Labrador Retrievers (also known as Labrador or Labs) are a gentle, outgoing and intelligent medium-large retriever-gun dog breed. They’re a great breed for walks in the park and adventures. But does their boundless energy make a simple collar and leash the best way to walk them? Perhaps a dog harness for your Labrador may be a better option for their safety, training and your peace of mind.
We have put together some advice that will make selecting a Labrador harness a bit easier; as well as our recommendations for the best harnesses for Labradors available.
Best Harness for Labradors
1. Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness
Suggested Sizes – Adult Lab: Large – Puppy (6 mths): Medium
This is known to be one of the best harnesses on the market that prevent your labrador from pulling. It has a classic style and comes with an array of features as well as a design that is both practical and functional.
It has been designed with an aluminum V-ring that is located at the back that is ideal for normal walking. All you need to do is attach the leash and begin your walk. At the front of the harness, there is also a reinforced webbing loop.
If you choose to use a leash such as the Halti training leash, which is double-ended, you will be able to attach both ends when required. This will enable you to benefit from a greater level of control of your dog while it helps to improve their pulling behavior.
The back clip alone can help to improve the pulling behavior of your dog while the padded harness will ensure that the force is spread across the chest and body of your dog. This removes the force from the neck and throat area when they pull.
The harness also benefits from reflective stripes that are positioned on the outer layer and they ensure that you and your dog are visible when you are out walking. The harness is also water-resistant and ideal for handwashing.
This is a sturdy and extremely useful harness that is well constructed and ideal for your Labrador. It is ideal for usual walks and in cases where you want to improve the pulling behavior of your dog.
2. Julius-K9 Powerharness
Suggested Sizes – Adult Lab: Large – Puppy (6 mths): Medium
This is a highly durable dog harness that is specifically designed for powerful dogs. It has adopted the style of a police dog harness and it comes with a durable waterproof outer layer while the material is also scratch-resistant that has reflective trims that are located on the side and the chest area of the harness.
The inner material is breathable and friendly on the skin as it is made of OEKO-TEX. It is easy to fit on your dog and there is a large and easily accessible plastic buckle that is hard-wearing located on the belly area of your dog.
There is a metal ring located on the top of the harness which is where the lead is attached while there is a handle that is completely closeable that can be used to hold your dog. These harnesses have been specifically designed for large dogs which mean that they are sturdy and strong. They are ideal for controlling your dog when they feel the urge to get over-excited.
3. Rabbitgoo Dog Harness
This is another dog harness that is designed for no-pulling and is popular with dog owners. It has been constructed using high-quality materials that offer comfort and unique design. The breathable nylon also has a mesh outer lining while the inner layer has a soft padding that offers comfort.
The side straps are completely adjustable with one strap located on the neck and the other on the front. There is a front and back leash attachment clip that makes this ideal for those who are looking to train their dog to refrain from pulling.
They are simple to fit and they also come with a quick-release buckle for convenience. Available in a range of colours, they are highly-reflective, helping to enhance visibility in dark conditions.
Offering value for money but plenty of comfort, this is a harness that is certainly worth considering.
4. Eagloo No Pull Dog Harness
The Eagloo is another harness that is used by Labrador owners and it comes with a front and back clip. It offers comfort and fits well thanks to its four adjustment points that are located on the neck and the chest.
It has been manufactured using nylon material and it has reflective trims located on the outer layer that improves visibility at night. To aid control of your Labrador, there is a handle located on the back although the manufacturer does suggest that this handle can be used to secure your dog while it is in the car. Although, you should ensure you carry out research prior to doing this.
There is sufficient padding on the inside of the Eagloo too, which adds extra comfort. On the whole, this is well-priced and comes with some notable features and excellent reviews.
5. Rabbitgoo Tactical Dog Harness
Available from: Amazon.com
These harnesses have been designed for dogs that work in a professional environment as well as those that are frequently used in hunting and outdoor treks. They are made from heavy-duty materials and they meet military standards, consisting of 1050D Nylon that has solid stitching.
Made from excellent craftsmanship, it has been designed to be escape-proof, proving just how strong this harness is. There are two metal buckles located on the shoulder and these have been designed for pulling force. There are also two attachment points for the leash that are made of metal and these are designed to help make walking safer.
To help aid the distribution of weight and pressure, the inner layer is cushioned, ensuring the upper body of the dog does not suffer. To enhance the fit and make sure that the harness fits correctly, there are five adjustable straps that can be used to find the perfect fit. Along with this, the harness also has a handle situated on the top that is designed to help you control the dog as well as help with lifting when that is necessary.
6. Winsee No Pull Dog Harness
This is a harness that is affordable, but it is known to require replacing which is not ideal for those who are looking for something that is long-lasting. However, for those who are looking for a harness that has it all, it also comes with a matching dog collar.
Its design is very much like the rabbitgoo and this is a walking harness and a front range harness. At the back and on the chest, there are D-rings that make it possible to switch between single and double-ended leashes. Created with a 1680D oxford fabric, the harness is durable and is not easily tearable or chewable.
7. LIFEPUL No Pull Dog Vest Harness
This harness is perfect for those who are working to a tight budget although it is not one of the best-looking harnesses on the market. There is a metal D-Rink that is located at the back of the harness and this is where the leash can be attached. There is also a handle here too, helping to hold your dog and control them if necessary.
The outer layer is made from nylon that is stitched as well as being breathable and padded. It is a simple harness that does the job well although the design lacks inspiration while it does look slightly bulky although it will certainly appeal to those owners who are looking for something low-priced that works well.
Collar or a Harness for a Labrador
Labradors are known to be busy dogs with plenty of energy and this can often result in owners giving their dog a collar and using that to take them out for walks.
However, this often leads to the dog becoming frustrated because they are pulled around the streets and this then leads to owners considering the move to a harness. It is common for labradors to pull when they are on a leash and this can cause owners to become frustrated. The constant pulling can cause pain in the hands and it can cause the dog to become stressed.
If a harness is well-designed, it can completely transform the behaviour of a Labrador and the amount that it pulls on the leash. This is particularly true when it is combined with the right kind of training and patience from the owner. A harness will also help to spread the force across the chest of the dog and that can mean that the walk is comfortable, less distressing and safer.
However, it does not matter if the dog pulls or not, we only suggest that you use a collar as a way of using an ID so that your dog can be identified should they get lost. Despite this, your dog should be microchipped too.
The Range of Harnesses for Labradors
There are a number of different harnesses out there. In a nutshell, they all do the same thing but they all have their own differences and benefits over others and that is why it is vital that you gain an understanding of what is available. Here is a short guide, highlighting the ranger of harnesses that are currently available.
These are about as simple as they can be and are used for carrying out basic walking. As they are basic, they are relatively inexpensive too, which will please dog owners who are working to a budget. They are commonly made using plastic, nylon or mesh and they are light, which means that they are suitable for dogs that are already trained and well behaved when being walked. These are fitted by being placed over the head and then clipped between the front legs of the dog.
Front and Back Clip No Pull Dog Harness
There are many different types of harnesses that are available but the most common ones you will see are:
- Front Clip
- Back Clip
- Front and Back Clip Harness
Some of the harnesses available offer front and back clips and these are designed to improve and reduce the amount of pulling, ultimately improving the behaviour of the dog. Those harnesses that have a back clip have a lead attachment point located on the back, therefore, a stand leash can be clipped so that the dog can be taken for a walk in a normal way.
Those harnesses that have a front clip such as the SENSE-ation, will come with an attachment point that is located in the chest area of the dog. These are extremely different from traditional harnesses as the lead attaches to the front. At first, this is likely to feel strange but they come highly recommended by trainers as they provide a better way of reducing pulling.
These harnesses are quite specialist and they can reduce the amount of shoulder movement in certain breeds but if a back clip harness is not working then they could be worth considering.
Harnesses that have clips at the front and the back will have attachment points at the top, which is on the back of the dog and one at the front, which is located in the chest area. The front attachment will require the use of a special training leash as these are double-ended. The one point will attach to the back of the dog and the other will attach to the front, giving owners more control of the dog.
A Labrador harness that is designed for no pulling will help to reduce the impact of the dog pulling and it will help to assist in the training of the dog.
Tightening and Control Harness
In comparison to anti-pulling harnesses, these types of harnesses are more aggressive as they tighten when the dog begins to pull on the lead. They can be uncomfortable for your dog as they tighten around the chest and squeeze the dog. These are often better used by dog handlers and trainers who have experience in using them.
Tactical Dog Harnesses
This kind of harness is commonly used on larger dog breeds such as German Shepherds or Labradors. While these harnesses are commonly associated with military and service dogs, they are also good training harnesses or ideal for use in trekking or hunting.
Labrador Harness Size and Measurements
The size of an adult labrador can vary significantly but the American Kennel club does state that the average size of a male labrador is a height of 22.5 to 24.5 inches which is 57 to 62cm. The average size of a female labrador is a height of 21.5 to 23.5 inches which is 55cm to 60cm.
What this means is that a labrador is considered to be a medium-large breed of dog and so, you should opt to find a harness that reflects that. Therefore, in most instances, this would mean that you can choose a large-sized harness although this will depend on the manufacturer of the harness that you choose.
For your puppy, you will need a smaller size and this is often a medium but remember that they are going to grow out of it which means that it will mean that it needs replacing. However, if you want to get an accurate measurement of your labrador and puppy then we have provided the details you need below. What you might find is that the measurements you get sit somewhere between two different harness sizes and if this is the case then it is recommended that you go for the bigger size and make use of the adjustable straps to ensure that it fits better.
Take a Measurement of the Chest
This is one of the most important parts of measuring your Lab. Begin by placing a tape measure around the dog’s chest, making sure you wrap it around the widest part which is located just a few inches behind the front legs. At this point, you should make sure you add a couple of inches to ensure that the dog benefits from a freedom of movement and the room to grow.
While it might not be a requirement to measure the neck, if the harness is one that fits over the neck then it is worth ensuring that it will fit. So, place the tape measure around the neck and measure the circumference.
What Determines a Good Labrador Harness?
It is important that you get the harness right which means that it can take time, effort and patience. It is also vital that you focus on training as a harness alone will not alter the behaviour or walking habits of your dog.
Ensure that you choose a harness that is sturdy and durable as you do not want it to break when strain is placed on it. As a result, it will need to fit will and allow the dog to move.
The aim of this article is to help you find the right harness for your Labrador. Harnesses provide a suitable alternative to walking your Lab using a lead and a collar. Harnesses offer more comfort and they are secure while they reduce the amount of pressure placed on the next of the dog.
What’s more, they are also perfect for those Labradors who pull while they can also be used for training and as a way of stopping your dog from pulling on the leash while being walked. However, when the time comes to choose a harness, you need to make sure that it suits your dog and its behaviour as well as its size.
Let us know how you’ve got on with your Dachshund Harnesses in the comment section or on our Facebook page. See also our harness guides for French Bulldogs, Dachshunds and Pugs, as well as checking out our Dog section.