How to Measure a Dog for a Harness

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A harness is a must-have accessory for every dog owner who wishes to enjoy walks in the park while having more control over their overly active pet. However, the experience can be uncomfortable for the pet if it gets fitted with the wrong harness. Therefore, if you want your dog to enjoy every moment with you, it’s time to know how to get the perfect fit for your playful companion. 

The common areas for this process are the neck, girth, shoulders, and chest. These are also the parts you should consider when buying clothes or other accessories. 

Measuring The Dog 

Step 1

The first step is to get a measuring tape to measure the mentioned areas accurately. It is also essential to consider the dog’s weight as you determine the best possible harness size. Next, get a pen and paper to note the exact dimensions of the critical parts. 

Step 2

The chest region is the first place to begin. Use your tape measure to determine the accurate size by wrapping it around the chest and over to the back. It is best to always be gentle to avoid pulling the tape too tightly around the pet. 

After that, measure the deepest part of its chest, right behind the front armpits. This is crucial since this is the region where the harness gets secured. 

Step 3

Next is to place your tape measure gently around the dog’s neck. It is common for most dogs to get intimidated by this, so you can use a collar to secure it or get a friend to help you hold it. Measure the area where you usually place the collar and record the measurements. 

Step 4

Proceed to the shoulders and lower chest and take the proper measurements. The correct way to do this is to begin from the chest by winding the tape around the shoulders back to the starting point. Doing this gives you accurate details about the girth, shoulder, and chest measurements. 

Step 5

Put your measuring tape aside and use a weighing scale to determine your pet’s weight. After that, take the recorded measurements from the harness sizing and weight to help figure out the ideal harness. 

Step 6

A harness chart is available online to help dog owners compare their measurements to the various options available. This chart is inclusive of different models that most pets love and feel comfortable wearing.

Pro tip: it is best to get a harness that is about 2 inches larger than the recorded measurements. This is because it is easier to adjust a more extended harness than to return the product for a refund or replacement. 

There are different types of harnesses available, including:

  • Back-clipped harness – This option is ideal for those looking for a product that ensures the dog doesn’t keep pulling during walks. The harness features a securing clip at the back where you can easily attach the leash. Another benefit of this kind is that it keeps the pressure off the throat, making it ideal for pets with tracheal collapse issues. However, as much as this seems like the perfect fit for almost any dog, it is unsuitable for overly active pets and challenging to control. 
  • Front-clipped harness – This is the best option for dog owners with active pets. The harness has a secure ring at the front, on the chest strap where you attach your leash, and this kind of attachment effectively prevents the dog from pulling away. However, one of the issues you might face with this type is that there are chances that the leash gets tangled in the pet’s legs.

Don’t forget to read customer reviews to get genuine feedback from owners who’ve interacted with the product. Also, confirm whether your chart size is accurate to know some crucial factors and restrictions in advance. 

Step 7

After picking the right product for your pet, try it to see if it generates a perfect grip. Next, open the harness’s clasps, assist your pet in running its front legs through the openings, and close the straps. The next step is to adjust the harness while paying close attention to the dog’s behaviors and reactions. 

The best way to ensure the right fit is to run two fingers under the straps. If you can do that easily, you have found the ideal fitting; if not, keep adjusting until you settle for suitable adjustments. 


Most pet lovers enjoy taking walks in the park with their dogs; however, getting their attention is challenging due to the various activities outside and a harness offers the ideal solution. However, most people don’t know the correct harness size for the pet and which type to get. That’s why this review gives an insight into the basic steps in determining the perfect fit for your play buddy.

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