How to Put on a Dog Harness the Correct Way

a step-in harnessWelcome to the Pupster Passion dog owner’s website.

In this article, we will look at how to put on a dog harness, so it is safe and comfortable for the dog and as easy and stress-free as possible for you.

There are many different types of dog harness out there, so in this post, we will first cover the basics of putting any harness on your dog.

At the end of this post, we have shared a video looking at five types of harnesses and specifically how to put each one on correctly.

How Do You Put on a Dog Harness? From Start to Finish

The first thing to say is that before you even buy a dog harness, you should take the time to make sure you buy the right size for your dog.

All the best dog harness manufacturers share detailed sizing charts and instructions, so read them carefully and take your time before ordering.

Ok, now let’s look at this process step by step, assuming the harness is brand new and your dog has never worn it before:

  • Remove the dog’s harness from the packaging and introduce it to the dog. Just lay it on the ground so they can see it.
  • If the dog starts to play or chew with the harness, tell them off, they should not see it as a toy or a chew.
  • Once they have seen and smelled the doggo harness and are not interested in it anymore, you can start to think about putting it on the dog.
  • If the type of harness is an over the head design, use a treat or calling to pull the dog’s head through the loop.
  • If it is a step-in harness, lay the loops on the ground and have the dog step its paws inside the to put on a dog harness
  • If your dog seems unsure, you can repeat this part of the process giving treats or praise to reward the dog’s good behavior.
  • Next, pull the feet or head loops fairly tight against the dog’s chest, legs, and torso.
  • Make sure none of the side straps are crossed over or twisted.
  • Then click into place the webbing straps using the attachment buckles.
  • The harness should now be on the dog and just need to be adjusted to get a secure but still comfortable fit.
  • The rule of thumb is that at no place on the dog’s body should you not be able to get two fingers between the harness strap and the dog’s belly, body, or legs.
  • So using the adjustment points, adust the length of the harness straps until they are fairly tight around the dog.
  • Then run two fingers around all the whole dog harness (including under each buckle) and check for any tight or loose spots.

Note – If your dog is really laid back, then some or all of the steps might not be necessary. So feel free to miss any of them out as you practice learning the correct way to put on a dog harness.

In a nutshell, this is the proper way to put on a dog harness, but there are more useful things to consider, so let’s keep going.

How Do You get a Dog Used to Walking with a Harness?

Some dogs take to walking with dog harnesses like a duck takes to water.

Others hate the harnesses at first and need some time training and encouragement to accept them.

If you are struggling with this, follow these steps, continuing from the previous ones. This process is the same for a step-in harness or any other type. Once the harness if on the dog, just follow these actions:

  1. Your first goal is just to get the dog happy to wear the harness, so let it walk around the house with it.
  2. If it tries to chew or remove the dog harness, tell if off. If it reacts well to wearing it, then give it praise and rewards.
  3. You should repeat this process of putting the harness on the dog and letting him or her walk around the house with it on a good few times until you can do it with no problems at all.
  4. The next step is to try walking around the house with a leash attached to the harness.
  5. You should be control and lead the dog where you want it to go.
  6. If it tries to bite the leash or pull on it, stop walking and tell the dog off.
  7. Once the dog calms down, give it some praise, and set off walking again.
  8. Again you should repeat this process until it is done with no hassles from the dog.
  9. The goal is to get the dog very comfortable walking around the house attached to a leash without behaving badly.
  10. If you have a yard, you can try that next, see how the dog behaves, nip any bad behavior in the bud, and keep rewarding the good actions with treats and warm words.
  11. Then you can take your pup for a walk, just go around the block the first time but assuming this goes ok, then feel free to go on some nice long adventures.

If your pet dog does not naturally take to wearing a dog harness, hopefully, these training methods will help you help them get used to it.

Things to Look Out for When Using Dog Harnesses

  1. Make sure the loop around the dog’s head isn’t too tight. You do not want any choking around the dog’s throat because the neck hole is too tight.
  2. Once again, be sure that at all around the dog harness flat sections of webbing, you can get two fingers next to the dog’s body.
  3. Most harnesses have two attachment points, one of the chest plate and one on the back of the harness. The front clip chest attachment stops the pet from pulling, and the back attachment is for normal leash walking. So you can pick with leash clip harness to use.
  4. A dog harness covers more of the dog’s body than a normal collar, so you should pay attention in hot weather so that the dog doesn’t overheat. It would help if you also kept an eye out for any chaffing or rubbing against the dog/s skin.

A Vet Sharing Some Advice on Putting on A Dog Harness

Finally, in this post, we wanted to share a video of a DVM vet teaching dog owners how to put on a dog harness and secure it with a buckle or clips.

She walks through five different types of harness, including the step-in harness and the vest harness.

For each one, she explains the best method of putting them on the dog. If you were wondering which is the easiest dog harness to put on? This video will give you a good idea.

(The model, by the way, just in case you were curious. She a super cute Beagle Pug cross, aka a Puggle. Her name is Frankie, she is a very good girl, and the video is worth watching just to enjoy her cuteness!)

Thanks for taking the time to visit our website. Dog ownership is a beautiful thing, but it can be hard work at times.

So I hope this post will make dealing with a dog harness much easier, and then you can get out and enjoy walking with your pet.