7 Best Dog Harnesses for Whippets in 2020

Sleek, speedy, and with a darling face that you’re sure to love, whippets are loyal companions with a gentle nature. However, due to their unique body shape and breed tendencies, these “mini Greyhounds” pose unique challenges when shopping for a harness.

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Originally bred by miners in Victorian England, whippets were created as a smaller alternative to the Greyhound, requiring less food and space for exercise. Today, these medium-sized sporting hounds are family favorites in the US, UK, and around the world. Mild-tempered and sociable, they enjoy resting and relaxing for hours with the family.

They’re gentle around kids, rarely bark, and typically feel comfortable in small living spaces such as apartments. However, they also require regular bouts of fairly intense exercise. A quality harness is a necessity for keeping these dogs under your control.

With a top speed of 35 mph, if they take off unexpectedly, you’re unlikely to stop them, so the harness must fit securely. However, finding the appropriate fit isn’t always easy due to the dog’s small, muscular body and long, lean neck. Proper sizing is required to keep your dog secure, comfortable, and safe.

Different Types of Dog Harnesses for Whippets

Not all dog harnesses are the same. Because whippets have a unique body shape and a penchant for pursuit, finding the proper type of harness is vital for their safety and your peace of mind. Three different types of harnesses are available. Here’s a closer look at which options are best for a whippet.

The three main types of dog harnesses are front clip, back clip, and front/back clip. All three work in the same basic way: They wrap around the dog’s chest and back, and connect to a leash via an attachment point. The biggest difference between the three types is where the attachment point is located.

Generally, the best option for a well-behaved whippet is a back clip harness. It’s the most like a normal harness, with a D-ring resting in the middle of the dog’s back. If your whippet already walks comfortably on a traditional leash, switching to a back-clip harness is usually a simple transition.

Front-clip harnesses have a more specific purpose. The D-ring sits in front, near the dog’s chest. If a dog tries to pull against the leash, his head automatically turns back towards you. Considering that many whippets have a strong urge to pull against the leash when they spy something fun to chase, a front clip harness is often an excellent training tool.

A front and back clip harness has clips in both locations, so you can first use it for training and then transition to a traditional back clip harness. Note that front clip harnesses are only meant for use as a temporary training aid. Once the dog no longer pulls against the leash, switch to a back-clip harness.

How Do I Ensure the Best Fit for My Whippet?

Whippets are small-to-medium sized dogs with an average height of about 20 inches and an average weight of around 30 pounds. Although they’re comfortable spending hours lounging around the house, they also need vigorous play sessions several times a week. They love sprinting, playing fetch, navigating agility courses, and playing with other dogs.

Unfortunately, they also have a tendency to take off – and fast – when something chaseable catches their eye. Finding a properly-shaped harness is vital for their safety. It’s also challenging due to the unique body shape of the whippet, with their long necks, long legs, and classic “inverted-S” body lines.

To measure your dog for a harness, you’ll need a flexible measuring tape, like the kind used to measure clothes. Measure the broadest part of their chest, which is the area behind the armpits. The tape measure should wrap around the chest and over the back. Pull it snugly, but not so tight it presses into the dog’s skin.

Most dogs need a harness that’s about two inches larger than their chest measurements. However, because whippets typically have a short, smooth coat, the best fitting harness can range for one and a half inches to two inches larger. Next, measure the thickest part of your dog’s neck.

Also, make sure your dog’s weight falls within the parameters of the harness. Weight isn’t an accurate method of measuring harness size, but it does help gauge harness strength. Never buy a harness with a weight capacity smaller than your dog’s weight.

Overall Best Harness for Whippets

Not just any harness will fit the sleek shape of a whippet. We carefully considered all of the highest- rated options and, although the competition was tough, chose our favorite.

Best Overall – PetSafe 3-in-1 Dog Harness

Our top recommendation for whippet owners is this 3-in-1 harness from PetSafe. It’s not just a walking harness; it’s also a no-pull leash and a car safety restraint. The unique design works well for puppies, adult dogs, and dogs who frequently ride in the car.

It features both a standard back clip for walking and a front clip for no-pull training. With five points of adjustability and neoprene-lined straps, the harness can fit securely without restricting your dog’s movements or causing discomfort. Plus, reflective nylon stitching increases visibility when walking at night.

6 More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for Whippets

Dog harnesses are not a one-size-fits-all product. If the PetSafe 3-in-1 doesn’t seem like the best choice for your whippet, check out the following products we also recommend:

Sporn Non-Pull Mesh Dog

Some whippets, especially younger ones, are filled with energy and exuberance when walking outside. If your whippet pulls on the leash, this harness from Sporn is an effective teaching tool. It’s a front-clip harness that guides your dog’s head to the side if he attempts to pull.

It’s safe, effective, and humane. The harness is made from strong, soft nylon with padded restraint sleeves and an elastic mesh chest piece. With a one-piece design, it moves with your dog’s natural movement to prevent pinching and choking while also providing you with control over his movements.

Without proper leash training, your whippet is far more likely to run away if he slips free from the harness. We like Sporn’s model because it fits well and humanely prevents pulling. Note that after your dog is leash trained, experts recommend switching to a back-clip harness.

Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

Whippets need a secure harness, but it also can’t be too heavy or overbearing. Enter the 3M Reflective Dog Harness from Chai’s Choice. It’s made from durable, lightweight nylon with mesh padding on both the chest and underside.

Additionally, it has adjustable straps to fit a whippet’s unique body shape. While the main leash attachment is a ring on the back, the harness also has a front-clip O-ring for use as an anti-pulling tool. Your fast little friend will stay visible in any light conditions thanks to the reflective piping. It’s woven through the nylon, so it’ll reflect light from any angle.

Finally, another feature we love is how the built-in handle doubles as a car safety system. Buckle your pup in safely. The handle works with any standard seat belt system.

EzyDog Chest Plate Dog Harness

Strong and simple, this Chest Plate Harness from EzyDog is an excellent choice for daily walks and other activities. It features an EVA foam chest plate to distribute weight evenly without pressing into the whippet’s neck or trachea.

Another major reason this harness is a good choice for whippets is due to its adjustability. With a quick-release buckle, sturdy clasps, and adjustable straps, it’s easy to put on and take off. However, it’s also snug and secure when worn.

Additionally, it’s also a car safety harness. A detachable, swiveling car restraint connects securely to any vehicle belting system.

Frisco Padded No-Pull Dog Harness

Frisco’s harness is one of our favorite over-the-head options. It’s made with nylon webbing, so it’s comfortable with a flexible but secure fit, making it a great choice for the long neck and wide chest of a whippet. Plus, both the shoulder and belly straps have adjustable slides for a secure fit.

It’s an excellent two-in-one model with D-ring attachments on both the front and back. You can use the front clip as a training tool when he’s young, and then switch to the back clip for regular walking when he understands proper leash behavior.

Although it’s not packed with extras like light-reflective strips and a car safety system, Frisco’s harness is a well-made, reliable harness that suits most whippets well for walks and other everyday activity.

Best Pet Supplies Voyager Mesh Harness

Because whippets have such short hair, some harnesses can irritate their skin even when properly fitted. The Voyager from Best Pet Supplies is made with a lightweight mesh that’s gentle against your dog’s skin. It dries quickly while also allowing for robust airflow.

Don’t mistake its lightness for weakness. It’s still plenty strong with a fastener strap plus a quick-release buckle and two D-rings.

Overall, the Voyager is one of our favorite overhead harnesses. It’s especially useful for keeping your dog comfortable in a warm or wet climate.

Best Harness for a Whippet Puppy

Whippet puppies often have more energy than self-control, so a harness is a must for keeping them safe. On the plus side, puppies typically take to a harness quickly and without much fuss. Here’s our pick for the best whippet puppy harness:

Puppia Soft Dog Harness

The first harness you buy your puppy will help form his lifelong impressions of them, so focus on features like soft materials and a comfortable fit. We like Puppia’s harness because it’s made from air-mesh padding that won’t irritate or chafe a whippet puppy’s sensitive skin.

Also, the flexible neck opening makes it easy to pull the harness over your puppy’s head. Younger dogs often have less resistance to an overhead harness and are then comfortable wearing them as adults.

Tips for Getting Your Whippet Accustomed to Using a Harness

Excitement or loud noise can cause your whippet to take off running, and he can cover a lot of ground fast. A harness is a humane and effective way to keep him nearby. Although many whippets take to a harness without much of an issue, here are some tips you’ll want to know:

  • 1. Introduce the harness at a young age. Whippets who grow up with a harness are less likely to pull and try to run away. Just remember he’ll likely outgrow a puppy harness fairly fast.
  • 2. Set the harness on the floor. Let your dog check it out at his own pace. Praise him when he’s near the harness. The idea is to show him that it’s nothing to fear.
  • 3. Place the harness on your dog but don’t tighten it or fasten it. You want to show him what it feels like when the harness slides over his head and rests against his back.
  • 4. Once he seems comfortable with the harness, fasten the straps. Let him walk around the house. He might take to it right away, or he might need some time.
  • 5. After he seems to ignore the presence of the harness, you’re ready to attach the leash and take your dog outside. For his first few walks, stick to quiet areas relatively far from distractions like traffic and lots of people.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Harness is Best for a Whippet Puppy?

Use the sizing guidelines above to make sure the harness fits your puppy safely and securely. Keep in mind your growing dog likely won’t fit his harness for long, even if it’s adjustable. Choose a durable harness made from soft, flexible material.

What Type of Harness is Best for an Adult Whippet?

The two main factors to focus on are comfort and a secure fit. If your whippet slips out of the harness, he can take off in the blink of an eye, so make sure the harness is the appropriate size and has reliable straps. Additionally, it should have soft material because whippets typically have short hair.

Is a Harness Better than a Collar?

Absolutely! Collars pose many potential problems, including neck damage and skin irritation. However, harnesses offer many benefits over a collar, including a reduced risk of injury, increased control, and greater comfort.

What Features Should I Look For in a Harness?

Aside from quality construction, many people also want a harness that has reflective sections to increase visibility in low-light conditions. Aside from reflective tape, some harnesses also have LED capabilities.

How Do I Know if the Harness Fits Properly?

Unfortunately, dogs can’t tell you if the harness is too tight or too loose. Watch for chafing, skin marks, and other signs that the harness is too tight. A perfect fit is when you can fit two fingers between the harness and the dog’s skin.

Conclusion

Whippets are loyal and loving companions, but they need a secure, soft harness to help avoid injury when outside. All of the products listed above are highly rated options that should work well with your fast and furry friend. Enjoy peace of mind when walking your dog by selecting the perfect harness for their needs.

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