Finding the Perfect Harness for Big Dogs and Heavy Pullers

Does your bulldog or other big dog try to yank your arm out every time you go for a walk? While you may decide to work with a professional dog trainer, all dog training is about having useful tools, and a harness is just that - a tool. Harnesses can help you control your dog, even if they pull, and prevent them from choking.

But how do you find the best harness for your pup? Here are our top tips.

Why Should You Walk Your Big Dog on a Harness?

You may be wondering why you should walk your big dog or heavy puller on a harness rather than a standard collar and leash. There are two main reasons: harnesses help manage pulling and help prevent choking when your dog does pull.

Helps Manage Pulling

Dogs’ necks are extremely strong, giving them excellent leverage when they want to drag you around if you are using a leash attached to their collar. On the other hand, clipping a leash to the front of a harness naturally pulls your dog’s body to one side, making it harder for them to pull.

Helps Prevent Breathing Problems or Choking

Bulldogs, other flat-faced breeds, and some other dogs may start to choke or suffer breathing problems if they pull on a leash when wearing a collar. Harnesses disperse the stress away from your pup’s neck and into their body, where it won’t affect their breathing if they pull.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Harness

Whether you’re looking for a rugged adventure harness, a no-pull harness, or a mobility aid, the harness should fit your dog comfortably and not put pressure on their neck or throat. Other things you should consider include:

  • Comfort. Although some dogs may take a while to adjust to a harness, they shouldn’t hate wearing one once they’re used to it. Make sure the harness isn’t too tight around their “armpits,” neck, or anywhere else.

  • Durability and safety. The harness should be able to withstand consistent use and have secure closures.

  • Utility. Different activities require different types of harnesses. Be sure to choose the right one for your needs.

Measuring Your Dog for a Harness

Whether you have a roly-poly Bulldog or a rail-thin Greyhound, you should measure your dog before buying a harness rather than simply eyeballing it and going, “Yeah, I think that will work.” These are the 3 measurements you’ll need to take to get the best-fitting harness for your pup:

  • Neck girth is the circumference of your dog’s neck, measured where the collar hits. Place one end of the tape measure at the nape of your dog’s neck, just above the shoulders, then wrap it around the neck, making sure you can comfortably insert 2 fingers between the measuring tape and your pup’s neck.

  • Chest girth is the circumference of your dog’s chest. Find the widest part of your dog’s rib cage - typically right behind their front legs - and wrap the tape measure around your dog there.

  • Body length is measured from the base of your dog’s neck to the base of their tail.

Now that you’ve measured your pup, check out our ultra-soft cushioned harness!