Choosing a tactical dog vest is a big decision for you and your canine partner. A lot of factors play into which one you choose. We came up with the best tactical dog vests based on the following criteria.
Size, material, primary function, handles, ID tag/patch holders, and MOLLE availability are just a few of the aspects of a canine tactical vest to consider before purchasing.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at these factors below.
Do Service Dog vests Have To Be a Certain color?
You can find service dog vests in every color under the sun, including camo. And, again, since there are no standards for service vests and you are not technically required to have one or even ID for that matter, color is a personal choice.
You may choose a color/design based on what organization you and your dog are affiliated with, such as camouflage for the military or red or blue for those dogs helping individuals with disabilities.
Is it illegal To Have A Service Vest On a Non-Service Dog?
Short answer: It depends on where you live. More and more states are making it illegal.
In some areas you can incur fines and possibly even jail time if you are caught with a service vest-wearing dog who is not actually trained or currently being trained in any service activities or has no certification.
In short, you can still use service dog vests, so long as you do not have them marked or claim them to be service dogs. Always check with your state’s legislation on the issue if you have any concerns.
|Signature K9 Modular||Tactical Service|
|OneTigris Tactical Dog Molle Vest||Military Service|
|Military Patrol K9 Dog Harness with Handle||Onetigris Tactical|
|PLUTUS PET Service Dog Vest||Mesh|
|EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER||Y-Front|
|Activedogs Service Dog Vest Harness||Service Dog Harness w/Bridge Handle|
|Industrial Puppy Service Dog Vest||With Pockets|
|Service Dog Harness Vest||Official|
|Dogline Emotional Support Dog Vest||With I.D. Holder|
Top 10 Best Tactical Service Dog Vests
#1 Best Tactical Service Dog Vest: Signature K9 Modular Ultimate Load Bearing Harness
If you’re looking for the best overall tactical service dog vest out there, this one from Signature K9 fits the bill.
Made with load-bearing nylon webbing as well as mesh for extra breathability, this tactical vest is surprisingly lightweight for its kind at 15.4oz. Signature K9 harnesses are made right here in the U.S., so you know they are of outstanding quality.
The Signature K9 Modular Load Bearing Harness comes with plenty of MOLLE strips if it is storage you need. This harness is so durable that your canine can literally carry his own weight in gear!
This harness comes in one-size, but all the straps are adjustable to get the perfect fit for your dog.
- Lots of hook and loop for MOLLE
- Easily adjustable
- Fits a range of dog shapes and sizes well
- Missing extra padding behind front legs
#2 Best Military Service Dog Vest: OneTigris Tactical Dog Molle Vest Harness Training Dog Vest with Detachable Pouches
If you don’t mind spending a little extra money, the OneTigris Tactical Dog Molle Vest comes already fully equipped with removable pouches. This vest is full of features and is currently available in three different sizes.
Hook and loop along the sides and top of the vest provide areas for MOLLE and patch attachment. The OneTigris Tactical Dog Molle Vest includes an EMT bag, tool pouch, and waist bag.
A little on the heavier side, this harness weighs 1.8 pounds.
This OneTigris vest comes with a mesh interior for extra ventilation as well as a top handle for extra control while training your canine, metal leash clip, and comes in tan or black.
- Plenty of hook and loop for MOLLE and patch attachment
- Detachable pouches included
- Two handles for extra control
- Material and stitching not as durable as they look in pictures
#3 Best OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest: Water-Resistant Comfortable Military Patrol K9 Dog Harness with Handle
If you are looking for a top of the line vest for less without compromising on quality, look into the OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest.
This harness comes with many of the same great features as the OneTigris listed above but without the bulk. The vest weighs a mere 5.6oz, but still offers the hook and loop strips you are looking for patch and MOLLE attachment.
Another notable feature of the OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest is its water-resistant material, making it a nice option for those using it with hunting or search and rescue dogs.
This OneTigris vest comes with four quick-release buckles and is easily adjustable and easy to get on and off. It is available in four different colors and sizes to suit your preferences.
- Several color options to choose from
- Padding in high-pressure areas
- Buckles on top instead of the bottom
- Fits even large dogs
- Handle not as durable for dogs that pull
- Plastic buckles prone to breaking with heavy tugs
#4 EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER Tactical Dog Vest Training Military Patrol K9 Service Dog Harness Adjustable Nylon Dog Harness with Handle
Another great lightweight vest option for your canine is the Excellent Elite Spanker Tactical Dog Vest. With a price point of $23, it is affordable as well.
Although it is available in four sizes, the chest and belly buckles are easily adjustable for an even better fit. This Excellent Elite Spanker vest is made with durable 1000D nylon and has a padded lining to protect your dog’s skin and fur and keep them comfortable.
This vest also comes with a V clip for leash attachment and a top handle. Although this vest is smaller, you can still find hook and loop areas for patches and MOLLE attachment. The company also offers more patches for sale individually, if needed.
- Multiple sizes
- 90 day quality warranty
- Issues with clips breaking easily
#5 PLUTUS PET Service Dog Vest – Best Mesh Service Dog Vest
For the best in breathability, the Plutus Pet Mesh Service Dog Vest is your best bet. Constructed mostly of mesh material, this vest is an excellent choice for warm weather or where water activities are involved as it is very quick-drying.
The Plutus Pet vest is also a great choice if you are looking for something affordable and lightweight, with a shipping weight of 2.4oz.
This Plutus Pet vest does not come with a top handle, but does have a leash attachment and only two buckles to adjust, making it quick and easy to get on your canine.
This service dog vest also comes with two patches and is available in two colors and six sizes, ensuring you get just the right fit for your dog.
- Ultra-breathable and lightweight
- Very affordable
- Patch placement along the back
- Issues with sizing being accurate
#6 EXCELLENT ELITE SPANKER – Best Y-Front Service Dog Harness
Excellent Elite Spanker comes in again for one of the top Y-front service dog harnesses on the market.
Similar to its lightweight counterpart above, this tactical dog harness comes in five different colors and four sizes.
It comes with a sturdy leash clip and hook and loop strips on each side for patch placement. Two-way adjusters on the belly strap make for easy adjustment.
This Excellent Elite Spanker harness is also made with strong 1000D nylon and a padded lining. This vest is a particularly good choice for medium to large dogs.
- Many colors and sizes to choose from
- Clips on top for easier attachment
- Not bulky
- High quality
- Neck loop too large/becomes loose on some dogs
#7 Activedogs Service Dog Vest Harness – Best Service Dog Harness with Bridge Handle
The Activedogs Service Dog Vest is a nice and affordable option for a general service dog vest and, as you can see from the product name, comes with plenty of extras.
This vest comes with a durable rubber handle and two clips to attach the included bridge handle to.
A padded chest to girth plate helps your dog stay comfortable as well as the mesh lining.
The Activedogs Service Dog Vest comes in four colors, six sizes and also includes a clip-on I.D. tag and ADA cards.
- Many sizes to choose from
- Bridge handle and clip-on ID carrier included
- Padded chest to girth plate
- Stiff fit
- Plastic clips for bridge handle attachment
#8 Industrial Puppy Service Dog Vest with Hook and Loop Straps and Detachable Backpacks
If it is extra storage you seek without having to buy additional MOLLE or other attachable bags, you can’t beat the Industrial Puppy Service Dog Vest with Detachable Backpacks.
This vest is at a reasonable price point and includes two generously sized detachable packs, making this the perfect option for individuals who may need to carry medicine and other valuables with them while out with their service dog.
Complete with top handle, reflective strip for added visibility, and padded and mesh lining make this service dog vest another great all-purpose option.
You can find it in five different sizes, currently, and three color options.
- Comes with 2 detachable backpacks
- Several size options
- Mesh lining for breathability
- Reflective strip for added visibility
- Hook and loop not sturdy
- Bags tend to come off when you don’t want them to
#9 Best Official Service Dog Vest: Service Dog Harness Vest Comes with 2 Reflective Service Dog Removable Patches
For another great general service dog vest option, check this one out from Doggie Stylz.
This vest comes with reflective trim for visibility as well as removable patches on either side. It also offers a top handle and metal D ring for clipping leashes to.
A neoprene lining prevents chafing and helps keep your canine cool. Double stitching of the entire vest ensures extra durability and longevity.
You can find this Doggie Stylz service vest in three colors and six different sizes for a custom fit.
- Plenty of sizes
- Lined with Neoprene to prevent rubbing
- Removable patches
- Sturdy design
- Service Dog” sticker tends to peel quickly
#10 Best Official Service Dog Vest with ID Holder: Dogline Emotional Support Dog Vest Set
Although not required, as stated previously, it is still a good idea to identify your dog as a service animal to avoid any unpleasant confrontations in public.
This vest solves that issue for you with hook and loop areas for attaching stickers and a removable I.D. cardholder.
This Dogline vest also comes with ESA patches, a leash, and an ESA I.D. card. Even though they are included, you can obviously use your own personal I.D. patches and card.
The Emotional Support Dog Vest is very similar in design and features to the Plutus Pets one listed above. Quick-release buckles and three different sizes make this a user-friendly service vest.
- Comes with leash, ID holder, and more
- Made with breathable mesh
- Sizes run small
Buyers Guide: What To Look For
Perhaps most important of all things to consider is the size of the vest.
You want to make sure that it is snug fitting without being too tight, which can restrict your canine’s movement. You also don’t want it to be too loose, possibly causing the vest to shift unevenly on your dog or potentially getting them caught on a limb, fence, etc.
Before ordering a vest, be sure to measure your canine for a proper fit. There are several measurements that you should be aware of. The most common are chest/belly measurements. You should also measure around the base of the neck and from the back of the neck (nape) to the base of your dog’s tail.
Most tactical dog vests are made with military-grade nylon. Still, there are different strengths and you want to make sure to choose one that is up to the rigors of your canine’s activities. Some tactical vests also include mesh or padding on interior linings.
What kind of work will your canine be wearing his vest for? Military? Police? Hunting? Will he be mostly outdoors or in? Will your dog be in the water on occasion? All important things to consider when purchasing a tactical dog vest.
Some vests are more quick-drying than others, which is important if your dog will be in the water. You will also want to procure the most durably-made vest possible if your canine will be mostly working outdoors.
Most, if not all, canine tactical vests come with at least one handle located behind the neck. Some vests also come with a second handle in the rear, which comes in particularly handy if you need to lift your dog from the water. Handles also help in controlling your dog during training.
Patch holders are beneficial for identifying what kind of service dog your partner is. While vests and other identification of service animals is not technically required, many individuals and agencies choose to do so.
Many individuals in law enforcement and the military prefer, or even need, their canine to have a tactical vest with MOLLE availability. After all, they are service dogs. Why not have them help carry the load?
Having extra pouches for water, food, magazines, etc comes in very useful in all kinds of scenarios, and not just necessarily in the military or law enforcement type. Having MOLLE can also come in handy in the wilderness on search and rescue missions.
As you can see, choosing the right tactical dog vest for both you and your dog’s needs is one that requires some thought before purchase. If you are completely new to the world of tactical dog vests, let’s answer some other common questions you may have.
Where can I purchase a service dog vest?
You can find service dog vests for sale plenty of places online, including Walmart, Amazon, and Chewy.com.
Can I get a custom service dog vest made?
If you want to get a custom vest made for whatever reason (perfect fit, extra durable, extra MOLLE capacity, etc), there are plenty of places to look online, including Etsy, the ADASDF website, and workingservicedog.com.
As with many things in life, you get what you pay for with service dog vests. Higher quality ones with more durable fabric and extras, like MOLLE, padding, and multiple clips for attaching leashes, are going to cost more.
Today we are taking a look at and comparing the top 10 tactical service dog vests you can find on the market today.
Finding the Best Tactical Service Vest for You and Your Canine
Many people choose to use service dog vests for a variety of reasons: To mark their certified working dog while out in public, to identify a K-9 or military service dog, or even just to have some extra storage for gear while out on a hike with your canine.
While there are many to choose from, you can’t beat the Excellent Elite Spanker Tactical Dog Harness Military Patrol K9 Dog Harness Service Dog Vest Nylon Working Dog Vest with Handle.
For the price, hook and loop on each side, quality construction, comfort, and ease of use, it is the best on the market.