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Back-Clip vs. Front-Clip Dog Harnesses: Pros and Cons

By Canada Pooch on Oct 3, 2023

Choosing the right harness for your pup can be challenging with so many options available. What are the benefits and drawbacks of back-clip and front-clip dog harnesses? Which harness is safer and more comfortable for your pooch? In this blog post, we explore the many facets of dog harnesses, detailing the pros and cons of both back-clip and front-clip variations. We delve into each type's functionality and purpose, elaborate on the issues that might surface with each kind, and provide advice for selecting the perfect harness based on your dog's temperament and physical needs. 

Dog Harnesses 

As pet parents, proper dog care often involves finding the right walking equipment. Understanding what a dog harness is and its purpose is crucial in promoting the health and well-being of your pet. 

What is a Dog Harness? 

A dog harness is a piece of walking equipment that goes around your dog's body offering control and safety when walking or training your pet. Unlike a traditional collar, a harness provides an effective method of controlling your pet without putting pressure on its throat. 

The Purpose of Dog Harnesses 

The primary purpose of dog harnesses is to give dog parents better control of their pets, especially larger and stronger dog breeds who are prone to pull on the leash. They prevent injuries from sudden tugs or pulls, safeguarding the dog's sensitive trachea from injury. A dog harness fitting snuggly can turn an enthusiastic tugger into a well-behaved dog if used correctly. 

Types of Dog Harnesses: Back-Clip vs. Front-Clip 

The design of your clip dog harness significantly impacts your pet's comfort and control when walking. The two most common harness types are the back-clip and front-clip harness. With back-clip dog harnesses, the leash attachment is on the dog's back, while on front-clip dog harnesses, the leash clip is on the chest area. Harnesses such as the Canada Pooch Complete Control Harness and The Everything Harness offer both a front-clip and back-clip to suit all dog walking needs.

Advantages of Back-Clip Dog Harnesses 

Whether you are a pet expert or just a regular dog lover, understanding the pros and cons of back-clip dog harnesses could be highly beneficial in training and caring for your pet. 

Back-clip dog harnesses offer several advantages. Top among these are comfort and visibility. These harness types are comfortable for most dogs as the leash does not tangle in their legs. This makes them perfect for breeds with sensitive trachea. The back-clip harness also allows better visibility of the leash for both the pet and the pet parent. 

Another essential advantage of a back-clip dog harness is that it doesn't encourage pulling. This is particularly useful during the dog's training phase. They are also easier to put on than other dog harness types, making them a favorite for both pet parents and dog trainers. 

Advantages of Front-Clip Dog Harnesses 

Front-clip dog Harnesses are one of the two main types of leash attachments in dog harnesses, the other being back-clip dog harnesses. The choice of the clip dog harness type can significantly enhance dog parents' control and leash training of their dogs. A front-clip dog harness has a leash attachment on the chest, which is often preferred by dog trainers as it gives them more control over energetic and hard-to-train dogs. 

The benefits of front-clip dog harnesses are numerous. To start with, they enable corrective training for dogs that perceive outdoor walks as an opportunity to chase every moving object. The dog's head's direction can be gently steered by the handler, acting as an effective discouragement of pulling behavior. 

As most sporting dog breeds are sturdy and muscular, front clip harnesses offer some level of control over them. Pet parents often find front-clip dog harnesses useful in managing the energetic bursts these breeds are famous for, preventing them from swerving abruptly and avoiding possible accidents for both the dog and themselves. 

Experts suggest that front-clip dog harnesses are highly recommended for dogs undergoing leash training. They provide an excellent basis for instilling good walking habits, thus contributing to a well-behaved dog. 

Choosing the Right Harness for Your Dog 

Consideration of Your Dog's Temperament 

The choice between a back clip harness and a front clip dog harness should primarily depend on the temperament of the dog. For inactive or less energetic dogs, back clip harnesses work well. They are also recommended for tiny breeds, which may not feel comfortable with a front clip harness. 

Conversely, dogs that require corrective training or harbor high energy levels find front-clip harnesses beneficial. These harnesses provide adequate controls and reduce incidences of pulling and tugging, thus making them a popular choice among dog trainers. 

Properly Fitting a Dog Harness 

Proper dog harness fitting is just as important as selecting the correct type. An ill-fitted dog harness can lead to discomfort, irritation, and even injury. Here are some tips for ensuring a proper fit: 

  • Make sure you know your dog's accurate measurements before buying a harness. Measure the broadest part of the chest and the narrowest part of the waist as well as the length of the chest. 
  • Seek the assistance of pet store staff or a dog trainer while fitting a harness for the first time. They can guide you regarding the appropriate harness fit. 
  • Remember that the back and front clip harnesses can have different fitting procedures. Therefore, read the fitting instructions of the manufacturer carefully before using the harness. 

In conclusion, both types of harnesses come with their pros and cons. As pet parents, being informed and mindful of these when selecting and using the harness is important. Your dog-walking experience can be safe, controlled, and enjoyable with the right harness and proper fitting. 

Key Takeaways: 

Choosing the right dog harness can make a remarkable difference in both your and your pup’s walking experience. The two popular types are the back-clip and front-clip dog harnesses. This blog post aims to shed light on both these types, helping pet parents make an informed decision. 

Back-Clip Dog Harness 

Back-clip dog harnesses are the most common type used by pet parents across the globe. The leash attachment is located on the back of the dog, making it an ideal choice for smaller or well-behaved dogs who don't pull on their leash. 

Back-clip harnesses generally provide good control over your dog's movement, are easy to put on, and are comfortable for the dog. Many dog trainers and pet experts recommend them, especially for smaller, delicate breeds or puppies. 

Front-Clip Dog Harness 

Front-clip dog harnesses, also known as 'no pull' harnesses, feature a leash attachment at the chest. This type offers more control, making it ideal for larger or sporting dog breeds who tend to pull or jump. 

These harnesses work by directing a pulling dog back towards its parent, reducing sideways pulls and making it easier for the handler. However, they require a bit more skill in fitting, and due to their front attachment, a leash can sometimes get tangled in your dog's legs. 

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