How to Put on a Dog Harness the Right Way

how to put on a dog harness

When it comes to how to put on a dog harness, this is an important step in ensuring their safety and comfort during walks or outdoor activities. However, it can also be a bit tricky, especially if you’re not used to doing it. In this blog, we’ll outline some easy steps that will help you put on a dog harness the right way, differences between using a dog harness and dog collar, and mistakes that pet parents can make while using a dog harness and how to prevent these mistakes.

Choose the Right Harness

Dog leash

Before putting on a harness, you need to make sure you have the right one for your dog’s size and breed. A good harness should fit well, be comfortable, and not restrict your dog’s movement. There are several types of harnesses, including back-clip harness, front-clip dog harness, and no-pull harness, or a step-in harness, each with their own benefits. Consider your dog’s personality and behavior before deciding on the type of harness you will use.

Familiarize Your Dog with the Harness

Dog chewing his paw

Introducing a new dog harness to your dog needs to be taken slowly. You need to let your dog get used to the harness before putting it on. Allow your dog to sniff it and play with it to get familiar with it. Once your dog is comfortable with the harness, you can start the next steps and pull it over your dog’s head and let your dog’s legs step in the harness.

Fastening the Harness

With the dog harness in hand, offer it to your dog, letting them sniff it again. Next, place the harness over your dog’s head and position it around their torso, making sure that the straps lay flat. Allow your dog time to step in the harness. Take the two metal rings of the harness on your dog’s back, and connect them through the buckle unless your using a front clip harness. Make sure the harness is snug enough to avoid twists or slips, but not too tight to restrict movement. You should be able to put two fingers comfortably between your dog’s skin and the harness’s straps.

Adjust the Harness

After fastening the harness, step back and observe if it fits your dog appropriately. Adjust as needed for a comfortable fit, without being too loose or too tight. Take care when adjusting the harness that you don’t accidentally twist or knot any straps. Ensure that the fit is snug enough to avoid falling off but not too loose near the dog’s head that your dog can slip out of it.

Test the Harness

Once you’re done fastening and adjusting the harness, you can do a little test. Gently pull the harness’s leash attachment and observe if the harness straps are tight enough without being too restrictive. Walk your dog around and see how they respond. If everything fits comfortably, great! If not, adjust the straps and fasten the harness again. Putting on a standard dog harness, front clip harnesses, overhead harness, step in harness, or any of the many types of harnesses the right way might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

With the right type of harness, introducing it to your dog patiently, and proper adjustment, your dog will be comfortable and safe in their new harness in no time. Don’t forget to take the time to ensure a comfortable fit for your dog, and test the harness before going for your first outing together. Happy walking!

Dog Collar Vs Harness: Which One Should You Choose?

Deciding between a dog collar and a dog harness can be a confusing choice for any pet owner. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the decision ultimately depends on the specific needs of your furry friend. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each option to help you make an informed decision.

Dog Collar Pros and Cons:

Collars are by far the most common choice for pet owners. They are easy to use and come in a wide range of styles, sizes and materials. However, they can cause discomfort and even injury to some dogs, especially if they have respiratory problems or are prone to pulling.

Additionally, if your dog has a tendency to escape or is aggressive towards other dogs, a collar might not be the safest choice.

Dog with collar on

Dog Harness Pros and Cons:

Harnesses are a great alternative to collars, especially for dogs that pull or are prone to respiratory problems. They distribute the pressure across a larger area of the body, reducing the risk of injury and discomfort. Some harnesses even come with a front clip that can discourage pulling where the leash attaches. However, harnesses can be more difficult to put on and might take some time for your dog to get used to. They also tend to be more expensive than collars, especially if you opt for a high-quality, no-pull harness.

Choosing the Right Option:

When it comes to choosing between a dog collar and harness, there is no right or wrong answer. It ultimately depends on the specific needs, size, and breed of your dog. If your dog is prone to respiratory problems or your dog pulls, a harness might be the best choice for you. On the other hand, if your dog is well-behaved and doesn’t require too much control, you could opt for a collar or a fashion dog harness.

Other Considerations:

Aside from the needs of your dog, there are a few other factors to consider when choosing between a collar and a harness. For example, will you be walking your dog on a leash or allowing it to roam free? Will you be using the collar or harness for training purposes? Are you worried about your dog’s safety around other dogs? These questions can help guide you towards the best option for your furry friend.

In conclusion, both dog collars and harnesses have their advantages and disadvantages. The decision ultimately depends on the specific needs and personality of your pet. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to ensure that the collar or harness fits properly and doesn’t cause discomfort or injury. Ultimately, the most important thing is that your furry friend is comfortable, happy and safe.

Common Mistakes Pet Owners Make When Using Dog Harnesses

Harnesses are a popular accessory for dogs of all sizes and breeds. Not only do they provide more control over your dog during walks, but they also eliminate the strain on their neck and back that can often occur with traditional collars. However, despite their many benefits, many pet owners make simple mistakes that can detract from the effectiveness of a harness. Below, we’ll discuss the most common mistakes pet owners make when using dog harnesses and how to avoid them.

Choosing The Wrong Size

Doberman and Yorkie

Proper sizing is the key to ensuring your dog’s harness is both comfortable and secure. Many pet owners mistakenly choose a harness that’s too small, which can result in chaffing, rubbing, or even difficulty breathing. Alternatively, a harness that’s too big can easily slip off or become caught on objects. To find the right size, measure your dog’s chest at the widest point and choose a harness that fits snugly but not too tightly.

Incorrectly Fitting the Harness

Once you’ve chosen the correct size, it’s important to ensure you’re fitting the harness correctly. Many pet owners fail to adjust the harness to their dog’s specific placement of the legs, making it easy for the harness to slip or move around. Make sure the straps are adjusted so that they rest on the dog’s chest and back. Also, ensure that the straps are straight so that they don’t rub against the skin.

Not Using the Harness Correctly

Some owners use the harness in a way that can actually do more harm than good. For example, it is important never to pull your dog using the harness. Not only can this cause damage to your pet’s throat, but it can also promote pulling behavior. Additionally, some pet owners attach the leash to the front of the harness when it should instead be clipped to the top.

Neglecting to Regularly Check the Fit

Dog with Harness Sitting Outside

As your dog grows or gains/ loses weight, it’s essential to re-check the fit of their harness. A harness that was once perfectly snug may be too loose or too tight if your pet has changed size. Regularly inspect the harness for signs of wear and tear which can cause a malfunction and result in accidents. Check that straps, buckles and connectors, are in good condition and make sure they are not frayed or damaged before leaving with your dog.

Not Providing The Dog With a Break

Dog on Laptop

Finally, many pet owners keep their dog in a harness all day long, even when they don’t have to. Allowing your dog to spend time without a harness on is not only more comfortable for them but can also prevent the occurrence of wounds, rashes, and open sores. By leaving the harness on for too long and continuously, irritation and rubbing of the skin can occur. So it’s essential to remember the safety and hygiene of your dog by giving them enough break time.

Choosing and using a dog harness can be simple as long as you keep in mind the above mistakes pet owners make when using dog harnesses. The take-away is to ensure choosing the right size and fit, using it correctly, checking for fit and function and finally, giving your dog a break, especially from rubbing, which can likely occur with prolonged harness use. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can help keep your dog comfortable and secure, while also preventing injury and strain. Enjoy walking your dog with ease and confidence knowing they’re safe and comfortable in their harness.

Dog giving owner high five

If you have any questions or concerns about what type of harness/ collar is best for your furry friend, give Ruff House Dog Training a Call and we will help you pick the best fit! If a harness is not enough to hold your pup back, we also offer dog training to ensure a happy walk for you and your dog!

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