How To Tighten A Dog Harness

How To Tighten A Dog Harness
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There are a lot of benefits that come with using a harness on your dog. Unlike the collar, harnesses offer more control and stability when used together with a leash to control your dog’s movements.

They also spread the strain across the dog’s body, so it is not concentrated around its neck, like when using a collar.

It’s essential that you take your time to carefully adjust your dog’s harness so that it is not too tight. However, the harness should also be firmly secured around your dog’s body. All this is done to ensure your dog is comfortable and safe.

Steps To Putting and Tightening A Dog Harness

Step 1  

The harness should be loose when placing it around your dog. Insert the dog’s head through the neck piece of the harness. Ensure the bottom straps are well placed between your dog’s front legs and under its belly.

To make sure that you slide on the harness correctly, you can look for any labels it has. Labels should be on the outside. The front ring of the leash should also be positioned at the front.

Step 2

Put the front loop over the head of the dog. Check to see if it needs to be hooked using buckles since there are harnesses that do.

If done correctly, a strap should run across your dog’s back, another behind its neck, and a final one should be on its front against the chest. Make sure the harness does not press against the leg muscles as it will hinder the dog’s movement.

Step 3

When sliding the strap on the underside of your dog, estimate whether it is going to be too tight or loose when you tighten it on the upper side. Adjust the straps using the adjusters that let you pull or slide through them until you feel they feel they fit comfortably around your dog’s torso.

Step 4

Check if your dog can sit or lie down comfortably with the adjustments you made. If you notice his movement is restricted, adjust the relevant side of the strap.

Step 5

A properly tightened harness should let you slide your fingers under the straps. If you notice your fingers can’t slip through, then you have most likely tightened it too much. Too much space for movement under the straps also indicates that it is too loose.

How To Tighten A Dog Harness

Signs of An Incorrectly Tightened Harness

Loss of fur around the area of the harness. This is a red flag that shows you’ve been over tightening the harness around your dog. He/she could be experiencing significant discomfort and may even be hurt or have his movements hampered significantly.

Change of gait or resistance to walking. Any unusual changes in the way your dog walks is a sign that something is not right with him. Check to see if any part of the straps crosses his leg muscles. If you feel like everything is okay with the harness, then you may need to take your dog to the vet for further check-up.

Side to side movement of the backside of the harness. Once you notice this, then the straps may not be well tightened or adequately buckled. Double-check to make sure all of them are correctly set in place and make any necessary readjustments.

Escape by wiggling free. This is a pretty straightforward case. Your harness was not tightened well enough. Just follow the above-outlined steps, and you should be able to tighten it as required.

Extra Tips

Even with all the above instructions, other factors come into play with a harness. There are many different types out there, and it’s crucial that you make sure you have the right type for your dog. The appropriate harness should be of the right size and also selected based on the weight of the dog.

Use a proper leash with the harness too. The leash should not be too long or too short and make sure it securely buckles onto the harness.


Dogs are amazing pets to have, and they should be given enough attention and cared for properly. This is why it's necessary to make sure your harness has the right fit around it.

A well-tightened harness should provide comfort to him while giving you a firm hold onto him using a leash. Slide two fingers under the straps to see if they snugly fit – this is the surest way to ascertain how tight the harness is. All that said and done enjoy walking your dog.