6 Best Dog Harnesses for St. Bernards in 2023
Originally, monks in the Alps bred the St. Bernard for hard-work. Not only did they haul large bundles and protect livestock, but these dogs were also often trained to recognize and rescue unfortunate travelers who were stranded in the mountains.
Today, the beloved St. Bernard’s most common occupation is companionship. The St. Bernard’s mellow temperament and gentle nature make them an ideal family dog, especially for those that have small children. Given the breed’s size, it’s easy to assume these dogs will require a lot of exercise to stay healthy. However, the St. Bernard only requires moderate levels of activity to keep their muscular forms.
What is the Best Dog Harness for a St. Bernard?
Since these mellow dogs are easygoing, some owners assume they won’t need a harness. While the St. Bernard is a relaxed breed, these dogs have a tendency to be curious—and may often pull or tug on their leash when they pass by a stranger or spot a squirrel in the woods.
Most of the time, with a few exceptions, you’ll need the added control of a harness to manage your St. Bernard on outdoor adventures effectively.
While trying to find the best St Bernard harness can seem impossible, we’ve given you a head start by reviewing the top harnesses of 2023.
Different Types of Dog Harnesses for St. Bernards
With confusing labels like “no pull” and “scratch-resistant,” differentiating the various kinds of harnesses can be a challenge. However, there are actually only a few types you need to worry about.
A front-clip harness is a popular option among St. Bernard owners. Since the leash attaches to the chest plate, controlling your dog’s movements and “steering” them in the correct direction is much easier. In many cases, the placement of the attachment also prevents your dog from accidentally injuring themselves while pulling or tugging on the leash.
For a mellow or aging St. Bernard, many owners prefer a back-clip harness. Although it doesn’t provide the same amount of control as a front-clip, a back-clip harness does give your St. Bernard more freedom and prevents the leash from tangling as easily.
Dual-clip harnesses are often a happy medium between the two options. With both back and front-clip attachments to pick from, you’re able to choose how much control you need. Depending on your dog’s temperament or behavior, switching attachments usually only takes a few seconds.
Vest harnesses are another common type of harness to consider. While they may be easier to slip out of, a vest harness can provide a St. Bernard with a more comfortable fit. In older dogs, the extra padding can help support their aching joints while soft, breathable layers can prevent chafing or skin irritation on hot summer days.
Sometimes overlooked, a car safety harness is required in some states and an important garment to have on long road trips While fitting a St. Bernard inside your vehicle might be a challenge onto itself, you’ll still need to strap your pup in too. By using a seatbelt loop, a car safety harness can help keep your dog safe in the event of a collision as well as keep them from fidgeting while you drive.
What to Look for in a Good Harness for St. Bernards
Although every St. Bernard might be a little different, there are a few important features to look for when searching for the right harness for your pup.
While a St. Bernard might not pull as much as some other breeds, a “no-pull” or “anti-choke” feature can prevent accidental injuries when these dogs do misbehave. A no-pull or anti-choke feature redirects pressure throughout your dog’s body instead of placing it all on the throat and trachea.
Another useful feature on a St. Bernard harness is anti-tear or scratch-resistant material. Certain fabrics, such as oxford cloth, provide a stronger outer shell so that the harness doesn’t begin to unravel after a little rough use. However, since oxford cloth can be tougher than some other fabrics, it’s important that oxford cloth harnesses also use a softer inner lining to prevent chafing and skin irritation.
Quick-snap buckles can also be convenient. Since wrangling a large dog like the St. Bernard into a harness can be a hassle, quick-snap buckles can allow you to easily slide your dog in and out of the harness (usually in only a few seconds). Not only can this make the process less time-consuming for you, but quick-snap buckles also often make it more difficult for your dog to escape the confines of the harness.
Overall Best Dog Harness for St. Bernards:
|Our 2023 Picks: St. Bernard Dog Harness Recommendations:|
EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness – Best Overall
There may be plenty of great harnesses to pick from, but the EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness stands out as an ideal choice for the St. Bernard. With lightweight, highly-adjustable straps, finding the perfect fit for your St. Bernard is effortless.
The harness’ unique design can also help reduce the pinching or chafing that traditional harnesses sometimes cause. Although some owners may leave their dog’s collar on since it contains their ID tag, there’s no reason to with this harness—it also includes a spot for your pup’s ID tag to go.
Along with durable nylon straps and a stainless steel attachment ring, the QuickFit harness only takes seconds to slip on. Once you adjust the harness to fit correctly, all you need to do is snap the buckle and your St. Bernard will be ready to head outside.
4 More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for St. Bernards
We might already have named the best St Bernard harness, but there’s no reason to quit there. Here are a few more options to pick from:
Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness
If your St. Bernard struggles to behave on a leash, the Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness may give you the control you need to manage your pup effectively. Since the O-ring leash attachment is located on the chest piece, this front-clip harness will allow you to help “steer” your dog in the right direction (and prevent them from wandering off).
If you don’t require that much control, switching to the back-clip attachment only takes a matter of seconds.
Not only does the nylon webbing make the harness more durable, but the padded mesh chest piece can provide your St. Bernard with a more comfortable fit when they’re out and about. Keep in mind that, while this harness can give your dog the support and comfort they need on a walk, it’s not designed for tie outs.
Planet Dog Cozy Hemp Adjustable Dog Harness
For a harness that effectively supports your dog while also saving the planet, the eco-friendly Planet Dog Cozy Hemp Adjustable Dog Harness is a perfect choice. Unlike traditional harnesses, this product uses pure, naturally-dyed hemp and plastic-reinforced nylon.
The metal leash attachments will also ensure that the harness doesn’t tear or begin to unravel after a little rough use. To prevent painful chafing or skin irritation, there’s an inner fleece lining to keep your dog cozy. Not only is the hemp softer, but it’s also designed to endure years of rough, outdoor adventures.
Noxgear LightHound LED Illuminated & Reflective Dog Harness
There’s no reason that your dog’s daily exercise needs to end with daylight hours, and with the Noxgear LightHound LED Illuminated Dog Harness, it doesn’t need to. Along with a high-visibility, military-grade fabric called Cordura, this harness also uses rechargeable LED lights as well.
On nighttime walks, you don’t need to worry about your dog being invisible. Not only will your pup be hard to miss, but they’re less likely to get lost if they wander off. Even in limited to no lighting, you’ll always be able to spot the eye-catching material of your dog’s harness.
Voyager All-Weather No Pull Step-in Mesh Dog Harness
A St. Bernard dog is always up for a little outdoor time–even if it’s pouring down rain outside. Not all harnesses can weather extreme conditions, but the Voyager All-Weather No Pull Step-in Mesh Dog Harness is designed to last through rain, snow or shine.
The breathable mesh layer absorbs moisture better than some other options, and also ensures that your dog is unlikely to excessively sweat or chafe in poor conditions. Besides breathable material, the Voyager harness also includes a no-pull feature and durable metal attachments for you to secure the leash to.
Since the St. Bernard isn’t always uncooperative when it comes time to put the harness on, there’s always an easy step-in feature to make sure the process is painless.
Best Harness for a St. Bernard Puppy
Puppies often have their own unique needs, which is why we’ve included our favorite St. Bernard harness for puppies too:
Pawtitas Camouflage Reflective Padded Dog Harness
For a harness that provides extra comfort and ultimate control for your developing pup, the Pawtitas Camouflage Reflective Padded Dog Harness is an ideal option. The extra chest padding makes it difficult for your dog to pull on the lead while also ensuring they can’t strain their necks.
For an extra dose of comfort, there’s even neoprene padding that may be a more comfortable fit than some other materials. Keep in mind that the Pawtitas harness is designed for adjustability: with multiple points of adjustment and a unique criss-cross pattern, the harness can continue to fit perfectly as your St. Bernard grows.
While the color might not affect the harness’ function, the Pawtitas fashionable camouflage pattern can match your dog’s personality keep them stylish on all outdoor adventures.
Tips for Getting Your St. Bernard Accustomed to Using a Harness
Once you’ve found the perfect harness, your next obstacle is getting your stubborn St. Bernard used to it. While it may take a while, many St. Bernard dogs, regardless of age, will quickly get used to the added support of a harness. Here are a few tips to make the process a little smoother:
- Let your dog sniff the harness. Before slipping the garment over your St. Bernard’s head, you might want to try letting your dog sniff it first. This will allow your St. Bernard to get used to the harness and determine it’s not a threat. Even letting your dog interact with the garment for an hour or two can make a big difference when you go to place it on them later.
- Reward your dog for interacting with the harness. Every time your St. Bernard sniffs the harness, don’t forget to positively reinforce their behavior with a tasty treat. This technique can go a long way in helping your dog accept and cooperate with the harness.
- Place the harness on your dog, but don’t take them outside immediately. The first few times you put the harness on, don’t be surprised if your dog tries to pull on the leash or flat-out refuses to walk. By letting your dog adjust to the harness inside the house, you can avoid unnecessary hassle.
- Take your St. Bernard somewhere memorable. Once they’ve sufficiently adjusted to the harness inside, it’s time for your dog and their new harness to conquer the outdoors. On their first outing, don’t forget to take your St. Bernard to an area where they can enjoy themselves. A stroll in their favorite part of town or a short trip with the windows down can create positive memories and feelings towards the harness.
- Don’t forget to be patient with your St. Bernard. It can take some dogs up to a week to effectively learn how to use a harness so don’t lose hope if your pup doesn’t pick it up within one afternoon.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best St Bernard harness? – Depending on your dog’s age and unique temperament, the best type of harness can vary. However, many owners do prefer to use a front-clip harness for the added support it provides. For owners that are unsure how much control they may need over their dogs, a dual-clip harness may be the safest option.
- How do I know if the harness fits my St. Bernard correctly? – While signs of skin irritation or multiple escape attempts can be a sign that the harness is too loose or too tight, there’s actually a quicker way to tell too. After you’ve fit your St. Bernard into their harness, place two fingers underneath the garment. If you can easily fit more fingers than that, the harness is too loose, but if you’re unable to fit even two fingers easily, it’s too tight.
- How do I measure my St. Bernard for the harness? – Although some harnesses may require extra measurements, you’ll almost always need to measure your St. Bernard’s neck and chest girth. Once you’ve gotten those measurements, you’ll need to keep them handy while you’re shopping for a harness. Since many harnesses come in multiple sizes, you’ll want to check your measurements against the sizing chart to ensure you get the correct size.
- How can I fit a St. Bernard puppy for a harness? – Since puppies will continue to grow, measuring a St. Bernard pup for a harness can be a challenge. The best thing to do is to go by your pup’s current measurements, but make sure that the harness you purchase is adjustable.
- How do I know if my St. Bernard has outgrown their harness? – If you can no longer fit two fingers underneath the harness and the garment is adjusted to its biggest size, it might be time to move to the next size up. Keep in mind that harnesses should fit snugly in the chest, neck and back areas.
The St. Bernard’s playful and curious nature make these dogs feel like gentle giants, but even with their mellow temperament, maintaining control of a St. Bernard while you’re on a walk can be a challenge. Harnesses can help you reign your dog in as well as provide the extra support that a large breed like the St. Bernard needs.
If you’re not sure where to begin searching for the best St Bernard harness, there’s no need to worry—you can always try one of the top-rated products that we’ve already reviewed for you.