Dogs are the definition of the perfect running partner. They don’t talk, they never complain, and they motivate us. To ensure your dog’s safety, you should always use a highly rated harness.
We will share our #1 favorite, the Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Harness, and four other running harnesses that will help you and your dog stay moving.
What You Should Look For in a Running Harness
A running harness should do a number of things, but most importantly it should keep your dog safe. There are a variety of harnesses on the market, but not every harness is suitable for running. Before purchasing a running harness and taking it and your dog out for a jog, make sure it checks the following boxes.
Have you ever tried to go running in an outfit that didn’t quite fit or with shoes that were too tight or too loose? It makes your run feel long, uncomfortable, and distracting. It might even cause you pain! Your dog suffers the same issues when equipped with a harness that doesn’t pass the comfort test. Padded harnesses are the most comfortable because they help prevent chafing, rubbing, and friction. If possible, try to find a harness that has padding at least around the stomach and chest since they are areas that can take the most abuse during a run.
Sizing is tied to both comfort and security, which are highly important points that you’ll want to check for. Without a properly sized harness, comfortability and security can fly right out the window. Many manufacturers offer sizing guidelines or a sizing chart to help you make a well-informed decision. You’ll want to measure your dog’s neck and chest, as well as around their belly if you aren’t sure that the harness will easily adjust. If your dog fits somewhere in the middle of two sizes, it is recommended that you go up a size and adjust down.
Security should always be a top priority when choosing a running harness. Once your dog wriggles itself out of a harness, catching them could turn into a dangerous event, especially if you are running near a busy road or in a thickly wooded area. Finding a harness that fits your dog and can be adjusted down or up for a snug fit is a big box that you’ll want to checkmark for added peace of mind.
Besides sizing and adjusting, take the time to safety check any buckles, snaps, or clips to be sure your high spirited dog doesn’t break right through them. Just because a harness buckles, snaps, or clips together doesn’t mean it’s full proof. A dog with an insatiable desire to escape will often times find a way in an unreliable harness.
As runners, we all know that it’s best to look like a giant highlighter running down the street as opposed to not being noticed at all. As a part of general safety, especially if your preference is running at night or late in the evening, you and your dog should be equipped with some type of reflective clothing or accessories. High-quality harnesses have a reflective strip, pattern, or color that makes them highly visible in low light. Your dog is far less noticeable than you are, simply because of their smaller stature, so make sure to equip them with a harness that reflects light.
Just like a pair of great sneakers, your dog’s running harness should be easy to adjust. The best way to know whether a harness is adjustable is to see how many different places on the harness you can adjust. The more places to adjust, the better! You should start by finding a harness that is a good size for your pup. Once you’ve got the proper size harness for your dog, you should then adjust it down or up for a comfortable fit. The best harnesses are highly adjustable so no matter what your dog’s body structure is like, you can make it fit like a glove.
If you’re an avid runner who likes to run long distances or difficult terrain, then you will want a harness that is durable and will last. Harnesses made solely of connecting webbing-style straps may be more prone to fraying, while nylon harnesses may be more likely to have stitching issues.
Harness designed with only threaded straps should be well manufactured and woven with thick threads to help ensure longevity. Generally, nylon harnesses can take a beating. However, nylon harness with velcro or thin stitching may need frequent replacing.
It’s also recommended, no matter which type of running harness you decide to go with, that your hardware be made of some kind of metal. Plastic hardware can easily crack, break, or suffer damage and is also a potential security risk if your dog is likely to pull away from you while leashed.
Before moving on to our favorites list, take a minute to watch this sweet and short video of a dog enjoying his new running harness with his owner.
Our Top Five Favorite Running Harnesses
Now that you know what you should look for in a running harness, here are our top five favorites to help get your started. Your dog will happily go the distance with you while wearing any of these five harnesses.
Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Harness [Our Favorite]
- MADE FOR EXTENDED WEAR: Lightweight, durable, and made for all-day outdoor adventures; Designed for...
- 2 LEASH ATTACHMENT POINTS: Reinforced webbing at chest stands up to pulling and gives additional...
- PADDED FOR COMFORT: Foam-padded strips across the chest and belly provide equal load distribution...
The Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Harness is our favorite because it has everything you could need, want, and more. It was built and designed to last you and your dog for many miles and to tolerate all types of terrain. As the name suggests, it’s perfect for all-day wear and long adventures. This harness is a consistent favorite for runners and pet owners alike and has certainly earned its place at the top.
- Padding around the chest and back for greater comfort
- Highly reflective trimming for high visibility in low light
- Four points of adjustment to ensure a snug and comfortable fit
- Reinforced front leash attachment to help prevent pulling
- Aluminum V-ring back leash attachment
- Lightweight for all-day play and to prevent fatigue
- ID pocket for storing dog tags
- Owners reported having this harness for up to two years without replacing
- Designed for all-day comfort
- Made with durable materials like nylon and metal hardware with high-quality stitching
- Designed for quick and easy removal
- Breathable material
- Can be machined washed
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Stylish look and design
- Great color options
- Harness is designed to slip over the dog’s head and buckle so you won’t need to constantly adjust or encourage your dog to step into it
- Weatherproof material for plenty of outdoor use and adventure
- The front leash attachment is not made from metal, so large or extra-large dogs may break or damage it when pulling
- A few owners reported that their dogs were able to chew through the straps
- Buckles are made from plastic, so they may be more prone to damage from chewing
- Higher pricing
- Stitching may wear over time
- Choosing the correct size may be difficult when buying for a small or extra small dog
- Some pet owners complained that despite the four points of adjustment, it was difficult to get a snug fit, especially for smaller dogs
- 【 LARGE DOG HARNESS 】 - Measuring Neck Girth: 16.1" - 23.2", Chest Girth: 20.5" - 36" . Let us...
- 【 NO PULL, NO CHOKE 】- Our non-pulling dog harness is specially designed with 2 Metal Leash...
- 【 EASY TO USE 】- This hassle-free overhead harness is easy to put on and take off with its 2...
The Rabbitgoo No-Pull Harness is an excellent running harness with a similar design to our favorite, the Ruffwear Front Range All-Day. If you’re limited on funds, this is a good alternative to some of the higher-priced harnesses on the market. This harness is the lowest priced harness on our top five favorites list. It has several color options and is an ideal option for medium to large-sized dogs. Most importantly, it’s a safe and reliable choice for your favorite running partner.
- Four points of adjustment
- Added handle for better control and security
- Metal front and back leash attachments
- Priced below average
- Several color options
- Great option for medium to large-sized dogs
- Overhead slip-on harness for easy put on and off
- Two fast-release buckles for security and easy removal
- Lightweight design to prevent fatigue
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Durable nylon construction and stitching
- Padded chest and back for added comfort
- Reflective strips along front, side, and back of the harness for excellent visibility
- No-pull design for greater control and no-pull training
- Breathable material
- Weatherproof for outdoor use
- Stylish design and look
- Not recommended for some small or extra small dogs
- Instructions call for hand washing only
- Several pet owners reported having difficulty adjusting the harness because of issues with moving the straps and lack of intuitive adjustment design
- Some pet owners reported that the buckles broke when their dog’s exerted a large amount of pull force
- A few pet owners stated that their dogs were able to eat through the harness
- Chest Girth 24.5-29.5", Chest Width 19", Webbing Width 1", M/L; The chest strap is not adjustable....
- The harness does not stretch itself. NEVER leave your dog unattended with a harness on.
- To keep the style and high quality, our designer delicately embedded part of the neoprene harness...
The Blueberry Pet No-Pull Training Harness is another highly rated harness that you might want to consider. Though it doesn’t look like your typical running harness, it has many of the great qualities needed for a safe and happy run with your dog. It’s priced reasonably and is stylish, comfortable, and allows for greater freedom of motion.
- Affordably priced
- Neoprene padding around the chest
- Wide chest strap
- No connection between the front legs and stomach to provide extra freedom of motion
- Single side buckle for easy put on and off
- Stylish color options
- Chest pad has reflective trim for higher visibility in low lighting
- Made with high-quality materials
- Designed with comfort in mind
- Lightweight to prevent fatigue
- Breathable and exceptionally ventilated
- Weatherproof for outdoor use
- An ideal harness for medium to large dogs
- Can be slipped on over the dog’s head
- Great for dogs with sensitive skin
- Quality stitching for greater endurance
- Can be machine washed without damage if kept in a laundry bag or on delicate cycle
- No strap between the legs resolves the issues of chafing or rubbing
- Not well designed for small or extra small dogs
- Chest girth is the only area of adjustment
- A few owners complained that the harness was easy to slip out of
- No added padding for stomach or back
- Back leash attachment is secured using a metal ring on an extended loop strap that may give the dog too much control and freedom during a run
- When the back metal ring is not attached to a leash, it hangs loosely and can be inconvenient if you like to let your dog off the leash to play or run
- Color:orange,size S fit chest girth 17-22" Stylish ,Durable, Scratch-Resistant Oxford material outer...
- Safety features include Nylon webbing with 3M reflective material for Good visibility at night and...
- Comfortable lightweight Mesh lining with soft sponge padding in chest and belly.
The Truelove Front Range No-Pull harness is another inexpensive option that includes many of the characteristics of a well-designed running harness. Pet owners rave over its great fit and comfortable feel. If you are in the process of training your dog to be your running partner, then you’ll be happy to know that this harness has had many great success stories with ending pulling behavior.
- Includes a handle for additional control
- Designed for outdoor activities
- Lightweight material to prevent fatigue
- Comfortable and ergonomic design
- Padded chest and back
- Front and back leash attachments
- Made with durable and scratch-resistant nylon to survive outdoor play
- Has a large load capacity to handle whatever force your dog exerts when pulling
- Breathable material
- Ideal for small to medium-sized dogs
- Allows for free body movements for running and swimming
- Reflective material along the front, sides, and back of the harness
- Elastic made into the band around the stomach
- Weatherproof for outdoor use
- Pet owners have reported the harness lasting up to a year without replacing
- Easy to adjust
- Reinforced stitching
- Few color options
- May not be the best option for large or extra-large dogs that have a strong pull force
- A few pet owners reported that the straps easily ripped or clips completely broke, though this was a rare experience
- Webbing may fray over time, especially if used frequently
- Some pet owners with short-haired dog complained that the harness caused rubbing and hotspots between the legs and stomach, though this was not a common complaint
- THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE DOG HARNESS - A dog vest harness active lifestyles: go together for an easy...
- HIGHLY ADJUSTABLE & EASY ON AND OFF - Longer straps with extra adjustment space help you find a snug...
- HEAVY DUTY & EXTRA DURABLE - Made from strong military-grade nylon that exceeds the national pulling...
The final running harness on our top five favorites list is the Embark Active Dog Harness, a harness designed for outdoor adventuring. Out of the five harnesses on our list, this harness happily sits in the middle of the group in terms of price. It is exceptionally durable and includes a replacement warranty if you aren’t happy with the fit. Overall, it’s an overachiever and definitely deserves a place on our list.
- Four points of adjustment
- Includes metal front and back leash attachments
- Has bright reflective trimming
- The chest, stomach, and back are padded for extra comfort
- Neck and chest are both adjustable areas for sizing
- Quadruple stitching for exceptional durability
- Ideal for medium-sized dogs
- Designed for outdoor use, including running and hiking
- Includes a handle on the back for added control and security
- Designed for daily use
- Lightweight materials
- Crafted with military-grade nylon thread throughout the harness
- The back attachment is specially designed for no-pull training and spreads pulling force across the harness and not directly on the neck
- Slip-on style for easy pull on and off
- Easy to wash and clean
- Breathable with minimum coverage for hot days
- Reviewers reported excellent customer service
- Includes an area on the harness for writing your dog’s name and your contact information
- Only three color options
- Despite the metal D-ring, large and extra-large dogs may break it when pulling
- The smallest chest girth is 16” so pet owners with extra small dogs may struggle to get a perfect fit
- May be too bulky or heavy for small dogs
- Some pet owners complained that the sizing chart was not accurate
Let’s Sum It All Up
Our top five favorite running harnesses offer a variety of options to help get you started on your search.
The Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Harness is our favorite because of its durable all-day comfortable design, safety features, and long lifespan. Its designers made sure to include all the bells and whistles that runners and their dogs need. It’s highly reflective trimming ensures that no matter what time of day or night you run, you and your dog will be seen. Your dog will enjoy the padded chest and back and you’ll enjoy the fact that your dog won’t experience any painful rubbing, chafing, or friction. Let’s face it, chafing can be a runner’s worst nightmare! This harness will give peace of mind knowing your dog is safe and comfortable.
The Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness is our favorite, but it may not be the best fit for your lifestyle or your dog’s unique physical and behavioral characteristics. Before making your purchase, ensure that it includes the points we feel are essential for a safe and reliable running harness.
We hope this article provided you with the information you need to feel confident about the running harness you strap your dog in.
Last update on 2020-04-01 at 11:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API