If you’re preparing to bring a new puppy home, getting a collar or harness is one of the most important steps. It’s also important that the harness fits correctly, for your dog’s safety.
However, it can sometimes be a bit tricky to figure out what size harness is best for a Goldendoodle.
What size harness is right for a Goldendoodle puppy?
The correct harness size for your dog depends on what type of Goldendoodle it is. Goldendoodles are a mix of golden retriever and poodle, but poodles grow to a few different sizes, including larger standard dogs, medium poodles, and small or teacup poodles.
What type of poodle your Goldendoodle puppy shares genetics with will help to determine how big it will grow, although some Goldendoodles favor the size of their golden retriever parent.
Goldendoodle puppies that have medium or standard poodle parents generally need a harness that’s between 8 and 12 inches around, while miniature or teacup Goldendoodles will need a smaller harness.
However, the best way to ensure that your new puppy’s harness will fit well is to measure. Use a soft tape measure to measure around your dog’s neck and chest, and pick a harness that’s at least this large.
Compare your dog’s measurements to the size chart of any particular harness to choose the size that works the best.
Picking an adjustable harness that can be made larger as the dog grows is a great idea. You’ll need to upgrade the harness to a larger size as the dog achieves its adult size, but picking one that’s adjustable means you might be able to wait several months before replacing the first harness.
Miniature adult Goldendoodles generally weigh between 15 and 35 pounds and will most likely only need a small or medium harness.
Small standard Goldendoodles grow to weigh between 40 and 50 pounds and will most likely need a medium harness when they’re fully grown. Large standard Goldendoodles can weigh as much as 90 pounds or as little as 50 pounds, and they might need either a medium or large harness.
When should a puppy first wear a harness?
It’s a good idea to get your puppy used to a harness or collar as soon as you can. This helps them get used to the feel of the harness. Getting a dog used to a harness can make leash training much easier later on.
Choosing a harness that’s specifically designed for puppies or small dogs, instead of buying an adult harness that can be sized down, is also a good idea.
Puppy harnesses are often a bit lighter, with lighter buckles or clips, so they’re not as heavy for a little puppy to carry around. The straps of a puppy harness are also usually a bit more narrow, which is less cumbersome and more comfortable for the puppy.
Why are harnesses a good choice?
Harnesses are a great choice for both puppies and adult dogs, but they’re a good choice for puppies in particular because they don’t put any pressure on the puppy’s developing trachea.
Harnesses tend to be more comfortable for dogs overall, as they don’t put pressure on any one area. They’re also harder for dogs to wiggle out of, which is very helpful when leash training.
Types of Harnesses
There are several types of dog harnesses, and it’s important to choose a style that works for both you and your dog.
Back-clip harnesses are the most common harness type. These harnesses have a single metal loop at the back of the harness for the leash to attach to. These harnesses are gentle, and they help to ensure that your puppy can’t reach the leash to chew on it.
However, they can be problematic when it comes to tugging on the leash, and can actually encourage this behavior.
Front-clip harnesses are the opposite of back-clip harnesses, with the leash clip near the dog’s chest. These harnesses are an excellent tool for teaching your dog not to pull.
However, a dog, particularly a puppy, can become tangled in the leash more easily when it clips to the front of the harness.
Dual-clip harnesses are a hybrid of the front- and back-clip harness. These harnesses have a clip in each location, so you can clip the leash wherever is most convenient, or you can gradually teach your dog not to pull by using the front clip before switching to using the back clip.
These harnesses are excellent because they’re versatile, and you can correct pulling behaviors quickly or even on the go by simply switching where the leash is clipped.
It’s also a good idea to select a fabric choice that works for your lifestyle. For example, if you and your dog are outdoors frequently, and your dog tends to get wet or muddy, you might want to choose a nylon harness that can be cleaned easily.
If you walk at dusk or dawn, a harness with reflective strips of fabric is a great choice.