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The Best Ways to Put Harness on a Dog

The Best Ways to Put Harness on a Dog

Even the most well-behaved dog can benefit from a proper fitting harness. When you take your dog out for a walk or bring him with you to public places, safety is paramount. A harness effectively keeps your pet and the people around you safe, without being as constrictive as a collar and leash. A proper harness allows you better control of your dog’s movements without putting too much pressure on his neck. The question is how to put on a dog harness?


The first step on how to fit a dog harness correctly is to know what type of harness you’re using. Different types of dog harnesses include the standard harness, the step-in dog harness, and the front-clip dog harness. To ensure that a harness is worn properly, you must know how to position, secure, and adjust the type of harness you’re using. Harnesses also come in varying sizes so it’s also essential that you take extra care to choose the right fit for your canine buddy.


Standard Dog Harness: How to Put On

A standard dog harness or an overhead harness comes with loops around the neck and ribs, and a D-ring at the back where you clip the leash. Follow the steps to properly put on the standard harness on your dog.


1. Unbuckle the harness and place it on the ground. Squat or sit behind your dog, putting him in a sitting or standing position. If your dog is in an excited state, wait until he settles down before you put on the harness.

2. Slip the harness over his head, ensuring that the D-ring lays on his back. Put on the wider loop (the loop with the buckle) and then the narrower loop after.

3. Guide your dog’s leg through the first leg hole, ending up in between the loop that goes around the ribs and the loop that goes around the neck.

4. Buckle the harness. Your dog’s other leg should fit right into the proper leg hole. You might need to loosen the strap if you’re unable to reach and close the buckle.

5. After the harness is buckled, make adjustments to ensure that the fit is snug and comfortable.



Step-In Dog Harness: How to Put on a Harness for Dog

Another type of harness is the step-in dog harness, which is similar to the standard one except it forms triangles around your dog’s legs instead of rectangles. A popular example of a step-in design is the Easy Walk dog harness. How to put on a step-in harness:


1. Position the harness on the ground so that the two triangles are laid out flat with the buckles on top of the D-rings.

2. Holding your dog from behind, carefully put is front feet, one on each of the two triangles.

3. Pick up the harness from both ends and fasten together on your dog’s back.

4. Adjust the harness as needed. Make sure it’s secure by gently tugging over your dog’s head.


How to put on a dog harness vest? A step-in dog harness may come with a vest and cover attached. If this is the case, have the outside of the vest facing the floor when you position the harness on the ground.


Front Clip Dog Harness: How to Put On

A front-clip harness features a leash clip that goes over your dog’s chest in front.  A variety of the front-clip harness comes with a single strap across the chest, a loop to go around the ribs, and no divider between the dog’s legs.


1. Have your dog sit or stand still and position yourself to his right side. If your dog has yet to learn “sit” or “stay,” basic dog training techniques would surely come in handy.

2. Place the loop of the harness over his head, with the harness label laying on his left shoulder. The metal ring which connects to the leash should be positioned at the chest center.

3. Fasten the strap under your dog’s belly.

4. Check if the harness is secure by ensuring that you can’t pull it off over your dog’s head. Adjust the straps as needed. You can also follow this diagram

Choosing a Harness for Your Dog

The type of harness you choose would take into consideration a few factors. For instance, larger dogs in training could be easier to manage using harnesses with the clip on the front. Cross-chest harnesses are often recommended for dogs with health problems relating to their neck. If you own a dog who’s nervous or wary, a step-in harness could keep him more secure.


Additional Tips

         Proper fit is important when finding the right dog harness. An overly tight harness can hurt your dog while a harness that’s too loose can cause your dog to escape. Refer to the sizing charts provided by the manufacturer before you buy a harness.


         Some dogs may initially not like wearing harnesses. Don’t give up right away. You can familiarize your dog by having him wear a harness for 5-10 minutes at a time. Offer him treats as a reward when he stays calm while you’re putting the harness on.


         If you own a playful or hyperactive dog, there are harness designs that automatically tighten when the dog pulls or jumps. The steps to putting on this type of harness is basically the same. Just ensure that the loops don’t cause your dog any pain.


         Before you head out with your dog wearing a harness, double check all strap and buckles and ensure that they’re fastened correctly. When you move the harness from side to side, part of your dog’s skin should go with the harness. A snug, comfortable fit would also allow. You to fit two fingers between your dog and the harness. 

Dog harnesses are designed for safety whenever you want to take your dog around the block without hurting him or having him escape. Knowing how to properly put on a dog harness is just a matter of familiarizing yourself with how the different types of harnesses work. With the right fit and proper adjustments, you’re sure to enjoy long and happy training sessions and walks outside with your furry friend.


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