How to Properly Fit and Adjust Your Dog’s Harness?

How to Properly Fit and Adjust Your Dog's Harness?

Do you have a dog? If yes, you already know how important it is to put a leash and collar on them. However, having a leash or collar tied 24×7 is also not a solution for dogs. It can irritate, and skin issues, and make them feel suffocated especially if they are not tied properly. So, every dog owner should learn to buy and tie leashes properly to ensure dogs do not feel discomfort and can conduct regular activities without hassle. Sometimes when the leash is tied too tight, they feel irritated and that starts to show in their behavior. So, it’s important to check and ensure the harness and leash fit properly. 

However, there are different types of harnesses available for dogs. Before you understand how to fit and adjust a harness, you need to know about various dog harness types. There is a range of harnesses available for dogs: 

  • Back clip harness: The harness has a clip that is closed at the dog’s back. You can tie and fit the leash around the dog’s back in a back clip. It is more suitable for dogs who do not tug or push harnesses again and again. 
  • Step-in harness: It is pretty similar to its name, the dog has to step in or dog owners can help dogs to step and clip the harness on the back or front as per the closing mechanism provided. 

Here are some of the ways you can ensure the dog harness is fit and adjusted properly: 

Understand the signs of poor fit: Firstly, you need to understand whether the harness is comfortable for your dog or not. Different signs show you either need to change the harness or make it adjust as per the dog’s size. These signs include: 

  • If the dog is losing fur around the harness area and you are able to see bare spots, it’s time to change its fit and adjust according to the measurements. 
  • If the dog can wiggle freely, it means the harness is loose and can easily come out. 
  • If the dog is resisting walking strongly, check its fit. 
  • If the back piece of the harness keeps on rotating to either side, you need to check its fit. 
  • If there is chafing around the dog harness area, you need to ensure it’s fit. 

Measure the size: The best way to ensure the harness is fit and adjusted as per comfort and requirements, you need to measure the size. Buy the harness accordingly and adjust it as per the size. To measure, here are the things you need to follow: 

  • Chest: Make sure you measure the dog’s torso by starting from the rib cage. Go up and over the back, then down the back till you reach the starting point of measurement. 
  • Neck: Wrap the measuring tape around the neck above the shoulders, make sure you measure where the dog will wear the harness not where the neck starts. 
  • Weight: Though neck and chest are important as they will find the right fit, some companies provide harness size guiding as per the weight. You can weigh your dog, if you are having difficulty you can try this approach- weigh yourself first, then hold your dog and weigh both together. The difference in weight is your dog’s weight that you need to know. 

Tightness: The tightness of the harness should be checked when your dog is wearing the harness. Too tight a harness will make them feel irritated and they might want to restrict themselves from going for a walk. Harness should snuggle around the neck, but must have enough space for them to feel comfortable. If you can insert two fingers between the harness and the dog’s neck, there’s enough space for them to feel comfortable. So, make sure to check the tightness of the dog harness around the neck. 

How to fit in different types of harnesses? 

The two types of harnesses mentioned above have different perspectives and ways to fit in. So, here is how you can fit in both:

  • Back clip harness: Gently pull the head through the harness hole while ensuring that the harness clip is right in the center of the back.
  • Step in harness: Unclip the harness and place it on the floor, let your dog step in the harness or you can help your dog to step in the harness. Fit their paws in the holes like wearing the clothes and pull the straps to the back where you can clip the harness. 


Ensuring the harness is fit and perfectly adjusted as per the measurement and comfort of your dog is important. You need to check the harness and make sure it fits right for the dog. With this guide, you can ensure the harness is fit and perfect for your dog’s comfort. 

By admin

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