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Best Dog Harness For Your Labrador – Finding the Right Type and Fit

Finding the best harness for your dog

There are many different kinds of dog harnesses, and each type of harness will have a slightly different style and fit making it not easy to find the best harness for your dog. In general, a dog harness should fit snug, but not too tight.

It should be tight enough that your dog can’t back out of it, and the ring (that you clip the leash to) should sit higher on their chest. Just like with a collar, you should be able to fit two fingers (but only two!) between the harness and your dog.

The front clip harness is most often the choice for larger dog owners going through training. They are told to use a double-ended leash. Attach one end to the front of the harness and one end to the back of the harness. The idea is that you can off-balance the dog if they become difficult to manage. There is also this idea of opposition reflex , which is the instinct to push or pull against something which is pushing or pulling. So, by having two points of control, you stand more of a chance of guiding your dog to the wanted behavior. Other owners like the idea of having two contact points with their dog for safety. Front clip harnesses come in a range of designs, standard, step-in and overhead. You would fit this harness specific to the design.

The overhead harness often comes in a range of designs, so if you want  to find the best dog harness so your dog can strutting the latest fashion, you’ve got more chance of finding a nifty pattern in this harness. Overhead harnesses often have more padding across the body too, so are often preferred for comfort. When buying an overhead harness, you would need to measure your dog’s girth and neck to match the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Like the name suggests, your dog puts his head through the neck hole, and you secure the harness by clips on the girth strap. These too have adjustable straps so ensure you alter them to fit your dog and again ensure you can fit two fingers between your dog and the harness at any point. If you are planning on taking your dog near water, the over-head harness is a similar design to most life jackets, so by introducing your dog to this design you stand more of a chance of them accepting a life jacket at a later stage.

Some designs have a V shape padding across the chest, some will have a straight strap across the chest.  Some simply have a girth strap; and some will have padding on the back with additional grab handles. These are popular with large breeds or those less-mobile dogs if you need to help them up steps or in and out of vehicles.

Over-the-head harnesses are much simpler. This is the type that I personally prefer, as it is easier for me and my dog, and during my extensive search for the best dog harness,  I found that majority of other pet owners prefer this one as well, unsurprisingly.

How do you put on your Labrador’s harness

Before we dig into how do I put on a dog harness, let us first know the various types of dog harness. Yes, its not as simple as you thought. When you search for the best dog harness online, you will notice that there are several types. Standard dog harness – There are standard dog harness designs that fasten at the back of your dogs neck while some fasten around the girth. These straps are usually adjustable and made of nylon. They come in various colors and have a D ring to attach the leash, and it usually sits on their back.  Step-in dog harness – The step-in harness is perfect for dogs who are a little circumspect of over-head harnesses. This type of harness has holes for the paws, and then the clips fasten over the shoulders. It can be a little more complicated to get this one the right way around. Because they come with adjustable straps, you should fit them to their chest and over their shoulders.

Labrador Retriever Dog Harness

Front clip dog harness – This type of harness is the most common choice for larger dogs going through training. Owners are told to use a double-ended leash – one attached to the front and one at the back of the harness. The idea for this is that you can off-balance your dog if they become too difficult to manage.

This is also good if you’re practicing the idea of opposition reflex on your dog, which is an instinct to push or pull against something doing the opposite. By having these two points for control, you stand more chance of guiding your dog to your wanted behavior.

Overhead harness. If you want your dog to strut the latest dog fashion, then an overhead harness is the perfect choice. They often come in a range of colorful designs and nifty patterns. Overhead harness also come with more padding across the body, which dog owners prefer for comfort.

Make sure to measure your dogs girth and neck first before buying, so you can get the perfect fit for your furry buddy. How do I put on a dog harness using this design, you ask? As its name suggests, your dog puts his head through the neck hole while you secure the harness by clips on the girth strap. They have adjustable straps so you can ensure they fit your dog. To make sure it is comfortable, fit your two fingers between your dog and the harness at any point. This harness is popular with large breeds or those less-mobile dogs if you want to guide them step in and out of vehicles. Note: These types of harness will also depend on several factors like their health, disposition, and temperament.

Dog harnesses are much safer than traditional collars, and they are more comfortable for dogs, too. A harness is also a great tool for leash training a dog. They come in different styles with features for training, security, better control, car travel and more. No matter which type of dog harness you buy, it needs to be fitted properly on your dog. Knowing which harness is best for your dog, and then how to put a harness on your dog are the first two crucial steps if you’re just starting with this product.

There are two common types of traditional walking harnesses for dogs. You can also buy a no-pull harness that’s slightly safer for dogs that pull on leashes. They’re all very similar but have enough differences to present complications for dog owners trying to correctly measure them, put them on and then walk dogs with them. Harnesses are effective because they put pressure on a certain area of a dogs body, like the snout, chest or hind legs.

While they are indeed safer than collars, if you don’t fit a dog harness properly, even the best of dog harnesses could hurt your dog, especially a strong puller. For the purpose of this article, I focused on two most common types of harnesses: over-the-head dog harness and step-into dog harness. They are both used for walking dogs on a leash, and they perform the exact same function but the way you put them on a dog differs.

Check the harness. The first thing you’ll need to do is check to see if your dogs harness is marked for right and left side. Some aren’t, but if yours is then you’ll need to make sure each leg gets in the proper hole. Prepare it. When learning how to put on a dog harness, the easiest thing to do is just lie the harness flat on the ground like you see in the below photo. Work with your dog.

Walk your pooch over to the harness and place each paw in the holes so the dog is standing directly over the harness like in the above photo. Put it on. Once there, pull it up and around the dogs chest, and buckle it over your pets back or on the side (depending on the type of dog harness that you have). And you’re done! This is the simplest, quickest and easiest way to put a harness on a dog if you’re using a step-over type. However, many dog owners find it difficult to make their pets cooperate during this process, which is why an over-the-head harness may be easier.

Make sure the harness fits your dog

Whichever dog harness you choose, ensure you measure your dog to get the correct fit. Introduce the harness slowly, with plenty of rewards and encouragement. Be patient and remember, a harness is simply a tool in your pet-parent journey. It’s not a magic fix for pulling! Let us know if you use a dog harness in the comments below. If the dog harness is too loose, your pet could slip out of it. If its too tight, the dog could experience chaffing or the harness could cut into his skin. A pet harness that is too tight could also restrict your dogs range of motion, making it painful for him to walk.

Depending on the type and style of harness that you purchase, there may be 2, 4, 6 or even more adjusting points. These adjusting points work with a sliding buckle, just like traditional dog collars. Simply slide the material through the buckle and pull tight. As you see in my video above, you’ll need to adjust all of these points; not just one or two. At every adjustment point you’ll need to make sure that the strap is tight. Always check the manufacturers guidelines in case they have specific recommendations for this.

When it comes to harness adjustment, you’ll want it just tight enough so that you can slip two fingers in between the dog harness and your pets body easily. This is the same rule typically applied when fitting a dog collar , and this is crucial for a proper and safe fit. Once all the adjustment points have been individually tightened, check the fit of the entire harness. Try to slide it around. It should NOT slide back and forth across your dogs body or chest. Gently pull the harness towards your dogs head – it should not slide up over the dogs shoulders either.

Once you’ve put on a harness and done your check-ups, then you’re done. The next time will be much easier and simpler after you know all the steps, and your pup is going to be more cooperative, too. Learning how to put on a dog harness is a bit of a process at first, but the good news is that you should only have to do it once. You’ll want to double check the fit every time you secure the harness on your pet, but you shouldn’t have to make adjustments unless your dog grows or gains/loses weight. A harness should be snug, but you should be able to fit two fingers between your dog and the harness at any point.

When adjusting the dog harness, consider the following fit factors: The harness should fit snugly, comfortably, and well. The harness should go around each of the front legs. The straps shouldn’t be twisted or improperly secured. Should I Throw Out  My Dog’s Collar? For the most part, your dog harness won’t actually replace your dog’s collar. In fact, for most of the harnesses your dog will be able to wear their collar as well just fine. The harness is used for a few things: training, comfort, identification, and walking.

Unless you’ve been noticing severe discomfort when your dog wears a collar, the harness is something that’ll come on and off rather than be permanent. Knowing how to put it on brings with it just as much knowledge why you need one in the first place. You might need it for training your puppy to walk beside you. Teaching him to behave himself, or to teach him a trick or two. If a collar agitates your friend, the harness may be the perfect alternative. Chances are, if you’ve met a service dog, you can see why they wear harnesses and vests.

A dog harness has many advantages that a collar doesn’t have. You may simply not need one. If your dog is well-trained, happy, and comfortable in the clothing they have now, then why fix what isn’t broken? So, keep that collar on hand if you decide that getting a dog harness is for you. You might need it, just in case.

How to Measure for the Best Dog Harness

Making sure that you get the proper fit is crucial, so you’ll need to measure your dog. The exact measurements you need depend on the type of harness you purchase. You should always check the manufacturer’s guidelines for how best to measure your dog. However, generally, you need to know your dog’s weight so that the support sling can safely support their weight.

The length of your dog’s torso from the joint on the front legs to the joint on the back legs can also be relevant. This prevents you from buying a sling that is too wide and which might rub in these delicate areas. You may also need to know the circumference of your dog’s torso. This to ensure that the sling you buy fits around them securely but is not too tight. Your dog’s height is required to ensure the handles are at the right height for you to lift and support your dog.

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