How to Put on a Dog Harness

If you’ve ever struggled to put on a dog harness, you’re not alone. Many dog owners find themselves overwhelmed trying to navigate all the different straps, loops and buckles. Your pup may also be extra wiggly due to excitement or unfamiliarity with the harness, adding to the challenge of figuring out which paw goes in which opening.  

outer space reversible dog harness

At Beast & Buckle, we want you to enjoy safe and stress-free walks with your pup, and that starts with knowing how to put on a dog harness properly. Whether you’re in the market for a new dog harness or you recently purchased one for your four-legged friend, here’s a simple guide on how to safely strap your pup into a harness for your next stroll.

First Things First — Find the Right Dog Harness for Your Pup

Choosing the right dog harness is key to enjoying safe and hassle-free walks with your beloved pooch. The most common types of dog harnesses include over-the-head, step-in and no-pull dog harnesses.

No matter which harness style you choose, a high-quality dog harness should have the following attributes.

  • A good dog harness is made from premium quality materials that are strong yet luxurious.
  • A good dog harness is built for comfort. You can help your furry friend avoid painful chafing and rubbing by choosing a harness with padding on the chest and soft, non-irritating materials.
  • A good dog harness has adjustable straps to ensure a dialed-in fit. Because losing a pet is an awful feeling that nobody should have to experience.
  • A good dog harness reflects you and your dog’s personality. Your dog’s personality is unlike any other, so why settle for a boring dog harness in a plain color? Skip the generic options and pick up a cute dog harness in a fun print that shows off your pup’s unique personality and sense of style! While you’re at it, be sure to check out our cool dog leashes.
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under construction classic dog harness

How to Put on a Dog Harness 

Before we dive in, we’re going to make your life a little bit easier with one simple trick: try to find the D-ring where the lead attaches. Most dog harnesses have the lead D-ring on the dog’s back, so if you find that, you’ll know which way is up. (The exception to this rule is no-pull dog harnesses, which have the lead D-ring located on the chest to help discourage pulling.)

Got it? Good. Now, let’s get started!

1. How to Put on an Over-the-Head Dog Harness 

Many over-the-head harnesses, including our classic dog harnesses, offer more coverage around the chest and neck area to provide maximum comfort for your four-legged friend. This type of harness doesn’t have any buckles around the neck, which means you’ll need to gently slide the harness over your dog’s head to put it on properly.

  • Unbuckle your dog’s harness.
  • Stand or squat behind your dog and command them to “stay.” If they’re barking or jumping around, wait until they are calm before moving on to the next step.
  • Find the neck hole and gently slide it over your dog’s head. Make sure the lead D-ring is positioned on your dog’s back.
  • Slip your dog’s front leg through the first leg hole.
  • Locate the unbuckled strap nearest to your dog’s opposite hind leg and fasten the buckle to the back. If the buckle doesn’t reach, you’ll need to loosen the strap.

2. How to Put on a Step-In Dog Harness

Step-in harnesses can seem a little confusing at first, but trust us, they’re easier to put on your dog than they look. This type of harness has two openings that your dog steps into with both paws, hence the name.

  • Unbuckle your harness and lay it flat on the ground.
  • Place your dog’s front feet in the two openings.
  • Grab each end of the harness and fasten the buckle at your dog’s back.
  • Adjust the tri-glides to ensure a proper fit.

3. How to Put on a No-Pull Dog Harness

If your dog has serious pulling issues or unique size needs, consider using a no-pull dog harness. This particular type of harness has a D-ring located on the front of the harness, which redirects your dog’s momentum to the side to discourage pulling.

Instructions for no-pull harnesses will vary from brand to brand. That said, here’s how to put on a no-pull dog harness from Beast & Buckle:

  • Unbuckle the straps on the back of the harness and stand to one side of your dog.
  • Slide the neck area over your dog’s head OR unbuckle the straps on the neck and place the neck area around the dog’s neck. The side with the handle should be positioned on your dog’s back.
  • Pass the strap between your dog’s front paws and fasten the straps on the back.
  • Adjust the tri-glides to ensure a proper fit. You should be able to fit two fingers between the harness and your dog’s body.

Note: If your dog doesn’t like things going over his head, our no-pull harnesses also unbuckle at the neck.

Strap Your Dog in Style at Beast & Buckle

Figuring out how to put on a dog harness doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Just follow this simple guide and you’ll be strapping your pup into their harness like a pro every time. 

In the market for a new dog harness? Whether you’re looking for a Corgi harness for your pint-sized pup or a no-pull for your bigger beast, Beast & Buckle has everything you need to walk your dog in style. Check out the entire collection at Beast & Buckle and get ready to turn heads!

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classic dog harness

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