A lot of dogs don’t seem to mind wearing a harness (some even appear to like it). But others find them to be uncomfortable enough that they chew on the harness in an effort to escape.
Owners of these types of pups frequently come home to find a naked dog and the tattered remains of a harness on the floor. If this sounds familiar, you’ll want to use a chew-proof dog harness.
But before we get to specific products, let’s examine some of the characteristics of good harnesses, and some of the features that give a harness a good chance of surviving your dog’s teeth.
Continue reading for product recommendations and in-depth reviews
What Kinds of Things Make a Dog Harness Chew-Proof?
Let’s go ahead and be clear that no harness is completely chew-proof.
You’d have to make a harness out of some type of metal, a super-durable plastic or Kevlar to make it strong enough to withstand your dog’s jaws and teeth. Yet harnesses must be made from flexible enough to fit your dog’s body comfortably and soft enough to prevent chaffing.
These needs are clearly at odds with each other.
But some harnesses are definitely more resistant to chewing than others are. Many of these exhibit one or more of the following features:
Again, you won’t find harnesses made of truly chew-proof materials, but some fabrics and fibers are stronger than others. There are a number of durable materials used in different dog harnesses, but rip-stop nylon, canvas, and denim are a few of the best.
Different harnesses place their straps in different places, and it makes sense to use a model that situates the straps in places that are difficult for your dog to reach.
Dogs can reach most of their body with their mouth, but the neck, shoulders and chest are often the most difficult areas for them to access. Try to envision your dog wearing each of the harnesses listed below, and select the one with the most inaccessible straps.
Durable Hardware and Fasteners
Dogs who find it difficult to chew through the fabric of a harness will quickly turn their attention to the harness’ fasteners or hardware. Metal hardware is generally preferable in this regard, but most harnesses feature plastic clips and fasteners.
Nevertheless, several premium harnesses use relatively durable plastics in their connectors, which will survive some degree of chewing.
The 7 Best Chew-Proof Dog Harnesses: Tough and Durable
The following seven harnesses are among the most durable available, and they’re more likely to stand up to your dog’s dental damage than most others are.
1. Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness
About: The Ruffwear Front Range Harness is not explicitly marketed as being chew proof, but it is made from very durable materials and has a minimalistic design, so there’s less for your pooch to pick at. It is, however, designed to be extremely comfortable, which may also help discourage your dog from chewing on it.
- Features 4 adjustment points
- Padded chest and belly panels provide long-lasting comfort
- Comes with 2 leash clips: 1 on the back, and another on the front of the chest
- Reflective trim
- Convenient ID pocket to store tags
- Minimalistic design makes this harness challenging for a heavy chewer to chomp on
- Comfortable enough for everyday use
- Padded straps help prevent chafing during long walks
- Some owners of long-haired dogs recommend ordering a size up
- Does not include a control handle
2. ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness
About: The ICEFANG Tactical Harness is a high-quality, relatively indestructible dog harness that comes with a number of durable components and design features. For example, this is one of the only dog harnesses that has metal buckles,. which are more likely to withstand your dog’s chomping.
The ICEFANG Tactical Harness isn’t specifically designed to be chew-proof, but it should hold up to your dog’s teeth better than many other harnesses on the market.
- Comes with front and back leash clips
- Features Velcro panels for service patches or other accessories
- The back of the harness has a control handle
- Metal buckles are designed to withstand a thousand pounds of force
- Provides 5 points of adjustment
- This is one of the few harnesses with metal buckles
- The back handle is perfect for providing additional control of reactive pups
- In addition to the metal buckles, this entire harness is just built like a tank
- This is a pretty heavy harness, which may present problems for small doggos
- A few pet parents notes that the metal buckles can be somewhat noisy
- It doesn’t feature reflective materials
3. Rabbitgoo Dog Harness
About: The rabbitgoo Dog Harness is a supremely affordable harness, and because of its design and the materials used in its construction, it may be a great option for owners looking for a chew-proof product.
Made from nylon Oxford fabric for durability, the rabbitgoo Harness also features ample padding for your dog’s comfort without breaking the bank.
- Equipped with a canine control handle
- Comes with front and back leash rings
- Features 4 different adjustment points
- Made from durable nylon fabric
- Reflective stitching for night-walking safety
- Super affordable price point makes this a great pick for budget-conscious owners
- Several owners found this harness escape-proof, which is great for Houdini-like hounds
- Quality construction helps it stand up to your dog’s teeth
- May be too heavy for very small dogs
- A few owners reported chafing issues with the straps
4. Carhartt Training Dog Harness
About: The Carhartt Harness is made out of durable canvas, which helps it withstand chewing, adverse weather conditions, and general doggo wear and tear. This harness provides padding without adding bulk, and the straps are difficult for dogs to reach and chew on.
Additionally, this harness comes with front and back leash clips, giving your two different options for controlling your canine.
- Made from durable canvas fabric
- Comes with a cushioned chest strap
- Includes front and back leash attachments
- Features 2 adjustable straps to achieve a great fit
- Made with reflective stitching for nighttime safety
- Tight fitting harness doesn’t leave any loose straps for dogs to chew on
- Canvas material holds up well to teeth and daily wear and tear
- Padded yet minimalistic design was comfortable for most canine companions
- A few owners noted that this harness runs a bit small
- Some pet parents had trouble figuring out how to put this harness on their pups
5. Beirui Dog Harness
About: If the look of leather appeals to you, you may want to consider the Beirui Leather Dog Harness for your chew-tastic canine. Leather is a tough material that can be more challenging for your dog to chew through, and the metal buckles offer an additional measure of safety.
And in addition to being super sturdy, this high-quality dog harness will look great while your pooch is strutting around town.
- Comes with a single leash attachment clip
- Provides a relaxed yet secure fit
- Features 3 adjustable straps
- Made from soft, genuine leather
- Suitable for medium and large dogs
- We think this is one of the better-looking chew-resistant harnesses around
- Minimalistic design helps reduce your dog’s ability to chew the harness
- Leather is a pretty durable material that often (though not always) stands up to canine chompers
- Not designed for small dogs
- It only features one harness clip
- It doesn’t come in many color options
6. 2 Hounds Design Freedom No-Pull Dog Harness
About: The 2 Hounds Deisgn Freedom Harness is a no-pull harness that’s typically difficult for dog’s to reach, and it is also made from durable fabric and hardware for extra chomper protection. This lightweight harness is also easy to fit beneath your dog’s coats and jackets, making it a great choice for all seasons.
Best of all, while not specifically characterized as “chew proof,” this harness is backed by the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty against chew damage!
- No-pull design to make daily walks easier
- Made from durable nylon and most (but not all) of the hardware is metal
- Made in the USA
- Comes with 4 adjustment points
- Equipped with front and back leash attachments
- It’s a good choice for pulling pooches
- Backed by a chew-damage warranty
- Available in more color options than any other chew-proof harness we’ve found
- No padding on straps may lead to discomfort for some dogs
- Some owners found this harness confusing to put on and take off
7. Kurgo Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength Dog Harness
About: Looking for a chew-proof harness that will keep your dog safe while traveling in the car? You’ll definitely want to consider this crash-tested harness from Kurgo. This harness comes with a carabiner-equipped seatbelt tether to keep your dog secure while sitting in the back seat.
With sturdy nylon fabric and two leash attachments, this flexible harness is a good fit for most chew-happy pups.
- Dual-clip harness is equipped with front and back leash attachments
- Comes with a padded chest plate
- Made from sturdy nylon fabric
- Features durable metal hardware
- Comes with seatbelt tether
- It’s a crash-tested harness that’s great for car travel
- Durable yet comfortable design
- Pet owners were impressed with this harness’ durability for the price
- Some owners suggested opting for one size larger than normal if you have a large or long-bodied pooch
- A few pet parents wish the back straps were padded
What Are the Basic Things to Consider When Purchasing Any Harness?
Your dog’s harness is more than just an accessory – it’s a tool that keeps him safe.
Some of the things you’ll need to consider include:
What Style Harness Do You Want?
There are a number of different harness styles, each of which has its own pros and cons. Some of the most common styles include:
- Back-Clip Harnesses: Harnesses that clip on the back are best for well-behaved dogs, who walk well on a loose leash and are unlikely to pull. They are fairly easy to use without tangling, and they make it easy to attach or detach the leash.
- Front-Clip Harnesses: Because they allow you to pull on your dog’s chest, rather than his back, front-clipping harnesses are ideal for dogs that require a little additional direction during walks. They are also quite helpful for stopping pulling behavior and they allow you to turn your dog when necessary. They can, however, entangle your dog’s feet pretty easily if you’re not careful.
- Dual Clip Harnesses: Dual clip harnesses offer the best of both worlds, as they allow you to clip the leash to your dog’s chest or back. This means you can give your dog a little more freedom when running around in the open, or keep him on a shorter leash (if you’ll pardon the expression), when navigating a busy city sidewalk.
- Constricting Harnesses: Constricting harnesses are designed to tighten when your dog pulls the leash. They typically attach to the leash at the back, have at least one adjustable strap, and can help save you from being dragged all over the neighborhood several times a day. However, these harnesses should only provide pressure; you must avoid any constricting harness that causes your dog pain.
Does the Harness Provide Additional Visibility?
Many of the best dog harnesses feature reflective patches or stitching, which will help make you and your dog more visible during nighttime walks.
Even more importantly, reflective harnesses can provide more protection for your dog in situations where you can’t help protect him, such as if he runs out of the house unexpectedly or pulls the leash from your hand.
Does the Harness Provide a Proper Fit?
You always want to make sure the harness you use fits your dog comfortably and securely. Some designs are inherently better suited for some breeds than others are, and it’s important to review the manufacturer’s information and sizing guidelines carefully before making your purchase.
It also bears mentioning that you may be able to put an end to your dog’s desire to chew his harness by providing him with one that fits better. This may reduce some of the discomfort he feels, which may free him to focus on other things.
Dogs vary in their preferences, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles before making your purchase.
Chew Proof Harnesses: FAQ
Still have questions about chew proof dog harnesses? Don’t worry — we have you covered!
What is the best harness for a dog who chews?
It really depends on your dog’s specific needs. All of the harnesses above are certainly potential winners (depending on your dog’s specific needs), but we think the Ruffwear Front Range is the all-around best option.
What is the toughest dog harness?
All of the harnesses discussed above are pretty tough, but the ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness is likely the toughest of them all.
How do I stop my dog from chewing his harness?
Start by ensuring that you’ve selected a harness that’s comfortable for your dog to wear — that’ll help eliminate one of the primary reasons dogs chew on their harnesses.
After doing this, you may want to consider redirecting your dog anytime you see him chew on his harness. In other words, when you see him nomming on his harness, give him something safe he can chew instead.
Additionally, you may want to consider only putting the harness on him when going for walks. This will prevent him from chewing on his harness when he’s bored.
Is any harness really “chew proof?”
Unfortunately, no — all harnesses are susceptible to your dog’s teeth. That said, some (such as the seven discussed above) are certainly more likely to hold up to some moderate chewing than others.
Do you have a pooch who’d rather chew through his harness than wear it? Have you found a heavy-duty harness that stands up to the damage he tries to cause? Tell us all about it! We’d love to hear your experiences with aggressive chewers – both good and bad.