How to Put on a Dog Harness? Step-by-step Guide

Last Updated on January 6, 2022 Ashley Camelia

It may be that instead of putting your dog in the classic collar you prefer to put on a harness for when you go for a walk. It is also possible that before this change you are not sure how to put on a dog harness step by step correctly.

This may be because, although it seems an unimportant thing, the fact of placing the harness badly on your dog can harm you. This is because positioning yourself is not as easy as it seems, especially if you have your restless dog hovering around you.

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Dog Harness: Why Choose Them?

If you find it difficult to put the collar on some dogs because of how unruly they are, imagine putting on a harness. Of course, the control offered by the harness on the body of the dog is much better than a collar, so the effort will be worth it. 

Sometimes, with the traditional collar dogs can injure their neck if they tend to be stretching while walking.

Dog harnesses are available at all animal stores, so they are very easy to get. So if you doubt between a collar and harness for your dog is, you don’t have to worry.

There are different materials, different colors but, most importantly, and what you have to look for the most, is the size of them. Since, leaving aesthetics aside, the most important thing is that you buy a harness that suits the size of the dog. 

A good idea will be to take the dog with you when you go to buy it, so you can try it at the moment. 

If you have doubts, let yourself be advised by the professionals at the animal shop that will surely guide you on why and how to choose the harness for your dog. 

Once you have the harness for your dog, it’s time to put it on. To do this you must know that there are two levels of difficulty depending on whether your dog is calm or nervous. 


How to Put on a Dog Harness? Step-by-step Procedure

  1. The first step is to understand how the harness itself works. Take your time and see how it closes and where it has the strap ring. It is about identifying all its parts and what function each one has so that when it comes to putting it on the dog everything goes more smoothly.
  2. Before putting on the harness you must prepare your dog. How can you do it? Show him the harness as a presentation, smell it and get used to it. Because if you try to put it on, your dog could be scared and refuse to use it for a long time. When you see that your dog gets used to the harness it means that you can now move on to the next step.
  3. Put the harness on your dog. To do this, you must follow a process that we will separate into three parts: 
    • Place yourself in front of the dog because you will always put the harness in front, from front to back. If you see that your dog becomes nervous and wants to leave or starts to move a lot, stand up to hold the dog between your legs, so it will not move. It’s not about squeezing, you just have to get him to stay still. 
    • Put the harness leaving the circular part on the neck and the ring on his back. That ring is where you will hook the strap. Now you have to put the dog’s front legs for the holes that remain in the bottom. And it only remains to fasten it. 
    • Adjust the harness if you think it is too loose or too tight because if the dog feels that it loses it will try to escape from it and if it is too tight it will be too uncomfortable to walk.

If you have always walked with your dog wearing a collar but it may be difficult to adapt a little to the harness, but it only needs some time. 

The steps to put a harness on a dog that we have explained in this article refer to a basic harness, but if your dog needs a special harness you might need to make small changes, although, in the end, the mechanism is always the same. It might be more difficult if your dog is accustomed to walking without a leash, but over time everything is solved.

Nor does it matter much if your dog size is larger or smaller, you can serve the same steps. In the end, the most important thing is to find a harness of a dog’s size so that it adapts well to the body. 

Now that you know how to put the harness on your dog, it’s time to put it into practice. Follow these tips and enjoy daily games and walk with your pet every day. 


How to Choose the Right Harness Size?

For most harnesses, especially those sold on the Internet, a size guide is often proposed based on your dog’s measurements.

But again, we recommend that you read customer reviews for possible performance in inappropriate sizes.

Buying a harness for your dog on the Internet is a bit about how to buy shoes online, you are never safe from a brand that is larger or smaller than normal.

But there is no panic, for many harnesses, there are several set points and, therefore, flexibility in terms of size.

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Then it will be enough for you to choose a size range for which your dog corresponds.

Finally, to finish, we recommend that you choose a harness with several adjustment points, but with a minimum of fastening points so as not to have to tie the harness.

In addition, choose a harness with an easy feeling to put on, and sometimes we find a harness on our hands without knowing how to put the dog harness on step by step.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Which is better, a harness or a dog collar?

Before making a decision, the main thing is to evaluate which of the two options is the most beneficial for the dog, the least harmful, and the safest at the time of the walk. Starting with the necklace, this product has more antiquity and is better known to all; However, today its functionality is being questioned and, above all, if it is good enough or not, for animals.

Many people advised by their veterinarians have stopped using the collar on their pets. This is mainly due to the fact that the collar is located on the neck of the animal, a region that houses very important structures, which in case of injury, will cause great pain to the dog.

Among the possible injuries, we have contractures, neurological conditions due to the pressure of the vessels and nerves, an impingement in the medulla, chronic cough caused by the pressure of the trachea, etc. This happens especially when the animal pulls on the leash.

The harness, on the other hand, is less harmful than the collar, since it prevents damage or physical injury by not being in contact with sensitive and delicate areas and, in addition, the force is not centralized in the neck, but in the whole body of the dog.


Q2: What benefits does a harness for dogs with dysplasia or disabled offer?

Hip dysplasia in dogs is a condition that limits their mobility, usually occurs in older dogs; so it is necessary to help them walk with a harness since as long as the animal remains immobile, their disease could wreak havoc. With a harness designed especially for them, you can enjoy greater stability, support, and safety, so your quality of life is greatly improved.

In conditions of dysplasia, when the walking dog carries the weight of its body, which ends up harming it. For this reason, he stops exercising, fleeing from pain and his body will gradually suffer more. With the harness for dysplasia, the dog moves again without feeling pressure and its muscles are strengthened without being forced.

This product has as the main objective, to provide support to the dog since the harness is passed under the animal, specifically under its hips and the owner holds a large part of the load, thanks to the support and the handles with which it has. In this way, the dog will feel lighter and can recover its mobility and agility.


Q3: How to take a dog’s measurements to make a harness?

To make a harness for your pet, you must choose a design, prepare the material and take the dog’s measurements; the idea is that it is perfect, neither too big nor too tight, and above all, that it is as comfortable as possible, that it does not touch it and that it does not limit its natural movements either.

In this sense, the first thing you should do is get a tape measure and with the help of another person, since many times the animal does not stand still, take the necessary measures so that the harness is the most appropriate according to its texture and size.

The measurements are as follows: the diameter of the neck, the diameter of the chest just behind its front legs, and the distance between the pectoral area and the neck. Likewise, it also measures the widest part of your chest, which is usually behind your armpits. You should make sure you don’t take the measurements with the tape measure too tight, the harness should be tight, but not tight; which could cause discomfort to the animal. 


Q4: Since when can a dog harness be used?

Actually, there is no age indicated for the dog to start using a harness, however, it should be kept in mind that a puppy must be more than a couple of months old. In addition, it will depend largely on the size of your pet and the way your pet is used to since the first approach to a leash or harness of your puppy should be very nice and nothing stressful for the animal. It is also advisable to wait until the puppy’s skin has matured a little before placing any type of accessories.


Q5: How to place the car dog harness?

First of all, you have to know the model you have. Generally, these car dog harnesses are made up of two parts, the harness and a leash that joins the seat belt. First, you should place the harness on your pet, introducing the front legs through the holes that the harness has. The hind legs are left free, while the neck area should be loose enough so that it does not hang the dog. When your pet is wearing the harness, the leash is attached to the car’s seat belt according to the model, so that the pet is secured.


Q6: How does an anti-scratch dog harness work?

Taking into account that each dog is not the same and that some may present problems because they are more delicate in terms of their skin. It is preferable to choose a special anti-scratch harness, which has a design where the elastic band that passes through the chest of your pet is made of a much more comfortable material such as polyester. So, it is much softer and more flexible, to avoid friction and uncomfortable chafing of your dog.


Q7: What advantage does an approved dog harness have?

An approved dog harness will guarantee that the product has been tested and has passed all the certificates of quality and ergonomics that this type of product must go through to guarantee the well-being of our pets. Therefore, always take care that the harness you choose for your pet has an approval certificate that guarantees its quality.


Q8: What is a dog harness for not pulling?

Choosing a dog harness with the anti-pull system is one of the best solutions when it comes to wanting to avoid the risks associated with the use of collars. Which are much more aggressive. The anti-pull harnesses allow you to quickly regain control over your pet, guide it efficiently along the way and, most importantly, teach your pet to walk without having to pull hard and avoid drowning.