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Australian Shepherds are known for being brainy and tireless. Their energy is inspiring—and sometimes a lot to manage on leash. A proper harness can be a big help, but finding the best dog harness for your Australian Shepherd isn’t always easy.
According to Dr. Kathryn Rosalie Dench, a veterinary surgeon and writer at Gentle Dog Trainers, Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent, agile, and energetic dogs. They have a natural herding instinct, and their walking style may involve a tendency to circle or attempt to herd other animals or even family members.
A harness for Australian Shepherds should allow for freedom of movement while providing control and also account for their longer coats. Dr. Dench recommends that Aussie parents look for a durable harness with adjustable straps to ensure a snug fit, prioritizing good control to stay on top of their herding tendencies, especially when walking near small animals or in crowded areas.
To help you choose, we’ve relied on Dr. Dench’s suggestions and our own product testing to round up the best Aussie harnesses on the market.
Best Overall: Rover Gear Better Walk No-Pull Harness
Aussies are athletic, which means they can exert a lot of force on leash. No-pull training is usually a big part of their puppyhood and adolescence. But they also need opportunities to romp and sniff without too much inhibition.
That’s why we like the Better Walk for Aussies: It has a D-ring at the front for no-pull training, plus another at the back for play time. The Y-shaped belly strap avoids restricting or altering a pup’s gait, and four adjustment points plus nylon webbing help pet parents get a good, even fit on both sides.
For Aussies who don’t want any delays getting out the door, the straps are labeled for fast fitting.
Features we like:
- Clear visual cues for an accurate fit
- Durable design that reduces shock from pulling or lunging
- The Y-shape front allows for a full range of motion
- Front and back ring to help dogs learn training/working mode vs. leisure/play mode
- Buckles are designed to reduce confusion or twisting of the belly strap
- Pet parents with dogs between sizes found it better to size up
Best for Active Aussies: Ruffwear Hi & Light (Verified Review)
Ruffwear Hi and Light Everyday Dog Harness
The Hi & Light Dog Harness from Ruffwear is a lightweight but tough harness that shines on hikes and walks—a lot like an Aussie.
Ruffwear’s Hi & Light is a lightweight harness made with active dogs in mind. Its slim, quick-drying fabric is a significant boon for thick-coated Aussies. Our testers found it clips on quick (thanks to two tough plastic side-release buckles) and dries fast after even the wettest adventures.
It has just one attachment point—an anodized aluminum V-ring located on the back—which makes it a durable choice for experienced adventurers, though not as effective as a front hook for no-pull training. Four points of adjustment help you get a good fit, and small side pockets have room for treats and poop bags on the trail. The inner lining is debris-resistant, which means that it can help to shed dirt and fur to keep the harness cleaner longer.
The verdict? This is a high-performance everyday harness that is ideal for smaller, active dogs.
- Lightweight but tough construction ideal for small active dogs
- Easy side release buckles and four points of adjustment
- Includes small pockets for light storage
- Debris-resistant liner
- One anodized aluminum attachment point
- Available in multiple sizes and colors
- May not be ideal for pullers
Most Durable: Embark Adventure Dog Harness
As its name implies, this rugged but comfortable harness is for active dogs. That makes it just about the perfect dog harness for Australian Shepherds who go-go-go. It’s made from durable, no-rip nylon and uses an interior padding to help prevent chafing. The adjustable straps ensure a snug fit—which is important for this small but active breed, and two attachment points let you use it as either a standard harness or a no-pull harness.
- The back handle gives you a little extra control when you need it
- Strong construction holds up to super-active Aussies
- Reinforced front leash attachment helps reduce pulling
Best Tactical: Rabbitgoo Tactical Dog Harness
Rabbitgoo Tactical Dog Harness
This robust dog harness prioritizes both comfort and safety for active dogs.
This harness features four adjustment points to help achieve that perfect fit for an active Aussie, which can be particularly helpful if your dog will wear it for long periods of time. With two release buckles that assist with quick on-and-off, this is a robust vest that’s popular for pullers and powerful dogs.
The safe design includes reflective materials for increased visibility and two secure metal leash attachments for direct control or casual walks and jogs. The vest has some pockets for light cargo (think poop bag) and has Velcro-friendly fabric for patches, if your Aussie needs some flair. While robust, this harness also features a padded interior for maximum comfort.
What we like about it:
- Four adjustment points and two metal leash attachment options
- Robust exterior with padded interior for comfort
- Designed with pullers in mind
- Features reflective materials
- A popular training aid for active dogs
Most Comfortable: Didog Soft Padded Dog Harness
Didog Soft Flannel Padded Dog Harness
This no-pull harness is available in a variety of bold colors, and its soft padding will protect your Aussie’s skin from chafing.
A lot of Australian Shepherds are no strangers to sensitive skin, especially allergies. The Didog Soft Flannel Padded Dog Harness is a comfortable solution, with soft and wide fleece padding along the neck and back to help prevent uncomfortable rubbing and chafing. Sturdy construction, a durable buckle, and reflective tape for visibility make it functional, though it’s not the sturdiest harness on the market for heavy pullers or escape artists.
What we like about it:
- Features soft, wide fleece padding for comfort
- Reflective straps keep you safe at night
- Front D ring leash attachment
- Single buckle for easy on and off
Best for Training: PetSafe EasyWalk Harness
The Petsafe EasyWalk Harness is a popular training aid for high-energy Aussies. This harness offers a martingale-style chest loop that helps gently steer your Australian Shepherd to the side when they pull. It features minimalist nylon straps and a front-facing metal D-ring, plus plastic buckles along the girth and shoulder.
Note that H-shaped harnesses like this one need to be carefully fitted above your pup’s shoulders to avoid restricting their gait. If you’re not sure you’ve got the right fit, consider asking your vet or trainer for help, and size carefully.
- Quick-snap buckles make it easy to put on and take off
- Differently colored straps help align harness correctly every time
- Fits across the chest, so there’s no pressure on your dog’s neck
- Careful fitting is important
Best Step-In Design: Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness
The Voyager Step-In Dog Harness features lightweight and breathable mesh for comfortable year-round use. We especially like the step-in, raised back-buckle style for Aussies, whose longer fur can make a lot of straps in hard-to-see places like the belly difficult to manage without pinching.
The Voyager’s combination of hook and loop fasteners and buckles can foil escape artists with a close enough fit, which isn’t too hard to achieve, since the harness is available in six sizes. Note that it runs small, so be sure to double-check measurements and consider sizing down if you’re on the fence.
- Hook and loop, clip, and D-ring provide three levels of security
- Easy to put on and take off
- Reflective striping helps with visibility at night and early morning
- Uses breathable mesh for comfortable year-round walks
- Reviewers note that sizing can be tricky: use the printable guide to get the best measurements
- If your dog is sensitive to Velcro noises, the hook and loop fastener may not be a great choice
Best Waterproof: Wau Dog Waterproof Harness
This waterproof harness has a lot of versatility for the types of activities Aussies do best: escaping, activities in wet and rainy conditions, and water play. Equipped with a Smart ID tag, the waterproof Wau Dog harness makes it easier for you to identify a lost dog. (You can sync the tag with the Wau Dog App to create an online profile for your pooch for extra safety.)
Available in an array of vibrant neon colors, this harness is made with Collartex, a material that repels dirt and water. It also resists smelly odors and is super easy to clean. Most users find this harness durable enough for outdoor activities like boating—but it may not fare as well with heavy chewers.
What we like about it:
- Made with Collartex to repel water and dirt
- Available in three sizes: S, M, L
- Available in six bright colors
- QR tag helps to identify lost dogs
How We Chose
We selected the harnesses featured here based on interviews with experts and research into the harnesses that support the needs of specific dog breeds. We considered size, durability, visibility, comfort, and adjustability. We’re also guided by the experience of living and playing alongside our own much-loved and strongly opinionated pets, who are never stingy with their feedback.