10 DIY and Homemade Dog Harness Ideas

Looking to sew or craft your own DIY homemade dog harness? Well, look no further! In this article, we’ll cover several easy-to-make harnesses with videos and step-by-step instructions.

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DIY Fleece Walking Harness

This first model uses a combination of webbing and soft fleece to create a soft reduced friction dog harness. This is great for dogs like my chihuahua that tend to lose hair slowly where more rigid harnesses rub against the skin.

This leash slips easily over the head then down under the front legs. It uses a clip to connect at the side of the rib cage. Quick and easy to put on.

Do note that this harness is pretty complicated. You’ll need a sewing machine and some moderate sewing skills to make this happen.

Everything is included in the video above on how to build this. There’s a pattern plus detailed videos on some of the more complicated parts of the harness.

The only thing we wish this had was an extra ring for the chest section so this could also double as a no-pull harness.

Old Dog Collar and Leash Harness

This next method uses an oversized collar and a stainless steel metal D-ring to form a quick and easy harness for small dogs.

Use this as something quick until you can later get something a bit softer. This pattern works great but the system above pinches a bit on the neck.

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The video below shows the classic method of turning a rope slip leash into a harness. This is a basic skill all dog owners should have so you can quickly turn rope leashes (or any leash) into a full harness if more restraint is needed.

Paracord Braided Harness

This gorgeous harness hearkens back to the 80s and 90s when friendship bracelets were a lot more popular.

While the concept is easy this one can be a bit time-consuming to make. Also, you may find you get the D-ring location wrong on the first go.

No worries, you can always redo this one easily without needing to sew a completely new set.

The nice thing about weaved harnesses – you can always unweave them and do it over.

This is a front pull or no pull dog harness. The D-ring for the leash attaches at the front of the chest. You can read more about the benefits of no-pull harnesses here.

To make a paracord harness you’ll need the following:

  • One or two colors of paracord
  • Plastic clip buckle
  • Paracord needles or needle nosed pliers
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Lighter to burn the ends of the paracord and seal them.

One last bit, paracord is super strong. If built well this could be a great no-pull harness for larger, energetic dogs. Check out this design (via YouTube) using paracord and high-strength carabiners for a large pit bull.

Dog Harness Using Old Jeans Fabric w/ Sewing Pattern (Option 1)

This is the first harness highlighted that uses a pair of old jeans to make a harness. Like the first option on the fleece dog harness above, this goes faster with a sewing machine and moderate sewing skills.

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In the video, they make the harness using a simple sewing needle and thread. However, a sewing machine would greatly speed this up.

Note – This harness uses Velcro instead of the more common plastic clip or buckle. This will not work for dogs that pull or high energy dogs. They can easily escape from a Velcro only harness.

Fix – You can easily fix the Velcro weakness by sewing two plastic clips onto the flaps instead of using Velcro. That way it securely attaches over the rib cage and the chest and won’t come undone when your dog pulls.

This harness requires the following:

  • Scissors
  • Old jeans
  • Key rings
  • Needle and thread
  • Velcro
  • Patterns

Pattern 1 (link)

Pattern 2 (link)

If you have questions on making this work send a DM to the Facebook page here.

If you watch the video you can make the pattern yourself. Just cut the shape you see overly large and place it on your dog. Keep trimming till it fits.

Dog Harness Using Old Jeans Fabric (Option 2)

This second jeans option has a few super cool features:

  • There are no metal D-rings. Instead it uses the jeans belt loops to attach the leash.
  • The jeans pocket is oriented in a way so you can actually store a poop bag or small treats so your dog can carry what he or she uses
  • It’s soft and connects using Velcro
  • The edges have additional material sewed on to keep them from fraying.

Sadly, the video above doesn’t include full instructions. Instead, use the tutorial right before this to make something similar while keeping the belt loop and jean pocket ideas from this one.

Hello Kitty Patterned Web DIY Harness

This simple dog harness is made of 1″ webbing and colored fabric. It’s very similar to the fleece pattern above in that the webbing provides strength and the fabric provides softness around the webbing.

This time though they specifically use fun colored fabric to make the final design and look more fun.

This dog harness can be made with a variety of patterns. It’s not super easy to build. However, the finished harness will be strong, high quality, and look exactly how you want it.

Plus you can make a variety of them in different colors as desired.

To make it more useful add another D-ring at the junction that happens in front of the chest. That’ll give you the option to attach the leash in front of the rib cage turning it into a no pull dog harness.

The design requires the following:

  • Plastic Buckle Clip
  • 3 sliders
  • 1 D ring and 1 O-ring
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Webbing to match or compliment the fabric
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Paper clips or sewing clips to hold the pattern in place while you sew
  • Sewing Machine

Leather DIY Dog Harness with Leather Straps

This next model uses leather. You’ll need basic leatherworking skills and the following tools to complete it:

  • Leather
  • Leather straps
  • Metal belt buckles
  • Leather punch
  • Leather cutting scissors
  • Pattern

This dog harness looks great but it’s a whole other can of worms. Basic sewing skills won’t cut it. You’ll need to know how to work with leather.

Watch the full video above to get a feel for what you’ll have to do. The finished product looks great so the extra work required to learn basic leather working is worth it.

The pattern shown in this video again isn’t free. You can get it off Esty here.

Rope Leash Harness

This video shows you how to make a quick harness out of an 8-foot length of 1/2″ rope. You’ll need the following to make this:

  • hammer
  • steel O-rings
  • rope clamps
  • Brass clips for strong, heavy dogs
  • Regular clips for lightweight, calm dogs

How to Make a Service Dog Vest Out of Fabric (Option 1 – Less Colorful)

Here’s a fairly complicated pattern to make a service dog vest. It uses Velcro to attach “Service Dog” patches to the top in the final product. See minute 13 in the video above for an example of that.

This one uses webbing and fabric. Use a red fabric with white webbing to make it more obvious that it’s a service dog in operation rather than the fabric patterns demonstrated here.

The skill level again is moderate. It uses a sewing machine and basic sewing skills.

The final product is high quality and should last a long time. It’s not fast or easy to create but not impossible either.

How to Make a Service Dog Vest Out of Fabric (Option 1 – More Colorful)

Have you ever seen a cute service dog walking down the street and wished you could have one too? Well, now you can! Making your service dog vest is simple and easy, and best of all, it’s affordable. All you need is some colorful fabric and a few basic supplies. So get ready to make your very own service dog vest!

DIY Dog Harness to Support Back Legs (Rear Leg Sling)

This tutorial rocks. It shows you how to make a rear leg sling out of a fabric grocery bag. My favorite part is when she’s cutting the bag and her cat walks into it and sits down.

This is an easy, simple design that anyone can make quickly. It takes longer to watch the video than make the sling.

How to Make A Sled Dog Harness Out of Rope

This is an old-school video from the 50s in Alaska. It shows how to make a fast sledding harness for dogs out of a long leather strip. The author uses a rope to measure his dogs so expect this to take some practice to get right.

There’s no sound in this video and to be honest it’s not a great tutorial. We just thought it’d be fun to see how these were made decades ago in Alaska.

To build a real sledding harness use simple 1″ webbing and a sewing machine. You can also pick up finished light webbing harnesses for sledding off Amazon for $20.

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