7 Best Dog Harnesses for Pitbulls in 2019

American Pit Bull Terriers, or Pit Bulls, are often accused of being vicious fighting dogs that no family should ever own and in fact, have been outlawed in several communities across the United States.

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They were initially bred to taunt bulls, and eventually, farmers started using them as farm dogs. From there, they started becoming popular with families.

Pit bulls are intelligent, tenacious, strong, full of courage and determination, and are incredibly athletic. But unfortunately, it’s these qualities that make Pit Bulls popular with dogfighters and have given the breed a bad reputation.

When raised in an environment with proper socialization, training, lots of attention, and a guiding hand, Pit Bulls actually make excellent family dogs. They are gentle with kids, friendly and eager to greet anyone new they encounter, and loyal and protective.

Because Pit Bulls are tenacious and can be aggressive if not properly socialized as puppies, keeping them under control with a leash and harness is imperative.

While they probably won’t start a fight, they will not back down from one another dog started. A collar will not suffice because of their size and strength.

Different Types of Dog Harnesses for Pit Bulls

Because Pit Bulls are friendly yet tenacious pups, only the strongest, most durable harnesses will do.

Each one that we recommend is up to the task of containing your boisterous pup, but we do suggest reviewing the following information:

  • How the leash attaches to the harness
  • How it was made, and which materials were used to make it
  • If it has metal or plastic buckles
  • If it has a back handle or not

Leash Attachments and Back Handles

There are three different ways a leash attaches to a harness: on the front, on the back, or both the front and back.

Which one you choose will depend on how well your dog does on a leash without a harness. Does she pull a lot? Then you’ll want a harness where the leash can be attached to the front. Every time you pull on the leash, it will turn her toward you and redirect her attention.

And, you will want a back handle. It will do wonders if you and your Pit Bull find yourselves in a sticky situation.

Durability, Material, and Comfort

Pit bulls require harnesses that are manufactured with durable materials such as nylon or polyester. All of the harnesses we recommend are made out of one or both of these materials for this reason.

But comfort is also essential. If the harness irritates your dog’s skin, he will not want to wear it. Any harness should have at least some padding, and breathable mesh is great if you and your dog are active.

Buckle Style and Overall Fit

A few other features you should seek out have to do with sturdy hardware, such as stainless steel leash attachment rings, clasps, and sturdy plastic quick-release buckles.

A harness should also have several locations where you can change the adjustment for a proper fit. If it’s too loose, your dog will escape from it, which can lead to chaos. If it’s too tight, your dog will not want to wear it because it’s so uncomfortable.

Does your Pit Bull like to escape from anything and everything? Look for flat buckles as opposed to quick-release buckles because they are almost escape-proof.

How Do I Ensure the Best Fit for My Pit Bull?

The first thing we need to get out of the way is the idea that you can go by weight alone. That will result in a poorly fitting harness.

You’ll want to take two measurements, your dog’s chest and his neck. You can do this with a tape measure or piece of string and ruler.

When you measure his chest, make sure to do it at the widest point. Then, add two inches for any weight gain and to make sure it’s not too tight.

Do the same thing with your dog’s neck, although adding two inches isn’t necessary in this case. Not all harnesses use neck thickness as a measurement, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see this measurement listed anywhere.

Once you’ve bought the harness and have introduced your pup to it, put it on him, snap the clips together, and tighten the straps. Then, see if you can get two fingers under the straps. If you can’t, it’s too tight. Loosen it a little so your dog isn’t uncomfortable, but not so loose that he can wiggle out of it.

Related: The Best Brushes for Pitbulls

Best Dog Harnesses for Pit Bulls

If you’re still feeling bewildered about which harness to choose, we’ve done some of the work for you? We’ve selected seven of the best harnesses sold today for adult Pit Bulls as well as one if you have a Pit Bull puppy

Best Overall: Julius-K9 Powerharness

Do you want your Pit Bull to have the toughest harness, both in looks and in performance? Then you’ll want the Julius-K9 Powerharness.

Modeled after harnesses used by K9 dogs and service dogs, you can give your Pit Bull the appearance of a tough dog, even if he’s one of the sweetest dogs you’ll ever come across.

It comes with a back handle for emergencies, a stainless steel ring on the back for attaching your leash, and is made out of sturdy nylon.

But despite its rugged appearance, it is comfortable thanks to its padding and breathable mesh lining.

Adjusting it is easy thanks to the hook and loop style chest strap and sturdy plastic quick-release buckle that owners claim can stand up to the stress a Pit Bull can place on it.

You’ll also appreciate it being water-resistant and having a reflective stripe when you want to take your Pit Bull out for a run when it’s a bit dark outside.

Six More Dog Harnesses We Recommend for Pit Bulls

Here are six of our other recommendations for harnesses.

Sporn Non Pull – Best for Training, No-Pull 

Pit Bulls are exuberant pups that love meeting and greeting people as well as other dogs. It’s not surprising that an untrained Pit Bull will need more guidance than some other breeds.

For Pit Bulls who seem to be hopeless when it comes to pulling, this is our top choice.

Rather than use a front-leash attachment to discourage pulling, the Sporn Non Pull deters pulling with padded restraints that fit under the dog’s front legs. When he pulls too much, he’ll feel a tickling sensation that he will not like. It is in no way painful or harmful, so don’t be concerned.

The bulk of the harness is made out of comfortable padded nylon, stretchy mesh, and polyester straps, and it is also easy to get on and take off after each walk or training session.

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness – Best for the Car 

Does your Pit Bull insist on coming with you wherever you go? Then you’ll want to keep him safe in your car with the Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness, one of the few harnesses that is crash-tested.

The designers at Kurgo were inspired by the harnesses mountain climbers use to scale the most dangerous cliffs and peaks in the world. They created a Nesting Buckle System that connects to your vehicle’s seat belt system via a stainless steel carabiner-style clip.

The two together serve as a restraint that prevents injury and also keeps him or her from running loose inside your car.

The Kurgo Tru-Fit harness is also very comfortable thanks to the padded chest plate designed to evenly distribute any pressure caused by your dog pulling on the leash and highly-adjustable design.

Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness – Best for Walking 

If you only need a harness for taking your Pit Bull out for a neighborhood stroll and have a limited budget, we recommend the Frisco Front-Lead harness.

We like the versatility of having both a back-clip and front-clip leash attachment ring. You can use the front attachment to train your dog to use a harness without pulling and then switch to the back clip once she’s adjusted to it.

Because this harness goes on over your Pit Bull’s head, that neck measurement you took earlier will come in handy. It’s also good to know if he doesn’t like anything going over his head.

Frisco added a padded layer for comfort and made the nylon straps fully adjustable for customizing the fit to suit your dog’s needs. Once the harness is on, there is a sturdy plastic quick-release buckle to fasten it and hold it in place.

Kurgo Journey – Best for Hiking 

Enjoy walking your Pit Bull on local trails? This is the harness for you and your pup.

Like the Kurgo Tru-Fit, the leash fasteners and hardware resemble mountain climbing harness carabiners. But it goes beyond resemblance, because this harness is just as strong and durable as mountaineer harness hardware.

It has both a front and back leash attachment, giving it more versatility for your adventures. You’ll also like the back handle in case you need to get your Pit Bull out of a sticky situation.

After your trail hike, you’ll love that you can put this harness in the wash to prep it for your next adventure. Despite its rugged appearance, it is also comfortable for long periods of activity thanks to the padding and breathable mesh.

Kurgo Journey Air – Best for Running

If jogging is your passion, we recommend the Kurgo Journey because it has a breathable mesh layer that will keep your dog cool. This is layered on top of super sturdy material that can withstand the strength of your Pit Bull.

Keeping it clean is easy because it’s 100% washable. Just throw it in the wash after your run.

We also like the dual-clip design and back handle. You never know when you might come across something your Pittie gets overly excited about.

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

Thanks to the tough nylon material, this is the perfect harness for the avid chewer, even Pit Bulls with their powerful jaws.

Despite it being chew-resistant and extremely durable, your dog will still enjoy wearing because of its breathable mesh chest piece, ample padding, and several ways to adjust it for the best fit.

Best Harness for a Pit Bull Puppy

While most of the harnesses above can be used for a Pit Bull puppy, there is one brand of dog harness we think you should take into consideration.

Puppia RiteFit Soft Dog Harness

Pit Bull pups grow fast and will likely need several different harnesses for each stage of their growth. Therefore, we suggest buying this budget-friendly yet high-quality harness to get you through the puppy years.

The chest plate has a soft, breathable layer underneath the durable nylon top layer, with multiple adjustment spots making it easy to get the best fit for your puppy.

Tips for Getting Your Pit Bull Accustomed to Using a Harness

Pit Bulls are strong and easily take control of you if you’re not careful. A leash, alone, will not teach them how to walk with you. A harness is not only safer for you and your Pittie, but you are less likely to unintentionally hurt their windpipe when they pull.

Here are some tips for helping your Pittie grow accustomed to using a harness.

  1. If he’s not trained with a basic command such as “sit,” you should work on that before introducing your pit bull to the harness.
  2. Once your pit bull knows how to sit when commanded to, let her get used to the sight, sound, and smell of the harness.
  3. Desensitize your pup to the sight of the harness. Let them get bored with it when you leave it sitting in plain sight around your house.
  4. Instruct your dog to sit still and slowly put the harness on, but don’t yet go outside. You shouldn’t attach the leash, either.
  5. Now comes the moment of truth! While your pit bull is wearing the harness, go get your leash and attach it to the harness. If everything is going well, then do something fun with them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you opt for a harness over a collar?

A harness is a safer and more comfortable choice for your dog. They’re harder to escape than a collar, and there’s no need to worry about damaging your dog’s windpipe.

What type of harness should I choose for a Pit Bull?

Only the strongest and most durable hardware will do for a Pit Bull due to their strength, love for meeting other dogs and humans, and their tenacity.

How do I get the best fitting harness for a Pit Bull puppy?

It’s no different than fitting an adult Pit Bull. You’ll need to measure their neck and chest. If your puppy is on the younger side, then a smaller harness will probably be in order.

Conclusion

Now that you know what qualities to look for in a harness for a Pit Bull and have read eight reviews, we hope that you have a better idea of which one will work best for your pup.

Ultimately, it will be what your Pit Bull’s temperament is like, what activities you like to do with him, and how well he or she already does on a leash that will determine which one to purchase.

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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