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Best Dog Harnesses For Running: Ratings & Reviews

Looking for the perfect dog harness to use when you go take Fido running? There are many factors to consider, including comfort, durability, reflective stitching, and more. In this article, we review our favorite harnesses for running canine companions.

Emma Braby Picture

Last Updated: March 19, 2021 | 10 min read

Best Dog Harnesses For Running

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Both dogs and humans need to be active to stay healthy. And often exercising alone can be quite boring. So why not get your four-legged best friend involved with your running routine and kill two birds with one stone? Most dogs love to run. Unless of course, you have an English Bulldog or a Saint Bernard on your hands. But just like us, they need the right gear to get them moving. Picking the best dog harness for running can be a bit of a chore, but this is where we come in!

We’ve hand-picked our favorites currently available on the market specifically designed for jogging, running, and other adventurous activities. Not only will you learn about what to look for in a running harness, but you’ll also find out why using a harness during running rather than a collar is important.

We will also cover what features to look out for in a high-quality running harness, as well as how you should prioritize each of them during your product hunt. This guide also goes through frequently asked questions surrounding all things harnesses, running, and dogs.

At a Glance: Our Favorite Running Harnesses

Chais Choice Top Pick
Our Rating

Best Value

Chai’s Choice Harness

View at Chewy.com
Ruffwear Webmaster
Our Rating

Popular Pick

Ruffwear Webmaster Harness

View at Amazon.com
Our Rating

Tactical Pick

Auroth Tactical Harness

View at Amazon.com

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to Chewy.com or Amazon.com, where you can get additional product information and customer reviews. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Running With Harnesses vs. Collars

Running Harness vs Collar
There’s several factors to consider when comparing harnesses versus collars for running.

When running with your pooch, harnesses are a much better option to use compared to collars. Yes, even if your pup is perfectly trained on the leash. When you are running, you are both traveling at a faster speed. If your pup decides to stop for a toilet break or a sniff, there is going to be a lot of strain and pulling on that neck of his.

Not only is this pull going to injure his windpipe, but it will also injure you. If he is wearing a harness, of course, there may still be a jolt. But the pull will be displaced across his shoulders and chest, which can take a lot more strain compared to his windpipe. Because of this, there is much less energy redirected towards you too.

Many owners, and dog trainers for that matter, prefer to use the traditional collar and leash. While there are benefits of collars during day-to-day life, when it comes to running there is no debate. Harnesses are the only way to go for the comfort and health of both you and your pooch!  If you have a non-running pup like a Dachshund, stick to a harness made for that breed.

Buyers Guide

Running With Leashed Dog on Harness
There are many different factors to consider when purchasing a harness.

Whether you are an avid runner, or you like the odd forest jog every now and then, there are a few things that you need to consider before buying just any old harness. While the idea of an easy off-leash run sounds ideal, it rarely works out stress-free. There are other dogs, animals, runners, roads, and fast cars to think about.

So, unless you are lucky enough to live in the middle of nowhere, then getting the right harness often makes exercising with your dog much less stressful. Exercising to relieve stress is one of the main factors why we exercise in the first place. Let’s not make it even more stressful than it needs to be. So, buyers take note of the following factors that you need to consider.

Safety

As always kids, safety comes first! The harness that you select for him needs to be a high-quality running harness. Don’t go out and pick up just any harness from the dollar store. It needs to be designed specifically for running, and it needs to be secure. The clips need to be sturdy and the material needs to be thick and sewn well, double stitching is always a great option.

It is also important to look for a harness that has light-reflective strips or stitching. This will ensure that if you are up at the crack of dawn or a late-night runner, your four-legged partner will be lit up for all to see. Not only will this help to keep him safe, but it will also allow other joggers or cyclists to see him too. Everyone benefits here!  You’ll want to make sure you are looking for safety features in other complementary accessories for your pup, like dog boots made for hiking or the snow.

Adjustable

Dogs come in many sizes, starting from extra small Chihuahuas all the way through to extra-large Danes, but, not all Chihuahuas are the same shape, nor are all Danes, and just like humans, every dog is unique. It’s important to properly measure your pup and get a harness with adjustable straps. The more adjustment features there are the easier it is to find the perfect fit for your pup. If you have a giant breed like a Dane, get a Dane-sized harness.

You wouldn’t buy yourself running shoes that do not fit correctly, so make sure you buy your pooch a running harness that fits him well. If it’s too tight then he will struggle to breathe, make him anxious, or it will cause an injury, and if it is too big, you’ll need a harness for smaller breeds. Otherwise, your pup will likely just escape, causing additional headaches.

Comfort

It is super important to ensure that the harness you buy for your pooch is comfortable for him. Otherwise, he will probably turn his nose up next time you try to dress him up for a run. Not only is comfort about the perfect fit as we mentioned above, but it is also about padding and straps that are strong, yet supple.

Otherwise, they are going to dig into his skin and cause rubbing and pain. If he feels any sort of discomfort during his run, he might stop dead in his tracks, so if you want a carefree jog with no potential injuries to you, then invest in a comfortable harness.

Durability

If you’re a seasoned runner then it is important to find a suitable harness that is also going to last you more than a few runs. Therefore, it is important to research what harnesses are available, and select a high-quality brand. Higher quality harnesses are slightly more expensive than harnesses from China or from the dollar store.

But, more often than not they last significantly longer because they are made with better craftsmanship, better materials, and much research and professional knowledge has gone into making them. This also means that they are a better value for your hard earned money as well.

Top Running Dog Harnesses

Dog Running With Owner While Harnessed
There are several harnesses that are great for pups that like to run.

So, here we have reached the section where we present to you the best dog harnesses for jogging or running. We have completed all of the time-consuming research just so that you don’t have to. Whatever your preference of size, breed, budget or color, there is something in this list for everyone, and every dog!

Not only are each of these harnesses high-quality, but they have all been tried and tested by many avid runners across the world. In order to measure your pup for his new harness, unless stated otherwise, all of the products use the girth of his chest as the main measurement.

The girth of his chest is the area behind his front legs around his body. This generally is the widest part of his chest. If he falls between sizes then the majority of manufacturers suggest getting the larger sizing out of the two. But be sure to get your measuring tape out and measure his chest rather than take a guess. All brand sizes vary slightly.


Chai's Choice Dog Harness

Chais Choice Harness Red
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Made with reflective stitching.
  • Multiple sizes available for all breeds.
  • Several color options to choose from.
  • Four different adjustment points.
  • Dual metal D-ring attachment points.
  • Rear handle for maximum control.
View at Chewy.com

With two leash attachment points, with one being on the chest plate for greater control, and one at the back for a gentle or non-pulling dog, this harness is great for both pullers of all strengths, or it can be used for a training harness for a puppy, and when he is better trained you can simply swap it to the rear attachment so you don’t have to purchase another harness.

With aluminum rings that are supported with well stitched webbing, the connections are strong and long-lasting. It is padded to make it as comfortable as possible, and it has four adjustment points to allow for a tailored shape.  It’s available in Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large.

We love that this harness has a built-in pocket, so you can fill it with poop bags or treats so that you don’t have to carry them whilst running, or you can place an instruction note or a list of numbers just in case your pooch ever runs off.


Noxgear Illuminated Harness

NoxGear Lighthound
  • Illuminated design.
  • Made of reflective material.
  • Uses a recharging battery.
  • Easy on and off.
  • Several adjustment points.
  • Highly visible fluorescent colors.
  • Made of military grade fabric.
View at Amazon.com

This illuminating harness is battery free, so all you have to do is charge it up for 12 hours of illumination per charge. It is lightweight and breathable, and suited to all weathers, even the rain! This harness is easy to clean and can just be chucked into the washing machine. It’s built with military grade Cordura Fabric and 3M reflective material so it is hard-wearing.

It has a leash attachment on the back, which is perfect for dogs who don’t pull or who aren’t very strong. This harness offers the smallest and the largest size harness out of all of the products on this list, so if you have a particular small or particularly large pooch that you struggle to find a harness for, this might just be your best bet! It’s available in Small, Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large.

We love that this harness in illuminated with bright LED colors that can be seen from every direction, and with different settings such as ‘Disco Dog’ and ‘Independence Day’, it has been tested that he will be visible from over half a mile away!


Auroth Tactical Dog Harness

Auroth Tactical Harness
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Tactical harness design.
  • Military-grade fabric.
  • Velcro for molle pouch attachment.
  • Four different sizes.
  • Multiple color options.
  • Rear handle for maximum control.
View at Amazon.com

This harness is ergonomically designed so that it is easy to pull on and off. It has padding on the chest, stomach, and back area. This makes it a comfortable choice for your pup. It has a sturdy handle placed on his back which means that you can take hold of him if necessary, as well as using it for a seatbelt harness in the car.

While it is not reflective, there are velcro areas on the harness where you can add reflective patches for low light conditions. This harness features four different adjustment points that will help provide the best possible fitment for your canine companion. The two durable metal D ring attachment points will also allow you to choose how your dog is attached during runs.

We love that the front hoop on this no-pull pup harness is placed quite high. This means it’s likely to be popular as a no-pull option, which is great if your dog is a puller and you’re just starting out jogging.


EzyDog Trail Ready Harness

EZYDog Harness
  • Six different sizes.
  • Four different color combinations.
  • Sturdy design with durable materials.
  • Reflective strips on front and back.
  • Better design for non-pullers (rear attaching).
  • Less restrictive design.
  • Removable side patches.
View at Amazon.com

This award winning premium dog harness is made with adjustable straps and clips which make it the perfect option for those dogs who have a unique body shape, such as Greyhounds or Great Danes, as well as your standard-sized pooch. The wider range of sizes also means that it will fit your pup perfectly rather than have excess material hanging from the straps. It has a stainless-steel welded D ring used as a leash attachment, which is extra strong and secure.

It has reflective strips and stitching on the front and the back of the harness, This will help your pup no matter the direction he is facing. There’s also an option to clip in LED lights. The fabric is contoured and breathable which means rubbing, or irritation, is kept to a minimum, even on first use. there’s also a handle on the back for extra security. It’s available in seven different sizes, meaning it’s likely going to allow proper fitment for most breeds.

We love that this harness is customizable. You can add velcro patches with your pooches’ name or message. These might say something like “not friendly” or “service dog” for everyone to see.  Pouch bags can also be added for dogs who need to carry some supplies for particularly adventurous running weekends. This will help save you from carrying extra weight or supplies whilst you are running.


Rabbitgoo Dog Harness

Rabbitgoo Harness
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Available in four sizes.
  • Multiple color options.
  • No-pull features.
  • No-choke design.
  • Fully adjustable straps.
  • Fast release buckles.
View at Amazon.com

This harness has a chest clip for those dogs who are learning not to pull. It also helps with pups that are very strong and need that extra bit of help to be reigned in. There’s also a back clip for those who are better trained on the leash. Reflective safety strips and stitches are utilized on the front and the back of the harness. This is important for your pup’s safety while out running early morning or late evening.

There are 2 adjustable straps on the neck and two adjustable straps on the back, which means you can tailor it specifically to fit your dog’s body shape. It is padded which not only adds comfort but prevents the straps from digging into his skin while out running. It’s available in Medium, Large and Extra Large.

We love that there are 2 simple clips on either side of the harness for easy on and off action, which is great for those energetic dogs on the go, who struggle to contain their excitement before they head out for a run.


Ruffwear Webmaster Harness

Ruffwear Webmaster Dog Harness
  • Five different size options.
  • Three different colors.
  • Webbing design provides more security.
  • Can be used as a lift harness.
  • Padded for additional comfort.
  • Durable for challenging terrain.
  • Five different adjustment points.
View at Amazon.com

This Ruffwear harness is the premium and sturdier version of some of their more popular harnesses. It’s specifically designed for more adventurous pups, so if you are a serious runner then this would make the better option as it is more durable, stronger, and more comfortable for your pooch with extra padding.

It has a reinforced handle on top for extra grip in emergency situations, or to help lift him over obstacles. With a wide range of sizes and 5 adjustable points, this harness would be the perfect fit for every dog around! It’s available in Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large.

We love that Ruffwear offer a guarantee on this harness against defects in material and craftsmanship. Typically, products with a guarantee placed upon them are of higher quality. This helps make this a great choice for those who will utilize their running harness a lot.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it ok for any dog breed to run with me?

    Almost all dogs love to run, except for some of the less energetic dog breeds, but even some of these guys would love the odd run or two, as every dog is different! The only type of dog that we would recommend that you do not take jogging with you is a Brachycephalic dog.

    Breeds like Pugs or Shih Tzus will struggle due to their physiology and their flat faces. These breeds suffer with respiratory issues and heat regulation problems, and so jogging or running is not suited to these guys.

  • What age can I start running with my dog?

    Before we answer this, it is always best to consult with your Veterinarian as he will know your pooch best and can offer tailored advice. Many factors affect this decision, but the general rule is to wait until he is at least 6 months of age.

    It's a good idea to wait on high-impact exercises such as running. Some breeds, particularly larger breeds, are more prone to joint issues compared to others. Therefore, larger breeds should start running around 1 year of age.

  • How can I train my dog to jog with me?

    You need to learn how to walk before you can run, so leash training needs to be completed before you think about running with him. Once you have the basic leash manners down and he is comfortable walking next to you, simply begin to increase your speed.

    It is a good idea to practice in areas where there will be little distraction first, and once he has the hang of it then you can introduce him to your local running routes. At first he is going to want to stop and sniff everything, so remember to keep a bag of small treats with you to keep him interested, and when he leaves something on your command, reward him with treats and verbal praise.

  • How do I know if the harness is too tight?

    A harness needs to be tight enough so that your pooch cannot escape out of it, but not tight enough that is is going to cut off his blood circulation and cause rubbing wounds. As long as you can fit 2 fingers between his harness and his body, then this is the perfect fit.

    Your dog will also let you know soon enough if it is too tight because he will refuse to run or you will soon find him licking and scratching the harness area as soon as you take it off.

Final Thoughts

Just remember that the better quality harness you chose, the more fun, or stress-free, your run will be. There is nothing worse than being ‘in the zone’ whilst exercising, then having to stop to readjust your shoelaces, or in this case, your dog harness. If he is comfortable, then he is going to enjoy it.

Make sure it is the right size, with padding, and plenty of adjustable features to get the right fit. So, stick to our recommendations above and know that you have chosen one of the best dog harnesses for running, leaving no room for interrupting that zone of yours!

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