What Size Harness for German Shepherd Puppy (Easy Guide)

What Size Harness for German Shepherd Puppy

Welcoming a German Shepherd puppy into your home is an exciting and joyful experience.

As a responsible and caring pet parent, ensuring your furry friend’s safety and comfort is a top priority.

One essential item in your puppy’s wardrobe that deserves careful consideration is a well-fitting harness.

An appropriately sized harness not only ensures your puppy’s comfort during walks and training exercises but also helps you maintain better control and prevent potential injuries.

In this guide, we will provide valuable insights and practical tips to help you choose the right harness size for your German Shepherd puppy, setting them up for a lifetime of comfortable and safe adventures.

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The Best Size Harness for a German Shepherd Puppy

When it comes to selecting the best size harness for your German Shepherd puppy, it’s crucial to find one that fits them comfortably and securely. A properly fitted harness allows for proper mobility while ensuring that your puppy is not at risk of slipping out or experiencing discomfort. 

Here are some factors to consider when determining the right harness size for your German Shepherd puppy:

  1. Measurements: Taking accurate measurements of your puppy’s body is the first step in finding the perfect harness size. Using a flexible tape measure, measure around the widest part of your puppy’s chest, just behind their front legs. This will give you the circumference of their chest, which is the primary measurement required to select a harness size.
  2. Adjustability: Opt for a harness that offers multiple points of adjustment, such as adjustable straps around the chest and neck areas. This allows you to customize the fit to suit your puppy’s growing body, ensuring a snug and safe fit throughout their development.
  3. Breed-Specific Considerations: German Shepherds are known for their deep chest and strong, muscular build. It’s essential to choose a harness specifically designed to accommodate their unique body shape. Look for harnesses labeled as suitable for medium to large breeds, as they often incorporate features to provide sufficient support and comfort for your growing German Shepherd.
  4. Weight Range: Consider the weight range specified for each harness size. Make sure the harness you choose can support your German Shepherd puppy’s weight and will not put unnecessary strain on their body. It’s important to remember that puppies will rapidly grow, so consider selecting a harness with some extra room to accommodate their growth.
  5. Walk-in Style: Walk-in harnesses, also known as step-in harnesses, are highly recommended for German Shepherd puppies. These harnesses are designed to be slipped over your puppy’s head and have openings for their front legs to step into. Walk-in harnesses are not only easy to put on but also provide a secure and comfortable fit, allowing for better control during walks.

Now that you’re aware of the factors to consider when choosing a harness size for your German Shepherd puppy, here are some practical tips to ensure the perfect fit:

  1. Consult the Size Chart: Most harness manufacturers provide size charts, indicating the recommended harness size based on chest measurements and weight range. Consult these charts to narrow down your options and choose the size that aligns closest with your puppy’s measurements.
  2. Try Before You Buy: If possible, bring your German Shepherd puppy along when shopping for a harness. This will allow you to try different sizes and styles and see which one fits them best. Keep in mind that a snug fit is preferable, so look for a harness that fits securely but still allows room for growth.
  3. Seek Professional Assistance: If you’re unsure about choosing the right harness size or are finding it difficult to measure your puppy accurately, consider seeking guidance from a professional, such as a reputable pet store employee or a veterinarian. They can offer expert advice and help you make the most suitable choice for your German Shepherd puppy.

Selecting the right harness size for your German Shepherd puppy is an important decision that directly impacts their comfort, safety, and overall enjoyment during walks and outdoor activities. 

By considering factors such as measurements, adjustability, breed-specific considerations, weight range, and opting for a walk-in style harness, you can confidently choose the perfect fit for your furry friend.

Remember, a well-fitting harness not only enhances your puppy’s well-being but also allows for better control and a stronger bond between you and your German Shepherd. Ž

How to Measure Your German Shepherd Puppy for a Harness?

Measuring your German Shepherd puppy is the first step in finding the right harness size. This process may seem daunting at first, but with a few simple steps, you’ll be able to determine the perfect fit for your furry companion. Here’s how to measure your German Shepherd puppy for a harness:

  1. Measure the Neck: Begin by measuring the circumference of your puppy’s neck using a flexible measuring tape. Start from just above their shoulders and wrap the tape gently around the neck, ensuring it sits snugly but not too tight. Take note of the measurement in inches or centimeters.
  2. Measure the Chest: Next, measure the widest part of your puppy’s chest, which is usually just behind their front legs. Again, use a flexible measuring tape and wrap it around the chest, making sure it’s not too tight or loose. Write down the measurement.
  3. Measure the Length: To determine the length of the harness, measure your puppy’s torso from the base of their neck to the base of their tail. This measurement will help ensure that the harness is not too long or too short for your German Shepherd puppy.

If you’re still unsure on how to measure your puppy, you can use this video as reference:

One more thing that is worth noting is that you should consider Adjustable harnesses These harnesses come with adjustable straps, allowing you to customize the fit as your German Shepherd puppy grows.

If you opt for an adjustable harness, be sure to check the range of measurements it can accommodate and choose a size that falls within that range.

By accurately measuring your German Shepherd puppy’s neck, chest, and length, you’ll have the necessary measurements to select a harness size that provides comfort, security, and freedom of movement for your furry friend.

When it comes to choosing a dog harness for your German Shepherd puppy, it’s important to select a high-quality and well-designed product that meets their specific needs. Here are some recommended harness options that are popular among German Shepherd owners:

  1. Julius-K9 Powerharness: Known for its durability and ergonomic design, the Julius-K9 Powerharness is a favorite among many German Shepherd owners. It features adjustable chest and belly straps, allowing for a secure and comfortable fit. The harness also has a sturdy handle on the back, which can be useful for training purposes or providing extra control during walks.
  2. Ruffwear Front Range Harness: The Ruffwear Front Range Harness is another excellent choice for German Shepherd puppies. It offers a comfortable fit with adjustable straps and padded chest and belly panels. The harness has two attachment points, one on the back for regular walks and another on the front for leash training or extra control.
  3. Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness: The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness is a versatile option suitable for German Shepherd puppies. It features five adjustment points for a customized fit and includes a no-pull training clip on the front chest. The padded chest plate ensures comfort, while the rear handle allows for quick control when needed.
  4. Embark Adventure Dog Harness: The Embark Adventure Dog Harness is a lightweight and durable option that works well for active German Shepherd puppies. It offers a comfortable fit with adjustable straps and a padded chest and belly area. The harness also features a sturdy front D-ring for no-pull training and a back handle for extra control.

Types of Harnesses for a German Shepherd puppy

When it comes to choosing a harness for your German Shepherd puppy, there are various types available, each designed to suit different needs and preferences. Understanding the different types can help you select the most suitable harness for your furry companion. Here are a few common types of harnesses to consider:

  1. Step-In Harness: This type of harness is designed to be placed on the ground, and your puppy steps into it with their front legs. Once their legs are through, you can secure the harness by fastening clips or buckles on their back. Step-in harnesses are easy to put on and work well for puppies who don’t like things going over their heads.
  2. Overhead Harness: An overhead harness is slipped over your puppy’s head, and the straps are then secured around their chest and back. This type of harness can be a popular choice for German Shepherds as it provides a secure fit and is difficult for them to slip out of or escape from.
  3. Front-Clip Harness: Front-clip harnesses have a D-ring attachment point on the front of the chest. When you attach the leash to this point, it redirects your puppy’s pulling force to the side, discouraging pulling behavior and promoting better leash manners. Front-clip harnesses can be helpful for teaching your German Shepherd puppy to walk politely on a leash.
  4. Back-Clip Harness: Back-clip harnesses have a D-ring attachment point on the back, allowing for a more traditional leash attachment. They are easy to put on and provide a comfortable fit. Back-clip harnesses work well for well-behaved German Shepherd puppies who don’t pull excessively on the leash.
  5. No-Pull Harness: No-pull harnesses are specifically designed to discourage pulling behavior. They often come with front and back attachment points, providing versatility in leash placement. These harnesses have specific leash attachment points designed to redirect your puppy’s pulling force, making it easier to control their movements and discourage pulling.

When choosing a harness type for your German Shepherd puppy, consider their personality, behavior during walks, and any specific training needs. It’s important to select a harness that provides a secure fit, allows for comfortable movement, and aligns with your training goals. Additionally, always ensure that the harness is made from durable materials and has sturdy fastenings to ensure your puppy’s safety during outdoor adventures.

Features of a Quality German shepherd Puppy Harness

A quality German Shepherd puppy harness will possess several important features that ensure comfort, safety, and durability. Firstly, adjustable straps are essential for achieving a customized fit as your puppy grows. The ability to adjust both the chest and belly straps guarantees a secure fit without compromising their comfort.

Next, look for a harness with comfortable padding strategically placed on areas such as the chest and belly. This padding helps distribute pressure evenly, minimizing discomfort and potential chafing. Opt for materials that are soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking to keep your puppy comfortable during walks.

Secure fastenings are crucial to prevent your German Shepherd puppy from escaping or slipping out of the harness. Look for harnesses with strong plastic clips or metal buckles that are easy to fasten and unfasten, yet reliable in keeping the harness securely in place.

A well-made harness should feature sturdy D-rings for leash attachment. These D-rings should be positioned to distribute stress evenly and withstand the pulling force of an active puppy. Pay attention to reinforced stitching and welds around the D-ring area as indicators of a robust harness.

Consider harnesses with reflective materials, such as strips or accents, to enhance visibility during low-light conditions or nighttime walks. Reflective features significantly improve your puppy’s visibility to drivers and other pedestrians, ensuring their safety.

Some quality harnesses include a handle on the back for additional control. This handle proves useful during training sessions, navigating crowded environments, or assisting your German Shepherd puppy over obstacles. The handle should be comfortable to grip and securely attached to the harness.

Lastly, aim for a harness that is easy to maintain and clean. Machine-washable harnesses simplify the process of ensuring cleanliness, particularly after muddy outdoor adventures.

By seeking out these essential features, you can select a high-quality harness that not only provides a secure and comfortable fit for your German Shepherd puppy but also enhances your walking experience together.

How Do You Put a German Shepherd Puppy on a Harness?

Putting a harness on your German Shepherd puppy is a straightforward process that can be done with a few simple steps. Here’s how to properly put a harness on your furry friend:

  1. Familiarize your puppy with the harness: Before attempting to put the harness on, let your German Shepherd puppy sniff and explore it. This will help them become accustomed to the harness and reduce any initial resistance or fear.
  2. Open the harness: Unfasten any buckles or clips on the harness to open it up. Ensure that all straps are loose and ready for your puppy to step into.
  3. Encourage your puppy to step into the harness: Hold the harness close to the ground and encourage your German Shepherd puppy to step into it with their front legs. You may need to use treats or positive reinforcement to incentivize them to cooperate. Be patient and give them time to become comfortable with the process.
  4. Lift the harness up: Once your puppy has their front legs in the harness, gently lift it up to their chest area. Ensure that the harness is positioned correctly with the D-ring attachment point facing upward.
  5. Secure the harness: Wrap the belly straps around your puppy’s belly, ensuring a snug but not tight fit. Fasten the clips or buckles securely, making sure they are properly aligned and locked into place. Double-check that the straps are adjusted well to prevent any discomfort or chafing.
  6. Check the fit: Assess the fit of the harness. You should be able to slide two fingers underneath the straps comfortably. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure a secure and comfortable fit for your German Shepherd puppy.
  7. Attach the leash: Once the harness is properly fitted, attach the leash to the D-ring on the back or chest of the harness. Be sure to use a secure leash attachment clip that will not easily detach during walks.

Remember, patience and positive reinforcement are key when introducing a harness to your German Shepherd puppy. Take your time during the process, reward your puppy with treats and praise, and make it a positive experience for them. With practice and consistency, your puppy will become comfortable with wearing a harness, making your walks together enjoyable and safe.

How to Introduce a German Shepherd Puppy to a Harness

Introducing a harness to your German Shepherd puppy requires a patient and gradual approach to ensure they feel comfortable and at ease. Follow these steps to successfully introduce your puppy to wearing a harness:

Start by allowing your puppy to familiarize themselves with the harness. Place it near their food or water bowls and let them sniff and explore it. This creates a positive association with the harness and helps alleviate any initial uneasiness.

Associate the harness with positive experiences. Use treats, toys, or praise to create a positive connection with the harness. Hold it near your puppy and reward them with treats and praise. Repeat this process, gradually bringing the harness closer to them. This association instills positivity and rewards during the introduction.

Practice desensitization to help your puppy become comfortable with having something on their body. Use a soft fabric or towel and gently drape it over their back for short periods. Gradually increase the duration over multiple sessions. Reward your puppy for remaining calm and relaxed during this process.

Gradually introduce the harness. Once your puppy is comfortable with the concept of having something on their body, begin introducing the harness. Let them investigate it while providing treats and positive reinforcement. Gradual movements and a calm approach will help them feel more at ease.

Break the process into stages to make it more manageable. Start by simply holding the harness near your puppy without making any contact. Reward them for their calm behavior. Slowly progress to touching their body with the harness, then gently placing it on their back without securing it. At each stage, reinforce positive behavior and reward them accordingly.

Secure the harness in place and reward your puppy for wearing it. Once your puppy is comfortable with the harness around their body, proceed to fasten the clips or buckles, making sure the fit is snug but not too tight. Reward your puppy with treats and praise for wearing the harness and remaining calm.

Gradually increase the wear time of the harness. Initially, have your puppy wear the harness for short periods indoors. Slowly increase the duration over multiple sessions. Use treats and praise to reinforce positive behavior. This gradual approach helps your puppy acclimate to wearing the harness and prepares them for longer outdoor walks.

Remember to adapt the steps to your puppy’s individual comfort level and always provide positive reinforcement and rewards for their cooperation. By using a patient, positive, and gradual approach, you can successfully introduce your German Shepherd puppy to wearing a harness and enjoy safe and enjoyable walks together.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What size harness should I get for a German Shepherd puppy?

    To determine the right size harness, measure your puppy's neck and chest circumference. Use these measurements to select a harness size according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Adjustable harnesses are ideal for accommodating your puppy's growth.

  2. What is the best harness for a German Shepherd puppy?

    Popular harness options for German Shepherd puppies include brands like Julius-K9 Powerharness, Ruffwear Front Range Harness, and Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness. Consider factors like adjustability, comfort, and durability when choosing the best harness for your puppy.

  3. What size harness for an 8-week-old puppy?

    Harness size may vary, but for an 8-week-old German Shepherd puppy, consider starting with an extra-small or small-sized harness. Remember to measure your puppy's neck and chest circumference to ensure the proper fit.


Choosing the right harness size for your German Shepherd puppy is crucial for their comfort, safety, and enjoyment during walks. By accurately measuring your puppy’s neck and chest and considering factors like adjustability, comfort, and durability, you can find a quality harness that fits them perfectly.

Introduce the harness to your puppy gradually, using positive reinforcement, and ensure a proper fit without causing discomfort. With the right harness, you can confidently embark on adventures with your German Shepherd puppy, knowing they are secure and comfortable by your side. Remember, consult professionals for personalized advice and enjoy the journey of raising a happy and healthy pup!

If you want to see my full guide on German Shepherd training as well as how to deal with aggressiveness all in one place – grab The Ultimate Bundle.

I have been fortunate to have German Shepherds as my beloved companions for the past decade. I trained , cared for them, and formed an unbreakable bond with each fluffy butt that I came across. Inspired by my profound love for German Shepherds, I decided to start a website dedicated solely to these magnificent dogs
Zara Hawkins

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