Hiking with your dog is among the best adventures you can experience. It's time to relax and take in the great outdoors with your dog.
A harness is among the essential items you need when hiking with a dog. The right one must have a proper fit and serve your needs. But which is best dog harness for hiking?
The best dog harnesses that you can get for your pet are Kurgo Journey Multiuse Dog Harness, Gooby- Pioneer Dog Harness, BABYLTRL Big Dog and TRUE LOVE Adjustable Dog Harness. These tick every box in terms of better dog control, right size and adjustability.
Hiking with your dog gives you a chance to get more exercise in a new environment. But, it's essential to keep your dog on the trail and exert control. A good harness provides better control while not exerting pressure on your dog's neck and trachea.
Check out the different harnesses listed below. These will fit different scenarios and dog sizes. They also come in a wide range of colors, are light and fit different dog sizes.
10 Best Dog Harnesses for Hiking
1. Kurgo Journey Multiuse Dog Harness- Best for Active Dogs
Is your dog the kind that loves being outside and is always full of energy? The Kurgo Journey Multiuse Dog Harness is the best harness for active dogs out on the trail. It's an excellent harness to use while running or jogging with your pet.
The harness has front and back leash rings that come in handy during training. You can teach your dog not to pull while hiking when you use both. The back ring comes in handy as extra support when you want more control of your dog.
It has an excellent V-neck design that's comfortable for your dog. They can have a wide range of movement, and extra padding helps prevent any neck or chest injuries. There are aluminum quick-release buckles that are rust-resistant.
Another addition is the electric trim on the jacket. This is ideal for when you're hiking and need better visibility of your dog. It's a lightweight harness that suits medium to large dogs.
You can use the back handle on it when your dog needs to move over obstacles or have better movement outside.
2. Gooby- Pioneer Dog Harness- Best for Small Dogs
Smaller dogs can also enjoy the open trail. The Gooby- Pioneer Dog Harness is the best for small dog breeds. A dog of 35 lbs. and below can wear the harness and be comfortable hiking. There are 4 different sizes of the Gooby harness that you can choose from.
It has a suede finish traffic handle on this dog harness. This comes in handy when you want to grip and pick up your dog. Such close control ensures your dog isn't in danger on the trail. Plus, it's a stylish addition to the harness.
You can adjust this dog harness at the next and chest for a proper fit. It comes with a quality nylon fastener on the chest that delivers a double layer of security. In case the buckle of the harness detaches, you can use this fastener.
A front clip on the harness is ideal when you want to minimize pulling. This is a well-padded harness that ensures maximum comfort for your dog. Inside there's a compressed foam that works to reduce pressure on the neck and chest of small dogs.
3. TRUE LOVE Adjustable Dog Harness- Best for Comfortable Control
The TRUE LOVE Adjustable Dog Harness has 2 attachment points that make it easier to control your dog. This harness comes in 5 different sizes and 11 colors. It's made of a high-quality nylon material that's comfortable for your dog.
The two attachment points on the harness attach under the stomach and on the usual back/neck area. There's a handle at the back of the harness that enables better control while hiking. Also, it's the best place to attach a safety belt when you need to use one.
The nylon material on the harness is durable and has tensile strength. It has double-stitching and load capacity buckles. These come in handy when you want to hold back even the strongest pulling dog. As you do so, the soft padding on the chest and stomach area prevents any strains or injuries.
There's reflective material woven into the harness for better visibility at night. Also, the inner layer of the chest and stomach padding contains mesh material. This is essential for good load dispersion and preventing extended wear.
4. Embark Adventure Dog Harness- Best for Adventurous Dogs
Dogs that love the outdoors and being active can wear the Embark Adventure Dog Harness. It comes in 4 sizes and 4 colors. The harness has a built-in handle that you can use to get better control of an active dog. Plus, it's also perfect for assistance.
The harness has long straps with more adjustment points for maximum comfort. This ensures you have a snug fit, and it's easy to put on and take off your dog. After adjusting the harness, you slip it over the dog's head and clip its buckles to secure your dog.
This harness is made using top-quality military-grade nylon material. It can withstand pulling strength from a dog that's above 130 lbs. The front metal D-ring has triple the strength of simple ones with additional reinforcement.
It's a no-pull dog harness with a back-leash attachment. The front leash attachment is ideal for training your dog to heel and not pull as you hike. There's soft padding around the neck area to protect the dog's trachea. Overall the harness is light and has reflective trim that keeps your dog visible.
5. Outward Hound Dog Harness and Backpack- Best Harness with Storage
The Outward Hound Dog Harness and Backpack have extra storage space. It comes in 3 different colors, and sizes range from small to extra-large. It's a high-quality hiking harness and backpack for adventurous dogs with a comfortable fit.
There are storage compartments on the side that offer additional storage space for treats, gears or other items. It's lightweight and easy to use but still offers maximum control. All 4 storage compartments in the backpack are expandable to carry more loads.
Each side has 2 storage compartments that make it easier to distribute the weight of the load. There is a breathable mesh and adjustable straps. The colors are bright and ensure you can maintain high visibility when hiking at night.
The harness weighs 0.79 pounds and is made of quality nylon material. Adjustable straps allow full-range motion. Also, you can use the quality D-ring clip for better control.
6. OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness- Best Military Grade Harness
The OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness comes with a useful sizing chart. It's made using durable nylon material and has soft padding underneath for maximum comfort. This tactical harness has 1000D nylon and covers all pressure areas on the dog's body.
It's ideal for medium-sized and large dogs that require maximum control when hiking. The easily adjustable harness has 4 quick-release buckles that are simple to put on and off. There's also one top handle for better lead and control and a V-ring at the front part for the leash.
This is a military-style harness with 2-mole straps on each side. There are also some hoop and loop strip panels to attach any molle panels. As a whole, the harness withstands heavyweight and suits big dogs that need maximum control.
It comes in 3 sizes and 4 different colors. It has a full-length strip that's 9 inches long with a wide heavy-duty loop panel. The best way to know the right size is to measure your dog's neck and chest, then check the size chart.
7. ThinkPet No-Pull Dog Harness- Best Breathable Hiking Harness
ThinkPet No-Pull Dog Harness is the best if you want a breathable one for your pet. It's available in 15 different colors, and sizes range from small to 2XL. The harness is made using high-grade Oxford fabric with an upgraded dual layer of nylon.
This harness can be easily used on small to big dogs because of its adjustability. It has a no-pull capacity with 4 quick snap buckles that wear in and off easily. The wide straps distribute pressure evenly on your dog when exerting control to prevent choking or straining.
It has a breathable vest that keeps your dog cool and comfortable. It has an Eva foam padding with a top layer of soft mesh underneath the harness. This provides maximum skin ventilation and prevents injuries while performing strenuous outdoor activities.
The area with the padding has reflective material ideal for easy identification at night. There are 2 metal D-rings on the harness and a back clip for walks around the neighborhood. At the top is a soft padded handle for lifting or better controlling your dog.
8. Rabbitgoo Dog Harness- Best for Big Dogs
Big dogs with lots of muscles and energy can use the Rabbitgoo Dog Harness. If you have a Huskie, Alaskan, German Shephard or Labrador, this harness is an idea for better control. It's a non-pulling harness that prevents choking or injuries when trying to manage your pet.
There are 2 metal rings on the harness where you attach the leash. The chest attachment clip is better when you want to stop your dog. The back one comes in handy when you go on leisure walks or runs around your home area.
This overhead harness is simple to fix on your dog. 2 fast-release buckles come on and off without much hassle. You slide the harness over your dog's head, adjust the straps and buckle for a good fit.
There are 4 adjustable straps on the harness. 2 straps are near the neck area, and 2 are on the chest part of the dog harness. It's a safe no-pull harness made using durable nylon oxford material and has soft-cushion padding inside. There are bright reflective strips on it for better night visibility.
9. BABYLTRL Big Dog Harness- Best Heavy-duty Harness
Large dog breeds need heavy-duty gear like the BABYLTRL Big Dog Harness. This is an adjustable harness that you can easily use on different dogs. It has snap buckles that you can use when putting on or removing this dog harness.
Both snaps have a locking feature that keeps the harness in position and comfortable for your dog.
There are 2 durable metal D-rings at the front and back part of the dog harness. The front part is for when you want better control but want to avoid pulling your dog. Use the back ring to attach a leash during leisure walks or similar activities.
This is a reflective dog harness that provides maximum comfort for your dog. It also has a breathable mesh material with soft padding to cushion your dog's neck and chest. At the top is a sturdy handle for better up-close control when you want your dog to stop.
10. Bolux Dog Harness- Best Outdoor Dog Harness
The Bolux Dog Harness is colorful and comes in different sizes. This can fit small to big dogs and everything in between. Its design ensures maximum comfort by distributing the pulling pressure to prevent injuries or choking.
There's an adjustable chest strap on this dog harness with a secure snap buckle. This allows your dog room to move better and can be customized to fit different sizes. It had a rugged nylon handle at the top for better control.
Reflective straps run on its side to guarantee your dog remains visible at night. There's a long-lasting D-ring on the harness where you attach the leash. The harness uses quality PU and nylon material and has a breathable mesh with an inner layer of soft padding.
Why Do Dogs Need Harnesses When Hiking?
Hiking gives your dog a chance to enjoy some amazing new locations and have fun. But, when enjoying the great outdoors, it's crucial to ensure you have better control of your dog. In such scenarios, you need a dog harness rather than a collar.
Here are a few reasons you need to get the best dog harness for hiking.
Reduce Pulling Incidences
Pulling can cause tension and strain on your dog's neck and shoulders. However, when you use a harness, it covers a wider area and gives you more control. Therefore, you won't have to pull when there's danger or if you want your dog to heel.
Better for Active Dogs
Active and energetic dog breeds are in heaven when you go hiking. They want to go here and there and everywhere. But, it's better to stay the course and follow the set trail.
So, keeping your active dog on a harness prevents them from running off or veering away from the trail.
Often, dog harnesses contain reflective material that's visible at night. Ensuring your dog wears it means you can see them at night and ensure they're safe. Also, it helps any oncoming traffic or people to see your dog when there's poor light.
Neck and trachea injuries are common for dogs that use leashes and collars. As you try to exert control, there's lots of tension on your dog's neck. However, you can avoid such incidents when using a wide harness with a snug fit and padding.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Dog Harness for Hiking
Before you buy a new dog harness, consider the following factors.
The harness comes in different designs and sizes. It's important to note them and choose the right one for your pet. Some cover the entire body while others protect the neck and shoulders. Always know your dog's needs and select a harness suitable for hiking.
Type of Material
What is the material on the dog harness? Some of the best have durable nylon material. This is ideal since it's breathable and comfortable on a dog's skin. In addition, nylon dries fast if it rains or your dog runs into a lake.
Adjustable straps are a huge part of a good dog harness. So, check the straps that a harness has and how adjustable these are. Adjustable straps ensure a snug fit on your dog's body, leaving them comfortable.
Do you need extra storage compartments for treats and other items when hiking? You can pick out a dog harness with storage compartments on the side. The best harness will have an equal number of compartments on each side to ensure an even weight distribution.
How much are you willing to spend on a dog harness? The good news is that a dog harness fits different budgets on the market. Do extensive research and note the harness that best suits your set budget.
The right harness will light and have a soft mesh on specific areas. This mesh is important because it permits ample airflow to keep your dog cool while hiking. Also, it won't rub against its skin because it's soft, which can be quite uncomfortable.
At times hiking starts at dawn or ends at dusk when it's dark outside. Having a dog harness with reflective material on it is important. It helps you know where your pet is and alerts anyone coming your way.
About THE AUTHOR
I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.Read More About Russell Wright