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Which harness is right for my dog?

NOTE: This post has been updated.
Click here to see our newest harnesses.

While some dogs may never need assistance after amputation, a harness can be an essential aide for helping your three legged dog in and out of cars, up and down stairs, over obstacles, or even up from a resting position as needed.
Wyatt wears Ruff Wear Web Master Harness and Grip Trex dog boots
Consider getting your dog comfortable with a harness, before you realize he or she needs one.

The Ruff Wear Web Master harness is the most popular all-purpose support harness we recommend for the vast majority of people looking to help their three legged dogs. Ruff Wear also makes the Doubleback harness which is intended for technical climbing with your dog, but also provides a hip handle for front-leg Tripawds requiring additional rear end support.

AST Get A Grip Support Harness on Three Legged Dog WyattFor larger, less mobile dogs, and those requiring additional support, Animal Support Technologies offers a couple different harnesses. See all recommended harnesses in the Tripawds Gear Shop and read on for tips to help determine which one is best for your three legged friend.

Ruff Wear Web Master Harness

Originally designed to assist search-and-rescue dogs, this handy harness allows you to help your tripawd up and down stairs, in and out of a vehicle, or provide extra support. See full review and demo video for complete details.

  • Most popular and affordable.
  • Best for all purpose general support.
  • Most comfortable in all weather conditions.
  • Comfortable padded chest and belly straps.
  • Five adjustment points.
  • Quick release buckles.
  • Handle centered on back
  • Includes sturdy D-ring for attaching a leash.
  • Sizes to fit nearly any dog.

Ruff Wear Doubleback Harness

Ruff Wear Doubleback Dog Climbing HarnessStrength rated belay harness designed for technical climbing with dogs provides direct hip support using padded leg loops that stow in convenient zippered pocket when not being used. Read full Doubleback harness review for details.

  • Full padded belly support
  • Rear leg loops enable hip-lift and even weight dispersion
  • Stow away leg loops
  • Allows multi-point adjustments for a custom fit
  • Rugged, durable design is strength-rated to 2,000lbf
  • Two handles, one providing direct hip support
  • Not ideal for rear-leg Tripawds with small or no stump
  • No quick release buckles
  • Narrow top handle
See all recommended dog support harnesses in the Tripawds Gear Shop!

AST Get A Grip Harness

For deep chested, large breed, heavyweight or more physically challenged Tripawds, the AST provides superior under-belly support. NOTE: Small and Medium Get A Grips have permanent handles. Large size has four individual loops. Please select preferred handle options. Read Get A Grip product review and see demo video for details.

  • Comfortable under-belly support when carrying is necessary
  • Quick and easy to put on
  • Gives even support when lifting
  • Ideal for larger, heavyweight or less mobile dogs
  • Optional shoulder straps
  • Abdominal section accommodates male anatomy
  • Small and Medium sizes include permanent handles.
  • Large size includes four hand grip loops.
  • Carrying handles/loops are not removable
  • Optional clip-on handles and straps available
  • Doesn’t seem practical for all-day use
  • Not necessarily for active Tripawds
  • Fabric seems heavy for hot climates

AST Get A Grip Total

Select this option to receive a kit complete with Get A Grip Harness, clip-on handles and shoulder straps. NOTE: Ensure proper fit before replacing permanent handles on small and medium sizes to avoid voiding warranty. Read Get A Grip product review and see demo video for details.

  • See Get A Grip harness features above.
  • Includes adjustable clip-on handles.
  • Includes adjustable clip-on over the shoulder straps.

AST Custom Pet Support Suit

AST Custom Pet Support Suit Custom Dog HarnessEnsure a perfect fit with this custom designed body harness made to order for your dog. The best solution for giant breed dogs and/or long term use. Includes Additional Velcro® closure, no-slip fit, choice of color and adjustable, detachable handles. No returns. See Jerry’s original Pet Support Suit review and video. New review coming soon!

  • Wrap-Around Design
  • Custom Built to your dog’s measurements
  • Additional Velcro® Closure
  • Adjustable Straps
  • No-Slip Fit
  • Durable, Heavy-Duty Construction
  • Choice of Color
  • Adjustable, Detachable Handles
  • Washable
  • Optional Shoulder Strap
  • Unbeatable Support and Control
Visit the Tripawds Gear Shop for more helpful products!

55 Responses to “Which harness is right for my dog?”

  1. Hi, my Willow is a rear leg amputee. She’s fairly large -Irishwolfhound cross. She’s pretty mobile though I feel that help getting into and out of my car is required. Somehow the process of getting into and out of the car is “worse” at night and I am trying to work out if she can’t see and is tentative or if she is stiffer in the leg/hip. Anyway, I am getting anxious about protecting her remaining limbs and hips (she is only 12 months old – was hit by a train), can you recommend a harness? I’ve checked out the ruffwear webmaster which seems like it could work, though the AST looks best though I am not sure if this is overkill for now.. Any advice would be really greatful as petmum is getting really anxious about my beautiful wolf girl. Thanks.

  2. Have you heard of ABO gear? A lot cheaper than the others… Just wanted to know about reviews.

    • Nope, never heard of ABO gear. What do they make? Feel free to post a link in the forums and we’ll look into it, but we prefer cost effective over cheap!

  3. Fritz is an 8 year old 85 lb. Weim with right front leg partial leg amputation. At 4 weeks post op he can get down stairs, get down from his favorite chair, etc.
    However getting out of the car is the one area where he needs an assist. I have been using a sling but I want to get a harness that will be comfortable enough so that I can put it on him when we leave the house and leave it on at the dog park etc. I am leaning toward the Ezy Dog convert rather than Ruffwear Webmaster. Do you have any recommendations ?

    Thanks, Nancy

  4. I am picking my soon to be seven year old Dogue de Bordeaux up tomorrow after having her front right leg amputated. I am not sure if I will need a harness but wanted to see what would be best if I decide I do (for stairs, getting in and out of the car, getting up and down, etc). She is a big girl, at 118, and weighs more than I do. I am also 5’2″ so I am not going to be able to provide a lot of support but want to be able to if she needs me. Because of my height as well as hers, long handles will not be useful. Thanks

  5. My Great Pyr is a left rear amputee. He now weighs 100#. He just started to go on longer walks and gets ahead of me as he is able to moves fast. Then he sits down when tired, then gets up a going again. My queston is, what sort of harness should I use? He is a long Pyr and large chest, long body and legs and no stump. He mainly needs something to help guide him when needed and help him up. I have a sling that I carry with me, but that doesn’t work well when he is already laying down tired. However, I don’t think he needs a big heavy duty harness. I am having a hard time finding a light weight (strong) harness for a giant rear amputee.

    • Jill, that’s a great question. What size is his girth? We recommend the Webmaster as an all-around super harness for getting around. It lets you help him when he needs it and it’s very breathable and light despite appearances. To make sure he doesn’t poop out so quickly and need that kind of assistance, however, we recommend reading our Loving Life on Three Legs book, which covers all the bases for helping a Tripawd get strong. The general rule is, if a dog sits down on a walk he’s gone too far and is too exhausted. To avoid joint stress and overdoing it, spend your time focusing on the types of core-building exercises we discuss in the book. Once he’s got those core muscles firmed up, longer walks will be more do-able. Good luck and let us know if we can answer any other questions.

  6. Thank you Jerry, Charmin’s girth is approx. 39 inches. I am going to order the Ruff Wear today. And definately work him more in his core building. Someone mentioned to look into ABO Gear and I called the company, but they do not carry any products for our tripawds. Ruff Wear here we come. And yes, will be working on my boy’s corestrength. He does have arthritis/weak leg, so will be challenging, but he is a determined boy! Thank you again.

  7. I bought the Ezydog Convert Harness for my front leg tripawd girl, and it would be perfect, except for the lack of handles. I have to stoop over to grab the grip to support her when she is walking. The Get a Grip harness seems easier to help support for walking since it has two handles that can be adjusted, but it looks like it is bulky and not convenient for a short trip to the potty. The Webmaster doesn’t seem to have handles either. (My dog had her leg amputated two weeks ago, and she is about 60 pounds.) Any suggestions?

    • Hi Tracy, you’ve described the difference between the harnesses perfectly. As we mentioned in our review of the Convert harness, it’s more suitable as a walking harness and not an assistive harness because of where the low-profile handle is placed and the fact that it doesn’t have any lifting-capabilities from the middle of the body, the way the Web Master and Get-a-Grip do. The Web Master does have a handle that’s closer to the middle of the dog’s back, which allows folks to hoist their dog up, but again, you’d have to bend over to grab the handle since it’s also low-profile.

      The Get-a-Grip is a great harness for dogs who are less mobile and need lots of assistance. Because it has much longer handles and even a shoulder strap as an option, you won’t need to stoop too far to hoist your dog. However the disadvantage is what you noted: it’s slightly more complicated to put on and once you do put it on your dog it’s handier to leave it on throughout the day (we encourage pawrents to get the optional removable handles so the harness can be left on all day). However, it does have more hoisting power, especially for folks with bad backs!

      The thing to ask yourself is; how long do you think Angel will need that kind of assistance? In time she should need less and less and the Convert will be perfect to go out on walks with. If you want to try the Get-a-Grip just keep our descriptions in mind: it’s really for dogs who need a lot more assistance than the average Tripawd.

      I hope this helps, please feel free to contact us with other questions.

  8. I am shaking & crying as I write this & feel very information-overloaded. On Mon my 8yo 135lb male Alaskan Malamute is to have his front left leg amputated (cancer). I’m scared to death & can’t envision how he will ever get around with just one front leg. I am disabled myself and can’t offer him a whole lot of physical assistance. The vet wants me to get a harness; for a very large male front leg amutee who already has some back problems, is your best recommendation the Get a Grip? Thank you for any advice and words of encouragement.

  9. I have a young amputee – a coonhound / husky mix who is about 80 pounds and was amputated when he was 6 months of age. He has practically no stump left in the back. He easily gets tired and his one back leg gets weak as he tries to get all of his puppy energy out, it can’t keep up. I ordered a ruffwear web master harness but it ended up being too big, but it does not seem to help support the back end much. Are there any recommendations or bits of advice with anybody who has encountered this problem? I would ideally like to get a prosthetic to avoid joint issues as much as possible and aid in his movement, but he has no leg left to attach anything. Thanks in advance!

    • Sorry to hear about the trouble Meaghan, and thanks for asking. Without any remaining appendage and proper planning before amputation, a prosthetic is not a viable option. Please consider watching our video interview with Orthopets for more information. Additional details about braces and prostheics can be found in our most recent orthopedic vet interview videos.

      In most cases, the best solution is to focus on exercise, stretching and building core strength to help compensate for additional weight on remaining limbs. The e-book Loving Life On Three Legs includes plenty of professional advice, recommendations and how-to videos on the subject.

      For more full-body support, you might consider the AST Get A Grip harness.

  10. I have a 1 yr. old tripawd shih-Tzu. Her front left leg is missing – she also had her pelvis broken and she does not walk normally in the back – crooked. She runs good, but walking, she bobs up and down. I wanted to know what style would be the best choice. I also wanted to know if there is an extended strap so I could assist her walking. Do you have any suggestions? She is only 11 lbs.

    • Thanks for asking Alexis, the Ruffwear Webmaster is the best all purpose harness we recommend for most Tripawds. All front leg amputees will have an adjusted gait that causes them to hop along. Without the other leg it’s impossible for them to stride gently along. You’ll find details about this and much more in the Tripawds e-books.

  11. Sammye Conway July 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I have a 70 pound, 2 year old, very active greyhound who is a front leg amputee. He runs tirelessly like a champion but can’t walk for more than half a block without getting tired and winded. I am undecided between the Webmaster harness and the Get a Grip harness. We are taking a trip in September and would like to take walks with him on the beach. Also, we may not be able to get a hotel along the way with a first floor room so he will need help going up stairs. Which one do you think would be best for him?

    • Hi Sammye, that’s a great question. First, it sounds like he could really use some core strengthening exercises, have you tried that? The best way to build stamina for walks is to first focus on strengthening. You’ll find lots of tips here in the Gear Blog. Now, to answer your question, I would think that the Webmaster would be best for your dog’s state of health. It sounds like he just needs a little encouragement and the Webmaster handle on top is perfect for that, it’s a way for you to help your dog. The Get-a-Grip on the other hand is for less mobile dogs who need a lot of assistance. If you have any other questions just holler or feel free to contact us directly via email or phone. Thanks so much.

  12. Hi,

    I have an 11 year old boxer weighing approx. 54 lbs. He’s a life long front limb amputee. He is currently suffering from hip dysplasia in the back left hip and spinal arthritis due to the years of strain and exacerbated by muscle loss due to 10 months of chemotherapy. He is having trouble getting around in general and we’re having issues with his back left paw slipping on hard surfaces.

    Any recommendation on a good harness and boots for him would be great. We’re looking for a round the clock harness.

    Thanks so much.

    • Hi Veronica, sorry to hear about your pup’s mobility challenges. Wow, 11 years on three legs is amazing. Kudos to you and your pup for all that you do to stay strong through the years. I would really recommend you consider the DoubleBack harness by Ruffwear, it sounds like something that could really help. You can leave it on all day long, it’s breathable and comfy too. As for boots, if he’s never worn them before I would start with Pawz dog booties. Dogs who are having balance issues need extra care when it comes to putting something on their feet so be sure to work with a rehab vet to ensure you introduce the boots properly. Good luck, and keep us posted. Hop over to our Discussion Forums for even more support from lots of folks who’ve been there OK?

  13. Thanks so much Jerry for all of the helpful information!

  14. I have a overweight Large female black Lab with bone cancer ! She is getting her front right leg amputated,which harness is best for her?

    • Best wishes for your Lab’s speedy recovery Liz! We tried to explain in this post above which harness may be best for different circumstances. If your dog has trouble getting up and around on her own, she may benefit from having you help her with the Get A Grip. If she is mobile, and just needs a little extra help – on stairs, in vehicles, etc. – consider the Webmaster. Both are available on the Shop Page.

  15. Patricia Gruber February 4, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I have a one year old Swiss white shepherd, with a complete back left leg amputee. She has a very good mobility, she jumps, runs (The surgery was happened almost a three weeks ago). But I know that she will need a harness to get her back in a good straight way, so I wan to know which harness is the best option for her. She is large and big and her weight is around 28,5 Kg.

    I will appreciate any comments.

    • Hi Patricia, we’re glad to hear your Shepherd is doing so well! It sure sounds like the Webmaster harness will be your best bet, it’s the one we typically recommend for active dogs who just need a little assistance. Keep in mind that a harness helps you, help her. It won’t provide support, balance or assistance on it’s own but is rather a tool for you to assist when needed. I hope that makes sense. Feel free to contact us with any questions. Thanks for reading.

  16. I was curious how escape proof the ruffwear webmaster is. I have a tripaw pomeranian missing his left front leg. He weighs less than 10 lbs. I measured him and he could wear an XXS. He can get out of every harness I have put him in. I was just wondering if that back strap would keep him from pulling backwards out of the harness? Thanks!

    • Great Question Misty! Ruffwear refers to their Webmaster as the “Houdini-Proof Harness”. We have never heard of any escapes from customers, but of course, every dog is different and there is no guarantee. By “back strap” we guess you mean the rear one that goes under the belly. This would help keep the harness on better than others that only have a chest strap. Just please measure carefully to ensure a proper fit on such a small pup. Hope this helps!

  17. I have a 115 pound female Leonberger who will soon be joining the tripawd family due to osteosarcoma in her left rear metatarsus. She’s an older but strong, healthy dog and I’m looking for a harness to provide support while she adjusts. It sounds like Get-A-Grip is probably the best choice, but I like the rear handle grip on the Web Master better than the “purse straps”. Can I use the straps on the GAG’s rear loops just to provide a little extra lift?

    I could really use some expert advice.

    • Hi Brenda, we are sorry to hear about your Leo. Please join our forums so we can help you both along on your journey. We’ve had lots of Leo’s do great on 3 and we hope with all our heart that your girl is feeling good again soon a loving life. As far as the harness goes, the Get-a-Grips are currently not in production for a few weeks, we’re waiting to hear when they will resume. Meanwhile, the Webmaster is our #1 selling harness for Tripawds and for assisting a big dawg it’s definitely your best bet. Feel free to call or email with any other questions, we’re here for you.

  18. We have the ruff wear harness for our tripawd Great Dane Maya and it was wonderful during recovery and even helpful now when she’s overdone it. (She was amputated 5 months ago for osteosarcoma, but is doing great currently.)

    But it’s annoying to take on and off as she hates wearing it for long periods of time. We need a harness that doesn’t require her to lift a leg to put it on – it’s such a hassle! There must be harnesses you can buckle around the dog’s legs, but I can’t find one…advice?

    • Depending on how much support you need the Tripawd Convert Harness by EzyDog should do the trick! It’s quick and easy to take on and off, and is great for walks and offering assistance when you don’t need the support the Webmaster offers. We use both for Wyatt depending on what we’re doing and where we’re going.

  19. Just a quick update…

    I bought the Ruff Wear harness and it was perfect — for the 5 or 6 days we needed to use it.

    My Leo Feebs came through the surgery with flying colors. At 6 days, she was able to stand up by herself. At 8 days, she started to run a bit. On day 9, she was back to using the regular water bowls and standing food bowls and her walking gait was more normal — not so much hop.

    Last night — day 13 — we helped her up the stairs and she spent a normal night… on our bed until she got too warm, then on the floor by her favorite window and joining our other two Leo’s when we let them out in the morning.

    Most of the time, she has her good rear leg perfectly centered with good balance. I truly believe she’s forgotten she was born with 4 legs.

  20. I’m trying to decide between the Ezydog Convert and the Ruffwear. I’m a small (23 lbs.), front-leg tripawd and I need some help on stairs and elsewhere. Any suggestions? One of the appealing things about the Ezydog is the apparent ease of putting it on; I’m not a fan of being handled too much.

    • Hi Charlie nice to hear from you! It’s really a toss-up with smaller doggies. The Webmaster tends to fit better because it’s more flexible as far as the fabric, but there is more coverage so you may not like that. It also has the second strap on the rear, behind the rib cage, which is better for assisting.

      The EzyDog is a stiffer harness but with less coverage you may feel more comfortable in it. We do feel it’s more of a walking harness than an assistive harness however, because it doesn’t have that rear strap. I’ve seen it on smaller dogs like Marja without any issues. However Marja has both front legs, so it fits perfectly. For front-leg Tripawds, both harnesses may rotate a bit after a few hours of use. That’s just something that no harness manufacturer has figured out. Really it’s just a toss up. I hope this helps somewhat.

  21. Hi Jerry,
    Thanks for the kind note and key chain! I’m having a rough year. I appreciate your comments, but am feeling torn. I wouldn’t wear it for extended periods, but its purpose would definitely be for going up stairs, getting out of the car. A more complex process of getting it on and off wouldn’t work for me. I guess I’ll toss a coin. Many thanks. <3

  22. Oh, thank you, your note and chain were a huge spirit boost. I have far fewer problems than many here. It turns out I’m allergic to almost everything that grows and now I’m dealing with recurrent Lyme (yes, I was using tick protection). Back to the vet today and expect to be back on three soon. Thanks so much! I’m going to try the Ezydog, I think.

  23. I’m so glad to have found this website! I’m a little overwhelmed by the options. I have a 1-year-old, 50lb shepherd mix who’s a partial (possibly soon to be full) front leg amputee. He’s full of energy and very agile and mobile. I’m looking for a harness to provide a bit of control, like encouraging him off furniture he’s not supposed to be on or redirecting him away from squirrels. At the moment, I’m wary of being too firm with the leash and pulling him off balance. I’m wondering if the RuffWear WebMaster or the Ezydog harness might work best. Any suggestions would be wonderful!

  24. My nearly 9 year old Flat coat retriever is having his back right leg amputated next week due to a tumor , He is quite mobile at the moment,but I feel his age and size could hinder in his mobility,especially getting in the car and steps. What would you recommend please. He has always had a harness and walks well when it is on him. Thank you.

    • Hi Beth, sorry to hear about your pup. He’s still pretty young though and as long as he’s not overweight he should do pretty good. And even if he is overweight, that’s definitely something that can be dealt with pretty easily. Anyhow, we usually recommend the Ruffwear Webmaster Harness for dogs who go places, get in and out of cars and have steps to deal with. Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to join our Discussion Forums where you can get lots of input and help during recovery and beyond from our community. Hope to see you there.

  25. I have a rear leg amputee Golden Retriever who tends to pull when walking. Would the RuffWear WebMaster harness be good for this or just get her a regular non-pulling harness?

    • Hi Judy! All Tripawds need momentum to move, they all walk fast. Put on a pair of sneakers and go, a Tripawd walk is always a little faster. The Webmaster has a D-ring you can attach a leash to so you won’t have to put pressure on your Golden’s neck. But it will not stop her from pulling or walking fast. A non-pulling harness like the EzyWalk may actually even throw her off balance, it’s not something recommend. Try a Gentle Leader if pulling is an issue. Good luck and have fun!

  26. Hi – this weekend my greyhound Dinky (girl) is having her rear leg amputated (cancer) – obv being a greyhound she has a very small back end even though she is a medium sized dog
    what would you recommend as the best harnesses for her (total leg amputation rear going to happen)?

    thanks

    • Hi Jonny and Dinky. I’m sorry about the amputation but I hope our community has helped you feel more comfortable with the decision. If Dinky is otherwise mobile and able to get around just fine, I would go with the Webmaster or Webmaster Plus. It’s a great harness for most dogs and our most popular one. Hope this helps!

  27. Hi,
    I am off to the vet to get my 16 week old beagle mix who lost her right front leg. She was abused and then received no medical care for weeks so we had no option to give her a pain-free and somewhat normal life. I am wondering which harness has the most flexibility for growth?

    • Best wishes for your pup Cindy! No single harness is going to fit for a dog’s full life from such a young age. But the Ruffwear Web Master probably offers the most flexibility between sizes.

  28. I’m trying to choose a new harness for my little 6 year 8lb very active and energetic Yorki with his left front newly amputated. I would love to still be able to take him for walks once he is acustom to his new normal. He is already pretty easy to carry if needed. Wondering which harness would be best? I was between the web master, web master plus, tripawd covert and the front range.

  29. Dear sir, we are an English couple who live on the island of Crete Greece who rescue abandoned and tortured dogs, we have seven now one of which someone tried to kill, we rescued Lazarus who had to have a front leg amputated. We have had three harness so far but they keep slipping. We noticed in your advert that you do a web master plus harness that would be ideal for him and give him a quality that will enable him to walk out with. I have just noticed you do not ship any harness other that America. This is such a big disappointment to us. Why cannot you post out side the U.S.A. We would send the money first. We are getting desparete for him to have a quality of walking which would help him. He is an English setter, all our rescues are gun dogs who the Greeks abandon after each shooting season which they either hang them or shoot them and get new dogs per each season. The cruelty of dogs in Greece is horrendous and we along with other British people rescue and find homes for in Europe and the U.K. Do you know of any other manufacturer who do harness like yours as yours are the best e er we have seen.
    Thank you for your help in this matter.
    Best regards Ken and Sue Clark.

    • Ken and Sue, thank you for the great things you do to help dogs on Crete. You are angels! The harness makers have representatives in other countries. I’m not sure about Greece but you can reach out to the following to find out who is closest to you. Contact EzyDog UK and Ruffwear UK for more info on where to buy. And if you ever have questions about life on 3 legs or want to share your story please join our Discussion Forums anytime, we are a global support community! Best wishes to you and thanks again.

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