7 Best Dog Harnesses for Cocker Spaniels in 2020

It’s easy to fall in love with Cocker Spaniels. This hunting breed possesses many desirable traits that have made them popular, like the fact that they’re intelligent, loving, family-oriented, and playful. Cocker Spaniels are the perfect companion and are especially well suited to families with children. Plus, it’s incredibly hard to resist their sweet faces.

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Cockers are high-spirited dogs that need regular playtime and exercise, and they’ll never say no to a brisk walk. But their energetic personality can make putting them on a leash a less than peaceful experience, and pulling is a common issue Cocker owners have with their pets. If you’re experiencing this problem with your dog, you may want to try using a harness instead of a collar.

Many dog moms and dads have found that harnesses provide advantages over collars. Unlike a collar, when your Cocker pulls on a harness, it distributes force evenly along their body. It relieves pressure on the neck, protects the trachea, and helps keep your furry friend safe from neck and back injuries. Harnesses also give you greater control over your pet.

Knowing which one to buy can be complicated, however. To help you make the best purchase, we researched the top products and put together this list of the best harnesses for Cocker Spaniels. Plus, we included some helpful information about the different types of harnesses and sizing, and answer some frequently asked questions.

Different Types of Dog Harnesses for Cocker Spaniels

There are several different types of harnesses. It’s critical to be able to distinguish between them to make the right purchase for your dog.

Back Clip Harness

A back clip harness goes around the dog’s body, including their chest, and clips together at the dog’s back. The clip point is also where there is a ring that you attach the leash to. This type of harness is one of the most popular among dog owners, and it’s perfect for the small size of a Cocker Spaniel.

Front Clip Harness

A front clip harness encircles the dog’s body in pretty much the same way as a back clip harness but instead snaps shut at the dog’s chest. Front clip harnesses are slightly less popular than back clip ones, but they are especially suitable for strong pullers.

Front and Back Clip Harness

As you’ve probably guessed from its name, a front and back clip harness has clips on both the dog’s chest and his back. Owners like this type of harness because it offers the most considerable flexibility.

Step-in vs. Overhead

One consideration to keep in mind is whether the harness is step-in or overhead. Step-in harnesses require your dog to lift her leg to put it on. Older dogs may need an overhead harness, which fits over their neck and is easier for them to get into.

How Do I Ensure the Best Fit for my Cocker Spaniel?

For years, Cocker Spaniels were the most popular breed in the United States, thanks to their sweet temperament and loving disposition. It’s thought that they originated in Spain, and they were used for many years as hunting dogs. Nowadays, Cockers are perfectly content to curl up with you at home, though they love a good frolic at the dog park, too.

They’ll require the right harness to take them to the dog park or on walks. But how do you measure a Cocker Spaniel to ensure the best fit? There are no standard harness sizes, so you need to have a few measurements on hand and follow each product’s sizing chart before making any purchases.

The first measurement is your dog’s weight. While you can’t rely on weight alone, his poundage can help you get a better idea of whether a harness will fit or not. You’ll also have to measure your dog’s girth by putting a tape measure around the broadest part of his chest, all the way around his body. Some harnesses require neck measurements, so this is a useful one to have, too.

Once you know how to put it on, you have to make sure it fits properly. You should be able to put a finger or two between your dog’s body and the harness. When it fits properly, it shouldn’t cause chafing or leave bald spots. It should lie flat on your pet without twisting, and they shouldn’t be able to step out of it.

Overall Best Dog Harness for Cocker Spaniels

Here’s our pick for the best overall dog harness for Cocker Spaniels.

Best Overall—Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

Chai’s Choice topped our list, thanks to its overall fantastic quality. The harness offers a lightweight design with breathable mesh padding on the chest and belly for maximum comfort. It has a back and front clip, and you can use it as more than just a leash. Put a seatbelt through the handle on top of the harness to keep your furry friend secure on the road.

We like the four adjustable straps that allow you to achieve a custom fit, which means this harness can accommodate a wide range of body types. If you want to walk in low light, the 3M reflective material will keep you illuminated. And no matter what your dog’s style, there’s a color to suit them.

6 More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for Cocker Spaniels

We found several other highly rated harnesses that could be an excellent fit for your Cocker.

Puppia Soft Black Trim Dog Harness

If your dog doesn’t like stepping into their harness, the Puppia Dog Harness could be a fantastic option for you. It is an overhead harness that features a back clip, so fussy dogs and older dogs will both be able to use it with no problem.

The Puppia Dog harness is made of highly breathable air-mesh to ensure a comfortable fit. It’s water repellent as well, so if walks in the rain are a regular part of your Cocker’s life, this product is a good option. The downside is that you can’t adjust the neck, but for the price, you’re still getting a sturdy harness that comes in many fun colors.

EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness

Minimal, comfortable, and easy to use are all terms that define the EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness. It features a back clip design with a D ring and an EVA foam chest plate that hugs your dog’s body while still being sturdy and comfortable. Adjust the straps to achieve the perfect fit, and the easy-snap clasps will have you on the go in no time.

This harness is a great option for any dog owner that likes to walk at night, thanks to the reflective stitching that’ll make you and your pup more visible. It comes in several fun colors and patterns, and it includes a car restraint so that you can secure your dog when traveling on wheels.

Pawtitas Reflective Padded Dog Harness

The Pawtitas Dog Harness will be your dog’s new best friend on walks with a step-through design, as well as both a front and back clip. The front clip will help teach your dog not to pull, and once she’s learned that, you can transition to using the back clip. It has a reflective strip to alert your presence to cars and pedestrians, which will make your walks safer.

Reviewers noted that the neoprene padding on the harness is incredibly soft, so you know your dog will be comfortable wearing it. They highlight the fact that the harness is easy to adjust and has two buckles that make taking it off and putting it on a breeze. Pawtitas is available in several colors and designs.

Frisco Padded No Pull Front Lead Dog Harness

For the puller in your life, the Frisco padded harness provides them with both back and front clip options. This overhead model has nylon webbing, a padded mesh chest piece for comfort, and two buckles that allow for quick on and off access. You can adjust the belly and shoulder straps to get the fit just right.

The harness is available in several sizes and colors, and it gets our pick for providing the best value for money. Some users say it can be a bit challenging to get on and off, but that once it’s on, it helps significantly with pulling.

Four Paws Comfort Control Dog Harness

The Four Paws Dog Harness is another overhead option for Cockers that prefer this harness type. It has a back clip and one adjustable strap, though you can’t adjust the neck part of the harness. It’s available in a few different colors and sizes to suit all kinds of style needs.

We like this harness because of the soft, breathable mesh that makes up the body. This type of fabric is perfect for warmer weather and pets with longer fur, so you may want to consider it if you live in a warm area. Users say that it’s easy to get on and off.

Petsafe 3 in 1 Dog Harness

This harness provides a minimalistic yet practical step-through design. It packs several features that make it highly convenient, a three-for-one deal. Choose between the back clip, the front no-pull option, or using it as a car safety restraint, which makes it perfect for transporting your Cocker in the car.

Even though it has five separate adjustable straps with padding, the harness is not overly bulky. It also has reflective nylon stitching, which adds to the safety features, especially if you’re going out at night. This Petsafe product is available in three stylish colors.

Tips for Getting Your Cocker Spaniel Accustomed to Using a Harness

Frequent walks are necessary to keep your Cocker in fantastic shape, and using a harness can make those walks more enjoyable for both of you. But for some pups, it can take a while to get accustomed to using a harness. Here are some tips to get your Cocker to make friends with their new harness.

  1.   If possible, start using the harness early in your dog’s life. The sooner you introduce it to them, the easier it will be for them to get accustomed to it.
  2.   Let her smell it before attempting to put it on her, and praise her when she goes near it.
  3.   Put the harness on the floor with a treat on it.
  4.   Touch the harness to your Cocker while telling him what a good boy he is.
  5.   Once you’ve introduced the harness in this manner and your dog has begun to associate it with praise and treats, it’s time to put it on—but loosely! Let your dog wear it around the house until he gets used to it.
  6.   When your Cocker has forgotten that he’s wearing the harness, you’ll know the time to take him out for a walk has arrived.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of harness is appropriate for Cocker Spaniels?

Given a Cocker’s size and temperament, a back clip harness is typically the most suitable option for this breed. Some dogs really benefit from a front clip model, which is for heavy-duty pullers, but back clips should be plenty for Cockers.

Is a harness necessary, or can I use a standard collar?

A harness provides many benefits that a standard collar doesn’t. It keeps your dog secure, which is essential for escape artists that slip out of regular collars. They’re more comfortable since they distribute the weight more evenly across the dog’s body. And they’re safer because pulling on a collar can damage the trachea and causes choking and breathing problems, especially in small dogs.

How can I stop my Cocker Spaniel from pulling on the lead?

Using a harness is an excellent place to start, but more peaceful walks begin even before you walk out of your door. Make him sit before you put on the leash and harness, and if he is acting too excited already, turn your back on him or walk away.

Once you do begin your walk, react to any pulling by stopping and pulling back. Only continue when there’s enough slack in the leash, and if he continues to put resistance on the leash, pull a bit to put that slack back in.

Is fitting a puppy for a harness any different than an adult dog?

You can follow the same guidelines we mentioned above for fitting a puppy. Depending on when you begin using the harness, you may need to purchase a larger size as they mature. Pay attention to how the harness fits your dog as she grows.

Conclusion

Many Cocker Spaniel owners enjoy the benefits of switching from a collar to a harness. They find that a harness is the best way to keep their pup’s energy in check on walks and keep their furry friend safe from injury. If you’re thinking about making the change, any of the excellent highly-rated options we’ve reviewed will make walk-time more enjoyable for all parties.

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