Can You Leave Your Puppy in a Harness All Day?

The dog world rarely comes to a singular consensus on any one training topic, which is why new dog owners and recent puppy buyers often struggle to find reliable (and helpful) information. A good example of this is the debate over whether you should let your dog wear their harness all day long. 

dog wearing a harness

You’ve probably seen people whose dogs wear their harnesses 24/7, and you’ve probably also met people who rarely put so much as a collar on their dog. But which side of the fence is right, and do both sides have valid arguments? 

Before we dive into the specifics of this issue, let’s get one thing straight: You should not leave a harness on your dog 24/7. But there might be reasons to keep a harness on for longer periods of time. 

Can Puppies Wear Harnesses All Day?

Harnesses are excellent training, behavioral shaping, and safety tools, but they shouldn’t be over-used. Ideally, your dog should only be wearing a harness when you are on a walk or outside of the house (i.e. at a dog-friendly restaurant), when actively training, in the car, or in a few special circumstances. 

Wearing the harness not only helps you to keep your dog more physically safe, but it can also help to reinforce their training and put them in the right mindset to offer preferred behaviors willingly. When you are at home and your dog is not in walk or work mode, it’s best to let them relax and be harness free. Overuse of a harness can negate the positive association with the training you have done with the harness, and it can impede their physical safety and comfort at home. 

Pros & Cons of 24/7 Harness Wearing

Dog wearing a harness at home

There are some very good and understandable reasons someone might want their dog to wear a harness all day. The pros of this can include:

  • Ability to grab a dog in case of danger
  • Convenience for individuals with mobility issues that can impact their ability to put on and take off a harness
  • For working dogs
  • For dogs who do not like to wear a collar and need an alternative ID attachment
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However, wearing a harness all day also has some cons:

  • Skin irritation
  • Hair loss/matted fur
  • Discomfort
  • Risk of getting caught or stuck
  • Choking when left unattended

Are Harnesses Better Than Collars?

It depends! Collars are perfect for keeping your dog’s ID tag readily available, but they can be dangerous to use when walking a dog if your pup is a puller. Harnesses are better for protecting your dog’s physical safety and making walking a little easier since they distribute the dog’s weight more evenly, and reduce pulling. 

When Should My Dog Wear a Harness?

  • On walks
  • In the car
  • Camping or hiking
  • During training sessions

Best & Safest Dog Harnesses

Looking for a high-quality harness for your new dog or puppy? Check out these highly-rated dog harnesses with the safety features you want to keep your pooch safe and happy as you walk and train. 

1. PetSafe Easy Walk Harness

PetSafe Easy Walk Harness

Made by PetSafe, the Easy Walk is a fabulous option for dogs who like to pull, but aren’t too strong! A similar concept to the gentle leader, this harness causes the dog to turn themselves back towards you when they pull thanks to the front clipping leash attachment. The front piece of this harness also features a martingale, which tightens slightly as the dog pulls to prevent slipping. 


  • Leash Attachment: Front
  • Sizes: S-L (9-21 inch chest)
  • Closure: Buckle, under the chest
  • Price: $28.99

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2. 2 Hounds Design Freedom Harness

2 Hounds Design Freedom Harness

If you have a strong and persistent puller, the Freedom Harness can help you to keep your pup and yourself safer on walks. With two leash attachment points available to you (use one, or both!) you can easily distribute your dog’s strength, reducing their chances of choking and making it easier for you to manage them when they get a particularly large burst of energy. To protect your dog’s skin when they pull, the Freedom Harness features velvet lining. 


  • Leash Attachment: Back & Front
  • Sizes: XS-XXL (14-44 inch chest)
  • Closure: Buckle, under the chest
  • Price: $29.58
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3. RUFFWEAR Front Range Harness

RUFFWEAR Front Range Harness

While the first two options in this list are perfect for everyday wear, this option from RUFFWEAR is better for longer-term use, sporting dogs, and moments when you want your dog to be extra safe (like in the car.) This harness features dual leash attachment points, and a fully padded design that keeps your pooch from irritating their skin, and offers additional support. 


  • Leash Attachment: Back & Front
  • Sizes: XXS-XL (13-42 inch chest)
  • Closure: Buckle, behind the back
  • Price: $49.95

Buy On Amazon

Learn how to use a harness and a dog seatbelt to keep your dog safe in the car.

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