9 Best Dog Harnesses for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2024

Bernese Mountain Dog Harness

While they might look intimidating, the Bernese mountain dog’s loving nature makes this breed a gentle giant. Originally, Bernese dogs were bred for hard-work in Switzerland, but their affectionate temperament earned them a place as a family dog in the 1900s.

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Today, Berners might not be guarding livestock or driving cattle, but they still need plenty of outdoor exercise to stay healthy. Generally, an average Berner adult should get around a half-an-hour or more of moderate exercise to keep their lean physique. However, they’ll happily spend more time outside if you let them: Berners are often happiest when they’re hiking or walking alongside their human companions.

While using a collar might be appropriate in some environments, Bernese mountains dogs usually need the added support and security of a harness on their outdoor adventures. Not only can collars sometimes cause accidental health issues like choking or neck strains, but they also make it difficult to control a large dog like the Berner. As gentle as they may be, Bernese mountain dogs don’t have any issue throwing their weight around.

Finding the best Bernese mountain dog harness can be a challenge. While all brands promise to keep your dog safe and secure, not all of them are able to live up to that promise. Fortunately, you don’t need to wonder which harnesses are high-quality—we’ve already reviewed the top Bernese mountain dog harnesses of 2024 for you.

What is the Best Dog Harness for a Bernese Mountain Dog?

Different Types of Dog Harnesses for Bernese Mountain Dog

With such similar appearances, it’s easy to assume that all harnesses are the same. However, there are actually several different kinds of harnesses to choose from, and not all of them may work equally as well for your Berner.

What many consider to be the best Bernese mountain dog harness is the front-clip harness. With these harnesses, you can attach the lead to a ring on the front of the vest. Although the leash may get tangled easier, owners typically have more control over their dogs with a front-clip harness. For big dogs like the Berner, more control is usually needed.

Senior Bernese mountain dogs that don’t pull or tug on the leash much may be better suited for a back-clip harness. A back-clip harness has a rear attachment, and typically gives the dog more freedom to move around but doesn’t provide owners with as much control.

If your dog is unpredictable, a dual-clip harness that uses both a rear attachment and front attachment may work best. Depending on your Berner’s behavior that day, you can use either attachment or effortlessly switch between them.

When considering your dog’s comfort, vest harnesses are another kind to consider. These easily-recognizable garments strap onto your dog like a shirt and can provide a little more comfort and security than a harness without that added material. Keep in mind, however, that some vest harnesses can be less durable—depending on what kind of material they’re made from.

What to Look for in a Good Harness for Bernese Mountain Dogs

Although they generally have a mild temperament and affectionate nature, Bernese mountain dogs are still a large breed. At times, their stubborn streak can make them difficult to control, and they aren’t afraid to pull or jerk the leash if they see a squirrel in the woods or pass by a stranger.

One of the first priorities in finding a good harness is control. Harnesses that include front attachments and “no pull” features are a great place to start. If you already know your Berner is going to give you trouble, you’ll want as much control as you can get. Similarly, harnesses that include built-in handles can also be useful. In some cases, you may need to quickly reign in your Berner, and a handle can allow you to quickly lift them out of danger.

For the night owls who prefer moonlight walks, harnesses that contain reflective strips or material can help you remain visible to drivers and other pedestrians. Even if your nighttime walk is far from civilization, a reflective harness can also help you keep track of your Berner if they happen to leave your side.

While many harnesses might promise durability, you can usually identify a durable harness by its material. Harnesses that use oxford cloth tend to have a longer life-span (and be more resistant to scratching) while nylon harnesses are generally durable and more comfortable to wear.

Given the Bernese mountain dog’s large size, finding a harness that’s adjustable is crucial to making sure you get a custom fit. Even high-quality harnesses can end up useless if they’re ill-fitting (or your dog is able to slip out of them).

Best Dog Harnesses for Bernese Mountain Dogs

Here are our top 8 picks:

Chai’s Choice Outdoor Adventure 3M Reflective Dog Harness

Our Top Pick

For a harness that offers maximum control and fully supports your Berner, there’s no better option than the Chai’s Choice Outdoor Adventure 3M Reflective Dog Harness. Although it looks intricate, snapping this adjustable harness on only takes a couple of seconds.

In addition to adjustable straps, the harness also includes a front attachment for maximum control and helps reduce pressure on the neck and spine. Along with eliminating stress on the throat, there’s a lightweight inner mesh lining and extra sponge padding to add extra comfort for your dog. The outer layer includes durable oxford cloth as well as 3M reflective material that will keep your Berner visible at night or in areas in with low lighting.

6 More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for Bernese Mountain Dogs

The overall “best” option may not be the best option for everyone. That’s why we’re not stopping there. Here are four more.

2 Hounds Design Freedom No-Pull Dog Harness and Leash

While many harnesses can reduce or eliminate the risk of injury from pulling, not all of them can do it as well as the 2 Hounds Design Freedom No-Pull Dog Harness. This patented design’s no-pull feature works by preventing your dog’s “opposition reflex”. In some traditional harnesses, the pressure of the harness can sometimes encourage the dog to pull harder. The 2 Hounds harness eliminates this problem by using an action loop and keeping your dog in a straight line.

As a result, you can maintain better control of an uncooperative Berner, and even help leash train them too. With its innovative design, the harness also includes a soft velvet lining that helps reduce chafing or possible skin irritation.

The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness is great for controlling strong dogs in a way that keeps them comfortable while giving you peace of mind while traveling in the car or hiking and exploring. This harness has five adjustment points, making it easy to have an almost custom fit for your Bernese Mountain Dog, regardless of size or proportions.

The Kurgo is also versatile because it functions as an automobile harness and a walking harness. If you enjoy traveling with your pet, the Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness is perfect to safely go from riding in the car to exploring on a hike or walk.

Kurgo backs their products with a lifetime warranty, so you can be sure you’re purchasing a long-lasting product for you and your pet.

WINSEE No-Pull Easy Control Adjustable Harness with Pet Collar

With two sturdy, reinforced metal leash attachments on the front and back, even a large breed like the Bernese mountain dog is not going to break free from the WINSEE No-Pull Adjustable Harness.

In addition to long-lasting oxford cloth, the harness also has highly-visible reflective straps for late night outings. Although a collar is not required with a harness, the WINSEE harness does include a durable collar with it.

One of its most interesting features, however, is its adjustable straps. You can easily adjust the harness at the chest and neck to ensure your dog can’t pull an escaping act.

Big Dog No Pull Adjustable Reflective Dog Harness

For a harness that’s specifically designed for large breeds, the Big Dog No Pull Adjustable Reflective Dog Harness might be the right choice. Stubborn Berners that like to pull or tug on the lead won’t make much progress with this harness—it comes with both no-pull and no-choke features.

In crowded or congested areas, keeping strict control of your dog is as simple as grabbing the sturdy top handle and steering them wherever you need to. The vest design also adds additional comfort while still securely supporting your dog on their outdoor adventures.

As supportive as a vest harness can be, it can become too hot or uncomfortable during the summer. This harness solves that issue by including a soft, breathable mesh lining that stays cool regardless of the weather

Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness

If you are looking for a comfortable fit for your dog that will still provide some added control, this Frisco harness might be your best choice. The high-quality nylon webbing is both comfortable and durable, so you’re not only providing your dog with comfort, but you’re sure to get a lot of use out of your harness.

The O-ring leash attachment on the front of the harness redirects your dog’s attention back to you and your walk without causing neck strain and the buckles on either side are fast-release making it easy to get the harness on and off your Berner pup. Another great added feature is the inclusion of a D-clip on the back of the harness so it can be used more like a traditional harness if you prefer, as well.

Frisco encourages you pet owners to follow their specific sizing instructions to insure a “paw-fect” fit for every dog.

Eagloo No-Pull Walking Dog Harness

With two zinc-alloy leash attachments on the front and rear areas of the harness, the Eagloo No-Pull Walking Harness has the best of both worlds. On relaxed walks, you can use the back ring, but easily attach the lead to the front ring if your Berner begins to tug or pull.

Along with its dual-clip feature, this harness also has 3M reflective material that can come in handy at night as well as soft, breathable nylon webbing. The quick snap-buckles make it easy to slide your dog in and out of the vest, and the adjustable straps ensure they can’t escape on their own.

Best Harness for a Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

All of these harnesses look appealing, but what if you’ve got a puppy?

Puppia Soft Black Trim Dog Harness

For every day use, you don’t want a complicated or heavy duty harness on your puppy. Lightweight, simple, and convenient to use, the Puppia dog harness is your best bet for your Bernese puppy.

The Puppia harness is great for everyday use for your puppy because it has a soft and comfortable design along with a lightweight material. Made from soft air mesh with a quick release buckle, the Puppia harness is comfortable and simple to use, while still durable for all types and sizes of dogs.

Users of the Puppia harness recommend measuring your dog using the sizing instructions so that you can be sure of a comfortable fit for your puppy.

Sassy Dog Wear Puppy Paws Dog Harness

For puppies that are just learning to use a leash or harness, the Sassy Dog Wear Puppy Paws Dog Harness makes the transition painless. Not only does it include a fun design to keep your pup looking fashionable at all times, but the straps are made from durable, soft nylon webbing.

Since almost all puppies can be uncooperative at first, putting the Sassy Dog harness on is simple—all you need to do is snap the buckle. Once you’ve got the harness on, you can use the adjustable straps to make sure it fits your puppy securely.

Tips for Getting Your Bernese Mountain Dog Accustomed to Using a Harness

Regardless of how mellow they seem; the large size and stubborn nature of a Bernese mountain dog ensure that they’ll need a harness on most outdoor adventures. Whether you’re fitting an eager puppy, an adventurous adult or a gentle senior, here are a few tips to make the process a little easier:

  1. Don’t immediately try and put the harness on. In many cases, you’ll want to introduce your Berner to the harness by placing it on the ground and allowing them to sniff it. Even allowing them a few hours or a day to familiarize themselves with the harness can make a huge difference.
  2. Reward positive behavior with a tasty treat. When your dog positively interacts with the harness or shows interest, don’t forget to reward that behavior with their favorite treat. Once they associate the harness with treats, they’ll continue to react positively to it in the future.
  3. Let them wear the harness around the house first. When you first place the harness on your Bernese mountain dog, they might throw a tiny tantrum—don’t be surprised if they attempt to pull it off or refuse to walk with it. Before heading outside, it’s a good idea to allow your Berner to become comfortable wearing the harness first. Letting them lounge around the house for a day can prevent future problems.
  4. Make their first outing with the harness memorable. The first time you head outside, you should aim to take your Berner somewhere they enjoy. Not only will they be more cooperative, but they’ll also be less likely to make a fuss in the future.
  5. Don’t forget that harness training takes time. It may be awhile before your dog completely adjusts to wearing the harness, especially if they’re older. However, with plenty of patience, even the most stubborn Bernese mountain dogs will get the hang of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best type of harness for a Bernese mountain dog? – The best type of harness for your dog will depend on their temperament. If they frequently pull on the leash, they’ll most likely require the added control of a front-clip harness. However, if they’re well-behaved on walks, you may only need a back-clip harness to handle your pup.
  • How do I fit my Bernese mountain dog puppy for a harness? – Although Bernese mountains dogs grow fairly slowly, fitting a developing puppy can still be challenging. Besides looking at harnesses that are specifically designed for puppies, it’s best to purchase one that’s adjustable. Once you take your pup’s current measurements, you’ll want to find a vest that you can adjust to a bigger size as your puppy gets larger.
  • How do I know if the harness is ill-fitting? – Anytime you purchase a harness, you’ll most likely need to adjust it. Besides the obvious signs of an ill-fitting harness (such as your dog escaping from it or chafing), you can also try placing two fingers underneath the garment. If you can’t, you can assume the harness is too tight, but if you can slip more than two fingers under, it’s probably too loose.
  • How do I know if the harness is comfortable for my dog? – Many brands boast comfortable harnesses, but there are a few ways to tell if the vest is truly comfortable for your dog. The first is using the two-finger trick to make sure the harness is fitting correctly. The other thing to look for is evidence of skin irritation. The material in some harnesses can chafe your dog’s skin or irritate it so you’ll want to examine them after they’ve worn it.


Besides the added support and comfort, many owners gravitate toward harnesses for the extra control it lends. However, finding the best Bernese mountain dog harness that gives you control and adequately supports your dog can be tricky if you’re not sure where to start.

Fortunately, you don’t need to guess—you can always try one of the top products we’ve already reviewed above.

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