Dog harnesses are the best way to walk your pup around, but if you don’t use them correctly, you can hurt your dog or make them distrustful of the devices.  This is how to put a dog’s harness on correctly and why it matters.

Why Harnesses Matter

Harnesses are the most important part of taking your dog on a walk!  Not only do these devices make your dog stand out as yours, but they also help guide your dog, keep them more comfortable, and make it easier to pull them away if there’s trouble or something wrong.

Harnesses are great for every breed and make walking a breeze.

1. Get Behind Your Dog

The first step is to stand behind your dog and have them either sit or stand with its hips between your knees or calves, depending on its height.  This will make them easier to maneuver.

2. Slide the Harness Over Their Head


This step can be trickier if your dog doesn’t trust the device yet, but the next step is to slide the harness over their head.  When you’re starting out with this, if they refuse to let you do this, hold a treat through the harness, so they have to stick their head through to get it.

3. Slip Your Pup’s Legs In

Put your dog’s front legs into the dog harness, one at a time, and make sure it settles up at least two inches away from their armpits.  If your dog doesn’t like you touching its feet or legs to do this, you’ll have to work on this with them.

4. Buckle The Harness

With your fingers keeping their fur from getting caught, buckle the harness and secure it.  It should click into place.  If it doesn’t feel like it’s closing correctly, consider walking your dog for a test inside your home.

5. Adjust Straps


Adjust the straps!  This is vital to make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible.  Keep it loose enough that you can fit a couple of fingers between your dog and the harness but snug enough that they can’t wiggle out of it.

Mistakes to Avoid

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a dog owner is to assume every harness will fit any shape of the dog it’s on.  Dogs have been bred for dozens of different tasks, and their bodies reflect the utility they were made for.  Trying to fit a standard poodle and an English bulldog into the same harness because they’re the same weight isn’t going to work.

Other mistakes are keeping the harness too loose or too tight, avoiding getting tags for the harness, and using it infrequently so your dog doesn’t have a pattern to expect.  These are easy things to fix that will make your harness a real winner.

Every Dog Deserves to Feel Secure

Whether this is your first dog or you grew up with pups and want to relearn how to take care of one: a harness is a way to go.  Putting it on correctly, and securing it safely, will make every walk a lot easier.