Pets

The Best Dog Harness in Australia for 2021

Or how to take the strain out of walking the dog.

The Best Dog Harness
Updated 
Feb 28, 2021

Ever wondered if there’s a better way to walk the dog? Dog harnesses are one way to help prevent choking, chafing, and discomfort while hitting the pavement or the dog park. The best dog harness is secure but soft, providing a balance of comfort and control. It should include adjustable straps, as well as clips front and back to attach a leash. We’ve spent hours researching Australia’s top dog harnesses, so you can spend more time walking your furry friend.

The 6 best dog harnesses

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The best for dogs who pull

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2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Harness

2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Harness

2 Hounds Design

The 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Harness is one of the best harnesses for dogs who pull during walkies. Recommended by Whole Dog Journal and Veterinary Information Network, this harness has 4 adjustment points for a cosy fit. It comes in sizes from XS through to 2XL, so it'll suit any dog from pugs to Great Danes. This harness is also designed for comfort, with a Swiss velvet-lined chest strap to stop chafing.

We like that the 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Dog Harness has a double-ended leash. The leash connects to clips at the front and back to help you steer your dog more gently. It scores just over 4 stars from more than 300 Amazon reviews. 2 Hounds also has a 'chew warranty,' which means they'll happily replace up to 2 chewed straps.

The best for puppies

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Puppia RiteFit Dog Harness

Puppia RiteFit Dog Harness

Puppia

It’s hard to find a harness for a growing pup, but Puppia has you covered with their RiteFit Dog Harness. This harness is made with polyester air mesh, so it’s softer on puppies while still being comfy, breathable, and water repellant. It comes in a wide range of colours and sizes, too, with quick release buckles to get you and your fave canine on the go, quick smart.

What we really love about the Puppia RiteFit Dog Harness is the adjustable neck section. Many reviewers across our research had issues fitting dog’s heads into similar soft harnesses of this style. It scores nearly 4.5 stars from over 4,000 Amazon reviews. An Aussie reviewer confirms the quality of the RiteFit harness, saying it’s ‘well designed,’ with ‘good ergonomics.’

The best small dog harness

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Gooby Comfort X Step-in Harness

Gooby Comfort X Step-in Harness

Gooby

Designed specially for smaller breeds, this Gooby Comfort X Step-in Harness is our pick for lighter dogs. It has a patented X frame to distribute force across your dog’s chest area, rather than concentrating it around their neck like traditional collars. This step-in collar is also easier to get on, and is made from soft mesh with suede trim to prevent pinching.

The Gooby Comfort X Step-in Harness scores nearly 4.5 stars from almost 2,000 Amazon reviews. We like that it has 2 adjustable points on both the neck and the chest, so it’ll easily accommodate your doggo as their weight changes over time. One Aussie reviewer also says it’s been a good option for their dog post-surgery, as it doesn’t go over the head or constrict breathing.

The best for active dogs

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EzyDog Convert Harness

If your dog’s earned the nickname ‘Bear Grylls,’ the EzyDog Convert Harness should be on your wishlist. This Aussie-owned company makes some of the best dog harnesses in the country, and this robust Convert Harness is our top pick for dogs on the go. With stainless steel D-ring and magnetic traffic handle, this hard-yakka harness is designed to be cushy yet durable.

The EzyDog Convert Harness currently gets 5 stars from 1 review on ProductReview.com.au, and nearly 5 stars across almost 150 Waggle and Amazon reviews. Aussies say it’s easy to fit, ‘well made,’ and great for ‘swimming in the surf.’ We also rate EzyDog’s optional extras. You can add custom side labels, a light, or even saddle bags to turn the harness into a backpack.

The best for car trips

Still scratching your head over strapping the dog in during car rides? We reckon the Kurgo Dog Harness is a good bet, as it's made with seatbelt webbing with a special 10-inch lead to buckle them in. This harness has quick-release buckles and 5 adjustable points to fit your dog like a glove. It also has a front D-ring and back leash ring for comfier walking or no-pull training.

The Kurgo Dog Harness scores nearly 4.5 stars from over 4,500 Amazon reviews. It's easy to get on and off, and comes with Kurgo's lifetime warranty. One Aussie reviewer on Amazon says 'if your dog is a strong dog that needs a firm harness, these won’t disappoint.'

The best big dog harness

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EzyDog Quick Fit Harness

EzyDog Quick Fit Harness

EzyDog

While harness chafing and pinching can be an issue for bigger dogs, the EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness is designed to minimize the problem with neoprene and soft touch webbing. There's also an ID tag holder on this harness so you can use it in place of a collar. It's adjustable, too, and quick to fit with a single clip.

The EzyDog Quick Fit Harness is made with reflective stitching ideal for night-time walks. It goes up to size XL, and reviews show it's rated by owners of larger dogs. This harness scores nearly 5 stars from almost 150 Google reviews. Reviewers say it's 'comfy and secure,' and the adjustable chest strap makes for a good fit on Staffies and Australian Bulldogs among other larger breeds.

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How we picked our dog harnesses

Finding the best dog harness in Australia was no easy task. Dog harnesses aren’t reviewed by CHOICE, Australia’s biggest consumer advocacy group, and there are few reviews on ProductReview.com.au. We checked out picks from international guides to get a feel for what was out there, then set out to do some serious window shopping.

Amazon.com.au had a wide range of dog harnesses, so we checked out a few of the most popular international picks to see what reviewers thought. Next, we sleuthed further to discover what was available in Australia by checking in with major pet retailers. After weighing up price, reviews, features and availability, we ended up with our guide to Australia’s best dog harnesses.

Common questions

Are dog harnesses better than a collar?

While dog collars are a popular choice, the RSPCA recommends front-attaching harnesses to ensure your dog is comfortable during walks. Harnesses are suitable for all different kinds of canines, with a wide range of styles for different-sized pups. They’re much gentler than collars because of the way they distribute force around your dog’s body. 

When walking your dog with a collar, all of the pull is concentrated around the neck area. Harnesses can reduce choking risk as the force is concentrated around your dog’s chest, back and legs instead. Front-attaching collars are best for pulling dogs as any lead tension turns your dog towards you. Slippery dogs may be able to slide out of collars, but harnesses are much more difficult to escape.

What kinds of dog harnesses are there?

There are several different styles of dog harness available, with most offering clips on the front, back, or both. Front-attaching harnesses are best for dogs who pull as they give you more control over the direction your dog is heading. Back-attaching harnesses are another great option, though they’re not ideal for preventing pull as your dog can move forward with full force.

Most of our picks are dog harnesses with clips on both the front and back. These harnesses are generally used to walk your dog from the back, but at the same time, they give you the option to turn your dog more easily from the front attachment if they start to pull. 

How does a dog harness stop pulling? 

The most gentle harnesses cross around the chest, back and legs, with a front attaching clip. When the lead is attached to the front, your dog isn’t able to run forwards without you running alongside them. This is because a front-attaching leash turns your dog towards you if they begin to strain too hard.

For a dog harness to be effective, it should be comfortable. Most harnesses have a few adjustment points to prevent pinching or chafing, so be sure to make sure your dog’s harness is properly fitted before heading out. It’s also a good idea to reinforce positive behaviour with treats.

Sources

  1. 'Pet Products', ProductReview.com.au
  2. ‘The best-ever walking harness for your dog (and the must-avoid collars and leads)’, South Australia RSPCA
  3. 'How Do No-Pull Dog Harnesses Work?', PetMD