Best Dog Harnesses for Large Breeds – #3 is Best Heavy Duty

5 min


It’s the timeless question for all owners of large dogs: are you taking the dog for a walk, or is he walking you? Nothing is more annoying – and potentially dangerous – than a big pooch that can’t be controlled with a standard leash. Worse still, large dogs, and especially sled dog breeds, can injure their necks or suffer damage to their fragile tracheas with conventional leashes and collars. The dog harness solves all these problems. By wrapping around the chest and back, the harness evenly distributes the force created by a pulling dog and keeps the tension away from sensitive areas like the neck. If you haven’t tried one yet, most owners consider the harness a revolution in pet health (and owner happiness). We’ve found 5 of the best dog harnesses for large breeds on the market today, and present them here for you to compare.

Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness

Despite the name, Rabbitgoo knows all about big dogs. Their no-pull harness has two unique features that make it one of the most popular harnesses available. First, there are four easily-adjustable straps – two for the chest and two for the neck – which allow you to customize the fit to your dog’s unique dimensions. Both of these sets are fast-release buckles, making it easy to secure the harness to your pet. Second, the harness features two separate attachment rings for your leash: the chest ring is specifically designed to reduce pulling on walks or for training purposes, while the back ring is made for jogging, runs or casual play. It comes in sizes up to a 30-inch neck and 40-inch chest, so even the biggest of big dogs can use this harness.

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Pros:

  • Comes in five colors
  • Features reflective strips for nighttime walks
  • Surprisingly affordable price

Cons:

  • Not chew-proof
  • Straps are not made of nylon

Ecobark Classic Dog Harness

Can’t decide whether your Labrador would look best in magenta or chartreuse? Ecobark has you covered – well, it has your pooch covered. With ten different colors to choose from, your dog will always have the proper harness for the season. Better still, the Ecobark Classic has all the features that responsible pet owners are looking for: layered mesh construction of non-toxic materials, custom stitching to prevent chafing, and a padded chest plate and straps repurposed from recycled water bottles. The Ecobark comes in three different sizes for large dogs, each customized to the appropriate neck size.

Pros:

  • Made from hypoallergenic material
  • Easy put-on and removal
  • Breathable harness for all weather conditions

Cons:

  • Front buckle is focal point of stress
  • Maybe you don’t want your pit bull in pink?

Icefang Tactical Dog Harness

There are large dogs and then there are large dogs. If you have a Mastiff, Great Dane or St. Bernard, you need the sturdiest harness available. Icefang’s Tactical Dog Harness features four metal buckles, load-tested to 1,000 pounds, along with a reinforced nylon sheath that covers the back and hip joints of your pet. The harness also features a D-ring on the side onto which you can hook a water bottle, dog dish or pet toy. A durable handle is sewn directly on the back so you can quickly grab and restrain your dog if necessary. Though not specifically designed to be used for no-pull training, the harness still keeps leash tension away from your pet’s neck.

Pros:

  • Comes in ten different shades of grey. Seriously.
  • Easy to slip on with two buckles
  • Breathable material on the underside

Cons:

  • Better on big-chested dogs
  • Twice as expensive as standard harnesses
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Poy Pet No-Pull Dog Harness

Already one of the most popular and best-selling no-pull harnesses, Poy Pet has released an upgraded version to make the harness more simple yet effective. The harness now features three snap buckles for release, one near the neck and two on the belly, so you don’t have to put the harness on over your dog’s head. The non-toxic mesh padding around the chest has been expanded, providing more comfort and greater distribution of force away from the neck area. The harness also features 2 strong metal rings for attaching the leash: one in the back for casual walks and one in front to prevent pulling, especially during training. With four adjustable straps accommodating dogs with necks as large as 39 inches, you can be sure there’s a Poy Pet Harness to fit even the largest breeds.

Pros:

  • Available in a variety of colors
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Wrap-around mesh provides comfort

Cons:

  • Must be careful when choosing size
  • Heavier than most harnesses

Paw Five CORE-1 Reflective Harness

When it’s time to go, it’s time to go, and Paw Five’s CORE-1 harness answers the call. With one click of the front buckle, the harness is secured around your pet (without having to place it over his head). When your Bernese Mountain Dog decides it’s time to leave a surprise gift on your neighbor’s lawn, there’s a built-in waste bag dispenser on the harness for your convenience. Available in five bright colors, the CORE-1 is easy to see at night, made even better by reflective stitching throughout. With a heavy-duty D-ring on the side and customizable pouches throughout, you can personalize the harness for all your dog’s special needs (treats, toys, bones, a beer for dad…) The harness also has one of the broadest girth measurements available on the market at nearly four feet.

Pros:

  • 30-day quality guarantee
  • Roll of custom waste bags included
  • Waterproof outer layer
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Cons:

  • Metal leash attachment too thick for some leashes
  • Slick material can slip around

Frequently Asked Questions

My dog pulls against her standard collar but it doesn’t hurt her. Why should I get a harness then?

The problem is that your dog may develop bad associations with pulling. If your dog sees another dog, for example, pulls against her collar and then you frantically tug her away, she could associate seeing other dogs with an unpleasant experience. This could become a particularly bad association if your dog is either very social or if you have multiple pets.

My dog doesn’t even like collars placed on him. How do I get him used to a harness?

It does take practice – and patience. When you first receive your harness, slowly introduce your dog to it. Let him sniff it. Leave it on the ground for him to inspect. Pet him as he inspects the harness. Then take your best guess at correctly adjusting the size before you put it on your pet. This will prevent you from accidentally pinching your dog as you make final adjustments. Let your dog walk around the house or yard with the harness before introducing the leash.

Why buy a harness that’s not a no-pull harness?

Many pet owners need a harness to physically transport their dog. Almost every dog harness available on the market has a large, strong handle in the center. This is used to pick up your dog, which may be necessary to take him from the car to the ground, especially with older dogs suffering from joint problems. The harness distributes the dog’s weight more evenly, making it easier on you – and your dog – to carry him from one place to another.

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