The Golden Retriever is an energetic dog who loves to get out and about. From swimming to exploring the local woodland, they enjoy just about everything. A dog harness is a crucial piece of kit when it comes to going outdoors with your pup. Not only are they comfortable, but they are also much safer. But only if you find one that fits perfectly.
In this guide, we compare our favorite harnesses for Golden Retrievers of all ages and sizes. Whether you are looking for the first dog harness for your Golden Retriever puppy, or an upgrade to the one you already own, there’s something here for every owner.
During your search for the perfect harness fit, there are several product features you’ll want to consider. We’ve outlined all the important features you’ll need to think about in our “buyer’s guide,” followed by our favorite harnesses, equipped with a detailed review of each. Let’s jump in and find out which one is the perfect fit for your pup’s next outdoor adventure!
At a Glance: Our Favorite Harnesses For Goldens
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Before we showcase our favorite models, we are going to walk you through our buyer’s guide. Here you’ll learn about all of the key considerations you need to make before making a purchase. This way, you can be sure that you will find the best harness for your pup. As well as getting the best value for money.
Although all harnesses are designed to distribute the pressure and weight across your Golden Retrievers body, there are different designs. Not all dogs have the same needs nor the same comfort levels. Getting the right one goes a long way to making both your and his walks easier.
Back clip: This harness is designed for those Golden Retrievers who are trained to walk on a leash, i.e., the non-pullers. The leash attachment is placed on the back, usually between his shoulder blades. Clips at the back of the harness help take the force away from their throat and neck for a more comfortable walking experience.
Front clip: This type of harness is designed for dogs that pull. They are also used for training purposes. The leash clip is placed on his chest, and it gives you more control over your Golden Retriever’s pulling.
Dual Clip: This is also a popular harness type because it gives you options. It is also great for the training process because you can start off using the front clip and then proceed to the back clip after your Golden Retriever gets the hang of it.
Step-in & Overhead: As you might have guessed, the step-in harness requires your dog to step into it. And the overhead harness can be placed over your dog’s head. An overhead design is ideal for senior pooches, as they don’t have to climb into place.
Lift: This type of harness is only required for Golden Retrievers who are lame on their rear end, either through injury or old age. Many vets will recommend these models if your dog is recovering from injury or surgery.
High-quality harnesses will have several adjustment points. This allows you to adjust the harness to achieve the perfect fit. Dogs are all different shapes and sizes, so not all harnesses would fit all dogs without this option. The more there are, the better the fit will be. A better fit will not only be more comfortable for your dog, but it will also prevent him from slipping out during walks.
Golden Retrievers are large dogs but do not assume that he needs a larger size. Each brand has different specifications, so you need to measure your dog before you purchase one. Each of the harnesses below provides instructions on how to measure your dog. Golden Retrievers have an average chest size of 30 inches.
Comfort is an essential consideration because if his harness isn’t comfy, he isn’t going to wear it. Look for harnesses with padding, as this will prevent chaffing and rubbing too. The material should also be breathable, as it will help to prevent sore spots. Neoprene is an excellent material for breathability and comfort.
The correct fit is the most critical aspect to consider when buying a harness. If it is too tight, it will feel restrictive, and your pup may refuse to wear it. It can also be dangerous if it doesn’t fit properly. And if it is too loose, he might slip his harness or encourage pulling behavior. Comfort and the correct fit are essential, so be sure to find the right size by measuring your dog.
Don’t let the Golden Retriever’s precious looks fool you. He is a strong boy with lots of gusto. As such, he needs a good-quality harness that is made with durable and robust material. The best material to look for is nylon, with polyester coming in second. Adjustment clips and buckles should also be made with strong material, and metal is ideal.
Durable materials also ensure that your harness will last longer. And although they command a slightly higher price tag, they will be better value for money in the long run. You don’t need to spend the earth, but you do need to spend more than poor-quality budget-store products. Stay away from any harness that says it’s been glued rather than stitched.
Harnesses should also have several safety features to ensure that your pup is kept safe. A handle is ideal for those times when you need to lift your pup or if you need to remove him from a situation quickly. Again, strong clips are key here because poor-quality clips are one of the most common causes of breaking.
Reflective trimming will help your pup to be seen in poor visibility, such as when it is foggy. Attachments for LED lights are also a great option for Golden Retrievers who like early morning or night-time walking. Some harnesses also have pockets in the lining where you can slip your address and contact number in just in case he goes solo.
Last but not least, budget is likely the top of mind for most Golden Retriever owners. Goldens aren’t cheap dogs. They can be expensive to feed, and you’ll need to budget for a Golden-sized dog crate, as well as plenty of toys to keep your pup busy. A harness isn’t a purchase that should break the bank, nor should you have to sacrifice quality.
Top Harnesses For Golden Retrievers
Now that you know what to look for in high-quality harnesses for Golden Retrievers, we can get to our recommendations. Here you will find a variety of harnesses to suit all Golden Retriever’s needs and ages.
Each harness is high-quality, and they are all highly rated by other dog owners. So you can be sure that they have been tried and tested. And most importantly, they are all up to the job of keeping this highly active breed safe during walks. We have also ensured that there are options for every owner’s budget too. So, in no particular order, here they are.
Chai's Choice Reflective Dog Harness
- Nine different colors.
- Five different size options.
- Perfect for low light conditions.
- Padded chest and belly straps.
- Four adjustment points.
- Dual-clip design.
- Handle on back for control.
Chai’s Choice has covered every single aspect that a harness should have. It is made with strong and durable polyester material with a nylon exterior for breathability. The Chai’s Choice has a padded design throughout the product to prevent rubbing and increase your dog’s comfort. It’s also equipped with a handle across his shoulder blades so that you can grab or lift him if you need to.
It has four adjustment points, which help to achieve the best fit. Reflective piping is interwoven into the nylon material, which will help to increase his visibility during low lighting. It is used both front and back, which helps his visibility no matter which way he is facing. It comes in nine vibrant colors, and overall, it looks very smart. When it comes to price, it’s also on the lower end of the pricing spectrum.
We love that this harness ticks every box. So, no matter what you need, or what your intended use is, this is our best overall option. And it’s stylish too!
Julius K9 Powerharness
- Great for service animals.
- Eight different sizes.
- Seven different color combinations.
- Rear handle for additional control.
- Velcro patch areas for service dogs.
- Reflective chest strap.
- Water-repellent shell.
Julius-k9 is a well-known brand in the dog harness world. This isn’t called the powerharness for no reason. And it is specifically designed with working dogs in mind, for all conditions. It uses heavy-duty and freeze-proof buckles, so you can be sure that he isn’t going to break them if he is a strong puller. This is a back clip design with a durable steel D-ring at the rear.
This harness is made with nylon and an EcoTex inner liner that is skin-friendly. It is water-resistant so that it won’t get damp and uncomfortable for him. TIt’s equipped with a hook and loop patch system so that you can add any label, such as service dog or do not pet (you will need to order these separately). It has a handle, reflective chest strap, and it comes in seven bright colors.
We love that this harness is our premium option made for tough working dogs, but it is an excellent option for any pooch. Meaning that it has all of the features that make it comfortable, safe, and durable for your Golden Retriever.
Eagloo No-Pull Dog Harness
- Budget-friendly harness.
- Nine different color combinations.
- Four different sizes.
- Dual-clip design.
- Rear handle for additional control.
- Quick-snap adjustable buckles.
- Designed to reduce choking.
This harness has three adjustment points. There are two quick-release snap buckles around his torso and an adjustment point around his neck. The straps around his chest are also elasticated, meaning that it won’t rub as he runs. It is padded throughout to add extra comfort, and it has a handle across his back for lifting him.
It is a back clip design, with a strong metal D-ring placed between his shoulders for easy walking. Reflective piping is used both front and back so that he is visible from both the front and back. It also comes in a bright neon orange color. Made with nylon, it is both strong but gentle on his skin.
We love that this product has the lowest price point. This means it’s a better option for those owners on a tighter budget. For the price, it’s a great harness.
Kurgo Journey Reflective Harness
- Made to handle outdoor activity.
- Five different sizes.
- Three different color combinations.
- Deep v-neck design.
- Padded chest plate to reduce strain.
- Reflective trim for maximum visibility.
- Four rust-proof easy-release buckles.
This harness is another premium option, which is reflected in the lifetime warranty. It is comfortable enough for everyday use, and it is also strong enough for the more adventurous Golden Retriever. Made with rugged polyester and nylon, it will stand up to any job. And the metal buckle points are based on the same engineering for rock climbing equipment. The Kurgo Journey also comes with a tether for car safety in the vehicle.
It is made with excellent craftsmanship, and it pretty much covers everything you could need from a harness. It comes equipped with a rear handle, and it has both a front and back clip. This makes it ideal for the training process. It has a broad chest plate that is padded for comfort, and it has four adjustment points. It is also machine washable, ideal for those who like to get dirty on their adventures.
We love that this harness comes with a lifetime warranty, meaning that you can be sure it will stand up to the test of your active Golden Retriever.
Pawtitas Reflective Dog Harness
- Five different size combinations.
- Nine different colors.
- Dual-clip design.
- Made from reflective material.
- Adjustable straps for maximum fit.
- Neoprene padding for comfort.
- Step-in design.
This harness is great for everyday walks, and it is strong and durable thanks to the durable nylon material. It also has breathable neoprene padding for added comfort and takes the strain away from his neck. This simple step-through design has three adjustable points – two around the torso and one across the chest.
It comes equipped with a back clip and is ideal for those Golden Retrievers who are used to wearing a harness. Reflective trimming is added to the front and back to keep him visible during low lighting. It is another excellent option for those owners on a lower budget. And because of its simplistic design, it would make a good option for those Golden Retrievers who do not like large or restricted harnesses.
We love that this harness comes in nine different color options. This makes it a fab option for fashion-conscious dog owners.
Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness
- Four different size combinations.
- Ten different color combinations.
- Designed to restrict pulling.
- Dual attachment points.
- Anti-choke design.
- Four harness adjustment points.
Rabbitgoo’s harness is one of the more popular models on the market. It’s an excellent combination of affordability and durability. Most Golden Retrievers will fit into a size large, while larger males may need an XL in size. It’s made from durable nylon material, and this harness is designed to stop pulling dead in its tracks.
There are ten different color combinations, so there’s a style and look for every pup. It’s an easy-to-use overhead design, and there are four different strap adjustment points to ensure a perfect fit. The padded chest ensures your pup will have a comfortable walk. The chest is also covered in a breathable mesh material to ensure your Golden Retriever doesn’t overheat.
We love that Rabbitgoo has done an excellent job combining durability with a budget-friendly price. It shows that you don’t have to sacrifice quality for a lower price point.
OneTigris Tactical Harness
- Two different tactical colors.
- Extremely durable.
- Rear handle for maximum control.
- Molle webbing for carrying pouches.
- Adjustable neck and chest straps.
- Velcro areas for patches and badges.
- Great for service dogs.
This harness is made for hardworking or adventurous Golden Retrievers. It’s designed with a tactical/army design, and it has lots of features for the hardworking dogs out there. Made with durable, heavy-duty nylon, it can take up to 90 pounds in weight. Thankfully, it is lightweight enough for comfortable adventures, and it is water-resistant too. It has a handle and both front and rear attachment points.
It has four adjustment points, and it has strong quick-release buckles. The handle comes in handy to lift your Golden Retriever up, and it has Velcro sides so that you can add badges and labels. It also has a MOLLE system that you can attach storage pockets to (you will need to purchase these separately). You can also slip your contact details in just in case he decides to go exploring on his own too.
We love that this harness is the best option for the really adventurous or working Golden Retriever. Complete with storage pockets so that he can carry his own poop bags and treats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I harness train my Golden Retriever?
Yes, harnesses are great for almost all dog breeds. It is much safer to attach your leash to a harness than a collar. As it takes the tension away from his neck and distributes it across his chest and shoulders. They also help to train Golden Retrievers, who are strong pullers.
What’s the best size for my Golden Retriever?
Usually, a large-sized harness is the best fit for your Golden Retriever. The average-sized chest for a Golden Retriever is 30 inches. But for some brands, a medium-sized or extra-large harness is the best fit. Whatever harness you decide to go with, you need to measure your dog according to their instructions.
They will usually get you to measure around his chest in inches, and some may require you to measure their neck too. If your Golden is between sizes, it’s usually best to go with the size up, as you can tighten to its maximum.
Will a harness hurt my dog?
No, as long as the harness is the correct size and properly fitted, it cannot hurt your Golden Retriever. If your pooch seems to be irritated by his new harness, it is likely because he just needs to get used to it. If you can fit two fingers between his body and the harness, it is the right tightness.
How important is a correctly fitting harness?
This is the most important thing to consider when making a purchase. Incorrectly fitted Golden Retriever harnesses will rub and cause hair loss, sore spots, and generally be uncomfortable if it’s too tight. It could even cause suffocation if he gets himself caught up in vegetation or a fence.
The right harness will also make walks unenjoyable, and it won’t make your pup squirm. If it’s too loose, he could slip his harness, and that’s just as dangerous. If it’s not the correct fit, you need to return it and swap it for the right size.
Are these harnesses suitable for running?
Most of these harnesses can be suitable for running. The KURGO Journey is our favorite for running Goldens. There are also several other harnesses well equipped for the task.
Hopefully, after reading this guide, we have made the task of finding a harness for your Golden Retriever a much more straightforward job. Be sure to use our buying guide to find the best option for him. And by picking one of the options above, you can be sure that your harness will be up to the job of keeping your Golden Retriever’s training on track and meeting his adventurous needs.
His comfort and safety should be at the forefront of your decision. And thankfully, these high-quality and durable harnesses look the part too. From military styles for the active dog to pretty lilacs and funky designs, he’ll be the talking point of all the doggies down at the doggy park.