A Corgi smiles in a yellow dog harness.

How to Measure a Dog for Harness

We've all dealt with it - dogs acting straight-up dramatic at the sight of a harness hiding, and shaking excessively. Maybe because you don't train your dog wear dog harness correctly (Here is The Art of How to Train Dogs to Wear Dog Harness ) or may be just the harness doesn't fit right and is causing discomfort or even pain.

The only solution to this problem is learning how to measure a dog for the harness. And don’t worry it’s not a difficult process (we promise).

We’re about to break down the whole process from start to finish so you can get that perfect harness fit.



Why It’s Important to Measure a Dog for Harness?

Imagine someone whom you love so much putting on a tight harness that suffocates you in the hot summer. How would you feel? Sad, angry, betrayed!

Your dog will feel the same.

Just like us, dogs aren't fans of gear that's too tight or too loose. But for them, an improper fit is more than just discomfort.

When a harness doesn't sit right, dogs typically try to escape by pulling, running, or hiding - putting them at risk of injuries.

If you don’t want anything like this, take an hour from your busy schedule, measure your dog for a harness, and choose the right size of the harness. 


Measure a Dog for a Harness at Home (Step-by-Step Guide)

Ready to get that harness sizing right? Here's exactly how to measure your pup at home for Rabbitgoo or any other brand harness. But first, let's go over what you'll need:

Step #1 - Gather Supplies

  • Flexible measuring tape(avoid rigid ones)
  • High-value dog treats(anything your dog likes)
  • Helper human (choose someone whom your dog is comfy with)

Step #2 - Measure Your Dog

The key areas to measure depend on the harness type, but generally you'll want chest girth and neck girth. However, for harnesses that extend from the shoulder to the back, you also need back length and belly girth.



So here’s the process!

1. How Do You Measure Dog Chest Girth?

The thickest part of the dog's chest is called chest girth and getting this measurement right is crucial for buying a harness.

Make sure your dog is standing still, then use a measuring tape to measure around the thickest part of the chest. Don’t forget to write down the measurements!

2. How Do You Measure a Dog's Neck for Harness?

You can't just measure any part of the neck and expect a good fit. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a tight or too-loose harness. If you want to avoid this situation, follow the steps below.

Measure the thickest part of the neck. Add a couple of inches to ensure comfort (e.g., if the neck measures 14 inches, note down 16 inches).

Pro Tip: Don’t wrap the measuring tape too tight around the dog's body.

3. How Do You Measure Dog Back Length?

The back length doesn’t mean the entire length of your dog. It’s the part where the neck ends to where the tail begins.

To measure this part, have your dog stand still. Then use a measuring tape from the base of the neck to the start of the tail.

4. How to Measure Dog Belly Girth?

Last but not least, measure your dog's belly girth. This and back length may not be necessary for all harness types, but if the harness you're choosing requires belly size, be sure to measure it.

For the measurement, wrap the measurement tape around the thickest part of the dog's belly (stomach).

Pro tip: Use lots of treats and praise to keep your pup still and make it a positive experience. Sizing is a two-human job!


How Do I Know if My Harness Fits Properly?

There are a few things that show whether the harness fits properly to the dog or not. Here’s the list of these points:

  • Two-finger rule: After putting on the harness, try to insert two fingers underneath the harness around the chest area as well as the neck. If the fingers slide in and out smoothly it’s a perfect harness. Just make sure it’s not too loose to add more than two fingers.
  • Dog movements: Closely observe your dog's movements to understand how they’re feeling with the new harness. They may try to escape from the harness if it’s causing discomfort.  
  • Skin irritation: Some harnesses cause skin irritations or shedding. You’ll be able to notice these signs in a few weeks, if that’s the case never put that harness back on your dog                      



Final Words

So the best way to measure a dog for harness is by finding out which type of harness you’re looking for. Some just need chest and neck measurements, while others like our Rabbitgoo large dog harness require - belly girth and back length too.

When you're ready to measure, keep these tips in mind:

  • For the chest, neck, and belly - Find the thickest part and wrap the flexible tape to get the maximum circumference. Don't pull too snug, you'll want a little room.
  • Back length - Not the full body! Simply measure from the base of the neck down to where the tail starts.

If any part of this measuring process has you scratching your head, don't hesitate to ask for help. We're always here to walk you through getting the sizing measurements on point.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What tools do I need to measure my dog for a harness?

You don’t need a lot of tools to measure a dog for a harness. Just a soft measuring tape and some treats your dog likes to show love and appreciate their behavior.

Once you’ve got these items, measure the thickest part of the neck and chest (back length and belly girth too if necessary).

2. What is considered a dog's chest?

The chest is the part beneath the front leg, this is where the rib cage of your dog is located. To measure this chest, we wrap the measurement tape around its thickest part and add an extra one or two inches to find the right harness.

3. Can I use a regular tape measure for my dog?

Yes, you can use a regular measurement tape for your dog. However, it’s better if you have the soft measurement tape. The hard measurement tape has sharp edges that can be harmful to your dog's skin.


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