Walking your dog is an important part of being a pet parent. Daily walks provide exercise for your pup, stimulates their mind, and helps maintain good health. Standard collars that go around a dog’s neck have been the top choice for many years, but the harness is gaining momentum.
A harness also provides benefits such as preventing injuries to the trachea and allows you better control over your dog. A dog harness is especially helpful when used on dogs that tend to pull on their leash and choke while wearing a standard collar.
The pet industry has kept up with the demand for dog harnesses by creating different types and making them available in various colors, patterns, and styles. However, some creative pet parents decide they want to make their dog a unique homemade harness.
If you are one of these creative dog owners, you are in the right place. Chances are you are asking, “How to make a dog harness?” If so, the following information and steps will help you create a customized harness for your adorable pet!
How to Make a Dog Harness
Types of Dog Harnesses
- Strap harnesses – This type of harness wraps around your dog and features multiple straps that go around the belly, chest, and back. The straps are lightweight and can take a couple of minutes to put on your dog.
- Vest harnesses – This type of vest creates a hugging sensation around a dog’s chest and back. Sometimes, they can be bulky, but they should fit snug and comfortable if you get the right size for your dog. An added benefit this harness offers is the calming effect it has on nervous dogs.
There are a variety of harness designs such as:
- Front-clip – This harness style features a front attachment point to discourage your dog from pulling while on their walks.
- Head halters – This specially designed harness prevents your dog from throwing their body weight behind a lunge. It allows you to keep control of larger breed dogs and targets a pressure point located under the jaw. This harness doesn’t cause pain for your dog. However, minimal chafing can occur.
- Dual-clip – This harness style features a front and back clip for versatility.
- Back-clip – This collar design allows you to have more control over your pet. The D-ring is located further down the back and far away from your dog’s neck to help reduce injury. It also keeps the leash in a position to prevent it from tangling or getting caught in your dog’s legs.
Reasons to Make Your Own Dog Harness
- You save money.
- You can create a customized and unique harness in a variety of colors.
- Your dog has a specific build that store-bought harnesses don’t fit.
- You need a harness that works according to your dog’s specific needs.
- You want to be creative and design unique dog harnesses for each of your dogs.
- You enjoy making things for your dog and are good at DIY projects.
When planning your harness design, keep your dog’s specific issues in mind such as high friction spots, injuries, and unique body structures such as an extra-large chest. Measure your dog before purchasing the materials and supplies needed to make the harness.
How to Make a Dog Harness
What you’ll need the following materials for an easy to make rope dog harness:
- Soft measuring tape
- Cotton rope (soft)
- Needle and thread
1. Choose the rope size you need for your dog. Larger dogs will require a thick, durable rope, while smaller breeds will benefit from a thin rope. Preferably choose a soft cotton rope, so it’s comfortable against your dog’s skin. It’s best to start with a rope that is about 11′ to 12″ feet long. If your dog has a large chest, you might need more rope length.
2. Place the rope on a flat surface such as a table or floor. Fold the rope in half, so each side meets evenly.
3. Take one of the ends and slide it under the rope to create a design that looks like a reversed letter “P.”
4. Hold onto the original fold and bring the end of the rope that you slid under over the top of the rope, so it creates a design that looks like the letter “d” in lower case form.
5. Wrap the last folds around themselves to create a third loop, then tuck the loop through the second loophole that you created earlier.
6. Take the first loop and pull it over the last loop you just created.
7. Pull it down at the base, then lock it into place.
At this point, you should have a rope that is shaped like rabbit ears. It might look confusing, but when you think of it as putting your dog’s front legs through the rabbit ear loops and allow the knot to rest on your dog’s back, it makes more sense and looks great.
The slide knot allows you to adjust the harness as you slide it up and down to customize the fit to your dog’s body.
Tip: Make sure the knot is in the middle to help distribute your pet’s weight evenly.
If you want to spice up the look of the harness, you can stitch fabric across the rabbit ears in vibrant colors or patterns. This fabric will help make your dog more comfortable and look cute too!
You can become creative by using different materials to make a dog harness. Test out different options such as paracord, mesh, leather, and more. You can create a soft and comfortable harness if you crochet or knit, but this idea is best suited for a toy or small breeds only.
You can get really creative and design a different harness for various occasions such as holidays, seasons, and weather conditions. If you have more than one dog, you can use other materials, colors, and fabric patterns that exude your dog’s individual personalities.
Having customized harnesses for each dog is also a great way to personalize their belongings instead of using the same colors and materials.
For example, if you have a cute little Chihuahua that walks alongside you and doesn’t pull on the leash, a knitted harness during cool weather months will add a bit of warmth without overheating your dog. Also, if your other dog is a larger breed like a Golden Retriever, you can use a durable rope and sew colorful fabric to show their sibling’s individuality.
Harnesses are often preferred over collars because it prevents damage to the neck area and choking. However, depending on the fabric or type of rope you choose, harnesses can cause chaffing on some dogs.
Aim for durable but soft materials when making your dog’s harness to help prevent chaffing and discomfort. The best thing about DIY harnesses is that you can customize the size, fit, and materials.
If your dog experiences skin sensitivity to one type of material, you can change it to a different option until you find the best solution.
Enjoy making your dog a homemade harness that is there’s to call its own! Visit the PetStruggles homepage for more expert information & advice.