Dog harnesses are usually an addition to a collar, but can also be used as a stand alone device. They are worn around the chest and back area and can be helpful for many reasons. If you have a large dog, a harness can prevent it from lunging forward and breaking free of your grip. You can also use it to safely pull back on your dog, to prevent them from stepping out into traffic, or going after that errant squirrel. It also prevails your dog from choking on its collar when it is running, or trying to bolt away from you.
Harnesses serve other purposes as well. Some are specifically designed to help disabled people and are worn by service dogs. These harnesses have handle attachments so the service pet can guide their blind masters around safely. These will have extra padding around pressure areas of the dog, like around the chest, through the legs, even on the back, to tie the added strain when pulling their masters. These can also have harness hook ups like a horse's, in order to pull someone along in a wheel chair. Now these animals have been trained not to run at just anything, like going after a cat or squirrel, which could injure not just themselves, but their owners as well.
There are also different kinds of harnesses that are used by sled dogs, and dogs that are working dogs. These are specifically designed for their needed purpose, like a sled dog harness is similar in many ways to the harnesses used by horse teams. Freight harnesses have a cross design, so that the weight is even distributed over the animal's entire body. There are other types of these, including H-back, the X-back and a Y-back harness. Y-back harnesses are fairly new, and are usually used by the sport of skijoring, pulling a skier or a bicyclist.
When buying a dog harness for your pet there are some things to consider. If you can, you should bring your animal along with you, and there are many stores that are pet friendly. It is a good idea to check the harness, to see how it works and is worn. With so many different brands and manufacturers, some have only one clasp, others have more, and there are even some that your dog steps into. If you can not bring them with you, you should take some measurements, around the waist, chest area, and around the shoulders at the base of the neck. You should also measure their back, from the top of the shoulders to past their rib cage, because these measurements will help you find the right size.
Now harnesses come in various prices and materials. You might think that just any hatred will do, and want to find the cheapest one, but you should not do this. If you buy the cheapest, it will not last long, and may break at a moment that you may need it to function the most. Make sure that the connection areas where the harness crosses has double stitching. Try to get one with metal clasps, instead of plastic, and be sure to get your harness from a heavy duty woven material