We sat down with dog behaviourist Hayley Jones, the founder and trainer behind Positive Direction Dog Training, to help you understand what harness is best for your dog and why. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Overall, harnesses are safer and more secure than walking on a collar. They can be an aid to training because they give the walker confidence, control and security when out and about.

However, not all harnesses are created equal. A high-quality Y-fitted harness, like Westley’s, is your best option for many reasons.

  1. Dogs are less likely to escape from a well-fitted Y-front harness.
    This is especially important for new rescue dogs or those that are nervous, reactive, or a high prey drive as they can find ways to wiggle out of certain harnesses.

  2. A harness with a front clip and back clip gives extra security when used with a double ended lead.
    This lets you ‘steer’ the dog without hurting them, especially if you have a bigger dog and the walker isn’t strong or struggles with control. There is no need for more restrictive or extreme walking gear like prong collars or chains.

  3. Comfort is key. If a harness is too tight, rubs, or is restrictive, then your dog could be physically hurt or sore, which could lead to them feeling upset and developing behaviour issues.
    Y-front harnesses are the best because they allow freedom of movement, comfort and full body language expression for dogs. Body language is crucial for dog-dog interactions and walking on lead can restrict how they are able to express themselves.

    Harnesses that cut across the chest can be overly restrictive. The chest strap can stop dogs from moving their front legs and shoulders comfortably and from engaging in satisfying play. They can also cause muscle and joint strain as the dog is forced to adapt their movements in an unnatural way.

    On a Y-front harness the lead attachment point is much further back, towards the middle of the dog's body, so their shoulder blades and legs are free to move and joints won't be damaged, even if the dog pulls on the lead. 
  4. Outdated views that harnesses increase pulling aren’t true - it’s about how we communicate with our dogs, not how we physically control them.
    Westley’s harness gives your dog the comfort and freedom they need so you can build a positive and trusting relationship with them.
Ready to upgrade? Shop our harnesses here.