A dog harness is a perfect accessory for your furry friends especially when they have high energy levels and are prone to pulling. Not only good quality harnesses are harder to escape but they also help in alleviating the back pain. They make walks more comfortable and secure for both of you. 

So, if you are first-time pet owner or are just planning to buy a harness, this brief guide is for you. From picking the right harness style and size for your dog to how to put a harness on a dog, our goal is to set you and your dog up for safe, stress-free walks.

3 Types of Dog Harnesses

There are three main types of dog harnesses:

1. Collar-Attach Harnesses

Collar-attach harnesses fasten around your dog's collar, usually with a loop that goes around the collar and then straps that go around your dog's chest and belly. These harnesses attach the leash to the loop around the collar. They are one of the most basic harness styles.

Collar-attach harnesses are easy to put on and take off. However, they don't distribute pressure as evenly as other harness types. The collar can still put pressure on your dog's neck and throat when pulling on the leash.

2. Back-Attach Harnesses 

Back-attach harnesses have a leash attachment on your dog's back, usually between their shoulder blades. This harness style includes straps that go around your dog's chest and belly.

Back-attach harnesses evenly distribute pressure across your dog's chest and shoulders when they pull on a leash. They help reduce pressure on your dog's neck and trachea compared to collars or collar-attach harnesses.

3. Front-Attach Harnesses

Front-attach harnesses have a leash attachment on your dog's chest. They include straps around the chest and belly like other harness styles. 

Front-attach harnesses turn your dog around toward you if they pull on a leash, helping deter pulling. The front leash attachment helps steer and control your dog. These harnesses evenly distribute pressure across the chest and shoulders.

How to Put on a Dog Harness?

Putting on a dog harness correctly ensures your dog's comfort and safety during walks. 

Start by making sure all straps are threaded properly through the correct buckles and tightened so the harness fits snugly but not too tight. Double-check that everything is secured before attaching the leash.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to put a harness:

1. Hold the harness in front of your dog

The harness should face the same direction as your dog, with the chest strap in front. Make sure you are holding the correct side - the buckles and adjustments should be on top.

2. Slip your dog's head through the neck hole 

Keep the harness loose while putting your dog's head through so it doesn't catch on their ears. 

3. Pull the chest strap under your dog's armpits

Make sure the chest strap is centered on their chest, between their front legs.

4. Fasten the belly strap below your dog's belly

Connect the belly strap under your dog's belly and cinch it to fit snugly. Make sure you don't pull it too tight.

5. Adjust the harness to fit your dog 

Use the straps and buckles to adjust the harness so it's snug but not too tight on your dog. You should be able to fit two fingers between the harness and your dog's body. The harness should not dig into your dog's skin or rub uncomfortably anywhere. You should be able to fit two fingers between the harness straps and your dog's body. Adjust the straps as needed to get the right fit. 

6. Attach the leash and go for a walk!

Clip the leash to the ring on the back of the harness, not on the dog's collar. Pulling on a collar can cause trachea damage but the harness disperses pressure across the chest and shoulders. Make sure the leash attachment closes securely.

How to Choose a Dog Harness?

Choosing the right dog harness for your pup is important for their comfort and safety. Here are some tips on selecting the best harness for your dog:

1. Consider your dog's size and age

Make sure to get a harness that properly fits your dog's measurements. Puppies grow quickly so size up if your dog is still young. Measure your dog around their chest and neck to determine the right size harness.

2. Factor in any health issues

If your dog has any mobility, joint, or breathing issues, look for a harness that doesn't put pressure on sensitive areas. Some harnesses are specifically designed for dogs with health conditions.

3. Think about your dog's leash training status

For dogs still learning to walk on a leash, a front clip harness that steers them back towards you when they pull can be useful. Very obedient dogs can use a basic back clip harness.

4. Get a lightweight but sturdy harness

Look for durable harness materials like nylon or leather. Make sure hardware like buckles and rings are high quality. The harness should be comfortable for long wear.

5. Consider special features

Padded harnesses can be more comfortable. Reflective strips help visibility at night. No-pull designs discourage leash pulling. Think about features that suit your needs.

Common Problems with Dog Harnesses

Using a harness for your dog can take some getting used to, both for you and your pup. Here are some of the common problems owners run into with dog harnesses:

1. Rubbing

One issue that can occur is rubbing or chafing from the harness straps. This tends to happen most often in areas where there is little fur coverage, like the armpits, chest, and belly. 

To prevent rubbing, make sure to choose a harness that fits properly and snugly without excess slack. You may need to test a few sizes to find the right fit. Adjustable straps can also help get a more customized fit.

Check for any reddened areas after walks and consider using a specially designed anti-chafe balm or spray. Having your dog wear a light shirt can also help create a barrier between the straps and skin.

2. Escaping

Some dogs are proficient escape artists and can manage to wriggle out of their harnesses. This is especially common with harnesses that just clip around the back rather than having straps that fully encircle the torso.

To deter escape, opt for a harness with more adjustment points and tighter fastenings. Proper sizing is also key. Make sure to test the harness at home for any possible weak points before relying on it outside.

You can also try a harness with a double clip attachment for added security. And be sure to keep an eye on your dog when first using a new harness to ensure he can't back out of it.

3. Refusal to Walk

In rare cases, some dogs may refuse to move or walk when wearing a harness, especially if they are unfamiliar with the feeling. The pressure of the harness may cause discomfort or uncertainty.

To encourage your dog to walk in a harness, let him sniff and investigate it first while stationary. Provide treats for any interaction with the harness. Then have him wear the harness for short periods inside before venturing outdoors. Move slowly with positive reinforcement until your dog seems comfortable walking.


Whether it is for Great Danes or the French Bulldogs consider your dog's size, age, and temperament when selecting a harness. Harnesses come in a variety of styles, like front clip, back clip, and no pull, each with their own benefits. Take the time to introduce your dog to the harness and reward them for wearing it. With patience and positive reinforcement, your dog can learn to love their harness.

Essential Dog Harnesses for Style and Comfort

At Koston, we offer a wide selection of high-quality dog harnesses in many styles and sizes. Our harnesses are designed for comfort, safety, and ofcourse style. We're confident you'll be able to find the perfect harness to make walks with your dog hassle-free. Browse our collection of dog harnesses today to get started on training your dog the right way. 

For matching the look, checkout our walk kit that inclused a matching leash as well!

April 27, 2024

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