There is nothing like German Shepherds. This dog breed is arguably the most iconic of all, having been a staple in different settings because of its relentless energy, intelligence, and the athletic frame. Those qualities make the German Shepherd the best service and working dog out there. Having said that, the interest in this dog breed means you must be prepared for the challenge.
Since German Shepherds are generally energetic and muscular dogs, you need to find a way to control them. Of course, the last thing you want is to annoy or hurt them while doing so. It is why a harness makes perfect sense.
How to Choose the Best Dog Harness for Your German Shepherd
Shopping for the right harness for your German Shepherd doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience, but it isn’t a cakewalk either. You get a bevy of options out there, but only a few are worthy of your consideration. When you’re about to start searching for prospects, be sure to look for these things:
1. Durable Material Construction – Since you’re using a harness to control and handle a large dog like a German Shepherd, you must find something that’s made from durable and high-quality material. Unfortunately, many options out there will easily give in to the pressure and weight of a large dog breed.
2. Security Features – Most people think that there’s nothing sophisticated about a harness. After all, it only does one thing. In contrast, a dog harness intended for a German Shepherd must have added features that you control the animal’s movement. If your dog has this nasty habit of pulling, you need a harness with reinforced leash attachments and handles.
3. Perfect Fit – A dog harness for a German Shepherd is useless when it isn’t the right fit. So, once you figure out which material and features to consider, the next step is to measure your dog. Be sure to measure the circumference of your dog’s lower neck and chest.
Once you’re well-equipped with information in choosing the best dog harness, it’s time to have a close look at the most viable options online.
The 5 Best Harnesses for German Shepherds
Durability wise, this product stands out from the rest as it is made explicitly for K9 units in the military and police. The ICEFANG dog harness is the answer to your overly active and easily distracted German Shepherd. It is made from thick nylon with reinforced steel clips. You do not get a lot of steel clips in a dog harness these days since manufacturers use plastic to save on costs.
Yes, there’s a plastic clip attached to the belly strap, but that’s understandable. The belly portion is the area that gets the least pressure when a dog starts pulling. Added to the harness is a Velcro pad at the top portion that allows you to attach a carry pouch. The top handle is commendable since it gives you better control of the dog when it gets distracted.
- Convenient location of the top handle
- Added Velcro pad leaves room for accessories
- Durable steel clips
- Premium nylon construction
- Lacks some standard reinforcements in some areas
- Lots of useless buckles
The Bolux dog harness is a reasonable, albeit weaker alternative to a tactical dog harness. While most reviews of this product say that it may not be enough to control an adult German Shepherd, we think otherwise. The no-pull dog harness has enough reinforcements and Velcro to restrain a large breed effectively.
The most noticeable feature of this dog harness is the extra-wide straps that work well with a German Shepherd or any dog who has a habit of breaking or escaping. The head opening is awkwardly large, but it does minimize the possibility of choking. The Bolux dog harness stands out from this list because of its low price. You may want to start with this product as your train your German Shepherd to be comfortable in a harness.
- Equipped with enough reinforcements
- Wide and thick straps help in securing the dog
- Large head opening prevents choking and eases pressure on the neck
- Reasonable price
- Questionable quality and longevity
- Buckles aren’t that durable
- Filled with unnecessary Velcro
Rabbitgoo is known for manufacturing visually appealing pet accessories, and this harness is no exception. The first indication of it being an ideal harness for a German Shepherd is the double nylon straps. Nylon is a preferred material for harnesses since it can withstand pulling pressure and weight, unlike any other flexible material. The “double” mechanism is proof that this harness won’t easily give in to a typical pull or lunge from a large dog breed such as a German Shepherd.
This harness also excels in comfort, thanks to the chest strap that keeps the choking hazards at a minimum. With four points of adjustment, it is flexible enough to fit your German Shepherd of any size.
- Ingenious design that prevents a choking hazard
- Doubly nylon straps for added reliability
- Water-resistant material
- Four-point adjustment for versatility
- Isn’t as effective for dogs that like to pull a lot
- Plastic clips have questionable quality
WINSEE’s take on a vest-type harness pulls no punches. What’s surprising about it is that for a reasonable price, you get thick straps and high-quality stitching that certainly withstands the force from your German Shepherd. The purchase of this no-pull dog harness includes a nylon dog collar, but you might not need it anyway.
The reflective stripes aren’t for aesthetics – they’re meant to keep your dog visible during late-night walks in poorly lit areas. There is also a two-point adjustment to make sure your dog fits in it.
- Reasonably priced product
- Comes in numerous sizes
- Premium stitching
- Plastic clips could be the first to give in
- D-ring lacks reinforcements
This dog harness comes with a design, unlike any other. It might look unusual at first, but there’s a point to it. If you own a German Shepherd with a habit of pulling, you will appreciate this harness’ joint system. It is highlighted by Velcro sections and swappable patches for a convenient and quick adjustment.
The harness is made from premium quality material and reinforced by heavy-duty metal buckles. This is arguably the most durable harness in this list in terms of material construction. What’s even more amazing is that the rest of the harness is made from comfortable material so that it won’t wear or stress your dog out when worn for extended periods. Finally, added control and security comes in the form of a lockable handle.
- Durable material construction
- Breathable and comfortable interior
- Heavy-duty buckles made from metal
- Reflective straps for added nighttime visibility
- On the pricier side
- Takes some learning curve to put on
Why Should Use a Harness for Your Dog?
You’re reading this article for one reason – you can’t control your dog without something to help you. It is why a dog harness was invented in the first place. While you may have used a collar before, it isn’t always an effective restraint, especially for large breeds like a German Shepherd. The harness has a bevy of advantages that you don’t get from a dog collar.
For one, using a harness helps in training a puppy that is just about to start walking on a lead. The harness prevents the likelihood of your dog getting tangled on the leash. On the other hand, a traditional collar may increase the chance of your dog getting tangled and injured.
With a harness, you’re getting much better control of your dog. This is quite true if your pooch gets easily distracted on crowded areas or when it sees other dogs around. A German Shepherd on a collar is a disaster waiting to happen. On the other hand, the multiple security features, i.e. straps and clips on a harness guarantees better control and restraint.
Finally, a harness is specifically designed to discourage your dog from pulling. Once you attach it to the chest or in between the shoulder blades, the dog won’t succeed in pulling because it won’t get it anywhere.
Types of Dog Harnesses
The number and variety of dog harnesses available in the market might overwhelm you. But you can narrow down your option once you’re armed with enough information. After all, not all types of dog harness are ideal and suitable for your German Shepherd. For the sake of discussion, let us delve into the most common types.
1. Back-Clip Harness – A back-clip harness comes with a D-ring attachment that’s situated on the back portion of the animal. It is a proven design highlighted by convenient wearing and maximum comfort for the dog. The rear attachment aims at keeping the leash as far away as possible to the dog’s trachea.
2. Front Clip Harness – The front clip harness may not be as popular compared to the back-clip, but it is a sensible choice for dogs that pull. The position of the leash makes it doubly hard for a dog to pull, and when it does, the tension naturally pulls the animal towards the owner instead of getting away. It’s your best bet if your German Shepherd stubbornly pulls when it gets distracted.
3. Dual Clip Harness – This type of harness offers the best of both worlds. The rear clip is frequently used for dog walking, while the front clip goes into play when your dog begins pulling. It provides an improved system to control and restrain the dog, but you expect it to be pricier than the first two options.
After going through the five products and their pros/cons, you can now make an informed decision on which among them best addresses your need for a harness. Keep in mind that while those products have subtle differences, even the smallest details result to either satisfaction or disappointment.