Service dogs do lots of different jobs, including ones that involve saving lives. Whether they’re training, working, or exercising, these pooches need top-the-line gear, usually including a service dog harness.
Before we go on there’s a quick distinction we need to make. There are really two options for service dogs:
- Harness. May require a service dog patch (usually additional), but can be used as a leash attachment point.
- Vest. Warn as an identification; while they may have a leash attach option it’s not recommended.
Below we’ve listed both our favorite service dog harnesses and vests.
1. Industrial Puppy Harness
You can buy this harness with or without the detachable side pouch. It is a great harness when you are training dogs to be service dogs. It is offered in three different styles; standard vest harness with a pouch, without a pouch and dog-in-training model. On top of the vest harness is a handle you can use to pull up your dog when it falls or to control it. On the sides of the vest harness are removable patches and traps with reflective strips to make your dog visible at all times.
This is a clearly marked service dog harness, allowing strangers to immediately recognize your pup’s working dog status and give you some space. The harness is made of double-stitched nylon with comfortable mesh lining, and a top-mounted handle gives you full control in an emergency. On top of all this, the harness is guaranteed for life.
- Ideal for all dog sizes
- Made of breathable mesh material
- Large buckle
- Removable patches
- D-ring for leash
2. Icefang Tactical K9 Dog Harness
This harness comes in five different colors and size configurations to meet the needs of different dog sizes. The harness sports a premium construction making it strong and durable. The V-ring on the harness is rated 1200 pounds while the buckles are rated 250 pounds. You can attach gear and patches on the vest with great ease. Its no-pull design ensures that a leash does not necessarily focus on where it is attached but lets you guide the dog as you wish.
- Durable construction
- Different colors and sizing for all dog sizes
- Soft padding with a no-pull design
3. Petjoy Personalized Dog Harness
This is high quality vest harness designed to handle the largest service dogs. With vest, you can have the name of your dog embroidered on the back of the vest harness; this is why it is considered a personalized harness. You can have the name embroidered in block or scrip font. On the sides of the vest harness are firmly sewn patches, these are not removable. Lastly, there are D-rings for attachment of leashes.
- Personalized harness
- Patches sewn on the top and left side
- Sports a right sided swivel clip
4. BarkOutfitters Service Dog Vest
If you are looking for a budget option, this might be a good choice. It is designed for dogs of all sizes and can be sold with tags that show when a service dog is ‘in training’. Besides the harness, you will get 50 ADA cards to answer anyone who questions your having a dog at their premises. These cards show your rights as the service dog handler and the penalties that may befall you for not ‘having your service dog with your everywhere’.
- Simple design for easy use
- Features a comfortable neoprene lining
- Reflective lettering
- Detachable tags
- Available in multiple colors
5. Fairwin Service Dog Vest Harness
This vest harness for service dogs sports a comfortable design that includes comfortable neck straps, a padded back and a breathable construction. It is made of high quality nylon for durability and stainless steel D-ring for leash attachment. It also has an ID tag and removable patches. There are several different harness sizes to fit different dog sizes.
- Padded back
- D-ring for dog leash
- Top standing handle
- Removable patches
- Durable nylon construction
6. FAYOGOO Service Dog
This vest harness might be a good option for those looking for a budget option. The harness is designed to fit small, medium and large dogs; it comes with adjustable neck and chest straps to give it a snug fit on any dog. The straps are all padded and with a breathable mesh lining to enhance comfort. Lastly, it has reflective wording to keep your dog safe at night.
- Mesh lined for breathability
- Removable patches
- Reflective lettering
- D-ring for leash attachment
7. OneTigris Dog Vest Harness
This looks like the same vest harness used by marines on their service dogs. The harness has three detachable and easy-access pouches. Besides, you can buy and attach custom pouches on the vest when you need to carry water bottle, personal items and food. The harness is designed with great ventilation ensuring that your dog does not overheat. The harness has two handles and two strong metal rings for dog leash.
- Comes with a first aid kit
- Strong and breathable mesh construction
- Hoop and loop panel
- Heavy duty V-rings for leash
8. Ruffwear Web Master Harness
This is a multi-purpose harness with a design that makes it so comfortable for your service dog. It sports two leash attachment points; one in the middle and another far back. Each harness comes with a padded handle that allows you a strong hold on your service dog. The harness can be adjusted at five different points to ensure a snug fit at all times. Even better, the harness comes with a beacon light attachment point to keep you safe at night.
- 5 adjustment points
- 2 leash attachment points
- Beacon light attachment point
9. LifePul Front Clip Harness
This is a simple but functional dog harness. It sports reflective accents all over its surface with great padding to keep your furry friend comfortable. It features four attachment points making it fully adjustable in case the dog grows bigger. On top of the vest is a lay-flat handle that allows you to distribute the weight along the length of the vest harness. The harness has nickel plated hardware to ensure it does not rust or degrade.
- Reflective attribute throughout the vest
- Adjustable design
- Breathable nylon construction
10. RuffWear Front Range Harness
This harness sports a great design for service dogs that loves running or hiking all day. The harness is heavily padded on its inside to ensure the dog stays comfortable at all times. It has two buckles making it easy to set up; the buckles and other parts of the harness do not irritate your dog.
On the side of the vest harness is an ID pocket to store dog tags, but (and this is important) it’s not likely there is enough fabric to attach a service dog patch.
- Leash can be attached at either of two points
- ID pocket
- 4-adjustment points
- V-ring attachment point
- Front attachment for training dogs
Service Dog Harness Shopping Guide
Service Dogs need to be comfortable to complete different tasks for you. Ergo, a good harness should not restrict the dog’s movement or wear it down with its weight but facilitate its movements. When shopping, consider:
Fit: Some harnesses are snug in front and loose at the back. A good harness should have multiple adjustment points for a snug and comfortable fit. Even better, choose a harness whose size matches the size of your service dog.
Comfortable features: A good harness, especially vest harnesses, should be padded all over the underside to keep the dog comfortable. Because vest harnesses can be hot during summer, ensure that the material is breathable to keep your dog dry.
Ease of Use: You will always have your service dog with you. As such, you need to ensure that the harness is easy to strap on and off. Check the closure mechanism.
Leash attachment: Can you attach a leash and how easy is it to attach the leash? While most harnesses come with a single leash attachment point, some have two points for versatility.
Before You Buy Check Your Local/State/Federal Laws
We don’t have the ability to discuss the laws of every municipality, but please make sure you check to ensure you can legally display a label with “Service Dog,” “Police,” “Search & Rescue,” etc.
If you are unsure, or unable to find the applicable law/statute then you are likely safe with just a plain reflective harness or vest.