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Best Dog Harnesses for Running: Jog With Your Dog!

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Collars & Harnesses By Ben Team 10 min read October 9, 2019 14 Comments

best dog harness for running

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

  • PICK #1: Ruffwear Front Rage Harness. A mid-priced, high-quality outdoor-focused harness from Ruffwear. Features a front and back clip option along with padding for even weight distribution and comfort. Great all-around harness for running and every day!
  • PICK #2: Ruffwear Webmaster Harness. High-end harness from Ruffwear for advanced wilderness exploring, including hiking, climbing, and search & rescue. Features sturdy handle for helping dog over obstacles. Recommended for those who do running + other high-level outdoor activity.
  • PICK #3: Burberry Neoprene Padded Harness. An affordable, ultra-cute back clip harness suitable for jogs and light hiking.

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.

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Written by

Ben Team

Ben is the senior content editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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14 Comments

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Ed Downing

Hi, I have a 92 lbs dog that very much looks like a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I’ve tried a couple of running harnesses that quickly rubbed the chest wall under his front right leg. Do you know of any harnesses that don’t put the clasps under the dog near that area?
Thanks!

Reply
Jen Edson

A no pull harness is no good for running in as it restricts the dogs movement. These should not be reviewed under running harnesses.

Reply
Ben Team

Hey, Jen. I’d respectfully disagree.
Just because a harness features a “no-pull” design doesn’t me it restricts a dog’s movement — and none of them should restrict a dog’s movement when he or she is running by your side.
But thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

Reply
Ben Team

Hey, Jen. I’d respectfully disagree.
Just because a harness features a “no-pull” design doesn’t me it restricts a dog’s movement — and none of them should restrict a dog’s movement when he or she is running by your side.
But thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

Reply
Jen Edson

A no pull harness is no good for running in as it restricts the dogs movement. These should not be reviewed under running harnesses.

Reply
Paul Houghton

I have 2 x Italian Spinoni’s both of which are 40K but quite different shapes. They are both have however barrel shaped chests. I purchased from a site an XL Howling Dog Tough Skin harness which simply doesn’t fit. It’s too small around the chest area. I know I should go back and exchange it but communication with them was at best awful so I rather start again. Can you offer some advice please on an alternative please?

Reply
Meg Marrs

Hi Paul. Unfortunately, if you’ve already had trouble getting a correct fitting harness, it might be best to go into a store and try a few different models in-person with your pooch. Alternatively, if you want to try online again, considering that the Ruffwear Wed Master has five different levels of custom adjustment, it’s probably a safe bet. I’d also suggest browsing through the review of each harness and, using the search function, try to find mentions of other barrel-chested breeds.

Reply
Sonja

Thanks for this great post. We have recently begun running with our 16 month standard poodle and it has already become such a joy. He dances around the house when he sees me grab my running shoes. We decided it was time to invest in more comfortable gear, but had no idea where to start. My husband and I used your great comparison to choose our harness. We ordered the Truelove and a hands-free leash this morning. Can’t wait to give it a try!

Reply
Meg Marrs

So glad to help Sonja, and so great to hear that you and your poodle get that great bonding experience together!

Reply
India

I have a 3 year old husky that has the ruff wear front range harness. It’s a good harness however the non pulling factor is useless. I do worry that I’m putting a lot of pressure on her right or even left side cause she tends to always want to pull right when wearing this harness and I want a harness that I know is protecting her joints when running since she’s a pulling breed and has a tendency to when running.

Reply
Meg Marrs

Thanks for sharing your experience India – good to hear from someone who has used the Ruffwear harness extensively.

Reply
kirsten

I’d be interested to know if you’ve reviewed head harnesses. Snoot Loop head harness was what we landed on last time (after several trial and error purchases including some awkward contraptions). I tried body harnesses and always saw chaffing at friction points, even on short runs. I like the idea of a body harness, but wonder if people are really running their dogs with these?

We have a new dog that we believe is part husky and pulls like he’s mushing, so in the market again for a harness. Thanks for your thoughts.

Reply
Ben Team

That’s awesome, Kate. Glad to be of service! I love standards — they’re so smart and bad-ass! Now get out there and run! (He says while staring devilishly at the elliptical and double-fisting Doritos).

Reply
Kate C.

Thanks for this post! I’ve been teaching my 13-mo-old standard poodle to run with me and she loves it, but I’m in the market for a different harness for her. We have an easy walk harness right now, but I’m not really happy with it for running because it doesn’t exactly fit right as she’s grown. She doesn’t pull really anymore, like she did as a puppy walking, but I want more protection for her neck than just clipping to her collar when on a run… occasionally she has an urgent need to stop the run to sniff something! I had been leaning toward the Truelove, and think this nice comparison sealed the deal. Off to Amazon, thanks again!

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