How To Tighten Dog Harness and The 5 Common Misconceptions About It

Are you excited to try out a harness for your furry friend, but don’t know how to tighten it properly?

The good news is, you are far from alone. There are plenty of people out there who are worried that they are not fitting their dogs properly for harnesses. The best way to make sure that both you and your canine best friend are happy is to learn what to do and what not to do when fitting your dog for a harness.

How To Tighten A Dog Harness

You need to make sure that the straps are flush against your dog’s skin without pinching them. Do this by gently pulling up the belly strap and tightening the straps around your dog’s two front paws. The harness should be secure, but not cutting into the skin of your dog.

5 Common Misconceptions About How To Tighten Dog Harnesses

There are plenty of misconceptions swirling around how to use a dog harness effectively. If you can separate fact from fiction, you’ll have a happier, healthier dog.

1. Dogs Pull More When They Wear Harnesses

Actually, the opposite is true! Dogs pull less when they wear harnesses because their weight is more evenly distributed and the owner has more control.

2. There’s No Wrong Way To Tighten A Harness

Although you want the harness to be snug, you should make sure that it’s not too tight. Improperly tightened harnesses can pinch and hurt your dog.

3. Dogs Are More Likely To Escape From Harnesses

Dogs are less likely to escape from securely tightened and properly used harnesses.

4. You Can Leave Your Harness On The Dog All Of The Time

Although most harnesses are comfortable, you should take the harness off at night to let your dog’s skin breathe. Some dogs will tear their harnesses if they are left on for too long.

5. Harnesses Are Difficult To Get On Dogs

Harnesses are just as easy to get on dogs as collars are. The trick is keeping your pet calm and positioning them properly over the harness before trying to get it onto their bodies.

If My Dog Has A Collar Do They Need A Harness?

Ideally, your dog should have both a collar and a harness. The harness allows you to have more control over them while walking, and a collar is an identification tool in case they get lost.

Can I Keep The Harness On My Dog While We Rough Play?

When rough-housing with your dog, remove their harness. Harnesses can easily get snagged or caught on things and could injure you or your dog. Harnesses are meant to be placed securely in one spot and used for walking, not rolling around in the grass or playing tug-of-war.

Is It Okay To Put My Puppy Into A Harness?

Not only is it okay to put your puppy into a harness, but it’s also actually better for them. Harnesses are excellent tools for training and getting your puppy used to a harness at a young age is a great way to make sure that they’re well-behaved in the future.

Will The Harness Help My Dog Stay Focused On His Or Her Walk?

Harnesses help guide your dog and set up boundaries, so they are very useful when it comes to focusing attention where it needs to be on walks. Harnesses are actually great for easily distracted or excited dogs specifically because they keep the dog focused on the task at hand.

How Do I Know That The Harness Isn’t Too Tight?

The harness should stay flat on the skin but not dig into the dog’s flesh. Too-tight harnesses will pinch under the armpits and can cause pain or even chronic problems over time. Too-loose harnesses will be easy to slip out of. See if you can put a finger underneath the strap. If you can easily fit one under, the harness is too loose. If you can’t even get the tip of your finger under, the harness is too tight.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Uncomfortable In Their Harness?

If your dog is uncomfortable in their harness they will tell you by whining or attempting to break out of the harness. Alternately, if they get uncomfortable on their walk, you’ll know because they will wince or exhibit tentative behavior when walking.

Can I Take My Dog Out For Walks In The Woods With Their Harness?

Harnesses are great for outdoor exploring because they keep your dog focused on the walk, as opposed to all of the great stuff that’s in the woods. Harnesses can also protect against fleas and ticks, although you should still check your pet when they come back from their hike.


If you have questions about the best harness practices for you and your dog, we have answers!

How Do I Prevent My Dog From Getting Out Of Their Harness?

Even if your dog is a little escape artist, putting the harness on properly will keep them securely fastened. Always check to make sure that your canine best friend is locked in before you head out with them.

What Do I Do If My Dog Escapes?

You should always use a collar and harness at the same time, just in case your dog slips out of their harness and runs away. Collars generally have identification information on them, as well as a way to reach you. Additionally, all dogs should be microchipped for their own protection.

There is plenty of misinformation out there when it comes to harnesses, but knowing the facts will keep both you and your dog happier in the long run. A securely placed harness can give you peace of mind and ease joint pain for your dog at the same time. Invest in one today, and you’ll see the difference immediately.

What Will Dog Harnesses That Pull Sleds Be Like In The Next 50 Years?