How To Measure A Dog For A Harness? 3 Simple Steps To Follow

A dog harness is only useful when sized right. Harnesses are usually an effective way to stop your dog from pulling. This is not the case if the harness doesn’t fit the dog right.

It’s hard to find the right-sized dog harness if you haven’t measured your dog. You will have to try several harnesses in the pet store before finding the right size, even then you may not be successful. If you are buying online, you don’t have that luxury.

So, measuring your dog before buying the dog harness is the right thing to do. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to measure a dog for a harness.

  1. Get a measuring tape.
  2. Loop the tape around the chest and the back.
  3. Highlight the measurement. 

It’s as simple as that, don’t worry though, I’ll expand on this in a second.

How To Measure Dog Girth For Harness

How To Measure Dog Girth For Harness


Dog harness sizes are often categorized by the dog’s girth and weight. Normally, the weight should be enough to find the right-sized dog harness. Acquiring the best fit is best done when you know the dog’s chest girth as well.

Measuring the dog’s weight is easy enough. A big scale is useful but not necessary. Just pick up your dog, weigh yourself while holding the dog. Then, weigh once again just by yourself. Subtract the weight with the dog and the one without it, and that’s the dog’s weight.

  1. Get a measurer, preferably measuring tape.
    You need something that can lay tight on the dog while curved. This is best done with a tape measure, the same ones you weigh a person’s waist circumference. If you don’t have one, just take a rope or a thread. Mark the rope, and then measure it with a Metro.
  2. Locate the dog’s widest chest part.
    You just have to measure the chest once. It sounds simple because it’s as simple as that. The point is to measure your dog’s chest where it’s the widest. The spot where the dog’s front legs and its torso meet, behind the armpits. That’s the measurement for dog girth.
  3. Loop the measuring tape around the dog’s chest and back. 
    Make sure you are starting from the widest part. Don’t loop the tape measure too tight, go for a fit that allows you to place two fingers between the chest and the tape. Just make one full circle with measuring tape. That’s what you need to mark.
  4. Markdown the dog’s girth and its weight. 
See also  How To Train A Dog With A No Pull Harness

Chances are, some dogs will be in a limit between two sizes. Dog harnesses are adjustable, so brands list harnesses by sizes “from” “to”. If your dog fits a certain number, then you can just adjust for a snug fit. [Source]

If your dog is between two sizes, go for the larger size, so you can adjust for a snug fit. Also, look for other harnesses that offer sizes where your dog won’t be in between.

How To Measure Dog For Vest Harness

Now, measuring the dog’s girth for a vest harness may require you to take one more measurement. A step-in harness, dual strap harnesses, and Halti front pull harnesses have an open design, so the dog’s girth is enough.

Vest harnesses go around the dog’s neck as well. You put the harness over the dog’s head. So, you need to measure the neck as well. To measure a dog for vest harness you need to measure its chest girth and lower neck girth. Just loop a measuring tape around its neck where it meets the shoulders.

How To Measure Dog For Padded Chest Harness

Padded chest harness similar to vest harness, need additional measurements as well. These harnesses have a collar as well. To measure a dog for a padded chest harness, measure the dog’s girth, upper and lower neck. To measure the upper neck just loop the measuring tape like you put on a collar. 

How To Measure Dog For Coats

Coats cover the dog’s whole back, to the point where the back legs meet the back. So, that means that a dog may be too long or too short for a coat. To measure a dog for a coat, you need to measure the dog’s girth and dog’s length. Choose the length you want from the coat, I recommend measuring from the dog’s thigh to the front shoulders. 

Do I Need To Weigh My Dog For Harness

Do I Need To Weigh My Dog For Harness

There’s some dispute about whether you should prioritize the weight or the girth in the size charts. My advice is, go with both. The dog’s girth help with finding the right fit. But a rightly sized harness isn’t necessarily one that can support the dog from pulling.

The dog’s weight can tell you what harness can support it. That’s why most dog harness brands list weight as a measurement along with the girth. In fact, when buying a dog harness I recommend getting all the measurements needed to get the correct size of harness.

Most products will list a sizing chart with the measurements you need for the perfect size harness. So, make sure you have the correct size before buying. Find out whether you need chest measurements, neck measurement, or weight ranges. If the measurements required are not listed, follow the guide above for the type of harness you want to buy. [Source]

See also  How To Put A No Pull Harness On A Dog?(5 Steps To Follow)

How Do You Fit A Dog Harness

Depending on the harness style, it may have a complicated design, so pet owners have trouble putting the harnesses on. We have a thorough guide on how to put a no-pull dog harness. Follow this guide if you need help fitting the harness on the dog.

[Related Article: How To Train A Dog With A No Pull Harness]

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Are No-Pull Harnesses Bad For Dogs

No, no-pull harnesses are not bad for dogs. No-pull harnesses can injure the dog only when the harness is too loose or too tight. Rightly sized harnesses won’t hurt dogs.

How Long Should Dogs Wear A Harness

Dogs should wear the harness only when necessary. Although there won’t be any serious problem if you leave it on for a whole day once, doing this repeatedly can cause serious issues. The harness won’t feel comfortable for the dog. Skin infections may occur, matted hair is also a possibility.

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