7 Best Dog Harnesses for Newfoundland in 2020

It’s impossible to miss this gentle giant when you see one walking down the street, but don’t be intimidated by the Newfoundland’s imposing presence. Underneath it all, this working dog is a real sweetheart and a renowned companion and family dog. Newfs have a calm temperament that is especially good for families with kids, and they are loyal and good-natured.

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This breed loves working, even though they are also perfectly content to lie around all day. Despite having a somewhat lazy streak, Newfoundlands require lots of mental stimulation and daily exercise to stay in shape. They’re especially fond of swimming, though adult dogs won’t say no to a long walk—and you should take them out for one daily.

Given the size of this breed, having the right harness for walks is critical. They give you better control of your dog, especially if the dog is a puller. While you may or may not have a pulling problem with your Newf, they tend to suffer from health problems like laryngeal paralysis and spinal arthritis, and a harness can help avoid aggravating these issues.

Different Types of Dog Harnesses for Newfoundland

In general, harnesses distribute weight and pressure evenly among your dog’s body. Though they work similarly, you should know the difference between harness types before purchasing one. Here’s a brief overview of the most common types.

Back Clip

A back clip harness is the most popular harness type, which features a lead attachment on the back. It helps distribute force evenly among your dog’s body, though it does little to assist in the case of dogs that pull.

Front Clip

The front clip is another popular harness type, especially as a first line of defense against dogs that pull. The lead attachment is on the chest, which doesn’t allow your dog to pull forward. Instead, when they pull, they are redirected toward you.

Front and Back Clip

Some harnesses combine front and back clip designs, and they include both chest and back lead attachment points. Many owners find this helpful for training, and they later switch to the back attachment when the dog is older and/or trained.

Overhead vs. Step-in

Finally, you’ll have to consider whether to purchase an overhead or a step-in harness. Step-in harnesses can be more complicated to use because they require dogs to lift their leg to get into the harness. Overhead versions are often more comfortable and faster to put on, especially for elderly dogs or big dogs like the Newf.

How Do I Ensure the Best Fit for My Newfoundland?

Newfoundlands are happiest when they’re with their humans, and they have a temperament that’s wonderful for children. This breed is eager to please, so you’ll find that they respond well to gentle training. Newfs also have impressive lung capacity that lends itself to long-distance swimming, and they’ve been known to rescue drowning victims.

According to the American Kennel Club, males can weigh up to 150 pounds and females up to 120. This large size means that finding a harness for your gentle giant requires some planning. There are no harness fit standards, so one brand’s large may be another one’s extra-large. You should have your dog’s measurements on hand to ensure the best fit when purchasing.

  • Chest: The chest measurement is the single most important one to have. Place a tape measure around the broadest part of the rib cage, a few fingers behind their front limbs, and add an inch or two to that number for some wiggle room.
  •  Neck: Not all harnesses require you to have your dog’s neck measurement, but some do. Measure around the fullest part of your dog’s neck to get it.
  •  Weight: Weight is not always the most useful or necessary measurement, and you should never rely on it alone, but some brands use weight as another way to gauge whether a harness will fit. You can ask your vet for this information on your next visit.

A properly fitting harness should not cause any chafing or rubbing, nor should it twist or be too tight. Ideally, you should be able to fit one or two fingers between your dog and the harness, though that might be difficult with a Newfoundland-size dog. When starting to use the harness, frequently check to make sure it’s not causing any bald patches or matting.

Overall Best Dog Harness for Newfoundland

If you want to cut straight to the chase and find out which harness we thought was the best for Newfoundlands, here it is.

Best Overall—Kurgo TruFit Smart Dog Walking Harness

Kurgo’s TruFit Harness took the prize in the best overall category. This highly-rated harness has a slightly different design than others in its class. It features a front chest plate and two adjustable straps, as well as five adjustment points that allow you to achieve the perfect fit. The chest plate is padded for comfort, and more importantly, it’s wide enough to fit large dogs like Newfs.

We like that this harness includes attachments at both the chest and the back, giving you options depending on the age and temperament of your Newf. It’s excellent for stopping pulling behavior, and if car travel is a regular part of your dog’s life, you’ll be pleased to know that the harness includes a lead you can use to secure your dog in the car.

6 More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for Newfoundland

The dog harness market is deep, so you may be interested in reading about other options as well. To help you get a feel for what’s out there, we reviewed the top models available, and we found these six top-rated harnesses that are worth taking a look at.

PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness

PetSafe’s products are what many pet owners are looking for: no-fuss. The Easy Walk Dog Harness features an effective minimalist design that will make getting ready to go out a breeze. It goes over the dog’s body, and the different-colored belly strap makes figuring out how to put it on simple and intuitive. Plus, the easy-on feature is especially useful for excitable dogs.

The PetSafe Easy Walk Harness includes four adjustment points, which helps customize the fit to your dog. It can help reduce pulling, and it’s ideal for training. Users turn to this harness because of its affordability and how easy it is to use.

Chai’s Choice Outdoor Adventure Dog Harness

Chai’s Choice Outdoor Adventure harness has all of the features dog owners appreciate in a harness. It’s got both a front and a back clip to suit your needs and an over-the-head design that is easier for large dogs like Newfs to get into. Users report that the padding on the chest and belly areas makes the harness quite comfortable.

It also includes a functional and sturdy handle. Use it in case you have to grab your dog, for training, or if you need to tether him in your car. Like most Chai’s products, the Outdoor Adventure Harness has reflective 3M material to make your pup more visible on walks, and it comes in ten fun colors.

Harness Lead Dog Harness

The Harness Lead Dog Harness wins the prize for the most unique design of all the options on our list. It features a rope all-in-one lead/harness design that you can fully customize for the best fit. The soft rope won’t chafe or irritate sensitive skin, and it comes in several beautiful colors.

Perhaps the biggest draw for this harness is that its tensile strength of up to 3700 pounds will keep escape artists firmly in place (if it can hold a boat, it can certainly hold a dog!). It’s not the greatest for resolving pulling issues, but if your primary concern is preventing escape and keeping your dog’s neck and back safe, this harness will more than do the trick.

Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness Dog Harness

When it comes to powerhouse, high-quality harnesses, Julius is the gold standard. For many years, this brand has been the go-to for working dogs, but it’s well-loved by dog owners in general and one of the most popular brands you’ll see. But most importantly, this robust harness can stand up to the demands that Newfoundlands require from them.

It’s made with OEKO-TEX material, which is breathable and won’t cause irritation as your Newf walks and plays. The harness itself is highly visible and includes freeze-proof buckles, so you won’t have to worry about it in cold weather. It has a sturdy handle that you can use to keep the dog close by you, and the harness’ design also allows for a full range of motion.

2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Dog Harness and Leash

Finally, we’ve got this 2 Hounds harness, which features a minimalist design that helps keep them cool, yet is strong enough to handle this large breed. It has both a front and back clip, so you can use the front clip with pullers and the back clip once your dog is trained. It also comes with a leash.

The smooth material is lined with velvet that won’t chafe or cause irritation, and 2 Hounds created an exciting design. The harness has a patented action loop between the shoulders, which helps maintain proper spinal cord alignment.

We recommend this harness for escape artists because you can use it with a double-ended leash; one end clips into the front, and the other clips into the back. This design not only keeps them more secure, but you can also use it to “steer” your dog.

Best Harness for a Newfoundland Puppy

Are you looking for a harness specifically for your Newfoundland puppy? Here’s our pick for the best harness for young Newfoundland dogs.

Copatchy No-Pull Reflective Adjustable Dog Harness

The Copatchy Dog Harness helps keep young, untrained dogs safe when they pull by distributing the force evenly around their body. The harness body is made of a breathable, mesh material that will help keep your Newf cool, even on warm days. It has a top handle, which comes in handy during training, or if you need to get control of your dog quickly.

The harness features a back clip and two adjustable buckles. It’s suitable for puppies, and we like that it can grow a bit with your dog.

Tips for Getting Your Newfoundland Accustomed to Using a Harness

Leash training should begin as early as possible with this breed. It’s much harder to convince a 100-pound giant to do what you want than a puppy, and the right harness will aid you in this task. However, some dogs are more hesitant to use a harness than a collar. We’ve included some helpful tips below about getting your Newfoundland accustomed to harness use.

  • Show your dog the harness and let them sniff it, but keep them from biting or chewing it. You don’t want them to associate the harness with a toy.
  • Leave a treat near the harness to encourage your pup to go near it.
  • Have your dog sit and put the harness over them without buckling it. Praise your dog and give them a treat when you do so so that they associate the harness with good things. Repeat this step several times until they’re comfortable.
  • Put the harness on completely, praising your dog and giving them more treats. Once they seem accustomed to wearing it in the house, you’re ready to start taking your dog out with it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fit a Newfoundland puppy for a harness?

Use the same steps outlined above to fit your puppy for a harness. Do keep in mind that this breed grows quickly, so a puppy harness that allows for some room for growth will help you avoid buying several harnesses. However, given how much this breed’s size changes, you will need more than one, so pay close attention to how the harness fits your dog as he grows.

What kind of harness is best for the temperament and activity level of a Newfoundland?

Newf harnesses should be machine washable (this is a slobbery breed, after all), and breathable to prevent overheating. Something waterproof is also nice to have, since Newfoundlands love to go swimming and will more likely than not take a dip with their harness on. We also recommend a harness with a handle for added control of your dog.

Is a harness better than a collar?

Adult dogs that are well-trained can use a collar safely, but harnesses provide many benefits even for dogs that don’t pull. It’s much more difficult to escape from a harness, so if a better name for your dog is Houdini, you may want to make the switch. They also distribute pressure more evenly around your Newf’s body instead of just his neck, which can help prevent damage to the trachea and choking and breathing problems.

Conclusion

Newfs are lovable dogs that fill your home with love and companionship, and they deserve only the best from you in return. We recommend protecting your loyal friend’s health by using any of the top-rated products on our list. The right harness can help both of you enjoy your outdoor adventures safely for many years to come.

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