The Best Harness For Pitbull - A Buyers Guide

OUR #1 PICK

The best value for money

Chai's Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

  • Front and rear attachment points
  • Easy on and off—just slip over the head and click the girth belt
  • Thick padding on all contact areas for an all-day comfort fit
  • A good escape proof option
  • If you happen to have a Pitbull dog, you already know this lovable breed has boundless energy and a loyal and loving disposition when properly socialized.

    These dogs are also extremely powerful. They can, by genetics, have a strong prey drive as well. Safely walking this breed requires the right equipment! 

    Finding the best harness for Bully's is an important safety precaution. Wiley Pup will walk you through the toughest harnesses on the market so you can find the right gear for your Pitty. 

    Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa | Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine


    Sara is Wileypup’s Veterinarian Adviser and helped compose this article to ensure the information is up to date and accurate. For more information on Sara click here

    We have broken it down into several categories, so you can find the right harness for your needs:

    Pitbull Harness - Summary

    IMAGE

    PRODUCT

    FEATURES

    RATING

    Chai's Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

    • Front and rear attachment points
    • Easy on and off—just slip over the head and click the girth belt
    • Thick padding on all contact areas for an all-day comfort fit

    PetSafe Easy Walk Harness

    • Easy to get on and off once properly adjusted
    • Strong customer care with easy replacement options
    • Compliments lead training with an effective but safe squeeze when your dog tries to pull

    HDP Big Dog No Pull Dog Harness

    • Heavy duty build for powerful canines
    • Extra wide straps for comfort and to prevent chaffing
    • Ergonomic handle on the back for the ultimate in control

    OneTigris Tactical Service Vest Dog Harness

    • Extremely durable construction with military grade fabrics and webbing
    • Added utility perfect for outdoor adventures
    • Four colors: Black, Ranger Green, Coyote Brown, Camouflage


    Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

    • Escape proof design tough enough for powerful dogs
    • Doubles as a safety harness that works with your vehicle’s seatbelt system
    • Steel components, durable fabric, thick webbing

    We here at Wiley Pup want to help you make a solid choice for your Pitty. This review includes careful attention paid to important features such as durability, control, and comfort design.


    Harnesses Versus Collars

    There are several reasons why more and more professional trainers recommend harnesses over collars for their clients. This is particularly true for owners with large powerful dogs, such as Pitties.

    Unless you have a very well-trained dog that never pulls on the lead, even when excited, attaching it to a collar can be a serious hazard to your dog.

    Neck injuries from hard pulling while on a collar are not uncommon. Choking at the end of a collar can cause damage to the windpipe and trachea.

    Harnesses work by distributing the weight of your dog over the entire body, which reduces the chance of neck and spinal injuries from pulling.

    In addition, you can find specially designed no-pull harness types to stop Pitbulls from pulling so hard. These harnesses have front attachment points.

    When your dog tries to pull forward, the front attachment translates the energy to the side which gives you extra leverage to stop forward movement.

    Finally, please only consider choker or pincher collars on your dog as a last resort and with proper training from a professional! They can do serious and permanent damage when used incorrectly.

    In addition, they are based on outdated training methods. If you want to have a dog that walks well on the lead the right way, read on.


    How to Train Your Pitbull to Walk with a Harness

    In order to have a dog that will walk politely on the lead, plan on spending some time doing some basic training. Here are the basic steps:

    1. Start by introducing your dog to the harness by using lots of positive reinforcement. Practice putting it on and taking it off, rewarding with some treats as you go. If your pit bull is uncomfortable in the harness at first, don’t worry, she will get used to things. Just start with some short sessions, and keep her distracted with some fun toys, a game of tug, and some small food rewards.
    2. Start your  training indoors in a safe and low distraction environment. Attach the leash to the harness, but let it drag on the ground. Reward your pit bull for being close to you and not chewing on the lead or harness.
    3. Pick up the lead, and luring your dog with a treat, have her walk next to you. Praise and reward often.
    4. After practicing walking together in the house, take your dog to a secure, low distraction environment outside. Continue to praise her when she walks without any tension on the lead.
    5. If your dog starts to pull on the lead, immediately stop moving in the direction she is pulling. You don’t have to correct her for pulling, just don’t allow it to work—ever. Turn around and go the opposite direction she wants to go—every single time.
    6. Once she stops pulling and comes back to your side, praise and reward. Turn around and go forward again. Repeat.
    7. It can be tedious at first. However, just trust that if your dog never gets what she wants when she pulls, then she will eventually stop trying.

    Ready to take a look at our top picks for the best harnesses for Pitbulls? Let’s go:


    Best Harness For Pitbull Breed

    Best All Around Pick

    Chai's Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

    Size

    Chest Measurement

    Medium

    22-27”

    Large

    27-32”

    X-Large

    32-42”

    If a sturdy, functional, well priced, durable harness is what you are looking for, then we recommend this selection by Chai’s Choice. Let’s take a closer look at the features that make this a great option for Pitties.

    This is an escape proof option that includes four adjustment points for the perfect fit. Once you have it sized to your dog, it only takes a step-through and a single click to attach.

    The padded chest piece is low profile and evenly distributes weight to prevent uncomfortable pinching. And, it eliminates the risk of damage to the windpipe that can be a problem with regular collars, particularly with powerful dogs such as Pitbulls.

    If you have a particularly unruly walker on your hands, there are a few extra features to pay particular attention to.

    First, there is a front attachment point for the lead. If you have a puller on your hands you can attach your lead here which effectively turns your dog to the side when they try to pull forward. Over time, this teaches your pooch that pulling is not going to get him what he wants, decreasing the behavior in the long run.

    Second, there is a handle on the back of this harness which gives you the ultimate in fast control in an emergency.

    The straps and fabric are reflective for excellent low light visibility and safety. And, this harness comes in nine bright colors. The materials are high quality, justifying the slightly higher price than some competitors. 

    PROS
    • Excellent design, packed full of handy features
    • Reflective materials for excellent visibility
    • Padded in the right places for a comfortable wear
    • Front and back lead attachment
    • Large range of sizes and colors
    • Handle on the back for fast control
    • Easy on and off with one click
    CONS
    • Not has heavy duty as our next pick
    • A little pricier than some more basic designs

    Best Training Harness for Problem Pulling

    PetSafe Easy Walk Harness

    Size

    Chest Width*

    Girth*

    Petite

    6-7”

    12-16”

    Petite/Small

    8-9”

    13-18”

    Small

    8.5-11”

    15-21”

    Small/Medium

    11-13”

    19-26”

    Medium

    12-15”

    21-32”

    Medium/Large

    14-18”

    24.5-34”

    Large

    16-21”

    27-40”

    Extra Large

    17.5-23.5”

    32-50”

    *For Chest Width (CW), measure from center of breast bone to one inch behind front legs

    *For Girth (G), measure around the widest part of the chest

    If you are looking for a harness for Pitbulls to stop pulling or jumping, this martingale style harness for dogs is an excellent choice.

    It is important to understand this is a training harness, that is, it is designed to use teach dogs that walking without tension on the lead is ideal.

    It does not have padded pressure points for a reason: It is meant to deliver slight discomfort when your dog pulls on the lead which also makes it a fantastic no-jump dog harness as well.

    In addition, it gives you leverage because the lead attachment point is in the front.

    As such, this gear is designed to use in conjunction with a training program, and many people that use it also have a more traditional harness such as some of the other products featured in this review that is designed for everyday comfort wear.

    That caveat aside, this Pitbull pulling harness is very effective with what it is designed to do: Train your dog to walk politely on a lead.

    Combine the automatic, safe and humane squeezing action of this gear with some food rewards for good walking, and you will be well on your way to a great walk with your Pit Bull.

    PROS
    • Compliments leash training with an effective but safe squeeze when your dog tries to pull
    • Easy to get on and off once properly adjusted
    • 6 colors to choose from, and 8 sizes so you can find the perfect fit
    • Strong customer care with easy replacement options
    • Low profile front piece means no possibility of choking
    CONS
    • Best used in training context, starting in controlled environments
    • A little tricky to get adjusted just right, instructions included
    • Webbing may chaff if used for all day wear

    Best Heavy Duty Harness for Pitbulls

    HDP Big Dog No Pull Dog Harness

    Size

    Chest Measurements

    Medium

    20-25”

    Large

    25-32”

    X-Large

    32-42”

    XX-Large

    40-48”

    If you have a very powerful Pitbull and you are looking for a harness designed to give you the ultimate in control, this is a strong choice. Not only does it perform well, this harness has a tactical look that many Pitty owners will appreciate.

    Unlike traditional harness designs, the extra wide chest strap goes across the front. Even if your dog pulls the wide strap will distribute the weight without pinching, twisting or putting pressure on the windpipe.

    A sturdy handle on the back gives you the leverage advantage if you need to get your Pitbull under control in a hurry. And, a wide strip of reflective tape on both sides adds to safety at dawn and dusk.

    The overall build of this harness is heavy duty. It will hold up for regular outdoor rough and tumble play. Choose among six popular colorways for the right look.

    This style of harness is a great choice for most larger dog breed types. For more specific information, check out our guides below:

    PROS
    • Heavy duty build for powerful canines
    • Extra wide straps for comfort and to prevent chaffing
    • Ergonomic handle on the back for the ultimate in control
    • Reflective strips for visibility
    • Easy on: over the head and a single click buckle
    • Wide range of sizes and colors
    • Reasonable price point
    CONS
    • Across the front chest strap might ride up on some dogs
    • A bit bulky for smaller Pitbulls and puppies

    Best Tactical Vest Style Harness for Pitbulls

    OneTigris Tactical Service Vest Dog Harness

    Size

    Chest Measurements

    Neck Measurements

    Medium

    17.5”

    19-23.5”

    Large

    24-35.5”

    23-39”

    If you spend a lot of time outdoors with your Pit, a tactical vest style harness may be a good investment. While it is probably over the top for everyday wear, hikers and campers will be able to appreciate the added utility of this harness.

    The exterior of this vest is designed so that you can customize it with various MOLLE pouches so that your adventurous pooch can carry important survival supplies on the trail. Crisscross bungee straps along the back allow you to tuck in lightweight items such as a tarp or poncho as well.

    Extra wide straps are easy to adjust for fit and also prevent twisting or chaffing. The interior of the vest is soft and padded as well. Reinforced stitching at all of the connection points combined with high-end materials add up to a durable selection if utility is your top priority.

    That being said, this is probably too much for a primary harness. And, the price is probably more than you need to spend if all you need is a harness for regular walks around the block.

    If adventure is what you're after, have a look at our Dog Hiking Harness article our GoPro Harness guide, or our Dog Running Harness Guide.

    PROS
    • Extremely durable construction with military grade fabrics and webbing
    • Added utility perfect for outdoor adventures
    • Four colors: Black, Ranger Green, Coyote Brown, Camouflage
    • Wide straps and soft interior padding for comfort
    • Handle on the back for fast control
    • Velcro exterior to attach patches
    • Fully adjustable, escape proof design
    CONS
    • A little more expensive than more basic harness designs
    • Probably too much for everyday walks
    • Can trap heat in very warm weather
    • Limited size range for large and giant breeds

    Best Car/Walking Harness for Pitbulls

    Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

    Size

    Chest Measurements

    Neck Measurements

    Medium

    18-28”

    16-25”

    Large

    24-34”

    19-30”

    X-Large

    28-44”

    24-35”

    Many folks don’t realize that allowing the dog free movement in the car is actually quite dangerous. Even minor accidents can cause serious injuries without a seatbelt for protection. This harness offers a great solution: Use it for a regular walking harness, or, use the included seatbelt strap to secure your pup on the road.

    In terms of safety, this harness is designed using the same technology used for rock climbing: Stainless steel nested buckles, prograde and durable fabric and webbing, and five adjustment points for a secure fit, this also makes it a great chew proof harness option if you have a chewer on your hands.

    The chest piece is designed to distribute weight. This is helpful for security in the vehicle in the event of an accident. It also provides more comfort for long term wear.

    Front and rear lead attachments, reflective strips, and simple one-click on and off make this a strong choice for everyday use.

    PROS
    • Escape proof design tough enough for powerful dogs
    • Doubles as a safety harness that works with your vehicle’s seatbelt system
    • Steel components, durable fabric, thick webbing
    • Two leash attachment options
    • Fully adjustable and available in a wide range of sizes
    • Lifetime guarantee from a trusted brand
    CONS
    • Only a few colors to choose from
    • Top quality gear, but a bit pricier than other options

    Your Pitbull Deserves the Best Harness!!

    Pitbulls get a bad rap from some circles, but lovers of the breed have found one of the most loyal, loving and adventurous breeds out there. Those of us that have the love of one of these dogs want to make sure they have the best gear.

    Since Pitties can get overly excited by stimuli such as other dogs, people and the occasional squirrel, the features you need most in the best harness for Pitbulls are: Maximum control, durability, and choke-free comfort.

    We hope this review has helped you find the best harness for your Pitbull.

    Please feel free to share you pictures and comments below—we would love to hear from you!

    References:
    1. Lowe, L. (2018, January 01) 5 Ways Collars Can Harm Your Dog: Retrieved from https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/5-ways-collars-can-harm-your-dog

    Sharon Elber (M.S. in Science & Technology) - Professional Dog Trainer

    Sharon is a professional dog trainer with over 10 years experience. She is also a professional writer that received her M.S. in Science & Technology Studies from Virginia Tech.

    For more info on Sharon click here

    5 comments
    1. we need a harness that the bully can not chew off the other one as my 2 years olds have done they pick on the plastic clip that connects the two straps . have you got this thanks June

      1. Hi June,

        I think you should choose a strong harness, like the OneTigris Tactical Service Vest Dog Harness, but also apply a chew deterrent on it. Apple cider vinegar works great, It’s natural and healthy but is a taste that the should hopefully not like.

        Cheers,
        Mat

    2. Thank you for this info! I have a smaller female Pitt (Frankie), shes small for the breed but just as strong as larger pit bulls. She’s 50lbs short and stocky. I often have trouble finding a harness that fits because her chest is wider than other dogs her height. We’re currebtlu using the easy walk harness but, I didn’t realize that it should only be used for training. Now I understand why it’s lost it’s effectjveness. Frankie runs with he, and we seem to be a magnet for off leash dogs. Frankie is very protective of me and can be dig aggressive ( really it my reaction that sets her off- I get really nervous and start to panic because she’s been in a dog fight before- dog cane onto our lawn- and I’m very wary. I want to keep her safe)
      I am torn between the Kurgo harness – she often rides with me – and the HDP (which would be really useful when we’re out running / walking and she goes into “focus prey” mode). What is your opinion?

    3. i am looking for a harness that my 8 month old 60 + lb american bully cant break, chew, or escape from. the Kong harness that i recently got from pet smart offered all those but the chew. she loved it, it fit well but being a puppy and still loving to chew, she chewed threw one side of the chest straps. it was fit to her snugly so still have no clue how she got her head turned to chew it, but she did. it was easy to get on her. it offered a fuller coverage than the step ins. she goes on a runner at certain times a day because she likes to chase motercycles and kids. so out side time is mostly free range with an exception of when she goes on the runner and for that i dont feel she is safe in the step ins. so a full harness is better. i need one however that she can not chew through. any suggestions would be more than helpful.

    4. this harness was a MIRACLE! However, the snap on the strap on the chest (terrible sentence), near the elbows, chafes her elbow. Otherwise, she never pulled once. I just wish i could figure out how to get the harness more down her chest area so that buckle won’t chaffe her…

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