So you’ve decided it’s time to transition your Boxer dog to a harness? Here we take the guesswork out of it for you as we review the best harnesses for your boxer dog. Boxer dogs have a unique body shape. No matter their size, most boxers have deeper chests and leaner limbs. Because of their unique shape, it’s important to equip them with a harness that fits correctly.
Most boxers are high energy. They are also a working breed, which means they will pull you right along if you let them. They also have a stubborn streak, so training them to walk on leash effectively will usually take time. This is even more important when they are puppies and are excitable in new surroundings. Because of their ability to pull, boxers can punish a harness. This means durability should be a primary consideration over budget.
There are some primary factors you’ll need to consider when buying a harness for your pup. In the article below, we’ve picked our favorite harnesses for boxers. We analyze each model thoroughly, so you can make an informed decision about the right fit for your pup. Each product is broken down in detail, and we pick our favorites based on durability, budget, and overall value. Let’s jump in paws first!
Dual D-rings are preferable, but the quick catch handle at the back can be a great way to get a little more control over your Boxer if they get too excited. It’s important to note that no matter which harness type you consider or end up buying, we strongly encourage you to buy a model with a handle attachment at the back (even if it’s a vest).
There are many different types of harnesses on the market today. Many of them can work for your boxer equally well. But we feel there are some important features that set some apart from the rest. Vest harnesses, for example, are cheaper but are better for a pint-sized breed like the Shih Tzu. This is because they allow less control of your dog. We recommend double clips, double D-Ring harnesses for a powerful Boxer dog. More below.
Dual Clip: Dual clip harnesses are our preferred model for Boxers. They allow you to attach your leash or lead to the front of the harness to persuade your dog not to pull. But you can also attach at the back if your Boxer is a little more well behaved during walks.
Front Clip: Front clip harnesses are our second choice, provided they have a handle attachment at the back. This design is typically meant for pullers, but will still allow additional control if your dog gets too excited. You’ll attach your leash at the front, usually by D-ring.
Back Clip: This means you can only attach your leash or lead to the rear of the harness. While this is probably our third favorite design, it’s better than a vest as long as there’s a handle attached at the rear.
Vests: Vest designs are exactly that. They enclose the entire body of a dog, which can be slightly less comfortable for some breeds. Usually, the attachment point is limited to the rear of the harness, and there will usually be no handle to grab on to.
Harness safety is the first factor you’ll want to consider for your pup. Some harnesses will ride too high on your boxer’s neck, which defeats the purpose. Harnesses shouldn’t act as a restriction like a collar and leash will. Because boxers can pull, anything that rides too high on the neck is no better than a collar. This can cause damage to your dog’s trachea and these should be avoided. Padding is also an excellent idea. Hard pullers can sometimes chafe on the legs and armpits, so a harness with a little padding is recommended.
Durability is big for Boxers! Younger Boxers especially can be very energetic pups. Harness durability is far less of a concern for easy-going breeds like Beagles. For this reason, durability should be a far more important factor than your budget. It’s worth investing an extra $10 to $20 for a harness that will last years, rather than months.
Not every Boxer is shaped the same. While most are medium-sized dogs, with longer barrel chests and leaner limbs, some are shorter and sticker. This means getting a harness that’s fully adjustable for a wide variety of different shapes is recommended. It also means if you buy a medium-sized harness, you might get lucky enough to have it carry your dog into adulthood. All of our recommended boxer harnesses are fully adjustable and should help ensure a decent fit.
We’ve mentioned safety already, which goes hand in hand with comfort. Having a harness with some padding is a good idea to prevent chafing or cuts on your Boxer if they decide to pull. Breathable mesh is also good to help with airflow and cooling.
Age matters. If your pup is younger, you’ll need to buy for their size. You are likely starting with a small harness for a boxer if they are in the 4-6 month range, working your way up to a medium or large once they hit a year. We still recommend you look at the highest quality harness you can comfortably afford.
Your budget is obviously a factor. If you have a puppy, the Kurgo Journey may not be a viable option. It’s fine to look at a more budget-friendly option until your pup reaches adulthood. We still recommend a harness with a handle attachment at the back, no matter your budget. All of the models we feature in this article have this feature. If you have a younger puppy, look at a less expensive option, and save some money for a few boxer-friendly dog toys for your pup.
Our Favorite Harnesses For Boxer Dogs
As you are fully aware, Boxer dogs are very unique in both size and shape! We’ve mentioned their barrel chests and muscular but lanky limbs. Because of this, the harness fit is incredibly important! You want a harness that’s going to be virtually escape-proof for your pup. All of our favorites below have a rear handle feature for more control, as well as full adjustability and padding for comfort. Let’s take a deep dive, and look at the features of each harness for your pup.
Kurgo Journey Air Dog Harness
The Kurgo Journey is meant for active dogs. This harness is ideal for walking or running if your boxer is your jogging companion. There are four rust proof buckles that allow for maximum adjustability, and there are two strong plastic buckles that will connect on your boxer’s back. It has a handle on the back, which as we’ve mentioned is important for this breed.
This harness also features dual lead/leash attachment points. One at the front, and one at the rear. The front attachment is great if your boxer pulls. The rear is better for more well-behaved pups. The deeper v-neck design on this harness connects lower, which means the straps will not irritate your dog’s armpits or limbs while walking. This harness has plenty of padding, is highly durable, and also comes equipped with reflective trim for late night or early morning walks. The durability and features of this harness make it perfect for boxers, or other dog breeds that need maximum control.
We love that this harness pretty much checks every box. There’s a reason we recommend two Kurgo harnesses in this list, and that’s because they check off almost every “need” box for your dog.
Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness
The Kurgo Tru-Fit smart harness is a more budget-friendly pick. While it has less comfort friendly features, it stacks up very well in the durability and abuse column. This harness was engineered and based on harnesses that are made for rock climbers. While it has less padding in the back and around the neck from the Journey, it has equally strong and adjustable buckles. This will ensure a great fit for your boxer.
This model is crash tested up to 75 pounds, which most boxers won’t exceed in weight. It comes equipped with a carabiner and an attachable loop that connects to seatbelts for car trips. The padding in front is suitable for boxers, and the harness connection in back serves as a handle should the durable D-ring disconnect for any reason. Kurgo offers a lifetime warranty on top, so you know you are in good hands should something break at no fault of your dog.
We love the Kurgo for boxers, but it’s also one of our favorites for Labradors and other breeds. This is a great harness, that balances budget with quality and durability quite nicely.
Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Harness
The Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Harness is another great pick for boxer pups. It checks all the boxes as the Kurgo Tru-Fit at around the same cost, and with multiple color combinations. This harness is perfect for those that like to walk or run with their dog later at night or early morning with highly visible reflective straps. With four adjustable points, you’ll be sure to get a great fit on your boxer.
The mesh material ensures comfort and breathability. There’s also plenty of padding for additional comfort. The padding also extends up towards the rib cage, which helps stop irritation and rubbing. This harness has O-ring attachments upfront and in the back. It’s also equipped with a rear handle for additional control. The harness sits nicely on the chest, which ensures that any pressure on there trachea while walking will be minimal. This is one of our favorite harnesses for Labrador Retrievers, and it will do just as well for your boxer.
We love the color combinations that Chai’s Choice gives dog owners. It makes it possible to put your dog safely in a harness while looking stylish at the same time.
HDP Big Dog No Pull Harness
The HDP Big Dog No Pull Dog Harness is a great option if boxer needs a harness designed for dogs that pull. Wider strap designs ensure that this harness offers maximum security. While it lacks in the upfront padding department, it makes up for that miss with additional security and control. This harness has a large D ring attachment at the back, and an incredibly durable nylon reinforced handle attachment.
The control this harness gives you is the biggest benefit. While it’s not quite a lift harness it’s close. The durable handle and single strap construction make this a great harness for older dogs that have less mobility. Sometimes older dogs will struggle to walk effectively, and this can give you more wiggle room to help. If you have an older boxer, we’d recommend looking at the HDP as an option.
We love the control that the HDP Big Dog no-pull harness gives you’ It’s also incredibly budget-friendly. This makes it a great pick for older boxer pups, and people on a budget alike.
Chai’s Choice Service Vest
Training your Boxer to be a service dog? This is the perfect harness for your pup. This harness is meant for service dogs, however, the service dog patches can be removed. Boxers are in fact, excellent service dogs. If you are training your pup to enter into service, whether it’s a guide dog for the blind, therapy dogs, or an alert dog for people with health conditions, Boxers can do well in all of these capacities.
If your boxer is signing up to be of service to you or to others, this vest is the perfect accommodation for that. While most service dogs need to pass the AKC good citizen test, and likely won’t have a “need” to be controlled by the handle, it’s still good to have. This harness/vest uses the same 3M reflective piping used on the Chai’s choice, making it great for early mornings and evenings. The additional “service dog” patches on each side of the harness make it perfect for identifying that your pup is in service, and not to be disturbed.
We love that this harness was built for service pups without sacrificing durability or control. The added padding is great for long outings with your boxer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do Boxers do better on a collar or a harness? A: Boxers that pull will do better with a harness rather than a collar. Collars alone can cause damage to their windpipe if they pull too hard and aren’t recommended.
Q: What size should I buy? A: Most Boxer dogs will fit into a medium-sized harness when they are old enough to go out regularly on walks. You’ll likely need to buy up a size to a large for males as they grow.
Q: Should I use a gentle leader harness? A: We prefer a harness over a gentle leader. Gentle leaders wrap around the snout of a dog. Boxers already have a shorter snout, so gentle leaders aren’t the best fit.
Q: What’s the best harness for running with my boxer? A: The Kurgo Air journey is one of the best Boxer harnesses you can buy, for running, walking or otherwise. It’s the most expensive on our list, but it’s our top pick for any activity.
Boxers are some of our favorite pups. These headstrong pups can be challenging to leash train. Because of their genetics, they love to pull. They are independent thinkers, and you’ll need to make sure that you are up to the challenge when you bring one of these pups home.
Our above recommendations are suited to all Boxer dogs, whether your dog is old, young, energetic, lazy, a service dog, or even an amputee. We always recommend that you measure your pup as the manufacturer recommends for a perfect fit. Any of the choices above will see your pup through the toughest walks and most demanding runs.