DIY Custom Dog Harness

service dog with y front harness

Make your own dog harness:

Ever wanted to make your own DIY dog harness? Turns out, you can make a dog harness at home with the right materials. We love making Y-front fleece dog harnesses at home to use for our dogs or to gift to friends. These fleece harnesses are comfortable, great for sensitive skin, fully customizable, versatile for working dogs, and fun to make! There are so many different types of dog harnesses out there – the Easy Walk, Puppia, Petsafe, Freedom Harness….the list goes on and on.

Disclaimer: If pulling is the reason the dog is walking on a harness, you should NOT attach the leash to the harness you make as it is not an industrial strength harness that can withstand pulling from a big dog.  We have included this disclaimer for the safety of your pup – of course your dog can still wear this trendy DIY harness but the leash should be attached to a collar if your dog pulls. Additionally, you should always reinforce the attachment stitches with box and zigzag stitches especially if you are attaching a handle. Please, please, please remember that one row of stitches is not enough to handle pulling.

It is super easy to get started on making your own doggie harnesses at home: all you need is a sewing machine, fleece, webbing (polypropylene) and some metal or plastic hardware. Read through this page to get all information about sizing and materials. On this page you will find the following:

  • Step-by-step video to make your own harness
  • Full list of materials
  • Sizing chart
  • How to measure your dog
  • A design for each section of the harness and how it comes together

DESIGN: How is the custom harness designed?

measurements for homemade dog harness

MEASUREMENTS: How to measure your dog for a harness:

how to measure a dog harness

SIZING CHART: How to cut the fleece and webbing to fit your dog:

Sizing Chart for fabric cuts: Harness Measurements

MATERIALS: What do you need to make your own fleece dog harness?

  • Fleece fabric (.5 yard per harness)
  • 1 inch lightweight polypropylene webbing (~5 feet per harness)
  • 1.5 inch lightweight polypropylene webbing (~10 feet per harness)
  • 1.5 inch side release plastic buckle (x1)
  • 1 inch lightwire metal D-rings (x6)
  • 2 inch triangle loop (x1)
  • 1.5 inch rounder tri glide/metal slides (x1)
  • 2 inch rounded tri glide/metal slides (x3)
  • Optional: 1 inch lobster snaps for additional handles (x4)
  • Optional: plastic tubing (1/4 inch) or corset boning (1/4 inch) (for semi rigid handle. Either the tubing or the corset boning works for a semi rigid handle. The corset boning will be more rigid)
  • Required if using steel corset boning: metal cutter(required for cutting the steel)
  • Rotary cutter
  • Self healing cutting mat (personally prefer the 24×36 size)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Yardstick Ruler (for cutting fabric on self healing mat)
  • Lighter (to prevent frayed edges)
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread (match webbing color, the quality of the thread will impact how well it goes through the machine)
  • Optional but VERY useful: adhesive spray (to secure the webbing to the fleece while sewing so it does not slip)
  • Option: Embroidery Machine

WhHERE TO BUY FLEECE:

Jo-Ann’s Fabrics – “Blizzard Fleece Fabrics” or “Anti-pill Fleece Fabric.” You will use about 1/2 yard per harness. Unfortunately, the webbing and the hardware needs to be bought online and are not available at Jo-Ann’s. 
Favorite non-fleece Fabric: Faux Leather Vinyl from Etsy. An 8×52 roll can complete 1 harness

WHERE TO BUY HARDWARE & WEBBING: 

CHEAPEST OPTION: 
Strapworks (cheap & fast shipping)
I buy everything except the trigger snaps from Strapworks. I buy the lobster snaps from Amazon instead.
Webbing (lightweight polypropylene)
D-rings (lightwire)
Trigger Snaps (lightduty)
ALTERNATE OPTIONS:
Amazon
Countrybrook Design

Tips for making the perfect harness:

  • Stay organized! Label your pieces A, B, C, D and put each in a different plastic baggies or use another method to keep all the pieces separate
  • The first time you make a harness, the process will seem confusing. Don’t worry, it will get easier each time
  • You may not get sizing right the first time, but luckily each piece of the harness will have a room for a few inches of error with adjustments. It might take a few tries to get a perfectly sized harness.
  • Keep your cuts perfectly straight. Make sure that you are lining up your folds with a straight edges so the pieces are not lopsided
  • Use temporary adhesive spray to keep your folds in place. This makes the process much easier.

7 Replies to “DIY Custom Dog Harness”

  1. Where did you find the 2″ triangle loop? I’ve been to craft stores, fabric stores and hardware stores…nothing. Online I can find them, but I’d rather not pay $10 shipping for $1 part. Any help??

    1. I have links to the triangle loops at the bottom of the page. They are available on amazon or strapworks.com

  2. What is the size for the harness you made in the video?

    1. the harness in the video fits about a 24-28 inch girth.

      1. And all the materials that are listed are for that harness size?

  3. What size strapping did you use for the handle? Also, I don’t see where the measurements are for the attachment pieces.

    1. Your Pal Cal says: Reply

      the webbing for the handles are 1inch wide. The attachment pieces are about 4 inches long

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