Two dog in dog harnesses are playing

What Size of Harness Is for My Dog?

As much as it seems simple, the process of choosing the right size of harness is difficult. There’s no specific answer to what size of harness is for my dog because each dog is unique in shape and size.But wait! Just because they’re different doesn’t mean you can’t find the answer.

Here’s a brief overview for you:

  • Grab a measuring tape from your home stash.
  • Seek out your pup, preferably in their favorite hangout spot.
  • If they're not coming, entice them with some healthy treats.
  • Once they're on board, whip out that measuring tape.
  • Measure the thickest part of their chest and neck.
  • Match the chest and neck size to the harness and select the best one for you.

And hey, if your dog feels betrayed by the sudden intrusion on their playtime, a few extra treats never hurts. This method is also very helpful when training your dog. Now, let’s discuss this topic in more detail so you can choose the right size for the harness.


How do I Know What Size Harness My Dog Needs?

The best way to know what size of the harness will fit your dog's needs is by measuring their body and understanding the harness size category.

Sizes of Harness:

Typically, there are four sizes of harness: small, medium, large, and extra large. But don’t be fooled — small always doesn’t mean for small pups, medium and large sizes are for adult dogs.

Instead, you’ll find the sizes of each category different with different harnesses. For example, the Rabbitgo tactical harness small in size is for dogs with a 16.1 to 31.5 inches chest and a 15.4 to 21.5 inches neck.

At the same time, the small Rabbitgo adjustable reflective dog harness is for a dog with a 12 to 25-inch and a 13 to 19-inch neck. As you can see sizes can vary within the same brand. So be sure to take measurements of your dog.

Measurement of Dog:



Always measure the chest's widest part (known as chest girth) and the neck's thickest part (neck girth). Then check the harness size available and pick the one that meets your requirements.


Where to Find Harness Size Information?

If you have a harness and want to know the size, you can find a label on the chest strap. In case you're looking for the size of harness you’ve not bought, then always check the product description.

Most brands include the info on harness sizes in the description. We’ve also listed the size chart with each harness product. Here’s how you can access it:

  • Go to the product page of the harness and select the size guide.
  • After clicking on “size guide” you’ll be redirected to the bottom part of the page, where you’ll find the description of harness size
  • You’ll have two options, either you can click on “size chart” or the “S/M/L/XL” button to view the size.



Should a Dog Harness Be Snug or Loose?

A harness should be loose enough around the neck so the dog can move freely, and it should be snug enough to ensure control. It means you need a perfect balance between security and comfort.  

If the harness isn’t tight your dog can easily slip out of it, and it will be difficult for you to control their movements. While a tight harness around the neck can be dangerous, especially if your dog decides to pull.

Pulling will create pressure on the neck especially if the harness is tight. Therefore, make your decision carefully!

Pro tip: Your harness should fit well but still allow you to slide two fingers underneath it. If you can fit more than two fingers, it means the harness is loose (time to adjust or replace it).

 Here is the guide of How to Put on the Harness Fitted


What If My Dog's Harness Is Too Loose?

There are two possible reasons for a loose harness. The first one is you’ve not adjusted the harness properly and the second is that the harness is actually too large for your dog.

If it’s a matter of improper adjustment, you can easily fix this by using the straps. Just tighten the harness by adjusting the straps until two fingers can slide under it. Once there’s no room for a third finger, you’ve achieved a proper fit.

In case the harness is still too loose, unfortunately, you’ve made a wrong decision. It’s time to consider getting a smaller size or a different style harness that better suits your dog's body shape.



Final Thoughts

The answer to what size of harness is for my dog depends on the chest girth and neck girth of your dog. You need to measure both structures of the dog's body for a perfectly fitted harness.

Without measuring both parts, you may end up wasting money on a product that will not work. To avoid a situation like this, grab a measuring tape and show some love to your dog with treats to take the measurements.

Trust us, your hard work will pay off when you find the well-fitted harness, making walks and adventure a breeze.


Frequently Asked Questions


1. Are Dog Harnesses One Size Fits All?

There’s no one-size harness that fits all dogs, even your female dog harness might not fit your male dog. The reason behind this is the overall size and structure of the dog's body. Male dogs tend to be slightly taller and larger than female dogs.

Hence, if you have same-age dogs at home (one male and the other female), the best is to measure both of them to choose the right harness.

2. What Size Harness for a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds are generally a large and muscular breed. The average chest girth for a German Shepherd is between 28 to 32 inches, making an XL-size harness the best choice for their body. 

You may need: Rabbitgoo Large Dog Harness with Handle for Lifting

3. What Size Harness for a Golden Retriever?

The average chest girth of a Golden Retriever is around 28 to 34 inches, though some may be even larger. Based on this average size, an XL harness is often a good fit.

You may need: Rabbitgoo Plaid Harness for Large Dogs
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.