How To Measure Your Dog For A Harness

There are several things to consider when you measure and fit a dog harness. In this article we cover how to measure your dog correctly and also what to look out for with different types and styles of harness.

Before you buy

Before you buy your dog harness, you should consider which harness is best for your dog. This can depend on the size and weight of your dog, whether you'd prefer a style that does not go over the head and how you are going to use it.

Consider the size and weight of your dog

Does your dog need extra support? There are various types of harness that will offer padded chest and top plates to distribute any pulling forces and to potentially make the harness more comfortable. Alternatively, there are minimal 'strap only' harnesses that can also work well for small and large dogs alike.

How will the harness fit?

There are some styles of dog harness that are designed with a closed loop strap on the neck.This can still be adjusted but a strap without a release clip means that you will have to place the harness over your dog's head. Most dogs are comfortable with a closed loop neck harness but there are also cases where your dog may be more comfortable with a harness that unclips at the neck and can be placed around the neck rather than it being placed over the head.

If we move to the main torso and rib cage, many harnesses will have an adjustable strap which fits just behind the front legs. It is important to choose a harness that leaves a small gap between the front legs and this harness strap so it doesn't cut into the pit of the upper legs.

How to measure your dog

So if we take the neck and the chest/rib cage, these are usually the two measurements you will need to take. First of all, run a tape around your dog's neck and make a note of this measurement in cms and inches. You can then measure your dog around the girth of your dog's rib cage at the part of the chest just behind your dog's front legs. When you have these two measurements, compare them to the size guides on the product website and compare. 

Remember, if your dog is still growing, take this into account when ordering a harness. If this is the case, you'll want to estimate how much growing room you have in a harness before ordering.