly. You won’t want to spend a large amount of money on a high-quality harness that the puppy will only wear for a short period of time. Naturally in this case durability is a less important factor.
Vitally though these harness are still built in the H-Harness style which ensures comfort and functionality.
The fact I’ve left this brand last in this section is not a reflection on quality. Ruffwear is certainly a high quality harness. However it’s a little bit of an anomaly in the H-Harness section as it’s a larger, chunkier harness.
These harnesses are perfect for fit, hunting and sport-type dogs such as Hungarian Viszlas, Pointers and even Labradoodles. However they can sometimes be too chunky, and a little awkward for smaller or less-athletic dogs.
Ruffwear do another harness – The Web Master. It’s a big harness with two clips. In all honesty this is unnecessary for the majority of dogs but for those that need it, it’s excellent. This harness is perfect for escape-artists and is marketed as ‘escape proof’ as a result.
These harnesses are great for lurchers, greyhounds, whippets and any other sighthound that might be hard to fit in a different type of harness.
Top quality harnesses that come with an extra D-Ring at the front near the chest. This is excellent for powerful dogs that pull on their lead as it utilises leverage to give you more control. A double-ended lead should be used with one end clipped to the chest, the other to the back for best results.
Tellington Touch Harnesses are available via the Tilley Farm website.