Beagles are energetic, playful, and enjoy being outdoors and exploring. They also make excellent house pets and do well with families and other pets. Their high intelligence, curiosity, and playfulness make them great companions but can also lead to needing a lot of training and work to make them good leash dogs. Because of their high energy, it is very important to let them work off some of that enthusiasm as often as possible, or they may become anxious, which can sometimes lead to chewing and other destructive tendencies.
For dogs that like to pull on their leash, using a harness instead of a collar will be a lot more comfortable for your pet. Beagles may not get very big, but any pressure on the throat can cause choking and gagging and may lead to long term damage. There are a variety of types and styles of harnesses out there. Some provide a similar approach but use different strap configurations. If you look specifically for no-pull harnesses, for example, you will end up with a wide array to choose from, many of which will look completely different from the others.
What are the Best Harnesses for Beagles?
- Best Overall: Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness
- Best Value Harness: Sporn Mesh No Pull Dog Harness
- Best No-Pull Harness: Frisco Padded Nylon No Pull Dog Harness
- Best Front Clip Harness: PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
- Kurgo Journey Air Polyester Reflective No Pull Dog Harness
- Frisco Small Breed Soft Vest Step In Back Clip Dog Harness
- PetSafe Gentle Leader Nylon Dog Headcollar
- Mighty Paw Padded Sports Reflective No Pull Dog Harness
- Chai’s Choice 3M Polyester Reflective Front Clip Dog Harness
- Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness
8 Different Types of Harnesses
- Front Clip – Front clip harnesses work to curb and prevent pulling, jumping, and lunging by applying pressure to the dog’s front that guides them in your direction or tightens gently around your dog’s chest and then loosens when they relax. Martingale loops are common on the latter type as the additional loop in the front squeezes the side straps together in the front, then releases the tension.
- Back Clip – The standard approach to harnesses places the leash connection on the harness’s back, usually somewhere between their shoulder blades. These are also useful for attaching to car safety restraints. Placing the clip in the back takes all of the pressure off of the neck area and prevents choking or neck injury.
- No Pull – There are a variety of harnesses that specifically deal with puling. Front clips, gentle leaders or headcollars, and front martingale loops are the most common. If your dog pulls hard or is prone to lunging, look for a harness that also has a handle or loop on the back strap for even tighter control when needed.
- Car Safety – Harnesses that have been designed to work with car safety restraints should have a few specific descriptors. It should say it has passed a crash test (some will only say the harness has been tested, not that it passed), preferably by a third party group such as the Center for Pet Safety. Dual-purpose is also important so that it can instantly be used for walking without having to switch harnesses in a strange place where they might slip-free. Wide and easily adjustable straps will also make for a more comfortable and secure fit.
- Headcollar – The headcollar, also known as a head halter or gentle leader, is a completely different harness system that goes around the muzzle and then looping high on the neck to go behind the ears. These harnesses are designed to curb pulling and jumping by applying light pressure to the muzzle and the back of the neck, which causes their head to be redirected towards you when they pull forward.
- Handicapped Support – Older dogs or those who have been injured may need extra support while walking, and there are a variety of support harnesses to choose from that can help with nearly any situation. There are harnesses specifically for the front legs, the back legs, full-body support, and for use with wheelchairs. If you need to be able to give your dog an assist up the stairs or out for quick bathroom breaks, look for harnesses with long handle straps that can be adjusted to your arm length to make it comfortable for both of you.
- Escape-proof – Beagles love to test out the limits of their harnesses. Escape proof harnesses wrap around the front and back of your dog’s legs to keep them better contained. Look for ones with multiple closure points and high adjustability as fit can make the difference in how well the harness will work.
- Hiking Harness – Lightweight and usually waterproof, hiking harnesses have a variety of extra options when compared to regular harnesses. Most have reflective straps; some come with storage pockets or have attachment points to clip on collapsible water bowls and other paraphernalia. They also tend to come with a back loop or handle for control over rough terrain, and most can all be used to attach to car safety restraints.
6 Key Considerations When Looking for the Right Harness for your Beagle
- Adjustability – Beagles, like most hounds, have clearly defined changes from the shoulder to the neck to the head, which makes fitting a harness a little easier than on some breeds. A dog with the same size neck as their head, for instance, will find some harnesses easy to slip off. Being able to adjust the harness to fit more closely around the torso and legs is important to make sure the harness stays on and will be more comfortable to wear.
- Durability – Depending on the type of exercise you plan to do with your Beagle, make sure the harness you select can keep up. Hiking and swimming can be hard on the material, so look for stronger, more durable harnesses that are designed for such activity. Beagles are scent driven, meaning if they catch the scent of a squirrel or rabbit, they will take off after it. You don’t want a harness that will give way under a sudden lunge.
- Lifestyle – Their small size and friendliness to people make Beagles a popular city dog, but they will still need time outdoors and long, energetic walks, so an escape-proof, no-pull harness would be good for the city. If you plan to take your Beagle with you on hikes or swimming in the country, be sure to select a harness that is intended for those purposes with waterproof material, a handle on the back strap for better control, and reflective stripes for low light areas.
- Escape Proof – Beagles are clever and agile, a combination that turns them into escape artists capable of slipping free in an instant. Beagles are also bred to work and want to follow the animal scents they come across, so if they can find a way out of their harness, they will. Investing in a good quality escape-proof harness can help keep them close by.
- Pulling – They may not be one of the larger breeds, but 20 to 30 pounds of Beagle pulling on the leash can wear both of you out pretty quickly. If your Beagle is a puller or prone to lunging, then a harness with a front clip or a headcollar harness may be what you need to teach them to stay by your side. Harnesses with handles on the back strap can also provide an extra handhold to grab if they see a rabbit and want to chase.
- Purpose – Dogs who are bred to work in some fashion, such as herding, retrieving, or hunting, sometimes settle more quickly when they have a purpose for going outdoors. Beagles are a hunting and retrieving breed, and their instincts are hard to ignore. Some owners of working breeds have found that using a harness that lets their dogs carry a few things helps them enjoy the walk more. Pockets or small saddlebags that carry a little food, water, treats, or toys that your Beagle knows are in there and receive partway through the walk can give them a little boost.
Overall Best Harnesses for a Beagle
|Our 2020 Picks: Overall Best Harnesses for Beagles|
|Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness
|Sporn Mesh No Pull Dog Harness
|Frisco Padded Nylon No Pull Dog Harness
|PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
|Kurgo Journey Air Polyester Reflective No Pull
|Frisco Small Breed Soft Vest Step In Back Clip
|PetSafe Gentle Leader Nylon Dog Headcollar
|Mighty Paw Padded Sports Reflective No Pull
|Chai’s Choice 3M Polyester Reflective Front Clip
|Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh
- Easily adjustable for a perfect with five adjustment points
- Good car safety features and crash tested up to 75lbs
- Comes with a carabiner and 10″ dog seat belt loop and is compatible with any vehicle seat belt system
- The nesting Buckle System is made out of steel for enhanced strength and safety
Best Overall – The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness is focused heavily on car safety and durability. The nesting buckles are made from steel and is based on the engineering used for rock climbing harnesses. There is a chest pad to reduces stress, front and back leash clips, and the seat belt loop can double as an additional short-length leash to keep tighter control during walks. The five adjustment points can make it easier to customize to your dog’s dimensions.
Where it falls a little short is that it can be heavy for a small dog under 35lbs. Beagles tend to run smaller, between 20 and 30 pounds, so they may find this uncomfortable with the heavy steel buckles. For dogs that pull, unless the front straps are pulled tightly, the harness can twist around the body. It is not rated as a harness that deters pulling, so if your pup tends to pull hard, this may not be the one you need.
- High Car Safety Rating
- Strong All Steel Buckles
- Not a Step-in Harness, can be put on over the back
- Designed for both every day walking and car safety
- Comes with the necessary car attachments
- 5-point adjustment system for a customizable fit
- Heavy steel can be uncomfortable for smaller breeds
- Size guide does not account for some proportions leaving many dogs in between recommended sizes and requiring considerable adjustment
- Not rated for pulling, this harness is not intended to be used for corrective training
- Veterinarian approved, patented system that works with a dog’s natural movements to reduce chafing and strain
- Designed for dogs and puppies who pull hard
- A one-piece harness that slips on without any buckles or clips
- Padded restraint sleeves under the front legs and an elastic mesh chest piece to provide comfort and flexibility
Best Value – The Sporn Mesh is entirely focused on providing a humane and gentle approach to stop your dog from pulling. As a dog pulls, the restraints that run under the front legs create a “tickle” effect on their brachial plexus that makes them want to stop. There are no buckles or clips and slides on over the head with their legs threaded through. There are two buckles around the neck area to tighten or loosen the gap between the chest plate and their neck for adjustments.
There are multiple sizes available from XS 2 – 8lbs to XL 60 – 100lbs, even up to 200lbs. Beadles tend to run between 20 – 30 pounds, so the small size would work best for that weight, but this harness is measured in neck sizes as that is where the only adjustments can be made. Leashes attach only to the back O-ring where the cord that runs from the front leg restraint sleeves is pulled up on both sides to meet above their shoulder blades. This design does allow some slack in this cord, which makes the neck area adjustment crucial in keeping it on your dog.
- Veterinarian approved design works very well for controlling strong pullers
- Very lightweight
- Easy to wash and maintain
- The slip-on design eliminates clips and buckles
- The gentle correction method does not place additional strain or stress
- Works on nearly every breed, size, and shape
- Not intended to be worn unattended, chewers will find it easy to get off if left unsupervised
- It is also not intended to be used for or with a car restraint
- Few adjustment options can make it easy for some to slip out when there is no tension on the leash
- Adjustable shoulder and belly straps
- O-ring leash clip on the padded chest piece helps prevent pulling
- The back strap also has an additional D-ring leash attachment
- Over-the-head design
Best No Pull – The Frisco Padded Nylon harness can be used as a regular harness with the back clip and to curb pulling by using the front clip. The over-the-head design allows you to slide it on and then bring the side straps up to clip closed. This can be helpful if you need to be able to hold on to the neck strap to keep your dog still.
There is a padded chest piece that goes further down the torso’s length than many harnesses and places the side straps a little farther down though still sitting snugly behind the front legs. This type of harness can be pulled out of if your dog pulls backward if it is not correctly adjusted, so make sure to check it before leaving the house the first time.
This harness is not waterproof and should not be used for swimming, nor should it be used on a long tie-out in the yard. It is not chew resistant though the nylon material is very durable for regular wear and tear.
- The padded underbody strap covers the torso but does not constrict the front legs
- Adjustable in multiple places
- Dual front and back clips
- Curbs pulling and jumping
- Fits most sizes and breeds
- Back clip can be used with car safety attachments
- Not chew resistant
- Should not be worn on a tie out or while unattended
- The front clip does not work for some sizes and shapes of dogs
- Quick-snap buckles for an easy on and off with an alternating color on the belly strap to distinguish it.
- To prevent twisting, a martingale loop is used for the front clip.
- For comfort and fit, there are 4 adjustment points, one on the belly strap, the shoulder strap, and two on each side of the neck.
- Designed to help correct pulling, the chest strap keeps pressure off of their neck.
Best Front Clip – The PetSafe Easy Walk harness is primarily intended to help control strong pullers. It is well-designed with multiple adjustment buckles, quick release clips, and capable of handling most any size breed. The harness does not have straps that go under the front legs. Instead, it runs behind them, so if your dog tends to chafe with other straps, this may be a good option.
There have been some mentions of the clips on the small harnesses breaking with excessive pulling, but other sizes have not had this issue. It is listed as waterproof, but the clips and buckles are still susceptible to water damage and can wear out if your dog routinely wears it swimming. The leash can only be attached in the front, some owners have twisted it around to use as a back clip, but this is not recommended as the chest strap is designed differently than the shoulder strap and are not interchangeable.
- A wide array of size options
- Front martingale loop prevents twisting
- Quick-release clips
- Not a step-in harness, good for wriggly pups
- Pressure on the chest helps with pulling, taking the stress off of their neck
- Small breeds may find it easy to slip off
- Not recommended for chewers, as the chest strap can end up in easy reach if they work at it
- The front clip is the only option. A back clip is one of the most requested features.
6 Other Top Rated Beagle Harnesses
The benefits of the Kurgo Journey Air Reflective harness center around its padded chest plate, dual clips for help with pulling, and easy release. Leashes can attach to both a front and back clip in case you need to work on your Beagle’s pulling. A back handle will also give more control over their movement and reduces strain on the front if you need to slow them down. It has 4 rust-proof release buckles, reflective trim for being out after hours, and is made from a breathable material to help with overheating.
It is not rated for car safety; if you take your pup with you in the car, you will probably need a different harness. Though this harness can be attached to a specialized canine seat belt, it has not been properly tested and rated. While it has good points for hiking, it is also not waterproof, and wet harnesses can become uncomfortable on long walks.
Specially designed for smaller breeds, soft vest harnesses fit snugly around the body and provide multiple closures to help with escape artists. There is a Velcro strap, a fast release buckle, and the leash attaches to two d-rings. The Frisco Small Breed Soft Vest harness is made from soft, breathable mesh that helps keep your dog cool in high heat. This harness also comes with 4 reflective bands on the front and sides for night time walks.
This is a step-in harness, a good choice if your pup balks at straps going over his head, and the padded torso hugging design can make it easier to keep even wriggly dogs in place while getting the Velcro strap secure and the leash attached. There are no clips or buckles that touch your dog’s fur, particularly helpful if your dog has had a bad experience with getting their fur trapped or pinched. Beagles, at 13″ – 15″ tall and 20 to 30 pounds, are the ideal weight and size for this type of harness, but sizing is based on the chest measurement, so it is very important to get the closest fit as there is little adjustability.
The PetSafe Gentle Leader is a completely different harness system that goes around the muzzle and then looping high on the neck to go behind the ears. It does not block the mouth, allowing them to still eat, drink water, and bark. There is no pressure on the throat, and dogs of all breeds and sizes can use them. The PetSafe Gentle Leader comes with a padded strap across the nose for comfort, and they can be adjusted on the neck strap with a buckle, and the nose loop can be tightened or loosened as needed.
Dogs that have larger necks and smaller heads may find this harness easy to slide off. There is an adjustment period to using this type of harness, and the PetSafe Gentle Leader does come with an instructional training manual.
The Mighty Paw Padded Sports harness is waterproof, has reflective bands, and dual front and back leash clips. The front clip will help with preventing pulling and jumping while the back clip makes this useable for both docile walkers and the more active type. There is also a handle strap across the back for even greater control to keep dogs who have become excited from lunging away. This harness can also be attached to car safety restraints.
This does not go over the head. Instead, the straps fit around the sides and connect on the sides. This harness does not run towards very small breeds, but the Beagle should fit comfortably into the small or medium size harness though it is important to use their chest measurements to get the proper size.
The Chai’s Choice harness is highly reflective, with padded chest and belly straps for comfort and multiple bright color choices. There is only a front clip for leashes to curb pulling, but a handle on the back strap can allow for tighter control when needed.
Adjustments can be made to the side straps and it is put on by slipping it over the head then buckling behind the front legs. If your dog has had issues with chafing behind the front legs, this may not be the option for you. Additionally, dogs with much larger heads than their neck may require the neckpiece to be adjusted each time to be able to slip it on and off.
The Best Pet Supplies Voyager harness is lightweight and made from a breathable mesh material good for areas with high heat. Multiple closure points make for a secure fit with both hook and loop, a quick release buckle, and two D-rings for the leash attachment. It can also be used with car safety restraints eliminating the need for multiple harnesses for walking and riding. The lightweight mesh design allows for moisture to be evaporated quickly if your dog overheats, and while it is not waterproof, it will dry quickly if your pup takes a swim in it.
There are multiple sizes available and should fit most breeds and sizes. There are few adjustment options available so measuring for the correct size is important. The multiple closure points can prevent most escape artists from getting out but fit is what will keep it in place the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What size do I need to get to fit a Beagle? Most harnesses will have a measurement guide listed for them. Measuring around the torso, shoulder height, and the length of their body are usually all the measurements you need. Some harnesses only adjust in particular areas, so it Is important to note if you aren’t finding a good match in the offered size range, you may need to look for one with more adjustability.
- Will all harnesses work in the car? The short answer is no. Harnesses with only front clips for example, do not usually work with car safety systems for pets. If a harness has been designed and tested to be a car restraint, it will usually state that upfront along with instructions on how to attach it to your car. You may find you need multiple types of harnesses, one for the car and one for walking though there are many that can serve as both.
- How do I stop my Beagle from pulling all the time? Beagles are what’s called “scent driven.” They want to follow every smell, and if they see a rabbit or squirrel, they want to chase. This leads to them constantly pulling in front of you. Fortunately, there are a variety of no-pull harnesses out there that can help with this. Front clip harnesses or gentle leaders and headcollars are all types of no-pull harnesses that have worked well for many breeds. Each has its pros and cons, so it may take some trial and error, but the right one will help teach your Beagle not to pull.
Beagles are wonderfully playful and friendly companions that are always ready for a good long walk, and getting a well-fitting harness is an integral part. If possible, take your Beagle with you to the store to try out the harnesses first to test the fit. Even if you intend to buy online, getting an in-person feel for how the different types go on can be a big help. Finding the right harness among all of the options may take a few tries, but a good quality harness can make all the difference between being pulled down the road or having a pleasant relaxed walk with your best friend by your side.