The Best Harness for German Shepherds

The Best Harness for German Shepherds

German Shepherd is a well-known dog breed in the United States. According to the American Kennel Club, they are second only to the Labrador Retriever in popularity.

However, their strength, size, and head shape mean that walking them on a collar may not be the best option. If your dog is very strong or has a large head, it might be difficult to walk them using a collar.

When it comes to choosing the best harness for a German Shepherd, there are a few things you need to take into account. Not all harnesses are made equal, and not every dog will be comfortable in every type of harness. This blog post will discuss the different kinds of harnesses available and help you choose the best one for your German Shepherd.

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ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness

BABYLTRL Big Dog Harness

EXPAWLORER Big Dog No Pull Harness Vest

Kurgo Dog Harness

Choosing a German Shepherd Harness: What to Look for

What are some things you need to think about before buying a harness for your German Shepherd? There are some essential features you’ll want to see in a dog harness for your German Shepherd.


There are different types of harnesses on the market. You need to think about why you want a harness before deciding which type to get.

There are different types of dog harnesses for various purposes. We will discuss dog harnesses’ different types and styles later in this article.

Safety and Visibility

Suppose you walk your German Shepherd in the dark often. In that case, it is essential to find a harness style that includes reflective stripes or LED lights for improved visibility.

Do you take your dog on car rides? If so, you might want to get a design that attaches to the seat belt and keeps your dog safe.

You should consider some safety and visibility features when looking for a German Shepherd harness. Some of these features include reflective materials and bright colors.


Different dog harnesses are made from other materials, like nylon, leather, or denim. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks. You should think about what you need the dog harness for before deciding which material is best for your German Shepherd.


Likely, you do not want to have to buy a new harness several times a year after your German Shepherd has destroyed their current one. Rather than buying a cheap harness that will need to be replaced frequently, it is worth your while to invest in a long-lasting, heavy-duty harness.


Dogs don’t sweat the same way humans do, but it is still essential to find a harness that allows your dog to breathe. If your German Shepherd gets too hot, it could be a problem. You’ll need to think about this, especially if you buy a harness that covers more of your dog’s body, like a tactical harness.


Water and mud can quickly destroy cheap harnesses. A water-resistant harness is good if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or if your German Shepherd likes to swim.


No two dogs are the same size or shape. This is especially true for German Shepherds, whose large chest and small neck can have unusual dimensions. There are many ways to find a harness for your German Shepherd that fits well.

Chest Strap

A chest strap must be high enough to help you control your German Shepherd, but not so high that it injures their neck or affects their breathing. This is why it is essential to find a harness that fits well.

Metal or Hard Plastic Buckles

One of the most common places for a harness to fail is buckles. This is not something you want to happen, as your German Shepherd might be able to escape if it does. Look for harnesses with metal or rugged plastic buckles that are unlikely to break.


A good harness is essential for both you and your dog. Look for a harness that is padded, especially under the front legs, to make sure your dog is comfortable when wearing the harness during a long walk. This will help to prevent any irritation.


You may choose a cheap harness now, but it might not last as long as a more expensive harness. If you invest in a quality harness now, it could save you money in the long run.

Best Dog Harness for German Shepherds

1. ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness

This harness has four adjustable points, so you can get a good fit for your dog. There is a front D-ring leash attachment for dogs that pull and a D-ring on top harness for dogs that don’t pull. Additionally, this harness has a handle near the front of the saddle.

Notable Characteristics and Features:

  • Many different sizes and colors to choose from
  • Comes with hard plastic or metal buckles
  • Highly adjustable
  • You can add Velcro patches to the sides of the harness

A few people complained that the harness broke and their dog was in danger. But most people said that the saddle is very durable. They said it worked well for their German Shepherds, and it helped reduce pulling.

This is one of the best harnesses you can buy for your German Shepherd. Always inspect it for defects before putting it on your dog. If it’s okay, this tactical harness can fit the needs of most people who bought it.

2. BABYLTRL Big Dog Harness

This harness is suitable for dogs that are a little bigger and need more control. It has features like reflective stitching and breathable padded mesh to help the dog stay safe and comfortable.

Notable Characteristics and Features:

  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Front leash attachment prevents pulling
  • Has a handle on the back of the harness

Many people complained about quality issues, but most people say this is a sturdy harness and it’s an excellent value for the price.

If you want to start with a less expensive harness, this is an excellent option to try.

3. EXPAWLORER Big Dog No Pull Harness Vest

This harness is designed for large dogs. It is easier to put on because it goes over your dog’s head. You don’t need to fight with their legs to put the harness on them.

Notable Characteristics and Features:

  • Several sizes and many colors to choose from
  • Rubber handle on back for better control
  • The reflective tape makes dogs more visible at night

Many people have said that the straps loosen quickly, and their dog escapes. But most people think that this is a good quality harness, and they like how easy it is to put on their dog.

This harness does not reduce pulling very much. However, it is easy to put on and take off, and it is a sturdy alternative for dogs that do not pull on walks.

4 . Kurgo Dog Harness

This harness is crash-tested for dogs up to 75 pounds, making it an excellent choice for anyone who takes their dog on car rides frequently. Additionally, the front leash attachment can help reduce pulling.

Notable Characteristics and Features:

  • Tested at Calspan’s Buffalo, NY crash test facility
  • 5 adjustment points help it fit most dogs
  • Hassle-free Kurgo Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer defects

This harness has both good and bad points. It is more difficult for dogs to slip out on the good side. On the contrary, it can be tough to adjust. People who primarily use this as a car harness seem happier than those who use it as a walking harness.

If you mainly want a harness to keep your dog safe in the car, this might be a good option for you. If you’re looking for something that will reduce your dog’s pulling, there are better options out there.

5. Petacc No-Pull Pet Harness

This reflective harness is perfect for nighttime walks with your German Shepherd. The D-rings on the front and back make it easy to walk your dog, whether they are good on a leash or not.

Notable Characteristics and Features:

  • Highly reflective
  • No-pull and choke-free
  • Breathable, lightweight mesh lining

There are a lot of reviews that say the front D-ring on the harness comes off when the dog pulls on it too hard. But people mostly like how adjustable it is, and the handle on the back is a nice bonus.

This is an excellent basic harness for walking in the dark. It’s reflective, so you’ll be able to see your dog better. However, the front D-ring might not be strong enough for dogs that pull on the leash.

6. Embark Adventure Dog Harness

This harness is adjustable, will not choke your dog, and is easy to put on and take off. It is more padded than many other harnesses and is made from military-grade nylon for extra strength and durability.

Notable Characteristics and Features:

  • Strong military-grade nylon exceeds the national pulling strength guidelines by at least 130 LBS
  • Long straps make it highly adjustable
  • Comes in 3 colors

People seem to have mixed feelings about this harness. Some people say that the stitching is poor and the D-ring is weak. Others say that the straps are too long and the harness is too small. However, some people say that the saddle is sturdy and prevents dogs from backing out.

This harness is more expensive than others on this list, but it is worth the money. The harness is more durable and fits better than the cheaper models on this list.

Why Should You Use a Harness for Your German Shepherd Instead of a Collar?

You might be wondering why you should spend money on a harness rather than a leash and collar for your German Shepherd. There are several benefits of taking a German Shepherd for a walk on a harness rather than with a collar:

  • German Shepherds have a fine head and a skinny neck. This makes it easier for them to get out of a collar than a harness.
  • You can have better control over your German Shepherd using a harness instead of a collar. This is especially important if your dog likes to pull when being walked on a leash.
  • Collars can be a significant choking hazard, especially for large German Shepherds who like to pull when they walk. That’s why it’s essential to use a harness if your dog tends to draw on the leash.

Collars are excellent for keeping your dog’s ID and rabies tags handy. However, collars are not the best way to walk large breed dogs like German Shepherds.

Types of Dog Harnesses

There are many different types of dog harnesses. It’s essential to find the right kind of harness for your dog. Here are some common types of dog harnesses and how they can be helpful for German Shepherds.

Back-Clip, Front-Clip, or Dual-Clip

If your German Shepherd likes to pull on the leash, it’s best to use a harness that clips onto the front of the dog. This will give you more leverage and help you control your dog better.

An excellent way to prevent your dog from pulling or jumping on a leash is to use a harness that clips in the front. However, these types of harnesses can sometimes get tangled around your dog’s legs, so they may not be ideal for breeds that are prone to heal well while on a leash.

There are dual-clip harnesses that will work well for your current and future needs.

No-Pull Walking Harness

Some harnesses are designed specifically to help control dogs who pull on their leashes. The leash attaches in the front of the saddle, and when pressure is applied, the harness will tighten.


There are different types of harnesses for dogs. The step-through harness is usually the most basic type. This type of harness goes over your dog’s head. If you have a tight budget, this may be a style to consider. Some dogs like to tap dance when they know they are going on a walk, though, which can make it challenging to get this type of harness on.

Padded Harness

Harnesses can put a lot of pressure on your dog. That’s why it’s essential to find harnesses that are padded so your dog won’t get chaffed. This is especially important for German Shepherds because their armpits are very sensitive.

Car Harness with Seatbelt

If you have a dog, it is essential to keep them safe. One way to do this is to use a car harness with a seatbelt. This will help keep your dog safe if there is an accident. A German Shepherd can weigh up to 100 pounds and hit the back of your head during an accident if you are not restrained.

Reflective Harness

If you walk your German Shepherd during low-light times of the day or near where people commonly hunt, you will want your German Shepherd to be as easy to see as possible. That’s why a reflective harness (or one that comes with an LED) light may be the best option for you and your dog.

Tracking Harness

If you plan on using your dog for hunting, military, or other tracking work, you will want to look into a tracking harness. This type of harness usually gives dogs the best freedom of movement. It also provides a handle for you to grab onto heavy-duty materials that will survive a day out in the field.

Tactical Vest/Military Harness

Tactical vests and military harnesses are often used on working dogs. However, you may be interested in using one of these heavy-duty harnesses yourself.

How to Fit a Harness on Your German Shepherd

Finding a good harness for your German Shepherd can be challenging because different companies want different measurements. Before shopping, you should know your dog’s weight and what they measure around the widest part of their chest and neck.

If you’re not sure about your dog’s size, it’s often best to choose a larger size and then adjust down if necessary. Even after being adjusted, a too-small harness can be very uncomfortable for your German Shepherd.

How to Get Your German Shepherd Used to a Harness

If you have only ever used a collar on your German Shepherd puppy, it may take a while for them to adjust wearing a harness. Go slowly, and give plenty of praise and treats during this process.

  • First, take the harness out so your German Shepherd can get used to it.
  • After putting the harness on your dog, praise them for letting you put it on.
  • Before taking your German Shepherd for a walk, let them roam around your home with the harness on. See how they do. This will help you know if they are comfortable with it.
  • Now it is time to walk your German Shepherd with their harness.

How To Choose The Best Dog Harness For Your German Shepherd?


When looking for the best German shepherd harness, one of the most important elements to consider is durability. Look for a harness made of high-quality, long-lasting materials such as nylon or polyester. These materials are long-lasting and can be used for a long period before they need to be replaced.

Cotton gears are available, and while they are attractive, they are not long-lasting. As a result, choose a harness that will last you a long time and will make all of your hikes or experiences with your dog memorable.


Consider how comfortable the harness is for German shepherds while choosing one. Make sure this harness’s extra padding isn’t rough enough to chafe or hurt your dog’s skin. Look for a harness that fits your GSD perfectly once more. Make sure the harness fits your dog’s chest and back properly.

A shoddy harness will make your dog uncomfortable, and he will despise the thought of wearing one.

Leash attachment

What’s the best way to secure a leash to this German shepherd harness? Various sorts of clips are frequently found attached to this dog gear. The front clip, back clip, or both are the most popular.

Attachment to the front clip The harness’s safety clip is affixed to the chest area. This type of leash connection is ideal for dogs who tug on the leash frequently, as it helps to manage this undesirable behavior. The alternative option is a back attachment. The safety clip is now permanently attached to the back of the dog gear. This style of leash connection is best for dogs who are no longer pulling on the leash.

A harness with plastic clips, on the other hand, is the ideal fit for a calm dog.

Buckle Style And Adjustability

Examine the buckles’ construction and the locations where they are installed to ensure that they are sturdy. You’ll need a harness made of robust buckles that have been load-tested to ensure they don’t break off with a strong dog like the GSD.

Always search for a harness with metal or plastic buckles that are sturdy.

For a flawless and secure fit, make sure this dog gear is well adjustable while on your dog’s body.

Chew resistant

If you have a hard chewer who can’t stop putting everything in its mouth, your harness could be next. Avoid harnesses made of soft materials since they are easy to chew. Instead, use a harness composed of materials that are difficult to chew.


Look for a German shepherd harness that is composed of breathable material. You won’t require a harness with its coat type because it won’t overheat your dog. For those who are living in a warm environment, this is even more crucial.

Escape-resistant straps

If you have an escape artist who can squirm out of other sorts of harnesses, you’ll want to invest in a harness with escape-resistant straps. These straps keep your Houdini German shepherd safe while wearing this harness.

Harnesses for German Shepherds

A harness for German shepherds can be made out of various materials. You’ll need a harness constructed of strong and high-quality materials for large dogs like GSDs. However, below are some of the materials utilized to build German shepherd harnesses.


Nylon is a durable synthetic fiber with excellent water resistance. Most manufacturers utilize this material to create robust harnesses for large and heavy dogs like German shepherds.

Polyester Materials

Most dog harnesses are made of polyester, a sturdy and long-lasting material.


Leather is a robust and long-lasting material. On the other hand, a leather harness requires some foam padding for added cushioning for your dog’s comfort.

What To Look For When Buying a Harness for German Shepherd?

Certain harnesses are unquestionably better for German Shepherds than others. When choosing a harness for your German Shepherd, there are a few factors to keep in mind:

Harness Style

Harnesses for dogs come in a range of designs. Let’s take a look at each of them separately:

1. Back-Clip Harness

A clip on the back of the Back-clip harness allows you to attach or detach the leash. The back clip might be a useful solution for dogs with tracheal difficulties. This harness is especially suitable for dogs who have learned the skill of leash walking.

2. Font-Clip Harness

A harness with a front clip is ideal for dogs who need to learn how to walk on a leash. It allows you to have more control over your dog’s direction while also reducing pulling. It may, however, strangle your dog if too much pressure is applied to the throat. The leash is more likely to get tangled between the legs of a dog wearing a front clip harness.

3. Dual-Clip Harness

Most dog owners choose a dual-clip harness because it combines the benefits of both front and back-clip harnesses. You can attach the leash to your dog’s chest for a workout or to his back for a relaxing walk.


The harness you buy should be snug but comfortable for your dog. To achieve the best fit for your dog, consult the manufacturer’s size guide.


The best German shepherd harnesses should include adjustment points in various places to provide you the flexibility you need to fit your dog.


Always ensure that the harness you choose is comfortable to wear. This can be accomplished by avoiding any harness that digs into your dog’s skin and opting for a harness with plenty of padding in the belly and chest area.


Another useful element that makes your dog more visible in low light conditions is reflective patches or stitching. This is very important if you plan to walk your dog late at night. If your dog wanders away from you, a reflective harness might help you find him.

Buyer’s Guide

Before purchasing a Harness for your German Shepherd, you need to think about a few things.

Every dog breed can benefit from wearing a harness. Still, German Shepherds (like other breeds) have their particular advantages. Harnesses prevent harm to the trachea, neck, and spine by discouraging them from pulling on their leash.

Second, every German Shepherd with a medical problem reaps tenfold the benefits. Coughing and gagging must be avoided if you have congestive heart failure, lung issues, or relative bone pain. Jumping is also discouraged for this breed in particular. It’s not easy to get the perfect harness for your dog, but this guide will show you what to look for and what to think about.

Harness Types

When it comes to dog harnesses, there are four different varieties to choose from. Each serves a different purpose and provides a different advantage, yet they all provide security. Choosing between them while training or walking your dog is based on what works best for you and your dog.

Front Clip

A trainer’s best friend is front clips. They provide you the most control over your dog while teaching them to walk with you and ignore distractions. The leash is attached to the dog’s chest, eliminating pulling and distributing pressure over the body equally. The front clip may not be the ideal solution if your German Shepherd is prone to impulsive sprints when it sees a rabbit or squirrel. Depending on your skill to control the dog, they may end up flipping over.

Back Clip

Back clip variations provide less control while increasing the dog’s comfort level. These are usually designated for the well-trained dog who pulls on the leash sometimes when aroused. On the other hand, the back clip should be saved for a well-trained German Shepherd. This breed is prone to the opposing reflex, which is an instinct that causes them to pull harder against the chest piece’s pressure. This can make them more aggressive, encourage lunging, or simply make them stop responding to your directions for the time being.


With a clip in the front and one in the back, dual clip versions give you the best of both worlds. This allows you to swiftly change lead positions depending on the situation. And it’s usually a low-cost investment that your dog can use both during and after training (provided they do not outgrow the harness).


Vests are a higher-end version of harnesses, with more padding for comfort and a tighter fit. The way a vest embraces its body creates a calming effect for anxious canines. Senior dogs and those with spine or other difficulties benefit from the extra support provided by a vest. Like those worn by police dogs, high-end vests are advantageous to the German Shepherd. These models are made of extremely durable materials and offer more control.

Harness Handles

Harnesses for larger breeds frequently have a back handle that is strengthened or constructed of a stronger material than the product’s padded parts. This function is necessary for the safety of aggressive pets and others around them. While not all German Shepherds are violent, the breed’s natural power makes playing dangerous when untrained or in training.

Despite having a sturdier harness, that handle also helps you restrain them from dragging you, keeping them safe from traffic or an angry animal. These grips are positioned so that you can pull strongly without putting too much strain on the dog’s body. Your force is dispersed evenly throughout the harness, providing an excellent level of safety for everyone and every animal involved.


For any canine product, budget is crucial, especially for pricey breeds like these. For a purebred puppy, these puppies already cost more than $1,500. As a result, it’ll be critical to ensure that your purchases are balanced. You’ll be spending a good amount on German Shepherd food, a German Shepherd-sized dog kennel, dog toys, and other items.

Wrapping Up

We hope we have given you excellent ideas about finding a good harness for your German Shepherd. You may need to try out a few different styles before finding the right one. However, once you do find the correct harness, it can make a huge difference when walking (or driving) your German Shepherd.

Frequently Asked Questions about Best Harness for German Shepherd

How often does a German Shepherd need to be walked?

German Shepherds need at least two hours of exercise every day. This should include long walks and off-leash play in a safe area. You can also find online resources to help you figure out how much exercise your dog needs and how to have fun exercising together.

Do German Shepherds attach to one person?

German Shepherds will usually attach themselves to one person in the family, but that does not mean they cannot be good family dogs. They can have behavioral issues if their pet parents do not provide enough leadership.

At what age does a German Shepherd start guarding?

Dogs can start to show protective behaviors at 12 weeks old. However, full-blown protective behaviors typically don’t occur until a dog is around 6 months old and reaches adolescence.

Should I use a prong collar on my German Shepherd?

A prong collar can benefit dogs that need more than a basic leash correction. These collars use less pressure than regular leashes to give a punishment, making it easier for the owner to control their dog. The correction level can also be adjusted depending on how much the dog needs it.

How do German Shepherds show love?

Some of the most common ways German Shepherds show affection are:

  • Get excited when you come home.
  • Wagging their tail.
  • Leaning against you.
  • Snuggling with you.
  • Rolling over to expose their belly for some rubs.

Which is more protective, a male or female German Shepherd?

Male German Shepherds are more aggressive and protective than female German Shepherds. They have been known to bark at people or other dogs in their yards or on the street. However, a female German Shepherd will still bark and warn you of any strangers or intruders on the property.

Do German Shepherds like to cuddle?

German Shepherds often like to snuggle or cuddle. Apart from following you around, this is one way they show that they love you and want to be close to you.

What is a border collie German Shepherd mix called?

The Shollie is a mixed breed dog. This means that it is a cross between two different breeds of dogs. The Shollie is known to be intelligent, energetic, and loyal. This pup has some of the best qualities from both of its parents.

What is a martingale dog collar?

A martingale collar is also called a limited-slip or no-slip collar. This type of collar is best for a dog breed with a head that is narrower than its neck. When the dog pulls on the leash, the collar will constrict. The collar will not tighten beyond your dog’s neck width if properly fitted.