7 Best Dog Harnesses for German Shepherds in 2019

When you think of German Shepherds, you probably picture service dogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs, and guard dogs. That’s because they are one of the smartest, most courageous, and devoted breed of working dogs.

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Due to their high level of intelligence, training them is relatively easy. Train German Shepherds to do something, and they excel at it.

They are also loyal and faithful companions, so it’s no wonder that German Shepherds are in high demand and popular with dog lovers everywhere.

As working dogs, German Shepherds require a great deal of activity to prevent boredom. If you don’t have a large back yard for them to get their exercise in, you’ll need to take them on long walks.

Because German Shepherds are so strong, you might find yourself being taken for a walk if you don’t have the right type of gear.

A harness can help, but you shouldn’t buy the first harness you see. There are some things to consider before purchasing a harness, such as the type of harness it is, what it’s best used for, comfort, and cost.

And when you combine the proper harness with training or obedience classes, walking them will be a pleasant experience for you. And your dog will be happy to get outside and get the exercise it needs.

Different Types of Dog Harnesses for German Shepherds

Dog harnesses are not one-size-fits-all. What works for one dog may not work for another dog. And German Shepherds have different requirements than other breeds due to their size and temperament.

There are things to take into consideration, such as how the leash attaches to the harness, how durable it is, how it goes on, whether or not it has a handle, what type of buckles it has, how adjustable it is, and style.

Leash Attachments and Handles

There are three types of leash attachments: front clip, back clip, and multi-clip. Front clip harnesses have their leash attachment in the front of the dog’s chest, and the back clip has the leash attachment in the back. Multi-clip has both.

And, some have handles on the back, which is a great feature for large dogs where you might need more control.

Durability and Comfort

Because German Shepherds are so strong and so active, you will want a harness made out of durable materials that can withstand pulling and lots of movement.

Look for harnesses that have breathable material, and if it is a vest-style harness, then make sure it’s padded to help protect your dog’s skin.

Fit, Adjustability, and Buckle Style

Harnesses either go on over your German Shepherd’s head or require your dog to step into it. Which type you choose is a temperament issue, so if you think your pup will balk at something going on over his or her head, then go for the step-in type.

Make sure there are plenty of ways to adjust the harness for the most secure and comfortable fit. And check to see what types of buckles it has. Flat buckles are the most reliable but can be tricky to use. Quick-release fasteners are easier to use but aren’t as secure unless they are high-quality.

How Do I Ensure the Best Fit for My German Shepherd?

First, don’t go by weight alone. Some dogs weigh the same but have very different builds, right?

To get a proper fit, you’ll want to measure your dog’s chest at the widest point, which is usually about a few inches behind the dog’s front legs. Then, add two inches to accommodate for weight gain or fur growth.

Next, measure your dog’s neck. Although some harnesses don’t require this measurement, it’s good to have on hand if you find you’re want to buy an over-the-head harness.

And finally, you do need an idea of your dog’s weight. Given German Shepherds may be too heavy for you to weigh yourself by holding them and stepping on a scale, you should call your vet to get a ballpark figure if you can’t remember.

Once you put the harness on the dog, you’ll want to make sure it’s not too tight or too loose. If it’s too tight, it will be uncomfortable and might cause irritation and chafing. If it’s too loose, your dog can slip out of it. You should be able to fit two fingers under each strap for the perfect fit.

Best Dog Harnesses for German Shepherds

Now that we’ve covered the different types of harnesses and how to make sure they fit your pup, let’s review our top picks for the best dog harnesses for German Shepherds.

Julius-K9 Powerharness: Best Overall

At the top of our list is the Julius-K9 Powerharness. With the appearance of a police dog harness, the Julius-K9 is extremely popular with German Shepherd owners.

But, aside from its appearance, the back-clip style of the Julius-K9 harness offers an excellent level of control and balance for you while providing your pup with a comfortable fit. It is made from breathable material on the inside and water-resistant material on the outside.

Keeping the harness on your dog is an adjustable hook and loop chest strap featuring a durable plastic buckle. You’ll also appreciate the reflective material stripe for evening or pre-dawn walks, as well as the ability to swap out the Julius-K9 logo with a personalized patch.

Six More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for German Shepherds

Next up are dog harnesses for different situations, such as training, car rides, and more.

Sporn No Pull – Best Training, No-Pull 

Does your German Shepherd pull you along on your walk, no matter what you do? Then you should check out the Sporn No Pull harness.

This one-piece back-clip harness has a stretchy mesh chest piece that helps humanely control your dog with maximum comfort.

To deter pulling, the padded restraints that go under the dog’s front legs “tickle” your dog when he or she pulls too much. It’s a sensation most dogs do not like, but it is in no way harmful.

We also like that it’s incredibly durable and able to withstand the strength of German Shepherds.

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness– Best For Car 

Is your German Shepherd your faithful travel companion? Then you need the Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness.

Not only is it an excellent overall harness for walking your pup, but it also comes with an extra clip for securing the harness to your car’s seat belt system. The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart harness uses the same engineering that rock-climbing and linesman harnesses do, providing peace of mind when traveling with your German Shepherd.

The Kurgo is also comfortable thanks to the chest pad, which transfers pressure equally across a dog’s chest if they start to pull too hard. It also has a back-clip design with different places to attach the leash, with five adjustment points that allow you to customize the fit.

Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness – Best for Walking 

If your German Shepherd needs a few pointers on how to walk on a leash without pulling, we recommend the Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness.

The front-clip design helps curb pulling by turning your dog toward you whenever you pull on the leash, thereby focusing their attention on you and not whatever is causing your dog to pull.

The front part of the harness is a padded mesh chest piece that fits over your dog’s head, and it can withstand even the pull of the most powerful dogs. You secure the over-the-head harness with a belly strap and two quick-release buckles on either side.

Once your dog learns how to walk without pulling, you can switch to using the back-clip leash attachment.

Kurgo Journey – Best for Hiking 

For German Shepherd owners who like to play as hard as their pups do, the Kurgo Journey is a must-have.

It’s a dual-clip design with a clip on the front and back, providing versatility for various activities. If the clips look like something a mountain climber might use, that’s because Kurgo engineered them to provide the same level of durability.

The machine-washable fabric is strong enough to withstand high-levels of activity yet also provides a comfortable fit that won’t chafe your dog’s skin. The back handle provides an added level of safety should you need to help your dog out of a sticky situation.

You also get a 10-inch lead that you can use for training and attach to a seat belt to keep your pup from wandering about your car.

Kurgo Journey Air – Best for Running

Like the Kurgo Journey, this harness is a dual-clip design with a back handle for extra control and is also engineered to meet the same standards for linemen and mountain climbers.

The v-neck design features a padded chest plate and four adjustment areas for the most secure yet comfortable fit. And the quick-release buttons are sturdy, so there’s no need to worry about them breaking anytime soon.

You’ll also appreciate the durability of the ripstop material, which also happens to be breathable for maximum comfort for your pooch while you are out for a run. Just pop it in the wash after you’re done. And if you do your runs early in the morning or in the evening, the reflective strip provides better visibility.

The 10-inch lead is useful for training your German Shepherd and keeping her safe while you’re driving.

Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness – Best Indestructible/Chew Proof

If your German Shepherd can’t help but chew on everything he sees, then finding a harness that’s all but chew-proof is a necessity. You’ll be happy to know that the Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness is made of some of the most durable nylon material you can find.

But if you think it won’t be comfortable, think again. This vest-style harness features breathable mesh material, a padded chest plate as well as plenty of adjustment points for the best fit. The reflective strip makes your pup more visible when out for a walk or run in the early hours of the morning.

It’s a dual-clip design with attachment points on the chest and back, making it versatile for various types of activity. And, you can use the back handle to pull your dog out of sticky situations or keep him safely buckled into the back seat of your car.

Best Harness for a German Shepherd Puppy

While most of the harnesses above can be used for a German Shepherd puppy, there is one brand of dog harness we like better.

Puppia RiteFit Soft Dog Harness

The issue with most harnesses is that German Shepherd puppies will quickly outgrow them, so an inexpensive yet high-quality harness is the way to go.

While the Puppia RiteFit is not as durable as the ones listed above, it is strong enough to handle a German Shepherd puppy with ease.

It features a back-clip leash attachment, a chest piece with soft, breathable mesh, and plenty of adjustment points and sizes for your growing pup. A small or medium should work for your puppy, but be sure to measure your puppy before you purchase any harness to get the proper fit.

Tips for Getting Your German Shepherd Accustomed to Using a Harness

German Shepherds are intelligent, curious, yet powerful dogs that will take you for a walk if you haven’t adequately trained them to walk on a leash. A harness is a great way to help them learn not to pull too much and exhibit control.

Here are some tips to help your German Shepherd grow accustomed to using a harness.

  1. Introduce your dog to the harness. Let her sniff it. Give the pup a treat when she shows interest in it.
  2. Leave the harness out in the open for them to get used to it.
  3. Next, put it on the dog and let them wear it around the house for a few days.
  4. Now, do something fun with her. Take her to her favorite park so that she associates the harness with doing something she enjoys.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a harness better than a leash and collar?

Harnesses are more safe, more comfortable, and more secure for your dog. Many dogs, no matter what the breed is, can wiggle their way out of a collar. Smaller breeds have more delicate windpipes that excessive pulling can damage.

What type of harness is best for the temperament and activity level of German Shepherds?

As previously discussed, German Shepherds are highly intelligent, energetic working dogs that need lots of activity. We suggest a harness made out of the most durable materials available.

Anything other feature you choose is up to how you intend to use the harness, whether it’s for going on adventures or taking walks around your neighborhood.

How do I fit a German Shepherd puppy with a harness?

We suggest a durable harness, but that comes in smaller sizes. You’ll want to be sure to measure your puppy’s neck and chest, just as you would do with an adult dog.

Conclusion

When you decide to use a harness and leash for walks or runs, you are providing your German Shepherd with comfort and safety that they won’t get from a collar and leash.

Any of the products listed above are top-rated and would make an excellent choice because they are all durable. Which one you end up choosing is up to you and your dog’s needs, and we hope that this guide has made choosing the right one an easy thing to do.

Chelsea Kuhel

Chelsea is the owner of a very huggable Boxer/Pitbull mix named Miles. When time allows she also cares for her 4 other animals, I mean children.

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