As an energetic breed, Border Collies are notorious pullers. This habit puts too much force on their necks while wearing a collar, which can lead to injuries over time. Instead, you should consider getting the best harnesses for Border Collies to disperse the force all over the canine’s body.
The challenge here is finding the right harness for your dog. There are tons of options in the market, but not all of them are worth the money.
To help narrow down your options, I reviewed below 10 reliable harnesses that I swear by for my Border Collie.
10 Best Harnesses For Border Collies
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: RUFFWEAR Front Range Padded Dog Harness
Product Name: RUFFWEAR Front Range Padded Dog Harness
Product Description: If you’re looking for the best harnesses for Border Collies, you’ll never go wrong with the RUFFWEAR Front Range Padded Dog Harness. For me, this is the right balance between price and value, which is perfect for all Border Collie owners, even those on a budget. This RUFFWEAR harness has a colorfast shell fabric with reflective trims for your dog’s safety. It also has foam strips along the belly and chest area to keep your pet comfy during long walks. Another thing I like the most about this harness is its two-leash attachments. You can connect the leash on the V-ring in front or the webbing loop at the back. This way, you can choose the setting that matches your Border Collie’s personality.
Offer price: 59.99
Offer URL: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082FR9ZN5?tag=bordercollietalk-20
Valid until: December 31, 2025
Comfort and Fit
Value for Money
Aside from that, this harness has four convenient adjustment points complete with durable buckles. There’s also an easy access ID pocket where you can stash dog tags. It will help locate your Border Collie in case it gets lost.
This harness is also fitted with a light loop for The Beacon. This is RUFFWEAR’s safety light, which you can purchase separately.
Overall, this an excellent harness that does the job for my Border Collie. We used to have an issue with harnesses rubbing on our dog’s armpits. But after switching to RUFFWEAR, we never encountered this issue again.
The only thing I noticed is that the buckles are a bit recessed, which makes them slightly difficult to put on and off. I somehow think that it’s good if you have a Houdini dog that can slip out of harnesses.
Four adjustment points
Two leash connection options
ID tag pocket
The buckles are a bit difficult to remove.
PetSafe 3-in-1 No-Pull Dog Harness
Are you looking for a strap harness instead? If so, you should consider the PetSafe 3-in-1 No-Pull Dog Harness. It has a vertical martingale loop that tightens on your dog’s chest. This removes the force away from your pet’s neck, so it’s safe and very effective for Border Collies that love pulling.
Moreover, this harness has reflective stitching, padded straps, and durable buckles. It also has front and back leash attachments to suit your preference. This harness is also car-friendly, thanks to its car control strap for safe rides with your Border Collie.
The PetSafe harness has five adjustment points that let you achieve a snug fit for your dog. There’s also a control handle on top in case you need to retrieve your dog immediately.
PetSafe is also popular for its unbeatable guarantees. In case this harness gets damaged or chewed, you can call them to receive a replacement for a very small fee compared to buying another unit. Their customer service is U.S.-based and easy to reach.
So far, one of our Border Collies tolerates this better than any other strap harnesses we’ve purchased in the past. It does what it’s advertised for, which is something we really appreciate.
However, if you’re new to harnesses, this one can be challenging to put on. It took me some practice to figure what strap goes to where. Anyway, you can always call their hotline if you have questions. The folks there are very helpful and more than willing to walk you through the product setup.
ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness
If you’re looking for a tactical dog harness, you’ll never go wrong with this one from ICEFANG. This is made of nylon with padding and mesh lining for your dog’s utmost comfort.
Aside from that, the ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness has two metal buckles tested for up to 1,000 lbs. of load. Meanwhile, there are two POM buckles on the belly area which can handle up to 250 lbs. of force.
For a rugged construction, this harness has Bactack sewing with an X pattern for further reinforcement. This ICEFANG harness is made to last, even on Border Collies with an affinity for pulling.
I also like the quick-release buckles of this harness, which makes it easy to put on and off. You can also connect the leash in front or at the back, whichever suits you. And in case you need to control your Border Collie quickly, this harness comes with a tough grab handle. This will let you lift your dog away from a crowd or a potential dog fight.
Moreover, this harness is compatible with MOLLE systems, thanks to the multiple Velcro patches and loops all over.
Overall, this tactical harness works, but there’s no place to affix metal tags. You can use the rings, but the tag jingles and creates an annoying sound that may distract a Border Collie.
Kurgo Tru-Fit Dog Harness
The Kurgo Tru-Fit Dog Harness is crash-tested, making it one of the most popular options in the market. This has been crash-tested for up to 34 kilograms at Calspan’s Buffalo in New York.
Moreover, this harness has a padded chest plate for comfort while dispersing force in case your Border Collie pulls. This is paired with a no-pull D-ring for comfortable use.
The Kurgo Tru-Fit harness also has five adjustable points together with a car tether to secure your dog to the seatbelt. Another thing I like about this harness is its metal nesting buckles, which are safer than traditional buckles. It also lasts long despite regular use.
When it comes to the harness connection, you can use the front and back rings for your convenience. Whether you’re traveling, walking, or transporting your dog, this harness comes in handy for all life stages.
Many pet owners swear by the crash-tested performance of this harness. It’s also a breeze to put on and off a canine, unlike other harness models.
The only complaint pet owners have over this harness is it’s not the easiest to adjust. It took me some time to figure out how the adjustments work with the help of some online tips.
juxzh TrueLove No-Pull Dog Harness
When it comes to comfort and safety, the juxzh TrueLove No-Pull Harness might be a good pick for your Border Collie. This is made with an oxford outer shell that can put up with a dog’s pulling habit.
Aside from that, this harness has a 3M reflective material on its nylon webbing. It keeps your Border Collie visible at night.
I also like the sturdy grab handle you can use as a seatbelt attachment when transporting your Border Collie. There are also front and back leash connections to suit all dogs.
Moreover, this has a mesh lining and soft sponge padding that prevent irritation on the belly and chest area. It’s also lightweight and easy to put on, even on a reluctant canine.
The juxzh TrueLove harness is also a breeze to adjust using the adjustors and portable buckles. The bonus part is you can get this in a variety of colors to match your taste.
Overall, this dog harness is true to size and helps reduce pulling for dogs with a high prey drive. It has a snug fit, too, so it’s best to put it on your dog’s collar before putting this on to prevent the two from snagging.
Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness
If you’re looking for a cheaper tactical harness, I highly recommend the Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness. It’s made of durable 900D nylon with rugged stitching to put up with wear and tear. This is made with working dogs in mind, which is a perfect match for a busy Border Collie.
Moreover, this harness has padded straps that prevent chafing on your dog’s armpits. It’s also wider than other harness straps for a more efficient force dispersion when the canine pulls. This harness also has a well-padded lining to reduce the pressure on your dog’s body.
Aside from that, the Auroth Tactical Dog Harness has a durable handle, no pull front, and back ring, a metal adjustment ring, and a sturdy plastic buckle closure. All of these make it easy to achieve the right fit and control for a Border Collie.
This harness is compatible with MOLLE systems. It has Velcro strips on both sides where you can attach gear for training. You can also use this to stick ID and patches. And if you want to hook more items on the vest, you can utilize the bungee system along the strips.
I also like the reflective trims of this harness and the fact that you can get it in different colors and prints. For this price range, I really don’t have major complaints.
rabbitgoo Tactical Dog Harness
The rabbitgoo Tactical Dog Harness is made of military standard 1050D nylon fabric that can resist wear and tear. It’s paired with reinforced stitching to endure the toughest pulls.
Moreover, this harness has a padded yet breathable mesh lining to keep your dog’s body ventilated. I also like the heavy-duty metal buckles that don’t snap even on the strongest pulling force of a Border Collie. And for reliable leash control, you can utilize the back and front clips.
Aside from that, the rabbitgoo Dog Harness is equipped with a MOLLE system where you can attach tactical gears, water bottles, pouches, and more. There are also panels for badges and magic tape patches, which come in handy for working Border Collies.
This tactical harness isn’t super long, so it’s unlikely to overheat your Border Collie during summer. But as with any harness, you shouldn’t put it on your dog for too long.
Overall, this is a solid harness for Border Collies. However, you should measure your dog well to get the right fit. I only recommend this for grown dogs since there isn’t much play on the adjustability, and the size fits larger than most.
Also, if your dog pulls on the leash, this may not be the best harness to use. Besides, it’s a tactical harness made for trained canines.
One Tigris FIRE WATCHER Tactical Dog Harness
The One Tigris FIRE WATCHER Tactical Dog Harness isn’t just a restraint; it also provides body protection for your dog. This is made of 1000D nylon fabric with lavish padding to keep your Border Collie comfortable.
Aside from that, this harness has four quick-release buckles and an adjustable fit. It also has front and back leash connections together with a padded grab handle. This harness is all about control and convenience, which is very important if you own a Border Collie.
In addition, this One Tigris FIRE WATCHER harness has a MOLLE system with hoops and loops as well as ID panels. There is also mounting space for pouches together with added straps.
Moreover, this harness is covered by a one-year warranty to protect your purchase. For this price range, this guarantee is not that shabby.
When it comes to enclosures, One Tigris FIRE WATCHER has a unique X-bungee design as well as tough UTX Duraflex buckles. It will keep the harness snug on your dog’s body, whether it’s walking, running, and performing service work.
Overall, this tactical dog harness can put up with heavy use without experiencing wear and tear easily. Just remember that the sizing is made for grown dogs and not young puppies.
noxgear LightHound Illuminated Dog Harness
Does your Border Collie love going out at night for walks? In that case, the noxgear LightHound Harness could be a perfect choice. This harness has True 360 LED illumination that can be set in eight super right colors. You can also utilize different light modes like slow fading or flashing.
While it uses electronic parts, this harness is safe for canines. It uses LED light that produces minimal heat even on hours of use.
On the other hand, the harness itself is made of military-grade fabric that can endure any season and weather. Whether your Border Collie soaks in the mud or water, this harness remains easy to clean. The light will not get ruined either.
Overall, the illumination of this harness is visible for up to a quarter of a mile. And even if it runs out of power, there’s still 3M reflective material to keep your dog safe. Nevertheless, each charge of the lighting element will last for up to 12 hours of use.
Take note that this is a back-clip harness, but I don’t recommend this for Border Collies, who love pulling. I don’t think the leash connection can put up with excessive force. Other than that, this a cool vest harness to get your dog.
KONG Comfort Padded Dog Harness
My last pick for this roundup is the KONG Comfort Padded Dog Harness. This is a neoprene-padded harness with a nylon shell. The chest material is also made extra wide to cushion the force well and to keep your Border Collie comfortable.
Aside from that, it has adjustable straps with buckles and plastic adjusters. The strap material is quite thick, and KONG didn’t cut back on the quality of the stitching.
Moreover, this dog harness has a metal D-ring where you can attach the leash. There’s also an O-ring in front where you can clip the leash, though it may snag with the surrounding straps.
This KONG harness also looks good and available in a variety of colors. It’s a pretty straightforward dog harness and can be machine-washed for your convenience.
However, I want to warn you about chewing since this material will easily yield to a bored Border Collie. Aside from that, the material is slightly reflective, and I don’t see any reflective trims added on the straps.
How to choose the best harness for your Border Collie
A dog harness is one of the basic accessories you need to get for your Border Collie. But if this is your first time buying one, it can be confusing which brand to choose. It’s important to consider the following aspects:
?Size and fit
The very first thing you should consider is the fit of the harness. It should be snug on your Border Collie’s body without feeling too tight or loose.
In general, Border Collies require a medium-sized harness. Still, you should measure your dog and compare it to the individual sizing chart of the brand you’re planning to get. You need to measure the dog’s neck and chest girth.
The rule of thumb is that the harness should fit just enough for you to slip two fingers underneath the straps. This gives your dog enough breathing room while wearing the harness.
Next, you should decide about the harness design you want to get for your dog. The following are the most common options:
- Strap harness. Strap harnesses can be made of the same material used on making leashes. It’s a minimalist option, which is light, easy to clean, and suitable for hot weather. However, it can be confusing to put on, and chafing can be a problem for Border Collies who love to pull.
- Vest harness. For pullers, a vest harness might be the best pick. It has padded wraps that lay snug on your dog’s chest and back. It’s thicker than straps but more secure if you have a feisty Border Collie. It also prevents chafing, but it’s a tad more difficult to clean due to the bigger material.
- Martingale harness. Martingale harness has a cinching mechanism that tightens once your Border Collie pulls. It’s safe as long as the straps loosen the moment your dog stops the pulling motion.
- Tactical harness. This type of harness is often reserved for service dogs equipped with Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment or MOLLE attachments. It has a rugged design made to withstand wear and tear. Unlike strap and vest harnesses, tactical types have a larger profile.
Dog harnesses can be made of various fabric materials. The following are the most common options I usually find:
- Nylon. Nylon fabric is the most affordable, and it’s also easy to clean. It also comes in a variety of colors and thickness.
- Polyester. Tactical harnesses are often made of Oxford polyester since it’s durable, stable, and rugged. However, it can get very dirty, which is a challenge to clean.
- Neoprene. This is a stretchy fabric used as padding for dog harnesses. It also provides an added warmth, which comes in handy during the winter season.
- Mesh. Mesh fabrics are often added as a lining to keep the harness breathable. It’s gentle on the dog’s fur and skin.
- Leather. Other pet owners opt for leather harnesses for durability and style. While this material works, chafing is a major issue, and leather tends to stiffen over time if not maintained well.
There are other harness materials you can find in the market. Whatever your choice is, make sure that it’s comfortable for your Border Collie.
Another thing you should consider is the leash connection of the harness. It can either be a front or back clip, which will impact how well you can control your Border Collie.
With a front-clip harness, you can minimize your dog’s pulling. It’s the main choice of pet trainers since it gives handlers better control of the dog.
Meanwhile, back-clip harnesses are suitable for calmer Border Collies who are trained out of pulling. It’s more comfortable for the dog and the handler as well.
Nevertheless, you can easily find a dog harness with both front and back D-ring connections. This lets you choose the leash configuration you prefer for your Border Collie.
Padding is important when you’re buying a vest harness for your dog. This cushions the dog’s body to prevent chafing in case the canine pulls. It makes the harness comfortable for long hours of wearing.
Aside from that, the harness padding also provides warmth for the dog, which is important on cold days. While Border Collies have double coats, they can always make use of added warmth.
Always choose a dog harness with an adjustable fit. While most Border Collies have the same size, the fit will vary once you factor in the specific measurements of the canine’s body.
There should be adjustable buckles that will let you tighten or loosen the fit as necessary. This will allow the Border Collie to grow into the harness, so you wouldn’t have to purchase another one repeatedly.
While this isn’t a requirement, I always look for reflective trims on the dog harness for my Border Collies. This keeps the dog visible in low-light conditions, which can be life-saving if you live near a busy road.
Other harnesses are fitted with LED strips that illuminate through a battery pack. It’s a great choice, too, especially if you’re walking your dog at night. However, it also spells added maintenance on your part.
Dog harnesses need a reliable fastening method that can put up with a Border Collie’s strong pulling. I always swear by durable buckles. This is easy to put on and off with very little chance of snapping.
On the other hand, you can also find dog harnesses with Velcro straps. This works too, but only for young puppies. While industrial-grade Velcros are stronger than most, they will soon lose their tackiness. With that, a buckled harness might be a better long-term option.
?Pockets and storage
This part is just a bonus, but it will surely come in handy when taking your Border Collie to day hikes and long walks.
Some vest-type harnesses have additional D-rings where you can hook small pouches. Meanwhile, tactical harnesses are complete with pockets and sleeves where you can stash small dog items. These are convenient options but expect it to have a higher price tag.
?Price and warranty
Lastly, always consider the price of the dog harness. If you want a harness that will last for years, you should consider investing a few more bucks.
Nevertheless, cheap options also work, but they may not offer the best value, especially if your Border Collie loves to pull or chew.
Tips for training your Border Collie to wear harnesses
If this is your Border Collie’s first time wearing a harness, expect the dog to be reluctant to put the restraint on. You need to train your pet to wear a harness through the following tips:
Let the dog sniff the harness
Introducing the harness first is very important. You have to let your dog realize that the harness is harmless. By letting your dog sniff and lick the harness, you’re establishing familiarity.
Give your Border Collie some time to relax around the harness. However, you should watch out as some of them can be nippy and fond of chewing.
Reward your dog
While your dog is inspecting the harness, give a few treats as a reward. This will help your pet associate the harness with a positive experience. You can also praise and pet your dog whenever it gets in contact with the harness.
If your Border Collie seems aloof of the harness, you can try putting the treat on top of it. Wait until your dog gets near and retrieve the treat. When it does, give another reward to encourage him to stay near the harness.
Put it on inside the house
Once your Border Collie has acclimated to the presence of the harness, it’s time to put it on. Let your dog wear it for five minutes inside the house and see how it will react. After five minutes, remove the harness and give your dog a high-value treat. From there, you can increase wearing time.
Expect your Border Collie to become uncomfortable at first. Some will try to remove the harness or run away once you try to put it on.
In these cases, positive reinforcement is your friend. Lure your dog with treats and reward it for allowing you to put the harness on. Also, you can distract your Border Collie with playtime to help it get used to wearing the restraint.
Incorporate clicker training
Another trick you can do is opening and closing the buckle of the harness (if there’s any). The moment the buckle clicks, give your dog a reward right away. This will teach your dog that the manner of closing and opening the buckles is a rewarded experience.
You can also use a separate clicker for convenience. Take note that this method also works for other commands, which makes it a very versatile tool in raising Border Collies.
Introduce short walks
If your Border Collie no longer minds wearing the harness, you can take it for a short walk around the neighborhood. Be ready with treats to keep the experience positive.
From there, you can increase the length of the walks until your dog is fully harnessed-trained.
Keep the harness clean.
Aside from preparing your dog for the harness, you should ensure that the accessory is also in good shape. Wash it regularly to remove dirt and dust that could ruin your Border Collie’s coat.
You should always check the fit, especially if your Border Collie is still growing. If your dog seems agitated when the harness is on, some parts might dig into its skin, or that the fit is already too tight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do Border Collies need harnesses?
A: Dogs like Border Collies will benefit from wearing harnesses instead of collars. This will help disperse the pulling force all over the canine’s body as opposed to concentrating it on the neck area. It’s safer and a popular choice among pet owners.
Q: Will a harness stop a dog from pulling?
A: A dog harness with a martingale design can help reduce a canine’s pulling habit. But aside from getting the right harness, you should also pair it with training. That way, your Border Collie will stop pulling during walks.
Q: Are chest harnesses bad for dogs?
A: Chest or vest harnesses are safe for dogs if fitted properly. It’s important to ensure that the harness isn’t squeezing your dog’s chest too much. The rule of thumb is that the harness should be loose enough for you to slip two fingers underneath. This snug fit just right to keep your Border Collie comfortable.
Q: Should a dog wear a harness all the time?
A: Any form of restraint like harnesses should be removed once the dog is inside the dog. This is to prevent matting of the coat, which can happen in many double-coated breeds like Border Collies. It’s important to give your dog’s coat and body the chance to breathe. After 15 to 20 minutes, you can put the harness back on if need be.
Q: Can a dog wear a collar and a harness at the same time?
A: Dogs can wear collars and harnesses at the same time. Collars are often aesthetic in nature, with some being used to attach a dog ID. Meanwhile, the harness is where the leash will be connected. There’s no need to remove the collar since it’s unlikely to impede the fit of the harness.
With the best harnesses for Border Collies, you can take your dog outdoors with peace of mind. It’s much safer than collars, not to mention that some are even fitted with LED lights.
Whatever your choice is, make sure that the harness fits your dog well. The 10 options I reviewed above will surely give you the best value for your money.
What do you think of these harnesses? Share your thoughts below!