Different Types of Harnesses

Alice Nguyen | 02 August, 2022

            Different Types of Harnesses

Every fur parent shares the same sentiment about their dogs misbehaving or pulling while on leash. It can be frustrating, but more than that, we worry about their safety if they get too excited or naughty during walks. 

You want your dog to be secured and well-controlled on walks, but you don't want them to feel uncomfortable. Well, you can have both with a dog harness

Harnesses come in different designs and types, but the primary purpose is the same — to distribute any pressure onto larger parts of the dog's body rather than on their necks only, which can lead to choking and tracheal collapse like in collars. 

Whether you just got a new pup or want to switch things up, it's essential to know what a dog harness is, its benefits and types to determine what's best for your baby before making a decision. 

What is a dog harness?

Like collars, a dog harness is a wearable material for dogs. It consists of straps surrounding the dog's torso,reducing any tension on their necks. It's used to train your dogs and minimise their pulling strength making it easier to control and manage them during walks. 

With a harness, you can pull, lift, guide, and hold your dog without causing pain and discomfort. In addition to offering your dog extra comfort and less neck strain, a harness may be the best fit for certain breeds and body shapes like pugs and bulldogs

What is the benefit of a dog wearing a harness?

Dogs are playful and aggressive by nature. They like to run after something, play vigorously, or suddenly jump on strangers. Large dogs, in particular, are challenging to manage, especially with exciting stimuli in the surroundings. But unlike collars, a harness will allow you to control them better without causing injuries to their delicate necks.

Furthermore, a dog harness can also be a training tool to teach your pup to behave and walk appropriately on leashed walks. It's a win-win situation!

What types of harnesses are there?

1. Back-clip Harness

The standard!

Back-clip dog harnesses are the most common and versatile type of harness. It's designed with a D-ring sewn at the back of the harness where you can attach your dog leash. The leash is kept away from your dog's feet, preventing tangling and tripping. It distributes the force of the leash to the dog's chest and back, which works well for smaller dogs with delicate necks. 

This type is the easiest to use and can be used with various dog leashes, including retractable ones. This is recommended for relatively calmer dogs because its overall design doesn't completely deter pulling or aggressive behaviour. 

2. Step-in Dog Harness

Ready, step in, click, and go!

Step-ins are for dogs who dislike having a harness put on over their heads. By the name itself, the dogs step into the straps with their front paws and the harness is fastened at the back. Most step-ins are back-clips which you can attach to their leash at the back through the D-ring. 

Like any harness, a step-in is suitable for most outdoor activities like walking. However, a step-in may not be the best option for larger dog breeds. 

3. Front-clip Dog Harness

No pulls with front-clips!

Front-clip is also known as an anti-pull harness. Unlike in back-clips and step-ins, the D-rings for leash attachments are on the dog's chest. This type of harness is best for dogs who like to pull during walks. 

It's good for training dogs to behave appropriately as the leash shortens and moves to the sides, guiding the dog towards you when the leash is taut. The drawback of this type is that it increases the possibility of leg entanglement if you don't pull the leash high enough. 

4. Dual-clip Dog Harness

It can go both ways!

Dual-clips harnesses are both back-clip and front-clip and use specially designed leashes. The advantage of clipping at two points on the harness means the force can shift depending on your dogs' behaviour — greater control over them. 

This type is very versatile, suitable for training and convenient to use, especially if your dogs are unpredictable. However, dual-clips can take a while to get used to, are bulkier, and are relatively expensive. 

5. Head Halter Dog Harness

Not your typical harness!

Unlike other harnesses, which attach around your dog's torso, a head halter harness is strapped around their necks with an additional lead looped around the snout. The leash is then attached to a D-ring under the chin.

You might ask, aren't those painful and uncomfortable? A head halter is not a muzzle and doesn't induce pain. It can correct misbehaviour due to its potential to prevent the dogs from getting distracted. But, a gentle reminder not to use retractable leashes and avoid yanking it.

Why does a dog harness have 2 D-rings?

A typical dog harness has 2 D-rings. One ring is located on the webbed loop at the back to put pressure on their chest and catch their attention gently. The second one is positioned on their front chest, allowing you to redirect your dog's attention back to you for training and treats.


Before choosing a harness for your dog, always consider its comfort. After knowing which harness you want to buy, NALZO hope your walks can be fun and an enjoyable experience for you and your pup.