Dog traction harness: how to choose it? - Toutoupourledog

Which traction harness model to choose for your dog? Which brands to favor? Which harness for which use? Here are our tips!

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After offering you a detailed article on anti-pull harnesses, zoom in on traction harnesses in order, in particular, to complete our article: dog harness: how to choose it?

What is a pulling harness?

As its name suggests, the traction harness is a material allowing the traction of a master (or a load) by the dog. It is equipment to have at home, for walks or cani-sports sessions.

It is always better to have your dog wear a harness rather than a collar, simply to avoid pain related to too much tension in the neck.But of course, if your dog pulls on a leash, learning is more than necessary, it is not enough to change equipment.

There are a multitude of different harness models and it is then necessary to choose the one that will be adapted to both the morphology of your dog, its size, but above all the activities you plan to practice with.

When to use it and for which sports?

Depending on the harness you choose, it can be used in many situations and for many different activities.


Beware, however, of working dogs (I am thinking in particular of search dogs, trackers, mantrailing enthusiasts, etc.), the harness used for working should only be used for this purpose, and never for a other activity. It's part of the dog's conditioning and ritual to get to work.

So you can use a pulling harness to simply walk your dog (if he doesn't pull much, otherwise use an anti-pulling harness), but you MUST use a pulling harness especially in case of activities such as:

  • cani-cross,
  • the cani-scooter,
  • the cani-MTB,
  • the cani-rando,
  • the aquatic cani-walk,
  • sled races,
  • tracking,
  • skijoring, etc.

Pulling harnesses can also be used for agility, even if it is not a pulling sport. Indeed, they are often of great help because, equipped with a handle, they make it possible to secure the dog when he climbs on an obstacle (seesaw, springboard, etc.) for the first time.

How to use the traction harness correctly?

I don't think it's really possible to "misuse" a traction harness because as long as it is worn by your dog, properly adjusted to his size and connected to you, your mountain bike, your scooter or other, there is no procedure to follow or things to absolutely avoid

The only mistake you can make would be to choose a harness that is absolutely not suitable for pulling to practice a pulling sport.

Furthermore, for a traction harness to be complete, it should be used with a leash fitted with a shock absorber to avoid jolts (both for you and for your dog). The purpose of this “spring” leash being that the tension is relatively flexible and the traction pleasant for everyone.

How to choose it well? Which brands to choose?

To choose your dog's traction harness, you must first target the use you will have of it: regular, occasional use, for intense physical sport or just for walking, etc.

Once you have made your choice, you can then orient yourself towards different models, here are the 3 most common (for the most technical, I invite you to read our article on how to choose your harness):

X-back harness

It takes its name from its “X” shape and is certainly the most classic and widespread traction harness. Otherwise called Husky Harness (since it is mainly used by sled dogs), it can be used for all traction activities since it adapts perfectly to the dog's morphology and has a fairly low attachment (almost at the level from the base of the tail) which distributes the traction better.

" Please note, however, this is not a multi-function harness, it can only be used for traction because when the dog is stationary or you just want to walk, the straps tend to to hang."

Personally, I chose to practice canicross an x-back harness from the Inlandsis brand. You can also use it for all the traction sports mentioned above.

Short harnesses

If you wanted a harness to easily transition from running to walking, you need a harness like this. The difference with the x-back harness is that, as its name suggests, this one is shorter, the attachment is generally done in the middle of the back.

These are harnesses often used for fairly compact and muscular dogs, for small breeds or on the contrary large breeds (which do not always find their happiness in classic x-back harnesses).

The other advantage of this harness is that it allows less pressure on the hips but be careful, it can tend to go up at the level of the dog's neck, especially when there is no voltage.

The Manmat, Ruffwear or Zero DC brands offer very good products.

Educational harness - Multi harness

Finally, let's finish with the harness that everyone generally agrees on ( although): it's the multi-harness. Very popular at the moment, it is a practical harness that is both anti-pull and traction. It has a strap on the chest for walking assistance and a strap on the back for traction.

However, in my opinion, these harnesses absolutely do not have the same qualities as real traction harnesses, specifically designed for this purpose.

As the other would say: wouldn't that be the best way to do both badly? No, not to that extent, but it is true that these multi-function harnesses are more suitable for sports such as tracking, agility (if they have a handle), etc. Clearly, sports that do not require too much tension and especially not continuous and intensive.

Concerning the brands, you are spoiled for choice: Animalin, True Love, Ruffwear, H alti, Junih, Dog Copenhagen, etc. For a detailed description of these harnesses, I suggest that you consult our article on anti-pull harnesses.

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