How to measure a dog for a harness?

Measure dogs

How to measure a dog for a harness is a prerequisite before buying a suitable one for your dog. Types and designs are secondary matters which comes only after the measurement is done. Taking your dog to a harness shop might seems easier as the harness experts would help you with a useful advice and sizing could be done accurately on the spot. But, that may limit your choices of harnesses which are in huge variety over the online shopping. Further, you can also get the best deals which could save you a good amount of money. For such lucrative shopping experience, you need to do the sizing on your own and that must be accurate so that when the harness arrives, you could be able to put it on your dog aptly. Let us find out the ‘how’ part of the measuring procedure.


Measuring your dog for the harness:


In order to measure your dog with precision, you need to be in possession of a flexible measuring tape along with a ruler. The following steps need to be performed for doing the needful:

Measure your dog
  • Start by measuring the girth of your dog, which could be accessed just below the forelegs and above the middle of the back of the dog, almost where the shoulder blades could be seen.
  • An important tip here is to add 2 inches at least to the size in above step so that the coat growth and the weight gain could be easily accommodated as well.
  • If the above step# 2 is skipped, then you would be getting the smallest size in the range. Anything smaller than that would just not fit in. As an example, the dogs with a girth measurement of 18 inches would not be able to get the medium size which is between the 19 to 27 inches range, just as it could not size down to the precise 18 inches. In that case, you need to go for the smallest size in the range of 16 to 23 inches and this has the capacity to get smaller than the girth of your dog and it could also get larger than the current size for accommodating weight or coat growth.
  • Note down the measurements taken on a piece of paper.


Fitting your dog in the harness:


If you have done the steps mentioned in the measurement section the right way, then this section of putting your dog in the harness, would be very easy. The following are a few steps that need to be followed here:

Fit for harness
  • In the first step, you just need to make your dog legs stand over the opening of the harness. Once that is done then you just need to snap on the harness.
  • Now go with the adjustment of each of the four straps of the harness in order to make the perfect fitting for your dog, which should not be too tight and neither too loose. It should balance out both.
  • The coordinating Canine lash needs to be hooked up with the d-rings of the harness which would complete the fitting part and you with your walking buddy would be all set for a nice and comfortable walk, wherever you want.

Just to add that in case you find your dog backing out of the harness or just slips away or maybe, it could try his head to be pulled out of the collar, then you must always avoid pulling the leash for safety purposes. The chest strap has to be comfortably loose, as chafing could result as the buckle would then rub against the skin over the armpit area of the dog.


Measuring your dog harness could be a tedious job as every dog breed is known to have different body shapes. The best approach is to choose the size based on the weight of the dog. But, it should also be noticed that a 40-pound bulldog would be having a totally different fit as compared to a greyhound of the same weight. Therefore, think wisely and also think out of the box in order to best find out that how to measure a dog for a harness in the most suitable manner.