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best dog harness for running

Best Dog Harnesses for Running: Jog With Your Dog!

There are few better running partners than a good dog. While there are a few exceptions (*cough* bulldogs *cough*), most dogs love to run and adapt well to the task!

Marathon-running humans may need to be picky about the breed they choose for a running partner, but most average runners will find that the majority of medium-sized breeds have the stamina to keep up.

If you plan to run with your pooch, you’ll need to make sure you keep him safe and secure while you’re out and about. This means having a good leash and a comfortable harness to keep him by your side.

Sure, off-leash running is definitely preferable from a comfort and fun standpoint, but there just aren’t many places where you can run with an off-leash dog safely. With that in mind, today we’re discussing how to select a trust running harness for your pooch (and listing a few of our top picks).

Quick Picks: Best Harnesses for Running Our Rating Price
Ruffwear Front Range Harness $$$
Ruffwear Webmaster Harness $$$$
EzyDog Quick Fit Harness $$
Blueberry Neoprene Padded Harness $
Truelove Front Range Harness  $

Continue reading for more in-depth reviews

 What to Look For in a Running Harness

You can use just about any harness to run with your dog, but some are undoubtedly better suited for the activity than others are. Make sure that the harness you choose possesses the following traits to ensure it works well for you and your pooch.

Adjustable

Ideal dog harnesses for running (or simply day-to-day use) should always provide a few different places that allow you to shorten or lengthen the straps to achieve a good fit. You’ll still need to be careful to select a harness of the correct size for your dog’s build, but the best harnesses provide enough flexibility to fit a deep-chested Dane or a rail-thin whippet equally well.

 Comfortable

Some dogs adapt to wearing harnesses better than others, but all dogs appreciate and deserve a harness that fits them comfortably. While no-frills, webbing-based harnesses can be comfortable, the most comfortable harnesses usually have padding in high-friction areas, like the belly and chest.

 Reflective or High-Visibility Finish

Some of the best dog harnesses for running feature reflective surfaces to help make your dog more visible in dim lighting. This is especially important for owners who plan to go out on jogs at night (don’t forget your own reflective clothing as well). However, you can upgrade virtually any harness by adding reflectors or reflective tape, if you happen to find a harness that is perfect in most other respects, yet lacks reflective surfaces.

 Secure

Even the best harness in the world becomes useless the second your dog slips out of it and darts off into the forest. To an extent, security depends upon properly adjusting and tightening the harness, but the dog harness’ design also factors into this equation as well. Always check and test the security of a harness before taking on the trail with your dog!

best dog harness runnning

Best Dog Harnesses for Running: Our Top Picks

The following five harnesses are excellent options for keeping your pooch right alongside you when it is time to go for a run.

1. Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness for Dogs

About: Ruffwear makes another appearance on our list, this time with the Front Range Harness. Unlike the Web Master Multi-Use Harness, the Front Range Harness features a more minimalistic design, which your dog may find more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Price: $$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Padded chest and belly panel help prevent friction-related injuries during long runs
  • Four different adjustment points allow for a great fit, regardless of your dog’s breed
  • Reflective trim helps to keep your dog visible to motorists in dim light
  • Features two leash attachment points, including an aluminum V-ring on the back and a reinforced loop on the chest

PROS: Most owners have reported that the Ruffwear Adventure Harness is well-made, comfortable and durable. Dogs usually appear to like wearing the harness, which remains comfortable during even the longest adventures.

CONS: Despite having a leash attachment on the chest, which is normally helpful for reducing a dog’s tendency to pull, a few owners expressed disappointment with the efficacy of this feature. Additionally, a very small number of customers complained that the webbing did not last very long before fraying.

Sizes:

  • X-Small: 13” – 17” chest girth
  • Small: 17” – 22” chest girth
  • Medium: 22” – 27” chest girth
  • Large: 27” – 32” chest girth
  • X-Large: 32” – 42” chest girth

2. Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Harness for Dogs

About: The Ruffwear Webmaster Harness is a very high-quality harness designed to work for a variety of activities, including running. It is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort, and features five different types of adjustment to allow a secure fit.

Price: $$$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Foam-padded chest and belly straps help keep your dog comfortable on longer runs
  • Available in three different, attractive color patterns: twilight gray, red currant and blue dusk
  • Two different leash-attachment points, including an aluminum V-ring and webbing loop
  • Sturdy handle on the back makes it easy to lift your dog up over obstacles or into the car

PROS: The Ruffwear Multi-Use Harness is one of the best-reviewed harnesses on the market. Many who have purchased the harness report that it was the only harness they’ve ever tried that was escape-proof. Because of the sturdy back handle, it is also a great harness for dogs with limited mobility.

CONS: There are very few problems associated with the Ruffwear Multi-Use Harness, but it is one of the most expensive options available. However, as always, quality costs money.

Sizes:

  • XX-Small: 13” – 17” chest girth
  • X-Small: 17” – 22” chest girth
  • Small: 22” – 27” chest girth
  • Medium: 27” – 32” chest girth
  • Large / X-Large: 32” – 42” chest girth

3. EzyDog Quick Fit Adjustable Dog Harness

About: The EzyDog Quick Fit Harness is a no-frills harness, designed to keep your dog safe and comfortable without including any unnecessary bells or whistles. Unlike a number of other harnesses, which can be difficult to adjust, the EzyDog is very easy to use and put on your dog.

Price: $$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Neoprene-covered chest strap provides a comfortable fit for your dog
  • Made with high-visibility, reflective stitching throughout to keep your dog safe
  • Made with a rustproof, stainless steel, welded D-ring leash attachment to ensure your dog’s leash attaches securely
  • Quick-clip buckles make it easy to put the harness on your pup quickly

PROS: Most owners report that the quality of the EzyDog harness was unparalleled, and most dogs seem to find the design comfortable. Additionally, the floating D-ring makes it ideally suited for dogs and owners that like to run together.

CONS: Unlike most of the other harnesses reviewed, the EzyDog Quick Fit only provides one attachment point. Accordingly, it is probably not the best harness for owners of pulling dogs. Also, a few owners complained that the color of the harness faded quickly.

Sizes:

  • XX-Small: 12” – 15” chest girth
  • X-Small: 15” – 18” chest girth
  • Small: 18” – 21.5” chest girth
  • Medium: 21.5” – 26.5” chest girth
  • Large: 26.5” – 33” chest girth
  • X-Large: 33” – 42” chest girth

4. Blueberry Pet No-Pull Neoprene Padded Training Dog Harness

About: The Blueberry Neoprene Padded Harness is a high-quality, no-pull harness designed to offer maximum comfort and security for your dog. A layer of neoprene is attached to the chest strap to help provide the comfort your pup deserves while on the run!

Price: $
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • 3M reflective materials embedded directly into the harness material makes it easy for motorists to see your dog
  • Available in five different colors to help your dog stay stylish
  • Buckles on the side, making it easy to put on or take off your pup

PROS: Most owners speak about the Blueberry No-Pull Harness in glowing terms. They cite things like the high-quality materials, stitching and construction, as well as the ease with which the harness can be put on their dog. Many owners report that their dogs do not seem to mind wearing the Blueberry harness at all.

CONS: A few owners reported that the harness did not fit correctly, but such complaints are relatively rare. Additionally, a very few reported that the harness caused some friction for their dog, but these types of problems also appear to be the exception, rather than the rule.

Sizes:

  • 17” – 19.5” chest girth
  • 5” – 25.5” chest girth
  • 5” –29.5” chest girth

5. Truelove Front Range No-Pull Dog Harness

About: The Truelove Front Range Harness is a well-made and intelligently designed harness that is designed to fit your dog comfortably, while also helping to alleviate problematic pulling behaviors while walking your pooch. The Truelove Harness is available in three stylish colors: orange, black and green.

Price: $
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Includes two leash-attachment points: an aluminum V-ring on the back and a reinforced webbing loop on the chest
  • Lightweight mesh lining and soft sponge padding in the chest and belly areas ensure your pup’s comfort
  • Webbing includes 16M reflective material to improve your dog’s visibility at night
  • Sturdy handle provides an easy way to attach the harness to your car’s seatbelt when heading to the park for a run

PROS: Most owners report great satisfaction with the Truelove harness. The fit and comfort draw high praise from owners who’ve tried it, as do the high-quality stitching and materials. Additionally, and perhaps most notably, several owners reported that this harness actually helped to prevent their dog from constantly pulling, when the leash was attached to the chest loop.

CONS: In general, the Truelove Harness was very well-received by most runners and their dogs. However, a small number of owners complained that the webbing frayed quickly.

Sizes:

  • X-Small: 13” – 17” chest girth
  • Small: 17” – 22” chest girth
  • Medium: 22” – 27” chest girth
  • Large: 27” – 32” chest girth
  • X-Large: 32” – 42” chest girth

Hands-Free Leashes: An Alternative Running Option

Many serious runners prefer to use a hands-free leash when clicking off the miles with their dog. Hands-free leashes usually consist of a slightly elastic, 48- to 60-inch-long bungee leash, but instead of featuring a handle or wrist loop at the human end, they attach to an included belt, which you can wear around your waist.

These leashes help free your arms to pump by your sides, while still keeping your dog close and out of trouble. A few of the best models available include the Primal Pet Gear Hands Free Dog Leash and the Tuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash. Both leashes have received glowing reviews from dog owners and feature traffic handles for additional control of your dog when you need it.

Note that hands-free leashes are not ideal for dogs who tend to pull or lack the focus to run at your side for extended periods. Many owners report that their dogs learned to work with the hands-free leash after a brief adjustment period, but just be sure to keep safety in mind and start out slowly – you don’t want Fido pulling you around by the waist, potentially causing you to fall!

If you love running with your pooch and are considering hands-free running, you’ll likely be interested in the dog-powered sport of canicross, which involves dogs and owners running together as partners!

Canicross owners often enjoy other sports that involve using your dog’s pulling abilities to your advantage, like bikejoring and skijoring (although really only larger dogs who enjoy pulling work will be up to these tasks). Remember, this doesn’t just mean hooking your dog up and letting them pull you all over the street! Specific training and practice is required to teach your dog good vs bad pulling and certain oral commands (similar to mushing commands).

***

Do you run with your dog? What kind of harness do you prefer? Have you ever used a hands-free leash? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

About the Author Ben Team

Ben is a proud dog owner and lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, outdoor recreation, science, and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler JB in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com.

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