Not sure which dog harness to buy for your greyhound? Here are five of the best greyhound harnesses, along with tips to help you choose the right option for your dog.
It’s vital for a greyhound to be securely leashed on a walk though. Aside from being the fastest dog breed, many (but not all) greyhounds have a strong prey drive and may chase small animals – including other dogs. This is often more prevalent in ex-racers, although not all racing dogs have a strong prey drive.
This article will discuss the pros and cons of a greyhound harness, how to choose the right option for your pet, and five of the best options.
Padded, virtually escape-proof, and great for greyhounds
My top pick for a greyhound harness is the Ruffwear Webmaster. The extra belly strap makes it very difficult to escape from, and the padding is comfortable for your dog’s skin. It’s also highly durable.
I believe harnesses are the safest option for most dogs – but there are pros and cons to using one.
The biggest advantage is that harnesses spread force across the dog’s chest and shoulders, rather than concentrating it on a delicate greyhound’s neck. Walking on a collar, in contrast, has been linked to eye glaucoma, tracheal collapse and chronic back pain.
Harnesses also provide “kind” control. They don’t cause pain or tightening, unlike choke chains, prong collars and other negative devices.
There are a few drawbacks though. Harnesses may encourage pulling in some dogs, although a front-clip can help prevent this. It can also be hard to find a harness that properly fits a greyhound.
Most importantly, greyhounds are notorious for slipping free of both collars and harnesses. This could be disastrous – especially if your dog’s prey drive causes it to run across a road or attack another dog.
In reality, many greyhounds are happy to walk politely on a harness and won’t try to escape. If your pet is an escape artist, however, then be very careful about which harness you use.
For extra safety, you could try a dual leash that’s attached to both an escape-proof harness – such as the Ruffwear Webmaster – and the dog’s collar. Make sure the tension is only on the harness attachment though, leaving the collar slack unless your pet somehow backs out of the harness.
There are several types of harness available. These include:
For a greyhound, a front-clip no-pull harness can limit pulling without causing pain. If your dog doesn’t pull, however, a rear-clip harness is probably the best choice.
Aside from the type, here are other considerations when choosing a greyhound dog harness:
Always check a harness fits after buying it, and don’t be afraid to exchange it for a different size if necessary. Keep a close watch for signs of chafing, rubbing, slipping or excessive movement, as this can quickly cause pressure wounds.
While the harness shouldn’t be too tight, you should also check that your greyhound is secure and unable to escape.
Note: If your dog is a determined escape artist, you may need to take extra steps to keep him safe. A spook harness, for example, could be a good option. These aren’t as comfortable or padded as alternatives, but are designed for nervous greyhounds. As I mentioned earlier, a double leash attached to both the collar and harness can also provide extra security – but make sure all the tension goes through the harness.
Listed below are my five favourite greyhound harnesses. Make sure you read each review carefully to find the right option for your dog.
Note: I haven’t included any martingale collars, slip collars, or other devices that cause uncomfortable tightening or pain.
With an extra rear belly strap, the Webmaster is more secure than the average dog harness. If your greyhound is an escape-artist, the Webmaster is probably the only harness you should consider.
There are also five adjustment points to get a snug fit without causing chafing or restricting your greyhound’s movement. As it’s difficult to get a good fit on most greyhounds, the ability to customise the Webmaster is an important feature.
While the nylon straps aren’t completely padded, there is soft padding over areas that are most likely to chafe. Ruffwear has also included a designated section for custom patches.
I also like that the Webmaster has a built-in handle. This is useful if you need quick control of your dog, or if he needs help getting into a car or up steps.
There aren’t many drawbacks to the Ruffwear Web Master harness. It’s expensive, but I think it’s worth the money – especially for escape artists. I wish it had a front leash attachment to discourage pulling though.
Unlike many harnesses with a similar design, the PetSafe Sure-Fit has five adjustment points – including the option of adjusting the distance between chest and belly straps. This makes it possible to get a precise fit on almost any dog breed, including greyhounds.
It’s also a durable harness, with strong nylon straps and a steel leash attachment.
The biggest downside is the lack of padding. If your greyhound has a habit of pulling, I recommend choosing the Webmaster instead. I also wish the straps were wider, as this would reduce the chance of chafing.
For calm and polite walkers, however, the PetSafe Sure-Fit is a decent choice for greyhounds.
The Ruffwear Front Range is a no pull dog harness. By attaching the leash to the front attachment, your greyhound is gently guided in a circle when he tries to pull. This won’t prevent all pulling, but can reduce the intensity without causing pain.
It’s also a well-built harness. The nylon straps are tough and durable, while padding covers the belly, chest and armpits to prevent chafing. It also comes with four adjustment points and a reflective trim.
With that said, it’s not as easy to adjust to a greyhound’s unusual body shape as the Webmaster or Sure-Fit, as you can’t change the distance between the front and belly straps. It’s also not the best option for Houdini dogs, as the lack of an extra rear strap makes it easier to back out from.
For calm greyhounds who don’t try to escape, however, it’s one of the most comfortable harnesses on the market.
Unlike most harnesses, the EasySport has an elastic neckline. This can’t be directly adjusted, but conforms (slightly) to your dog’s chest. It also has an adjustable belly strap and is easy to put on.
Other features include a built-in handle, which is useful when you need quick control, and five colour options.
The EasySport certainly isn’t as easy to fit to a greyhound’s shape as the Webmaster or Sure-Fit though. I also don’t think it’s as durable as the best greyhound harnesses.
For dogs that don’t try to escape, or those that need extra padding, it provides excellent value though.
I’m a big fan of the Julius K9 IDC. It’s a strong and durable harness, with a padded design and reflective edges. The harness is also built with adjustable belly and front straps for getting a snug fit.
Unfortunately, the IDC won’t fit all greyhounds. It has two adjustment straps, but you may need to experiment to find out whether it’s suitable for your greyhound. A harness with five adjustment points would be better for greyhounds with particularly deep chests, for example.
It’s also not the best choice for escape artists. The compact design makes it too easy to “back out.”
If it fits your dog, however, the Julius K9 is one of the best harnesses on the market.
Getting the right size is essential for your dog’s comfort and safety. Even the best harness could be unsafe if it isn’t correctly fitted. All manufacturers provide sizing charts, so measure your dog’s neck and chest girth carefully and follow the instructions as closely as possible.
Once you’ve bought and adjusted a harness to your dog’s body shape, you should check that it’s not too tight or loose. As a general rule, you should be able to fit two fingers between your dog’s skin and the harness. Any more space could make it easier for your dog to slip out, but making it too tight could cause chafing.
Italian greyhounds are small dogs compared to greyhounds – but have a similar body shape. The harnesses above should be suitable, as long as they are sized correctly. This is also true for other breeds with similar shapes, such as a lurcher and saluki.
Choosing a harness for greyhounds can be difficult. Their deep chest, thin head and long neck means that many harnesses don’t fit or fail to provide enough security.
My top recommendation for a greyhound harness is the Ruffwear Webmaster. It’s a strong option that’s virtually impossible to escape from, which is important for greyhounds. The Webmaster is also padded and has five adjustment points, making it easy to adjust to a greyhound’s body shape.
Do you have any questions about choosing a greyhound harness? Please let me know in the comments section below.