6 Best Harnesses for Australian Shepherds

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Australian Shepherds, also known as “Aussies,” are one of American’s top herding and ranching breeds. These energetic dogs need more than a yard to run in – they need extensive daily exercise in order to stay physically and mentally stimulated.

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Australian Shepherds are an ideal breed for dog sports such as agility, dock diving and obedience.

Australian Shepherds make the ultimate running or hiking partner. They are tireless dogs who thrive in an active environment. Whether partaking in work or canine sports, your Aussie will need a comfortable dog harness that will keep them safe and secure at all times. To pick the best harness for your Australian Shepherd, we’ve put together a list of our top picks.

What to Look for in a Good Harness for Australian Shepherds

Since Australian Shepherds like to partake in a variety of activities, you will want to choose a harness that is built for versatility. To avoid having to spend money on several different dog harnesses, we suggest purchasing one that can be worn for daily walks, rugged adventures or herding on the ranch. Versatile harnesses may have a seatbelt loop for car safety, comfortable materials and multiple adjustment points for a snug fit.

A cozy, secure dog harness is a must-have for any Australian Shepherd. Since this breed likes to be involved in dog sports and other agile activities, you’ll want a dog harness that fits seamlessly. Having several points of adjustment will help the harness fit well without restricting movement or causing irritation.

For Aussies who prefer to be outside a majority of the time, a reliable harness that won’t break, tear or rip is incredibly important. Heavy-duty materials will help ensure that your Australian Shepherd’s harness won’t become lost or damaged if they are partaking in even the most treacherous adventures. The last thing you want is for the dog harness to rip if your pup comes in contact with a sharp stick or rocky creek.

A good dog harness for your Australian Shepherd will be outfitted with an array of safety features. These benefits and features can include reflective stitching, reinforced material, steel buckles and attachments and water-resistant material. Dog harnesses built with premium safety in mind are often tested to withstand several tons of strength and pressure.

Step-in dog harnesses are typically the easiest style to put on your dog. You don’t have to worry about fitting a harness over your dog’s head while also putting their legs through the front of the harness. A step-in harness only requires you to lay the harness on the ground and have your Aussie step right into it. They are easy and quick to put on and take off.

Different Types of Harnesses for Australian Shepherds

Utility harnesses are a great option for Australian Shepherds. Utility harnesses offer benefits to your adventures such as vehicle safety, ability to carry items via storage pouches, or Velcro patches for service and working dogs. Since Aussies enjoy camping with the family and hitting the trails with their pack, car safety is important. We recommend a harness that can double as an everyday harness as well as vehicle restraint for your beloved companion.

No-pull harnesses are available for Aussies who tend to get overly excited on the leash. Some dogs pull forcefully on the leash, and a no-pull dog harness will help you control the enthusiasm. Australian Shepherds are typically well-behaved on the leash, but there’s always the no-pull harness option in case your Aussie doesn’t fit that stereotype.

There are dog harnesses made from durable materials such as tough hemp and leather. While these harnesses are bound to last a long time, they don’t offer utility that other harnesses might. We like leather harnesses for everyday strolls around the neighborhood. They are easy to clean, won’t free and are typically chew-resistant.

Working dog harnesses are available for all dog breeds, including Australian Shepherds. Working and service dog vest harnesses are generally weather-resistant and made from military-grade materials. They have the ability to hold removable storage pouches and have Velcro attached for ADA patches. These types of dog harnesses also have assistance handles, steel buckles and reflective trim or straps for additional safety.

Standard step-in harnesses are always an option for Australian Shepherds. They are typically a simple, inexpensive harness option, yet they are dependable. Standard dog harnesses are often available in a variety of vibrant colors and designs to showcase your Aussie’s personality. We like standard dog harnesses for everyday strolls through the neighborhood.

Overall Best Australian Shepherd Harness

Kurgo Journey Dog Harness

Our favorite dog harness for Australian Shepherds is this one from Kurgo. Kurgo specializes in making quality outdoor products for dogs, and this harness is no exception. While it’s comfortable enough for long term, daily use, this dog harness is also great for rugged adventures. The fabric is breathable and lightweight, and also machine washable, which is a huge benefit! The Kurgo Journey Dog Harness has an assistance handle on the back of it and two leash attachments for steering your Australian Shepherd when necessary. Whether you’re hitting mountainous trails or your Aussie is outside herding cattle, this dog harness is a fantastic choice.

5 More High Rated Harnesses for Australian Shepherds

Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

This dog harness is crafted to take pressure off your Aussie’s neck and throat in the case that they are pulling on the leash. The comfortable design is sure to keep your dog safe and secure during any outing. We like this Chai’s choice dog harness because it can double as a car safety restraint. Other safety features of this harness include reflective trim, availability of vibrant colors for high visibility and a built-in handle. You can adjust this dog harness at multiple points to ensure the best fit for your Australian Shepherd.

Noxgear LightHound LED Illuminated & Reflective Dog Harness

For Australian Shepherds who are active at night or enjoy camping, we suggest this dog harness from Noxgear. It’s innovate design will keep your Aussie illuminated from all angles, for up to 12 hours. The rechargeable LED lights can be removed from the harness so you put it in the washing machine for easy cleaning. Although this dog harness is high-tech, the fabric is lightweight and durable so your Aussie will always be comfortable.

Pawtitas Camouflage Reflective Padded Dog Harness

This dog harness is a simple step-in design built with premium comfort. It boasts reflective stripping for visibility during any time of day for all sorts of adventures. The neoprene padding in this Pawtitas dog harness will ensure that your Australian Shepherd is comfortable no matter what task they are performing. This Aussie harness is adjustable and comes in a variety of colors to match your pup’s personality.

Blueberry Pet 3M Reflective Multi-Colored Stripe Padded Dog Harness

The Blueberry Pet dog harness is stylish, but most importantly it’s comfortable and reliable. The dual-vest design takes pressure off specific parts of your Aussie’s body if they happen to be pulling or jumping on the leash. The harness is comprised of several dependable materials, including mesh and polyester. An added benefit of this dog harness is that it’s eco-friendly and comes in a multitude of attractive color designs. This harness will be a good fit for Australian Shepherds to use on daily walks or more extreme excursions.

Kurgo Impact Car Safety Dog Harness

Your Australian Shepherd is precious cargo and it’s crucial that you keep them protected during car rides. This Kurgo Impact Car Safety Dog Harness is crash-tested for dogs up to 130lbs, so you can travel knowing that your Aussie is secure. This dog harness works with any seat belt system, and when you’ve arrived at your destination, you can use it as an everyday harness. It has four adjustment points, and the material is lightweight and cozy. We like that the construction of this dog harness is durable and machine washable.

Tips for Getting Your Australian Shepherd Accustomed to a Harness

Australian Shepherds have an inherent strong drive that makes them willing and excited to learn new things. While they are eager to please, Aussies do require constant training in order to keep them occupied and out of trouble. Getting your Australian Shepherd accustomed to their new harness can be a fairly simple task, or it can be frustrating if your dog is not entirely sure what the harness is about. Use the tips below to help get your Australian Shepherd accustomed to a harness.

  1. You will want to get your Australian Shepherd accustomed to their new harness using positive reinforcement training. Make sure you have a positive attitude and lots of their favorite dog treats on hand.
  2. To begin training, allow your Aussie to get acquainted with the harness on their terms. Let them sniff the harness and check it out. Treat your dog when they exhibit brave behavior.
  3. Now you need to put the harness on your Australian Shepherd. If your Aussie is nervous, have another person treat your dog while you are equipping and adjusting the harness. But remember to give your pup a break if they are becoming fearful. It’s best to be patient and take it slow under those circumstances.
  4. After successfully outfitting your Aussie with their snazzy new harness, observe them as they walk around the house in their harness. Make sure they can move freely without any restriction, and adjust the harness as necessary.
  5. Next, it’s walk time! Start with a short walk around your neighborhood to ensure that the harness is still comfortable and fitting well. Bring treats on your walk to continuously reward your Aussie for walking nicely on the leash. Once you feel like the harness is the perfect fit for your Australian Shepherd, you can commence with their other favorite activities.
  6. Patience and short training sessions are key to getting your Australian Shepherd accustomed to their harness. Every dog learns at a different pace, and that’s okay! Don’t get frustrated with your dog – they will feel your energy and feed off that frustration.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I choose the appropriate size harness for my Australian Shepherd? – Aussies generally weigh anywhere from 50-60lbs, but how do you know which size harness to choose? You will need to measure your dog individually. Using a fabric tape measure, make note of your Aussies neck, body length and girth measurements. Online retailers offer sizing charts to reference when picking the best size harness for your dog. Compare your pup’s measurements to the sizing guide and choose a size based on your findings.
  • What is girth measurement? – Your dog’s girth is the space behind the front legs, around the entire ribcage. It is the widest part of your dog’s body, which is why it’s the most important measurement when choosing the most appropriate size dog harness for your Aussie.
  • Does every dog harness work as a car safety harness? – In order for a dog harness to be used for vehicle restraint, it needs to be equipped with the necessary features such as a seatbelt loop. Some harnesses are made specifically for riding in the car, and some simply have the option. If you want a car safety dog harness, choose one that is built for such. A standard harness will not be able to attach to a seatbelt system, and therefore will not provide adequate vehicle safety.

Conclusion

Australian Shepherds are incredibly trainable, hardworking dogs. Bred for assisting in herding livestock and shepherding cattle, Aussies have an inherent love for performing tasks. This trait makes them excellent companions for people who enjoy an active lifestyle. But with an active lifestyle comes the need for a high-quality harness which is built for the adventures your Aussie loves most. The dog harnesses we recommended above will all be good choices for Australian Shepherds.

Once you receive your dog harness, keep the tags, packaging and receipt that came with it. After a few walks, you should know whether or not the harness will be a good fit. But just in case you need to return or exchange the harness, keep all associated product packaging. We also suggest reading the return policy before buying a new harness.

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