How To Harness Train Your German Shepherd (A Concise Guide)

Categorized as German Shepherd
Harness training a German shepherd

German shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds, and it’s easy to see why. They’re intelligent, loyal, and make great protectors. However, German shepherds also have a reputation for being strong-willed, and this can sometimes manifest as pulling on the leash.

If your German shepherd tends to pull while on walks, a harness can help to train them not to do so without hurting them. Harnesses distribute the pressure evenly across the chest and shoulders, making it more comfortable for your dog while still providing you with better control.

In addition, harnesses provide you with a greater range of motion, which can be helpful when training your dog not to pull. With a little patience and perseverance, you can use a harness to train your German shepherd to walk politely by your side.

Our article can be a starting point in your journey to harness train your dog. The article includes some tips on how to get your dog accustomed to wearing a harness, as well as some advice on how to use the harness to train your dog not to pull.

How To Get Your German Shepherd Used To Wear A Harness

The first step in harness training is getting your dog used to wearing the harness. This may take some time and patience, as some dogs are resistant to wearing anything that restricts their movement.

  1. Start by letting your dog sniff and explore the harness. This will help to get them accustomed to the smell and feel of the harness.
  2. Once your dog seems comfortable with the harness, put it on them for short periods of time, starting with just a few minutes.
  3. Gradually increase the amount of time that your dog wears the harness, and make sure to praise them and give them treats while they’re wearing it.
  4. If your dog seems uncomfortable or resistant at any point, go back to shorter periods of time and try again later.
  5. Once your dog is comfortable wearing the harness, you can start using it for walks.

How To Train Your German Shepherd Not To Pull Using A Harness

Once your dog is accustomed to wearing the harness, you can begin using it to train them not to pull. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do this:

  1. Start by having your dog wear the harness around the house for short periods of time.
  2. Give your dog treats while they’re wearing the harness to help them associate it with positive experiences.
  3. Begin taking your dog on short walks, and if they start to pull, stop walking and stand still until they stop pulling.
  4. If your dog continues to pull, you can try walking in the opposite direction or turning around.
  5. Reward your dog when they walk calmly by your side and avoid giving them attention when they pull.
  6. Give them a command such as “heel” or “stop” to help them understand what you expect from them.
  7. Be patient and consistent with your training, and eventually, your dog will learn to walk politely by your side.

Some Tips On Harness Training Your German Shepherd Puppies

Here are some tips to help you successfully harness train your German shepherd puppies:

1. Buy a Front-Clip Harness

Training your German Shepherd puppies can be a bit tricky. You want to make sure they are comfortable and not too restricted, but you also don’t want them to be able to pull you around.

One way to achieve this is to buy a front-clip harness. This type of harness attaches to the dog’s chest, rather than their back.

There are several benefits to using a front-clip harness, including improved control and reduced pulling. With a front-clip harness, you can attach the leash to either the ring at the front of the harness or the ring at the back.

This gives you greater control over your dog’s movements and helps to prevent them from pulling on the leash. In addition, front-clip harnesses tend to be more comfortable for dogs than traditional back-clip harnesses.

This is because they distribute weight more evenly across the chest and shoulders, rather than putting all of the pressure on the neck.

2. Practice In Different Locations

Anyone who has ever trained a German Shepherd puppy knows that it takes time, patience, and consistency.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when starting the harness training process is that it should start at home.

Puppies are more likely to be comfortable and compliant if they are in a familiar environment. Once they have mastered the basics of wearing a harness inside, it will be time to take them outside.

3. Make Sure They’re Properly Fed

Before you start your harness training, it’s important to make sure your German Shepherd puppy is properly fed. A healthy diet will help to keep your dog’s energy levels up and their mind focused on the task at hand.

But it’s not only important to make sure your German Shepherd is getting enough food. You also need to make sure they’re eating the right food. A healthy diet will help your pup to focus and pay attention during training, making the process much easier for both of you.

So what should you include in your German shepherd’s diet? Puppies need a high-quality protein source to help them grow and develop properly. Look for a food that is specifically designed for growing puppies and make sure it contains at least 22% protein.

You’ll also want to include some complex carbohydrates in their diet as well. These will provide energy for training sessions and help to keep your pup focused.

4. Make Sure They’ve Enough Water

Just like people, your dog needs to stay hydrated. If your dog doesn’t get enough water, they will become tired and their focus will start to waver.

Make sure you always have fresh, clean water available for your German Shepherd.

You can do this by carrying a water bottle with you on walks or training sessions, or by keeping a bowl of water in their crate or kennel. By making sure that they’re properly hydrated, you’ll help them stay healthy and focused during training.

5. Reward Them For Good Behavior

One of the best ways to motivate your German Shepherd during training is to reward them for good behavior.

Whenever they do something you’ve asked them to do, give them a treat. This will help them to associate good behavior with positive reinforcement and make them more likely to repeat it.

In addition to treats, you can also use verbal praise as a way to reward your dog.

6. Train Them To Stay Focused

As a puppy, your German Shepherd’s attention span will be relatively short.

To help your pup stay focused during training, it’s important to start with short sessions and gradually increase the length of time as they get better at paying attention.

You can also try using a clicker to help your pup focus. The sound of the clicker will grab their attention and help them to associate it with good behavior.

7. Be Patient

The last thing to keep in mind when training your German Shepherd to wear a harness is to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a well-trained German Shepherd.

If you start to get frustrated during training, take a break. Your dog will sense your frustration and it will only make the process harder.

Remember, training takes time, patience, and consistency. If you keep these things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to success.

Also read: Should Your German Shepherd Wear a Collar or Harness?


Training a German Shepherd puppy to wear a harness can be a daunting task, but if you follow these tips you’ll be well on your way to success.

Remember to start training in a familiar environment, make sure they’re properly fed, keep them hydrated, and be patient. With time, patience, and consistency, your German Shepherd will be a pro in no time.

If you’re looking to buy a harness for your German Shepherd, check out our best German Shepherd page. Our list of the best German Shepherd harnesses includes a variety of options that are sure to meet your needs. Whether you’re looking for a basic harness or one with extra features, we have an option that will be perfect for you and your dog.