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What Size Harness for a Labrador Puppy?

Black lab puppy wearing a harness and leash sitting at the feet of a person wearing boots and jeans

The collar size which can properly fit your Labrador puppy is at least 9 inches long. This means most Labradors fit in the large harness. But when it comes to a Labrador puppy, it will requires a smaller harness. Small-sized harness are available in different types and adjustments and it can be quite tricky to select a product. Keep reading to know whether you should use a harness for a Labrador puppy and learn how to find the right size.

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Should I Use a Harness on My Lab Puppy?

Yes, you should prefer a harness as it is better than a collar for your Lab puppy. This is because they are safer and offer much more control. A harness can also reduce strains compared to the collar which can cause tension around the delicate neck of your Lab puppy. The following are some of the biggest advantages of using a harness on your Lab puppy.

Injuries Can be Prevented

Portrait of a yellow lab puppy  wearing a red harness and leash outdoors

Harness always takes pressure away from the neck of your Labrador puppy. This will avoid hurting by distributing extra pressure all across your Lab’s upper body. So you can pull the leash without hurting the dog. More importantly, this will help Labs to pull the lead without getting any injuries by themselves. Despite this, you should still teach your dog to not pull on the leash.

Extra Space for Error

Wearing a collar may start to choke your Labrador puppy whenever he/she grows. But with harnesses, there is enhanced space for your dog to grow and it will not put any pressure on the neck of your Lab puppy. Even when it becomes too tight, your dog’s neck is not under strain. Your puppy’s harness outgrows quite faster than your dog’s collar.

Provide Control without Cruelty

Yellow labrador retriever wearing a harness and leash being held by a woman dressed in brown with purple flowers in the foreground

This is the reverse of the final disadvantage of dog collars. It can be used if you are losing control of your pup. In this situation, you can use sheer force to hold back your Lab without causing undue pain and discomfort. In the case of collar, when you try to stop a fleeing Labrador by applying force, it can cause serious pain. Although Labs may respond quicker when you use collar, it is a very unkind act for pups.

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How Do You Know a Dog Harness is Too Small?

Chocolate lab wearing a red harness standing on a beach

First thing first, it is important to purchase a proper size harness for your Lab puppy. You should start with a small-sized harness, depending upon the age and size of your puppy. The best way to find out whether the dog harness is too small for your Lab puppy is to put the harness properly on your dog.

Start with fairly loose so that your dog can easily slip into the harness. Then, tighten it and check whether the harness fits properly by fitting two fingers between your dog and the harness at any point. If the fingers don’t fit, it means the harness is too small for your pup.

How Do You Know a Dog Harness is Too Big?

Yellow lab wearing a red harness and running through water

Harnesses are a great choice for Lab puppies. However, owners need to choose the one in which their dog remains comfortable. You should start with the small one and move to the bigger sizes depending upon the size of your puppy. A harness should be tight enough so that your dog will stop slipping from it, especially if he suddenly reverses on you.

To determine that you should fit two fingers between the straps and your dog’s body and if you can do that then the harness is fine for your pup. However, if there is still gap after the fitting of two fingers, then the harness is too loose or big for your Labrador puppy.

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What Size Harness Should I Get for Lab Puppy?

Red harness and leash isolated on a white background

The Lab puppies can wear a harness when they are 8 weeks old. Owners should make sure that the harness is not too heavy or uncomfortable for their dogs. The following table shows the size of Labrador puppies (in comparison to their age) so that the owners can choose the best size.

8 weeks8 to 12 inches8 to 12 pounds
9 weeks8 to 12 inches10 to 14 pounds
10 weeks10 to 12 inches12 to 18 pounds
11 weeks10 to 12 inches14 to 19 pounds

What is the Best Harness for a Labrador Puppy?

There are many dog harnesses in the market which can do quite well with a Labrador Puppy. the following are the two most popular and best harnesses for Lab puppies.

Deluxe Easy Walk Harness from PetSafe

PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Dog Harness - Martingale Loop with D-ring Stops Pulling - Training & Behavior Aid - Reflectivity Enhances Visibility in Low Light - Comfortable Padding - Steel/Black - M

This Deluxe Easy Walk Harness from PetSafe (found here on Amazon) (paid link) is designed to fit small, medium, and large Labrador pups and ensures no choking to your Lab puppy. It has 4 adjustment points with padded surfaces which gives extra comfort to your Lab puppies. It has a patented Martingale loop and front chest leash attachment which can direct your dog in your direction with slight pressure and the nylon harness and belly straps can it easy to put the harness on and off more quickly. The PetSafe brand offers 15 years of guaranteed trust for this harness.

Tru-Fit Harness with Seatbelt from Kurgo

Kurgo Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength Dog Harness, Crash Tested Car Safety Harness for Dogs, Includes Pet Safety Seat Belt, Steel Nesting Buckles, Front D-Ring for No Pull Training, L, Black

The Tru-Fit Harness with Seatbelt from Kurgo (found here on Amazon) (paid link) is the best harness for a Labrador puppy as it comes equipped with 5 adjustment points. It is also designed for small, medium, and large Lab pups. The front D-ring of the harness with no pull provides you more control over your pup and keeps him/her out of harm. Its broad and padded chest plate can provide some extra comfort to your dog. The best thing about this harness is that it is compatible with most car seat belt systems. The Kurgo brand offers a lifetime warranty for this harness.

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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.