What harnesses do we recommend?
During our walks I always recommend using a harness, but I have also seen some awful harnesses! There has recently been a massive increase of "fashion" harnesses - these are usually soft or mesh harnesses that have different patterns on them which may look great but are not always great fits and dogs can slip out of them really easily.
Many people also explain to me that their dogs walk better on a collar instead of a harness. I totally agree! Walking down the road to the shops with your dog they probably walk a lot better and you generally get less pull on a collar. However we do not do lead walking on our walks, our walks are off lead group walks that are enjoyed in the park. We transport the dogs to and from the park via car and some dogs need to be strapped in which we like to do with their harnesses - this is so they do not get pulled by their neck if we have to come to a sharp stop. We then walk the dogs from the car to park via their harnesses and this is where I have had some issues with dogs backing up and slipping their harnesses, I have also seen legs come out of designated holes, sometimes the clips have come undone whilst they are running around! I also sometimes use longlines when needed which requires a harness. So I thought it would be good to do a post on what harnesses we personally have found to be great and some we would choose to avoid.
Ezy Dog Harness - This is hands down the best harness I have come across! This is a chest plate harness and we use this for Nala, she is very anxious at times and has wriggled her way out of many things to escape but not this harness! Its probably one of the best things we have bought for her. The only bad thing I can say about this harness is that the straps under the armpits fold so it could potentially rub the dogs though I have not had this problem with Nala myself.
True Love Harness - A few of my clients use this harness for their dogs, It is a good harness if it is the right size and altered correctly to your dogs body but it can bunch up a little on the chest I think due to the material and it being a little tough. I like this harness as it has got a front clip and a back clip which means you can have more control over your dog when walking with lead on the harness. It is also sturdy enough to hold a longline if needed and does not seem uncomfortable for your dog to wear.
Halti No Pull Harness - I get asked about this harness from time to time as Halti is a well known brand and I do like and use often their leads. I have never actually used this harness myself, though I have seen it and it looks as if would be secure enough for your dog to not get out of it - I cant say I would recommend it due to never using it myself.
Julius K9 Harness - This harness was a harness I loved years ago, I always thought it was the harness I would get for my dog - I loved that it could have either their name or "friendly" or "nervous" printed on the side. It seemed like a great harness & design overall as well as very easy for us owners to put on. However my opinions on this harness have drastically changed, I have found that unless this harness is well fitted it can be awful! I have some dogs that wear it and it fits great around them but I have also walked dogs that have backed out of this harness, slipped out of this harness and overall I think that its an overrated harness. Your dogs leg should never be able to fit in the head hole the same time as the head, yes I have seen this happen! I am unsure if these harnesses were not fitted well to the dog itself or if potentially this harness is just not great for all breeds as every dog has a different build. If you were to buy this harness I would say make sure you measure it correctly and if you have any doubt when your dog tries it on then send it back! Also this can be restricting when they are walking as the strap goes across their chest and top of their legs so not all dogs walk very well with this harness.
Perfect Fit Harness - I believe with this harness you can buy a different part for the harness for when your dog grows so your not replacing the whole harness, though I may be wrong. This harness so far from what I have seen has been a perfect fit for many of my dogs! They are a soft fleece like fabric no chest plate but same layout as the Ezy Dog harness. I love this harness and have not seen any faults with it as of yet, if I was to get another harness for Nala it would be this one.
Mesh/Soft Harnesses - Many people get these for their dogs, from pet boutique online shops a lot of them being small business and I am all for supporting small businesses! Many of theses harnesses I am sure are ok, I have seen a couple that are ok though I have never caught the brand. However some of these harnesses are not great for everyday use and possibly better for special occasions. Some pros are that they are very easy to clean, easy to put on, they usually come with matching leads or collars. They are very cute but I do myself see them as high street fashion purchases for dogs. I find that these are not so great for all breeds and again sizing can be bad which causes dogs to slip out of them at times. I would not say do not buy these because I do think a lot of small businesses will do the most to fix any current issues with their designs and I think if they get enough comments on fittings that hopefully they will see what needs to be changed to make the better harness. I would say if it does not feel sturdy on your dog, do not send them to your dog walker wearing one as we love a sturdy harness (all about safety), it could potentially get muddy and to maybe save it for some insta-pics instead!