best harness for labradoodles (1)

There’s a reason Labradoodles have grown to be one of the most popular family breeds: they posses both the loving, loyal nature of a labrador and the reserved intelligence of a poodle.

Though they have a strong work ethic and are eager to please their owners, this hybrid breed can get a little too excited for their own good in social situations with new people. Not to mention, assuming they’re bred with a standard poodle, they can get pretty big.

All of this simply means that in order to most fully enjoy your time with your Labradoodle, you will need to find a good harness that meets their specific needs. If you know you need a harness but you are struggling with how to go about choosing one, you are in the right place.

In this guide we’ll discuss common types of Labradoodle harnesses and the materials they’re made of, then give you our top picks in a number of important categories!

You are probably quite familiar with the unique challenges owning a Labradoodle presents, but you may not realize that there are different kinds of harnesses to help ease those challenges. Here we will outline some of the popular types of harnesses to complement your pup!

  • No pull harnesses — Labradoodles are often stronger than they look, and they’re eager to explore the world around them. A harness specifically designed to prevent pulling will help calm that habit, usually with a chest strap or ring that makes pulling uncomfortable for your pup.
  • Anti-chewing harnesses — This breed has a tendency to get a little mouthy, and training devices are a popular object of desire for heavy chewers. A durable material without any obvious weak points will keep a Labradoodle from destroying their harness, despite those powerful Lab jaws.
  • Tactical harnesses — Originally, Labradoodles were bred to be service dogs. If this is something you’re interested in pursuing with your dog, a tactical harness will make training simpler by getting them used to wearing a vest around their back and to the sensation of someone pulling at a handle near their shoulders.
  • Hiking harnesses — These dogs love a good adventure, so a high quality hiking harness is a great thing to have on hand. These harnesses are sturdier and more durable than most, intended to keep your dog both comfortable and obedient during long walks.
If more than one of these types sounds like it might be right for your dog, take some time to find a harness that is a combination of multiple types (as you will see, there are lots of them out there). It’s also a good idea to purchase multiple harnesses for different situations.

Different Labradoodle Harness Materials

Not sure what exactly a harness is made of, and worried that your sensitive Labradoodle’s skin may disagree with one of the materials? Here is a quick overview of the materials most commonly used for Labradoodle harnesses.

  • Nylon — Nylon is a versatile artificial material perfect for Labradoodle harnesses because it is nice and strong for persistent pullers. Most commonly, Nylon comprises the straps of a harness.
  • Polyester — Another strong synthetic material, Polyester is an obvious choice for Labradoodle harnesses, though it tends to be a little more rigid than Nylon in the beginning.
  • Leather — Leather is less common for Labradoodle harnesses, but is a good choice for those with particularly difficult coats as it won’t cause matting in their fur over extended periods of time.
  • Mesh — Generally made out of Polyester or Nylon, Mesh adds a degree of breathability to harnesses that cover a greater portion of the body, like the chest and belly. This is especially important for Labradoodles who maintain their long, coarse coats.
  • Cotton — Though not the most common harness material for big dogs, cotton is a good choice for Labradoodles who experience some of the sensitive skin issues common in poodles, and who are not big pullers (since this fabric is not as strong). Cotton is softer and can be more comfortable than some of its artificial counterparts.
  • Neoprene — This rubber-like synthetic material is soft and malleable, which is why it is generally used as padding in the chest or back for Labradoodle harnesses. This makes wearing the harness for a longer period of time more comfortable, though it can contribute to some heat issues.

5 Key Components of a Harness for a Labradoodle

Each dog is different, but there are some features that are a good idea for every Labradoodle harness to have.

  • Metal hardware — Given that Labradoodles can pack on so much muscle, it is best to find a harness metal buckles, rings, and adjustable slides. The heavy duty hardware ensures that something won’t snap if your pup pulls particularly hard.
  • Durable, sturdy straps — Both for the sake of standing up to pulling pressure and possible chewing, high quality straps are important for Labradoodles. Look for well-made, tightly woven Nylon to best serve your needs.
  • Comfortable padding — Because Labradoodles are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, you should take every precaution to make sure you find a harness that helps distribute some of the pressure that would ordinarily settle on their joints.
  • Breathable material — All that fur means Labradoodles get hot, and in order to reduce the risk of your pup overheating, finding a harness with an open design or that features a breathable material like mesh is a good idea.
  • Additional adjustment points — Your dog’s size is subject to change, whether they are still growing or just take a trip to the groomer. Choose a harness that allows additional adjustment beyond just choosing “large” at checkout.

Our Picks for the Best Harness for a Labradoodle

By now you are up to speed on the most common types of Labradoodle harnesses and their materials, as well as what features you should be on the lookout for. Next, we’ll list some of our favorite Labradoodle harnesses in different categories!

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness with Steel Nesting Buckles Enhanced Strength

Key Features:

  • Heavy duty Nylon straps with breathable chest pad
  • 5 adjustment points for proper fit
  • Front and back rings for leash attachment
  • Seatbelt loop included for safe car rides
  • Crash tested up to 75 pounds

Best Overall — This harness has durable written all over it. Even the most persistent Labradoodle won’t be able to pull in or chew up this harness, which features steel hardware and durable Nylon straps. The 5 adjustment points ensure that whether your pup goes through a little growth spurt or drops a few pounds, this harness will still fit.

The chest pad safely distributes pressure throughout your dog’s body to take some of the work off its joints. Two metal ring attachment points give you the option of hooking onto the chest for maximum pulling prevention, or the back for dogs who do not need too much encouragement to slow down.

Pros:

  • Strong enough to withstand pulling and chewing
  • Multiple adjustment options to fit any shape
  • Chest pad helps alleviate joint pressure

Cons:

  • All that durability means it can get heavy
  • Straps may loosen during long walks
  • Agile dogs may be able to back out

Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

Key Features:

  • Reflective material woven into the Nylon
  • Chest and back pads and rings
  • Neck and belly straps are adjustable
  • 9 different color options
  • Back handle can be used to buckle dogs in to the car

Runner Up — A reflective harness is hugely important if you will be walking your Labradoodle and night or during the early morning when light is low, particularly because many members of this breed have dark coloring. The 9 different color options mean you can also choose a bright one to add another layer of increased visibility.

This harness features chest and back pads to help support your Labradoodles joints and overall comfort; each of the straps is adjustable to help create a safer, more snug fit. Additionally, a handle on the back can be used as a way to buckle your dog in the car.

Pros:

  • Heightens visibility for dark colored Labradoodles
  • Pads help distribute pressure more evenly
  • Multiple adjustment points

Cons:

  • Plastic buckles may bust when pulled by strong Labradoodles
  • Must tighten and loosen straps to put harness on and take off
  • May not fit the largest Labradoodles

Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness

Key Features:

  • Padded chest with breathable mesh, nylon straps
  • Chest and back rings
  • Adjustable shoulder and belly straps
  • 4 different color options

Most Affordable Pick — At just under $15, this harness offers you a lot of bang for your buck. The shoulder strap slips easily over the dog’s head, and the belly step features two buckles making putting this harness on a breeze. The mesh pad sits on the dog’s chest and belly.

Metal attachments on both the chest and the back make it easy to control your Labradoodles pulling if you need to, but be cautious that the two buckles on the belly strap are plastic, and could be damaged by an especially strong or especially mouth Labradoodle.

Pros:

  • Simple to put on and take off
  • Similar to more expensive harnesses
  • Mesh pad spells for breathability for your Labradoodle

Cons:

  • Plastic clips are easier to damage
  • Straps may not hold up to chewing
  • Scared dogs may be able to slip out backwards

Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness Dog Harness

Key Features:

  • Wide nylon chest strap to discourage pulling
  • Shoulder pad is cushioned
  • Ring and handle on back for stern adjustment
  • Heavy duty materials and hardware
  • Water repellent material for outdoor adventures

Best No Pull Harness — Just one look at this harness, and you can tell even the strongest Labradoodle would not be able to get much pulling done while wearing it. Unlike many other styles of harness, this one features a wide chest strap that spans across the chest, applying pressure when the dog pulls due to the shoulder pad it is attached to.

The chest strap fastens to the shoulder pad with velcro, and a belly trap fastens from the shoulder pad to prevent dogs from slipping out backwards. This harness is sure to prevent pulling, but the neoprene cushioned shoulder pat will ensure that your Labradoodle isn’t made uncomfortable in the process.

Pros:

  • Strong materials that can withstand strong pulling
  • Heavy duty hardware won’t buckle under pressure
  • Simple, compact design puts the owner in control

Cons:

  • Over time, the velcro strap may wear out and become less effective
  • If tightened too much, straps can be uncomfortable
  • Neoprene shoulder pad is not breathable

Kurgo Go-Tech Adventure Dog Harness with Seatbelt Loop

Key Features:

  • V-neck style chest plate with pad
  • Metal nesting buckles
  • Adjustable belly strap
  • Padded back with handle
  • Chest and back attachment rings

Best Hiking Harness — Remember our overall top pick? This harness is made by the same company, and there is a reason that two of their products made it on our list of favorites. Kurgo does not skimp on material quality, so both the body of this harness and the metal attachments can handle whatever amount of force your Labradoodle is prepared to throw at them.

This harness slips over your dog’s head and then buckles around the belly, with a padded chest and back to make your Labradoodle more comfortable while spanning long distances. This harness also comes with a seatbelt loop so you can safely travel with your pup in the car.

Pros:

  • Heavy duty material can withstand outdoor adventures
  • Back handle allows you to steer curious Labradoodles away from danger
  • Chest and back pads add a degree of comfort

Cons:

  • Front loop of harness not adjustable
  • May be hot for Labradoodles during warmer months
  • Edges of the plates may fray against coarse fur

Harness Lead Dog Harness

Key Features:

  • Slip lead created with one Nylon cord
  • No hard edges to irritate sensitive skin
  • Shrinks and expands to fit any dog (with rubber slides)
  • Automatically tightens against pulling
  • Eliminates concerns over hardware failure

Best No Escape Harness Lead — Imagine if a Chinese finger trap weren’t so confining and had a practical use, and you’re on the right track to imagining this harness. When your dog pulls, the Nylon cord will tighten around its torso, but it will loosen once your dog relaxes. This is a great non-verbal way to subtly correct pulling, though it may not be the best line of defense against very strong pullers.

By putting your Labradoodle at this center of the Nylon web, the harness makes escape much more difficult than usual, and since you hold on to the slip lead directly, you have a great degree of control over whether the harness restricts or loosens. Take note that rolled edges like the ones on this cord have a tendency of matting coarse coats.

Pros:

  • Simple design to prevent escape and pulling
  • Extremely strong Nylon cord
  • Breathable design so Labradoodles won’t be hot

Cons:

  • Not the best tool for dogs still learning not to pull
  • Requires a bit of instruction following to be totally effective
  • Rope may fray if your dog chews on it

PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness

Key Features:

  • Lightweight design
  • All 3 straps are adjustable
  • Metal hardware (aside from plastic buckles)
  • 8 sizing options, 7 color options
  • Martingale loop with chest ring to prevent twisting

Best Walking Harness — PetSafe makes walking your Labradoodle enjoyable with this easy to use, lightweight harness. The back, and belly straps each buckle for quick application and removal of the harness, and the chest strap sits across the chest with a ring attachment to help prevent pulling as you walk.

Though these Nylon straps are thinner than some of the others we have seen, they should be fine to keep your Labradoodle in line during leisurely walks, and they are highly adjustable so you can make sure you have achieved a snug fit before venturing out.

Pros:

  • Easy to use, lightweight design
  • Very customizable sizing
  • Flat straps should be comfortable even in a thick coat

Cons:

  • Plastic buckles are less secure than metal
  • May not discourage strong pullers
  • Chest strap can loosen during long walks

2 More Top Rated Harnesses for Labradoodles

If you aren’t quite convinced that we have listed the ideal harness for your Labradoodle, don’t worry! Here are 2 more top rated harnesses that didn’t quite make the cut for our favorites list, but that will certainly serve your Labradoodle well.

Sporn Non-Pull Mesh Dog Harness

There is nothing extra or unnecessary added to this sleek harness: just a mesh pad that sits against the chest and two padded straps that come under the arms and over the shoulders to meet at the back, where you can attach the leash. The design works very simply by applying even distributed pressure to the chest and shoulders when the dog pulls, encouraging them to relax.

OneTigris Tactical Training Molle Vest Dog Harness

This could be a particularly useful harness for anyone interested in training their Labradoodle as a service dog, like the breed was originally intended. It consists of a pad that covers the whole back, two belly straps, and one chest strap. A wide handle on the back allows you to steer your pup by hand if you’d like, and the design ensures that escaping this harness is virtually impossible when properly tightened.

4 Frequently Asked Questions About Labradoodle Harnesses

  • What size harness should I get for my Labradoodle? Labradoodles come in somewhat variable sizes depending on which type of poodle is in their lineage. Most commonly, standard poodles are the ancestor, meaning that Labradoodles are generally a decent size. Usually, Labradoodles are large, though they are sometimes only medium sized. The best thing you can do before purchasing a harness is measure your dog and check that against a size chart that should be provided alongside the product.
    Read reviews or look at guides like this one to find out if a particular harness runs small or large so you aren’t caught with an ill fitting harness after all that work.
  • Is a harness safe for my Labradoodle? Yes! As long as it fits well, and is not used for extended periods of time, there should not be any danger for your Labradoodle when using a harness. Bear in mind things like joint issues, skin sensitivities, and difficult coats when choosing a harness as they can contribute to your dog’s comfort. A harness that has some chest support and is made of a breathable fabric will be most beneficial to your Labradoodle.
  • What kind of harness will keep my Labradoodle from pulling? There are a couple different types of no pull harnesses, but the most common either provide a chest ring where you can attach the leash, making it difficult for your Labradoodle to pull, or a wide chest strap that applies even pressure when the dog begins pulling.
  • Can my Labradoodle wear its harness while it plays? It can, but probably shouldn’t. Vigorous play can lead to even well-fitting harnesses becoming loose. A loose harness presents dangers of tripping and tangling that can be avoided by simply removing the harness before your pup plays.

Conclusion

Labradoodles are intelligent bundles of joy that know no end to their supply of affection. They have many great qualities, but their strength and overzealousness can get frustrating when you are trying to exercise them.

There’s no doubt that your Labradoodle brings a little levity to your life everyday. Make their lives a little better too, by using this guide to help provide them with a safe and comfortable harness to wear during exercise!

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