How to Make a Dog Harness

Make a dog harness with a step-by-step approach!

Below are photos about some DIY harnesses I made, as well as those made by other folks. 

We also discuss the things you need to consider before making a harness, and how dog harnesses have different uses.

Personalized Dog Harness

by Bobbi Meredith
(Marietta, GA)

DIY personalized dog harnesses.

Make a personalized dog harness for each season of the year, including holidays!

Each personalized dog harness is easy to make and can be adapted to fit any size dog.

I make them for my Katie (an English Pointer with a 17″ neck, 29″ chest, 19″ waist and 28″ from neck to tail) and for friends’ dogs that I pet sit which are much smaller. I also made one for a dog that weighed 130 lbs (Great Pyrenees).

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I took a harness that I purchased at a pet supply store that slips over the dog’s head and between the front legs, with one side sliding through the loop on the back and fastening on the other side. I then folded it in half and traced it out on paper to make the pattern.

Next I use seasonal fabric and line it with upholstery fabric for strength, sewing it according to the pattern. I use belting of matching colors and even make a leash to match sometimes.

You can try a one-layer summer harness and put trim around the edges. Flowers and bows make a nice addition. Pair it with a skirt for a complete outfit. Making matching ‘bracelets’ from scraps with elastic to scrunch them up and keep them on their legs make a nice addition as long as you do not make the bracelets too tight.

I purchase leashes and adjustable collars from dollar stores and use the hardware on my harness/leash. This is so much cheaper than buying new hardware.

I will try to do a video showing measuring and making a harness next month.

Other Homemade Harness Ideas

Dog Harness for My Labrador
by Shahid from Tench Rawalpindi, Pakistan

  • First I bought a simple leash that has rings and hook locks.
  • Then I cut the leash and divided it into three different pieces.
  • The pieces are attached in a triangle shape to each other: one piece into the dog’s neck and the other one is turned around his legs.
  • The third one is attached to the clip, and the harness is ready!

No Pull Dog Harness

Here’s a very simple idea sent in by Teresa from Canada for a no pull dog harness.

Comet’s harness can also be used for this purpose.

Things to Consider When You Make a Dog Harness

Personalized Dog Harnesses
by Bobbi M. of Marietta, GA

Mardi Gras, here I come!

Katie’s all ready for summer!

  1. Your dog’s comfort. If it fits properly, your dog will associate the harness with fun instead of pain.
  2. The efficiency of the harness to help him or her perform in the best way possible. There are several different types of harnesses to accomplish this. (See Harness Types below.)
  3. To avoid confusing your dog, it’s recommended that you use a harness for either walking or pulling activities, not both. Ideally, you will use a head halter or do proper leash training if you plan on having your dog pull things too.
  4. Is the harness going to be for a temporary event (such as the rope harness we created for Comet) or do you want it to last a long time and be durable?
  5. For another type of temporary event, make a personalized dog harness for special occasions, such as celebrating the seasons of the year or particular holidays. (Thank you, Bobbi!)

If you need materials to make a harness, has a wide selection of nylon and polypropylene webbing with colors hard to find elsewhere.

They also carry the necessary hardware. Prices and shipping seem reasonable.

Different Harness Types

  • carting harness: the cart shafts rest on the harness
  • freighting harness: tug lines are at a downward angle
  • sledding harness: tug lines are level with dog height and the harness is in a cross shape
  • A pulling harness for bikejoring and dog scootering: tug line is at a slight upward angle to bike or scooter stem
  • pulling harness for roller- and skijoring and for canicross: tug line is at a steep upward angle to person’s waist
  • walking harness: leash at upward angle to person’s hand
  • dog wheelchair harness

Click here to make a dog harness style. It looks like they cover several of the above types of harnesses.

Happy travels to you and your dog!

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