Border Collies, or Sheepdogs as they're also known, are amazingly intelligent and loved pets all around the world.
They're loyal, have bundles of energy, and make the perfect family dog. Anyone who's ever owned one of these iconic black and white dogs knows exactly how much exercise they need (a lot) and how excitable they can be (very).
This excitement can sometimes cause them to pull on the leash, which is why many Border Collie owners are changing to harnesses for their pets.
But what's the best Border Collie harness? What do you need to look for before you buy? Here's what you need to know!
About the breed
Border Collies were first bred in the borderlands between England and Scotland. Sheep farmers living in the area needed a highly intelligent dog (possibly the most intelligent in the world) that could be easily trained to herd sheep around the hilly terrain. They wanted a loyal dog that was happy to please its owner, caring, and alert. Everything modern-day Border Collies are!
They're a medium-sized breed like Collies (they're actually two separate breeds) and they have a double coat. Border Collies can either be rough, meaning they have a longer coat or smooth which is slightly shorter. They come in all types of different colors – from the famous black and white to red merle tricolor, and almost everything in between!
Border Collies are a very active breed and need a lot of exercise. They were born to run, so they will love long games of fetch, frisbee, and playing with their friends in the dog park. They need quite a lot of attention from you and shouldn't be allowed to get bored as they can become destructive.
Why should you consider a harness for your Border Collie?
It's important to teach your pup not to pull on the leash. Leashes can be a key training tool for all dog owners and it's crucial that dogs learn to be well-behaved when out and about on walks. That being said, it's not uncommon for Borders to pull occasionally on the leash – especially when they see something exciting up ahead!
In these situations, it's easier for you and safer for your Border Collie if they're in a harness. Standard leashes can damage your dog's neck when they pull and you'll have a lot more control over where your dog goes if they're wearing a harness.
Because Borders have a natural herding instinct, they can move around quite a lot of the leash to make sure everyone is in their ‘place'. A harness can help you to keep control of them better without putting any strain on your dog's body.
What should you look for when buying a dog harness for a Border Collie?
Border Collie Harness Size
Finding a dog harness that fits is really important.
That means finding one that suits your pup's body shape and that isn't too big or too small. You don't want one that's overly snug and that will restrict your dog's movement but nor do you want one that's too big and that will rub and chafe their skin.
Buying a harness that's adjustable can be really useful. You'll be able to comfortably change the straps so it fits your Border Collie perfectly!
Some dog harnesses also include a neck strap, so you need to make sure you measure your pup's neck size so it doesn't restrict them.
What else is important?
Of course, you also need to buy a well-made dog harness that won't fall apart after a few walks.
Quality is crucial if it's going to work for you and your dog. Features such as whether it's waterproof, if it's reflective, how you put it on your Border Collie, and the type of fastening should all be taken into consideration too.
Look for a durable yet lightweight material that's also breathable. It's best if dog harnesses have sturdy fastenings which are chew-proof!
The top 5 dog harnesses for a Border Collie
We've put together a list of the 5 best dog harnesses for Borders. They're all comfortable, brilliantly made, stylish, and will allow you to walk your Border Collie safely.
This is an amazing dog harness that's ideal for any Border Collie. It's made out of really strong nylon that's comfortable and padded. It has neoprene-lined straps and highly reflective strips which ensure your pup is seen at night.
It comes in 4 different colors (steel, rose, ocean, and apple) and four different sizes. There's a handy size chart you can use to decide which size is best for your adult dog or puppy.
It's a front clip dog harness which is great for herding dogs as it discourages pulling without causing any pain or discomfort to your pooch.
It's also a great choice for those dogs that need a little more leash training. The harness has quick snap buckles which make taking it on and off even easier.
A really nice feature of the PerSafe Deluxe harness is that the belly strap is a different color to the shoulder straps so you can't get them muddled up!
The Copatchy dog harness is a great all round harness for Border Collies. It's made from high-quality, breathable material and is filled with a soft sponge fabric that helps to distribute any pulling pressure all over your pup's body, rather than just their neck.
It's totally adjustable so you can alter the straps to fit your dog properly. It also allows for a bit of growth if you're buying it for a Border Collie puppy.
It's a dual clip harness, meaning it has easy, durable clips at the neck and chest to make getting your pup into it even easier! There's reflective stitching throughout the harness which is useful in low light conditions.
It's a multi-purpose harness and is ideal for running, walking, and training. There's also a useful handle that you can use to have total control over your dog whilst minimizing strain on your pet's chest.
The Copatchy harness comes in 4 different colors (blue, red, pink, and black) and sizes XS to XL. Again, the size chart can help you work out which size harness would fit your dog's neck and chest best.
This is a perfect harness for working dogs and non-working dogs alike!
It comes in 2 different colors (red and pink) and 5 different sizes, meaning you can easily find a harness that perfectly fits your dog!
It's been designed with comfort in mind and is ideal for dogs that like to move a lot (like Borders)! The padded mesh will snuggly fit your dog's body without restricting them. It's also very durable and chew-resistant.
It's a good harness because it has large reflective bands on all sides, making sure your pup is seen after dark. As well as the bands, this back clip harness has two removable and reflective “Emotional Support' patches which can be exchanged for ‘Do Not Pet' signs.
There's an easy-to-use belly buckle which makes putting the harness on your Border Collie faster than some others out there. The Emotional Support Harness also has a top handle for maximum control and assistance.
An added bonus is that it comes with a leash!
When it comes to the best dog harness for Border Collies, the Rabbitgoo No Pull is definitely a contender.
It's been designed with flexibility and fashion in mind and is extremely comfortable for your pet to wear. The harness is made from lightweight, breathable material that won't rub but that is very strong and durable.
Many owners comment that they can leave their Border Collie in the harness all day and they barely notice – it's that lightweight!
It's also a great multi-purpose harness that can be used for daily walks, outdoor activities, and as a training harness. It has both a front and back D ring that can be used to prevent dogs from pulling but that won't put too much strain on their bodies.
It's also lined with reflective strips, a top handle, and fast-release buckles for extra safety. It comes in 8 bright colors and 4 sizes.
This is a great harness if you have an energetic dog that you need to control a little.
It's both a front and back clip dog harness so is ideal for training your Border Collie not to pull on the leash but also for everyday use. The harness is made from high-quality, durable nylon which is woven with reflective material. The D rings are also made from aluminum alloy, ensuring that your pooch won't be able to chew them off!
It comes in multiple colors for any stylish pup and in 5 different sizes. There's a handle on the back which you can use in emergencies or whilst training. For a matching look, you can also buy a lead and a collar!
There are lots of things to consider when buying your Border Collie's harness. It's important that it's durable, safe, and fits them well. Any of the above would be perfect!
Which one is your favorite harness for Border Collie? What's the most important feature for you?
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!