The best dog harnesses to buy in the UK

Vet Sean McCormack tells you everything you need to know.

dog harness

by Emily Gilbert |

Dog walks offer both us and our pooches lots of benefits like fresh air, exercise, and a change of scenery. You probably already have your dog lead and even a dog walking bag, but do you have a dog harness? And do you even need one?

We spoke to Sean McCormack, Head Vet at to get the lowdown on everything you need to know.

How does a dog harness work?

A dog harness works by evenly distributing weight from the lead across your dog’s chest, giving you more control and discouraging pulling by redirecting your dog.

Are dog harnesses better for certain breeds? If so, which?

Harnesses are a good option for most breeds of dogs but especially for smaller dogs. Yorkshire terriers and other toy breeds can be prone to tracheal collapse and Brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs such as Pugs and French Bulldogs are prone to getting into trouble with collars putting too much pressure on their necks.

What should I look for in a dog harness?

There are many different types of dog harnesses on the market, but you need to make sure you choose the right one for your needs and the needs of your dog. Front-clip dog harnesses offer a lot of control over your dog and help stop dogs from pulling on the leash too much.

Back-clip harnesses are easier to put on your dog and useful for smaller breeds who have delicate throats. They are, however, probably not the best option if you have a dog that pulls a lot!

Multi-clip dog harnesses are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer both of these options. In most cases, these harnesses will also have a handle in the middle for direct control.

The best dog harnesses to buy in the UK

Is it better to use a dog harness instead of just a collar?

A collar can restrict breathing and damage the tissues in your dog’s neck, especially if they pull too hard.

What are the laws around dog harnesses?

While a harness might be your preference over a collar, it's important to make sure your furry friend is wearing a tag. It can be attached to the harness with the owner's contact details, just as you would with a collar.

If you don't comply with this rule, you could risk a £5,000 fine or even a six-month jail sentence!

We've rounded up some of the best dog tag options to attach to your dog's harness or collar below.

How do I make sure my dog harness fits correctly?

You need the harness to fit snugly to your dog’s body, but this is an easy thing to get right. If you can just about place two fingers underneath the harness on all sides then you’re onto a winner.

How to measure a dog for a harness

Are dog harnesses safe?

Dog harnesses are entirely safe to use, providing that a non-restrictive, well-fitting harness is used when exercising your dog. Non-restrictive just means a harness that leaves the entire front legs free to move, so your dog can bound around happily!

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