How To Put On A Dog Harness Properly: 3 Ways To Do It
Have you heard of a dog harness? Do you how to put it on your dog? If you say no toany of these questions, then you’re lucky because here in this article I’ll be teachingyou how to put on a dog harness properly.
I have scuffled with a dog harness for years. Each time someone took it off, I wouldstruggle for many minutes trying to determine how to get the harness back on my dog.After so many trials, I have finally mastered this task. If you’re ready, let’s begin.
The Importance of Properly Putting On A Dog Harness
Learning how to properly put on a dog harness is important because it can cause a lot of problems if you don’t. For example, your dog may try to pull against the harness to feel comfortable. You might think that he’s misbehaving but the truth is he’s just trying to relieve the discomfort.
Putting on a harness the wrong way can also impede your dog’s pace and cause tight muscles. This especially happens if your dog tries to change his body movement due to restricted mobility. You don’t want the harness to pull too much to one side either because it can cause structural imbalance.
Poor sizing was the biggest problem I had when I tried the harness on my dog. Once your dog slips out from the loose harness, then you better be on your heels to catch him as you can.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need a dog harness to restrain your dog while you’re walking or playing outside. There are many types of dog harness on the current market. The options may appear like a group of clips and strings, but each type will have a slightly different fit if you look more closely into it. Here are some options you can choose:
- Front Clip Or No-Pull Harness
A front clip or no-pull dog harness has a leash attachment found in front at the center of your dog’s chest. As your dog tries to pull away, the harness will tighten and add pressure. This style encourages your dog to remain close by your side and restrict your dog from pulling too much.
Dog owners often use this type of harness to help reduce the pulling motion of your dog on the leash. Even if there’s no leash attached, your dog won’t feel the weight on his leg especially on the opposite side of where you walked. You also gain better control over the direction where your dog is heading: all thanks to the chest clip.
What I use is the Mighty Paw Sport Harness which is made of neoprene padded lining for comfort. It’s made of reflective material to make your dog still visible even at night.
- Full Body Harness
As suggested by its name, a full body harness covers your dog’s entire body from shoulder to hip. This type of harness is ideal for those lifting a dog on a daily basis as it reduces stress during lifting.
It’s also beneficial for dogs who are aging or recovering from injuries because this harness reduces strain on joints. Using this harness also help stabilize the spine while avoiding compression of organs and vessels.
- Comfort Wrap Or Step-In Harness
This style is constructed to allow your dog to step into the harness. Just lay the harness on the floor, have your dog step in, and pull the harness up. This simple design minimizes pressure on the throat and remains comfortable even for the longest walks.
Step-By- Step Instructions On How To Put On A Dog Harness
- Option 1
- Option 2
- Option 3
Using A No-Pull Or Front Clip Harness
This option is ideal if you want to control your dog’s pulling action when you walk outside. A front clip harness is great for dogs who’re aggressive in nature and strong in built. This overhead harness easily slips through the neck piece.
Crouch Down Behind Your Dog
Get your dog in the sitting position. If your dog won’t sit, let him stand still and keep him calm. Now move and sit behind him so you can easily operate from your dog’s back.
Avoid putting the harness while your dog is lying down because it would be really difficult. You may put on the harness from the front but this could make your dog too excited or worse anxious. This is why I recommend that you put on the harness from the side or from behind.
Slip The Shoulder Strap Over The Head
Unfasten the buckle on the belly strap. With the loop made by the shoulder strap and chest strap, slide it over your dog’s head. The shoulder strap should lie across your dog’s shoulders.
When expanded out, the shoulder and chest straps are actually perpendicular to each other. Between the two straps, the chest strap seems to be the longer one. You can tell the strap from one another by its color- the shoulder and chest straps have similar colors while the belly strap may be different in color.
Once you have slipped the shoulder strap on, make some adjustments. The round connector ring should rest above and behind your dog’s shoulders. It should be in the middle of the two shoulder blades.
Secure The Belly Strap
Put the belly snap underneath your dog’s stomach and bring it back up to the buckle snap on the opposite side. At this point, adjust the shoulder strap and belly strap so they fit snugly.For larger dogs, you should be able to fit two fingers beneath the straps. For small and medium dogs, this should be one finger. The total girth that consists of the shoulder strap and belly strap should appear like a vertical line.Pay attention to the belly strap. Make sure that it doesn’t slip under your dog’s armpit area.
Adjust And Clip The Leash
Horizontally rest the chest strap over your dog’s breastbone. If you can’t find the breastbone, try pressing your fingers under your dog’s front chest.
Adjust both sides of the strap by tightening or loosening them. The D-ring should be placed in the center of the front chest. Finally, clip the leash on the front D-ring and you can take your dog for a walk.
Using A Full Body Harness
This another overhead harness fits older arthritic dogs. It offers a complete shoulder to hip coverage reducing strain on the joints. Here some more detailed instructions.
Bend over Behind Your Dog
Command your dog to sit before you and bend over. You should be behind your dog when you’re putting on the harness so you can easily move around your pet. Place your dog between your knees and don’t try it on while your dog is still excited.
Make An Opening
In both hands, hold the harness and open up the padded collar part. Make the two ends of the thick chest padding meet by folding the breastplate part in half. Use your fingers when pulling the nylon webbing and padded collar. At this point, you should see an opening for your dog’s head.
Slip The Harness
Now slip the harness with the newly made opening over your dog’s head. Adjust the hair coat of your dog so the harness fits comfortably on his body.
If your dog has a long coat, pull the hair under the harness straps through the opening.You should do this particular step because it will cause discomfort to your dog if you don’t. As he moves, your dog will feel the friction, pinch, and tension so you better get adjust the fur and skin accordingly.
The harness should rest across the breastbone, in front of the shoulder blades. To adjust the fitting, try slipping tow fingers under the neck straps. If your two fingers don’t fit, loosen the strap. If your two fingers fit loosely, tighten the strap.
Guide The Legs Through The Opening
Now it’s time for the fitting of the legs. To do this, gently cup one front leg with your hand and lift it to bend at the knee. Guide the bent leg through the loop or opening of the harness. Do this for the rest of the legs.
Once done right, the breastplate may extend vertically and centered in between your dog’s front legs. Again, make some readjustments as you did in the previous step(step 3). Check for any extra looseness, painful tightness, or pinched hair.
Pull The Tailpiece And Spreader Bar
Pull the tailpiece down along the spine and to tail’s base. The tailpiece should rest at the very base of the tail. The webbing, on the other hand, should rest flat on your dog’s back. Try to untwist when the webbing gets twisted.
Now, if you’re using a weight pull harness, try to find the spreader bar at the end of the harness. The said bar should go over your pet’s back and rests gently under your pet’s tail.
Attach The Leash
Once your dog harness is snugly fit, attach the leash. You might also attach a rope pull, other rope, or a sled rope. Your dog is now ready for action.
Using A Comfort Wrap Or Step-In Harness
This option is great for dogs that like to hike. This step-in style is easy to wear and stays comfortable for long walks. Here is how to put on a step-in harness.
Lay The Harness On The Floor
Put the step-in harness flat on the ground. Once you see two openings, one for the right paw and one for the left. Hold your dog’s right front paw and put in in the proper opening. Do the same with the left front paw.
Pull The Harness Up
Pull the harness up so the center vertical strap is placed against your dog’s chest.Next, secure the harness with the plastic buckle. Make sure that the buckle stays on her back, along with the O- or D-rings.
Adjust And Attach The Leash
Using the slide adjusters, adjust the fit of the harness straps. Your two fingers should fit between the straps. If your two fingers won’t fit, loosen the strap. If it fits more than two fingers, tighten the strap.
Learn how to put on a step-in harness in this:
- Never put on a dog harness while your dog is acting all excited. This will only hurt you or your dog in the process.
- Select a harness that fits your dog properly. Never let your dog wear something too tight nor too loose. To choose the right size, check the recommended sizing chart.
- While putting the harness on, talk quietly on your dog to make him calm.
Did you have fun learning how to put on a dog harness? If you read the article, the instructions are quite easy. All you need to do is select the best dog harness for your dog and adjust it accordingly to his right size.
If you’ve tried putting on a dog harness, let us know how you do it in the comment section. Don’t forget to share this article if you find the information helpful.