Do you have a problem with training your German Shepherd to walk without pulling? Then harness can be your ideal solution since it can stop your dog from pulling during walks. The harness also can become a great addition if your dog has collapsing trachea problem. Put it in simple words, collapsing trachea is a condition where your dog can’t handle pressure in his neck.
After using different harnesses for more than one year, I have found that Chai’s Choice Best Front Range Dog Harness is the best harness for German Shepherd. I pick this product based on a different set of benchmarks such as design, durability, sturdiness, material, and distinguishing features not found on other products.
A quick update for 2019:
Over the last year, I’d seen more and more our readers bought Rabbitgoo Dog Harness for their German Shepherds, and this intrigued me to look at the harness as well.
After carefully examining the harness, while Chai’s Choice harness is still my number one choice, I’ve opted to replace my third recommendation with the Rabbitgoo Dog Harness.
You may want to read more about the harness below.
Here’s the list of three best dog harness for German Shepherd that we recommend:
- Chai’s Choice Dog Harness.
- Rabbitgoo Dog Harness.
- Big Dog No Pull Harness.
The Pros and Cons of Using Harness for German Shepherd Dogs
The Pros of Using Harness for German Shepherd:
The Cons of Using Harness for German Shepherd:
After learning about the pros and cons of using a harness, now you might have a question: “Should I get a harness or not?”. Well, ideally speaking, you should have both a harness and a collar.
A harness is useful not only to help deal with dog jumping problem but also to help control your dog’s movement. Let’s say you want to take a hike with your dog, in this situation, it’s a lot better to use the harness than a dog collar.
Two Types of Dog Harnesses
All types of harnesses available on the market today fall into two categories: back clip harness and front clip harness. This is important for you to know what is the difference between each type of harness before we continue reviewing two of my favorite harnesses.
Back Clip Harness
Back Clip harness is a regular harness that you often see used by small breed dogs such as poodles. This harness comes with three different materials: leather, fabric, and harness. And characterized by a ring that the leash clips onto is located on the back.
This harness is used for a small dog with a delicate throat that prone to injury caused by the collar. However, this is harness is not recommended for dogs that pull a lot. The reason is that back clip harness can actually encourage a dog to pull even more.
Why? When the dog pulls, the harness puts pressure on the front of the dog. This pressure can cause what we call an opposition reflex. Opposition reflex is a natural reaction where your dog will instinctively push and pull against certain pressure. As a result, when the dog feels the pressure on the front of his body, he will respond by pulling against it.
Front Clip Harness
Also known as no-pull dog harness. This front clip harness is characterized by a ring that the leash clips onto is located on the dog’s chest. This harness is more suitable for larger dogs with an urge to pull such as German Shepherd. Why? Because this harness doesn’t put pressure on the front of the dog. When the dog pulls, the pressure is distributed evenly across the body.
Now, you have learned about two different types of harnesses. If you are looking for German Shepherd harness, your best bet is to look for front clip harness. Since nearly all German Shepherd dogs are a puller.
The Best Harness for German Shepherd
1. The Best No Pull Dog Harness: Chai’s Choice Best Front Range Dog Harness
- STYLISH & DURABLE - Outer layer made of scratch-resistant oxford material. Lightweight Duraflex buckle with large loading capacity greatly improves tensile strength
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN - Ease of use putting on and taking off harness. Comfortable lightweight mesh lining with soft sponge padding in chest and belly
After a bunch of experiment with other harnesses and a year of usage, so far, Chai’s Choice Best Front Range Dog Harness is my top pick. One thing that surprises me is how durable this harness is. My dogs are all muscles and highly energetic which mean many harnesses will worn out after several months.
But that’s not the case with Chai’s Choice, it still stands even after a year. Something that you will find amazing if you have 3 German Shepherds with a solid muscle and energy.
Speaking about energetic dogs that mean they are heavy pullers. Even simple morning walks with heavy pullers can become quite a lot of work because the constant tension on the leash is tiring to deal with. But after using this harness, I don’t need to worry anymore they will see a chipmunk or cat whenever I walk with them.
If they get distracted I can simply pull away and redirect them. This harness doesn’t eliminate the pulling completely, but it helps reduce the pulling greatly.
2. Rabbitgoo Dog Harness
- LARGE DOG HARNESS - SIZING:【Neck Girth: 18"-26"; Chest Girth: 17"-34". Let us know anytime you need help in finding the right size for your lovely dog】. Recommended Breeds: Medium to Large Dogs, such as Golden Retriever, Huskie, Labrador, Alaska, German Shepherd, Akita, etc. Let your puppy stand out with this Classic Black Harness!
- NO PULL, NO CHOKE - Specially designed with 2 Metal Leash Rings for safer dog walks. Use the CHEST attachment clip to stop your dog from pulling on walks, perfect for dog training, dog behavioral control, or strong pulling dogs. The BACK one is great for casual walks, jogging, hiking, etc
If your dog is a strong puller, you would love this Rabbitgoo Dog Harness because it works! Just put the leash on the front clip, and you’ll see the difference.
Having the leash clip in the front will make the dog turn toward you if they pull, which is excellent for training your dog to walk nicer.
There is also a back clip option to attach to the car harness for your dog’s safety while riding.
What I dislike about this harness is that it is slightly harder to adjust than most other harnesses that I’d tried before.
But overall, the harness is very well made and easy to use.
3. Big Dog Soft Reflective No-Pull Harness
- HASSLE FREE: Our easy on and easy off big dog harness allows you ready for your dog walking in no time. No more struggling with putting collars and leashes over your pet's head
- DOUBLE SECURITY: With a big strong buckle closure and heavy duty metal D-rings for secure leash attachment, this safety harness allows you to walk your pet with confidence
Big Soft Reflective No-Pull Harness comes as a runner-up in our list. What I really like from this product is, it is reflective, durable and easy to put on. The strap is very easy to size and it is really really simple to get on and off. There are three different sizes offered, you will certainly find the size that will fit well for your dog.
We tested this harness on some less-puller dogs. During our testing, we tested this harness on several sessions of morning and evening walks, and the harness is perfect for walks. It’s padded so our dog seems comfortable, we used the handle to bring him closer during the walks and he didn’t seem to be bothered or tried to remove the harness.
- Recommended by Whole Dog Journal, the VIN (Veterinary Information Network) and many dog trainers as the ultimate in flexibility, control, and training.
- Stop the pulling!: Attaching your leash to the martingale loop on the back will allow your dog to walk in a straight line without twisting or straining, while also discouraging pulling by gently tightening around the chest. Attaching your leash to the ring on the front of the chest lets you "steer" your dog. Using a double-ended leash allows you to connect to the front and back of the harness simultaneously for even more control.
Freedom No-Pull Harness can become a great alternative if you have other larger dog breeds at home. We tested this harness on other dog breeds such as Siberian Husky, Pit Bull, Boxer, and Rottweiler and it is quite good to give you control and handle strong pullers. You can attach the leash to the front to discourage pulling or you can attach the leash to the back for training.
However, in my opinion, the leash that they give is quite useless so you might want to use your own leash. And also, the price is quite costly, even though the manufacturer gives a chewing warranty: they will replace up to two chewed straps for free, no question asked.
German Shepherd Harness or Collar: Which one is The Best for German Shepherds?
I would say the decision to use a harness or collar depends on your dog’s condition.
Since almost all German Shepherds that I know tend to pull hard, it makes a harness a better option than a collar.
Especially, during your dog’s first year, where he is on a verge to run as fast as they could wherever he sees something moving, or impatiently go to explore and sniff new objects that he hasn’t seen before.
Using a harness can avoid the risk of your dog getting chocked and tangled up in the leash accidentally. A harness can also discourage your dog from jumping up on strangers.
The con side, a harness can make your dog’s hair getting caught up.
German Shepherd Harness Size
For puppy German Shepherds weighing up to 25 lbs, you should get a small sized harness with a girth at 13-23″ and 5/8 width leash.
For young German Shepherds up to 55 lbs of weight, you should get a medium sized harness with a girth at 18-29″ and 3/4″ width leash.
For adult German Shepherds up to 75 lbs of weight, you should get a large-sized harness with a girth at 22-39″ and 1″ width leash, 2 ply for strong pullers.
How to Measure German Shepherd Girth for Harness
Here’re a short-video from Kurgo that will show you how to measure your dog’s chest, neck, and weight:
Wrapping It Up
Although some dog harness models outdo the Chai’s Choice Harness in one single attribute, nothing else that we’ve tested has the same combination of great material, features, design, not forget to mention 9 available colors to pick from (my personal favorite), and truly affordable price. If you are looking for the best harness for your German Shepherd, I know you will be happy with our pick.