Best Harness for Small Dogs

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    Vicki Smirnova
    Vicki Smirnova

    Author: Vicki Smirnova

    Vicki S. is a professional writer and editor who adores animals and helps readers get along well with their pets. Vicki has been working in digital media for more than 5 years and has great experience writing content about lifestyle, including pets. Vicki specializes in dog health and nutrition, cat feeding, dog training. She is an aquarium lover and is passionate to write about fish care at home. Also, Vicki headed several websites and worked as a news editor.

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  • Updated on: 12/07/2020

A high-quality and reliable best small dog harness will turn a walk with your pet into a real pleasure. The best dog harness for a small dog is dependent on the age, size, temperament, breed characteristics of the pet, as well as the convenience for the owner. Our product review will help you determine which leash is best for your dog.

best harness for small dogsImage by @jade87 from Pixabay

Best Small Dog Harness Comparison Chart

We gathered best 10 harness, suitable for small dogs in the chart below:

Products

Benefits

Links

TOP Pick
puppia authentic ritefit harness with adjustable neck

Puppia Authentic RiteFit Harness with Adjustable Neck

  • Excellent value.

  • Adjustable chest strap.

  • Soft, comfortable material.

Best No Pull Picks

HDP Big Dog No Pull Dog Harness

  • Adjustable straps for a perfect fit.

  • Provides freedom of movement for dogs.

  • Distributes pressure perfectly, providing comfort to the dog.

Blueberry Pet 3M Reflective Multi-Colored Stripe Padded Dog Harness

  • Adjustable straps for a perfect fit.

  • Reflectors for safety at night.

  • Provides reliable fastening of the leash.

Best Front Clip Picks

Kurgo Dog Harness

  • Adjustable and comfortable harness for everyday use.

  • Comfortable for your dog.

  • Dog seatbelt tether included.

ruffwear front range dog harness

RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness

  • Suitable for regular wear.

  • Comfortable use for a long time.

  • Easy to put on the dog.

Best Back Clip Picks
chais choice polyester reflective front clip dog harness

Chai's Choice Polyester Reflective Front Clip Dog Harness

  • Durable harness with wide chest pad.

  • Padded chest and belly straps keep dogs comfortable.

  • Strong leash attachments.

julius-k9 idc powerharness nylon reflective no pull dog harness

Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness Nylon Reflective No Pull Dog Harness

  • Water-repellent outer shell.

  • Ideal for everyday use.

  • Perfect for nighttime strolls.

Best Soft
best pet supplies voyager step-in mesh dog harness

Best Pet Supplies Voyager Step-In Mesh Dog Harness

  • Padded harness stays clear of your dog's neck and prevents chafing.

  • Easy to take off and put on the pet.

  • Will not allow your dog to break free.

Best Pet Supplies Voyager Plush Suede Dog Harness

  • The cozy fabric provides a warm, comfortable walk - even in cold weather.

  • The vest can be machine-washed.

  • Easy to clean even after the hardest adventures.

Best for Car Rides
sleepypod clickIt sport crash-tested car safety dog harness

Sleepypod ClickIt Sport Crash-Tested Car Safety Dog Harness

  • Comfortable supporting harness.

  • The harness distributes pressure perfectly.

  • No extra gear needed.

*All ratings are formed by the article’s author based on own research and combined with customer reviews.

Best Walking Harness for Small Dog Reviews

Our Top Pick

Puppia Authentic RiteFit Harness with Adjustable Neck

puppia authentic ritefit harness with adjustable neck

Puppia Soft Dog Harness is a simple, everyday harness that will provide your pet with maximum comfort. The harness is designed for convenience and functionality. It is made of light fabric and adjustable straps with a D-ring for attaching to the leash. Thanks to the mesh and practical design, this harness allows your pet to feel comfortable during daily walks.

Pros

Cons

  • Adjustable size.
  • Made of breathable material.
  • Ideal for small breeds.
  • None

Size table:

SizeNeck GirthChest Girth
Small9.5 – 11.5”13 – 19″
Medium11.5 – 14″15 – 22″
Large13 – 16″19.5 – 29.5″
X-Large16 – 19″21.5 – 31.5″

Back to the chart

Best No Pull Picks

HDP Big Dog No Pull Dog Harness

This soft dog harness features wide straps for extra comfort. The harness also has reflectors to increase your dog’s safety. The harness includes a strong D-ring to which you can attach the leash. The harness will help you fully control your dog and not allow it to pull the leash.

Pros

Cons

  • Available in 4 sizes.
  • Variety of colors.
  • Made of 100% polyester.
  • Not the best option for brachycephalic breeds.

Size table:

SizeChest Girth
Medium20 – 25 inches
Large25 – 32 inches
X-Large32 – 42 inches
XX-Large40 – 48 inches

Back to the chart

Blueberry Pet 3M Reflective Multi-Colored Stripe Padded Dog Harness

The Blueberry Pet Mesh harness has an attractive design made of durable mesh, oxford and polyester materials. The buckles of this harness are made of environmentally friendly plastic, and the metal D-ring is durable and has a long service life.

Pros

Cons

  • Large selection of sizes.
  • Tons of colors available.
  • Made of lightweight mesh.
  • Not durable.

Size table:

SizeChest GirthLower Neck CircumferenceChest Strap
Small17.5 – 21″14.5 – 20.5″10″
Medium22 – 26.5″17.5 – 26″11.5″
Large28.5 – 38.5″24.5 – 38.5″14.5″

Back to the chart

Best Front Clip Picks

Kurgo Dog Harness

This excellent harness will provide comfort to your pet during walks. The small size can fit dogs that weigh 10-25 pounds and have a 12-20 inch neck and 16-22 inch chest. This manufacturer focuses on producing harnesses for small dogs.

Pros

Cons

  • Durable belts.
  • Easy to adjust the size.
  • Crash tested certified.
  • Not very chew-resistant.

Size table:

SizeNeck GirthChest Girth
X-Small9 – 13″12 – 18″
Small12 – 20″ 16 – 22″
Medium16 – 25″18 – 28″
Large18 – 30″24 – 34″
X-Large24 – 35″28 – 44″

Back to the chart

RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness

This harness is made from soft fabric, so it is easy to put on and comfortable for dogs to wear. The harness has 2 leash attachment points: an aluminum V-ring located on the dog’s back for daily walks and a reinforced strap on the dog’s chest, which is useful for controlling dogs that are pulling. The harness also has a reflective finish for added safety of your pet. This model is available in various colors.

Pros

Cons

  • 4 convenient points of adjustment.
  • Strong straps.
  • The harness has reflectors.
  • Clasps are hard to close.

Size table:

SizeGirth
XXS13 – 17″
XS17 – 22″
S22 – 27″
M27 – 32″
L/XL32 – 42″

Back to the chart

Best Back Clip Picks

Chai’s Choice Polyester Reflective Front Clip Dog Harness

chais choice polyester reflective front clip dog harness

Ensure maximum safety for your pet with the Chef’s Choice 3M reflective harness. This harness evenly distributes pressure on the body of your pet and does not create discomfort. Soft, breathable fabric does not restrict the movement of the dog. Also, the harness has reflective inserts and adjustable straps. This model is available in several colors.

Pros

Cons

  • Perfect for nighttime strolls.
  • Durable leash attachments.
  • Built-in handle.
  • Only suitable for dogs with 13″ (or more) chest girth.

Size table:

SizeChest Girth
X-Small13 – 17″
Small17 – 22″
Medium22 – 27″
Large27 – 32″
X-Large32 – 42″

Back to the chart

Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness Nylon Reflective No Pull Dog Harness

julius-k9 idc powerharness nylon reflective no pull dog harness

The Julius-K9 DC Power harness is made of eco-Tex material. This breathable fabric is easy to use and suitable for everyday use. The durable construction is of German-made materials, wear-resistant buckles that withstand all weather conditions and a water-repellent coating. The chest strap is equipped with a retroreflector to ensure visibility in low light conditions. The harness is designed to give your dog freedom of movement.

Pros

Cons

  • Soft, breathable fabric.
  • Robust design.
  • Easy to put on the dog.
  • Doesn’t have a “no pull” front leash D-ring.

Size table:

SizeChest GirthSuggested Pet Weight
Baby 111.5 – 14″1.76 – 6.61 lbs
Baby 213 – 17.5″4.4 – 11 lbs
Mini-Mini15.5 – 21″8.81 – 15.43 lbs
Mini19.5 – 26.5″15.43 – 33 lbs
Size 023 – 30″31 – 55 lbs
Size 125 – 33.5″50.5 – 66 lbs
Size 228 – 38″61.5 – 88 lbs
Size 332.5 – 45.5″88 – 154 lbs

Back to the chart

Best Soft

Best Pet Supplies Voyager Step-In Mesh Dog Harness

best pet supplies voyager step-in mesh dog harness

The Best Voyager pet harness has several size adjustment points to correctly fit your pet. The breathable mesh that the harness is made of helps avoid irritation or suffocation if your active puppy pulls too hard. This harness also has reflectors that will help you protect and not lose your pet during night walks.

Pros

Cons

  • Fully adjustable harness.
  • Durable material.
  • Breathable fabric.
  • Some owners had trouble using this harness with big-headed dogs.

Size table:

SizeDimensions
X-Small7.5 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches
Small8 x 9 x 1.5 inches
Medium10 x 11 x 2 inches
Large11 x 12 x 2 inches

Back to the chart

Best Pet Supplies Voyager Plush Suede Dog Harness

This harness has multiple adjustment points and an adjustable belt that allows you to ensure the correct fit of the harness, as well as easily remove and put on the harness. In addition, the Voyager can be machine-washed.

Pros

Cons

  • Very soft and pleasant fabric.
  • Secure clasp.
  • Easy to put on the dog.
  • Not very chew-resistant.

Size table:

SizeChest Girth
X-Small13 – 14.5″
Small14.5 – 17″
Medium16 – 18″
Large18 – 21″
X-Large21 – 23″

Back to the chart

Best for Car Rides

Sleepypod Clickit Sport Utility Safety Harness

Provide your puppy with maximum protection and comfort with the Sleepypod Clickit Sport Dog safety belt. This harness helps distribute pressure and does not create discomfort for your pet. The padded vest helps reduce friction when driving the car. If the car suddenly stops, the vest will gently hold your pet.

Pros

Cons

  • 3 points of contact of the car seat belt.
  • Made of high-quality nylon.
  • Proven safety and crash test.
  • Some owners complained that it bunched around their dog’s legs.

Size table:

SizeChest Girth
Small16.5 – 22″
Medium22.5 – 28″
Large28.5 – 34″
X-Large34.5 – 40″

Back to the chart

Choose the Best Small Dog Harness – Buying Guide

There are two main types of harnesses for dogs:

A leash allows you to control the movement of a dog. It is made in the form of a strap with a carabiner for attaching to the collar.

A harness consists of belts of a specific design. The harness covers part of the animal’s back and chest. It differs from a collar in that it does not load or injure the dog’s neck. Also, a harness allows the pet to comfortably breath and provides it with greater freedom of movement.

Cons of a harness compared to a collar: high price, difficult movement control of an insufficiently trained animal. Before buying a harness, the neck circumference must be measured and the chest volume and back length, which makes it challenging to choose the right model. An incorrectly selected harness will negatively affect the dog’s health and comfort. The harness is ideal for walking small dogs (Yorkshire Terrier, Spitz, Chihuahua).

Stores offer dozens of leash options that differ in price, size, appearance and other parameters. First of all, you need to decide on the material from which the accessory is made.

READ MORE: Socializing Puppy with Other Dogs

best small dog harnessPhoto by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

Material

Generally, leashes and harnesses can be made from:

  • Leather. Leather leashes look stylish and expensive, suitable for small and medium-sized dogs, as a large pet can easily chew through the skin. Over time, the leash loses its appearance, fades and becomes covered with cracks. Some options combine leather with metal chains or nylon inserts.
  • Metal. Metal chains look elegant and beautify pedigreed animals. Products are often chosen for fighting dogs that can chew through less strong leashes. Metal is reliable and durable. Chains are well combined with different types of collars. A significant disadvantage is an additional weight that may cause inconvenience to the owner.
  • Tarpaulin. Tarpaulin is the most durable, practical and affordable material. These products are suitable for walking and training. Even the most aggressive dog will not be able to chew through a durable tarp. An additional plus is a comfort for the owner. The leash does not slip in the hands and is may be easily washed if dirty.
  • Nylon. Nylon leashes have the same advantages as canvas ones. They can be traditional or equipped with a wide loop at the end to fix the hand. A more popular option is a tape measure leash, which is convenient for controlling your pet on walks. Nylon is more often bought for small – medium-sized dogs, or for small puppies, and is also used as a leash for walking several pets.[3]

Size and length

The length of the leash is chosen depending on the breed and age of the dog. Too small items are impractical for daily walks but can be used for training.  Make sure that your dog does not choke.  Also, dogs can escape from a big harness. The best leashes are roulettes up to 10-15 feet long or classic models 5-6 feet long for toy dogs and small breeds.

Ideally, the harness straps are attached to the body tightly so that they do not move. At the same time, the accessory should not restrict the pet’s movements; excessive tension will make it difficult for the dog to walk and run, and may provoke inflammation and hair loss in the contact zone.

Comfort

The main requirement for the product is that it be comfortable. The best no-pull harnesses for small dogs may be used as a means for training the pet, but too frequent use can harm its coat. After walking, it is better to remove it. Leaving the dog in the harness at home without supervision is unacceptable, as it can lead to undesirable consequences. [2]

Collar

The collar should be comfortable for the pet: wide, soft, and durable. You should be able to put two fingers between the animal’s body and the collar. A more spacious product will not work, as an active dog will be able to turn around and run away. It is more practical to buy a collar the length of which can be adjusted independently.

Synthetic collars are lined with soft fabric: fleece, wool or felt. When buying, you need to check the reliability of the ring attached to the carabiner leash.

For puppies, toy dog breed of animals or very active pets, it is more convenient to use a harness attached not to the neck, but to the body. These models are also best for dogs with thick hair: spaniels, setters, Chow Chows. Animals with a particularly tender neck need collars with an expanded front part that resembles a bib. [1]

READ MORE: Outdoor Activities for Dogs

how to measure a small dog for a harness

How to measure a small dog for a harness?

Harnesses value is explained by creating the most comfortable conditions for animals, allowing them to correctly distribute the load on the skeleton and avoid possible injuries.

To get the perfect result, it is essential to choose the correct size of the harness, because a tight harness may cause harm.

The main function of the harness is to fit snugly around the dog’s body and properly distribute its load. It is very important to accurately determine the size of the harness.

In order not to make a mistake, you need to take these measurements:

  • Back length: Measured from the base of the withers to the bottom of the tail.
  • Volume of the neck (you can measure it directly under the collar): The front point should be located on the keel — the protruding bone under the dog’s neck – and the back should be measured on the edge of the front shoulder blades.
  • Chest circumference:  Measure by focusing on the broadest part of the chest. Remember that you should add a couple of centimeters so that the harness does not squeeze the dog’s chest. The size of a dog harnesses requires a small backlash of a few inches, which you can adjust with belts.

Dog Harness Sizing Chart

Using the table below, you can determine the size that will fit your dog perfectly.

Size

Girth

Weight

Dog Breeds

XX-Small

Neck: 7.5-9''

Chest: 8.5-12''

Up to 5 lbs.

Chihuahua, Teacup Yorkshire Terrier

X-Small

Neck: 9-13''

Chest: 12-18''

5-10 lbs.

Dachshund (miniature), Maltese, Pomeranian, Toy Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier

Small

Neck: 12-20''

Chest: 16-22''

10-25 lbs.

Cavalier King Charles, Pekingese, Miniature Schnauzer, Pug, Scottish Terrier

Medium

Neck: 16-25''

Chest: 18-28''

Up to 55 lbs.

Beagle, Border Collie, Boston Terrier, English Bulldog, French Bulldog

Large

Neck: 18-30''

Chest: 24-34''

Up to 75 lbs.

Boxer, Dalmatian, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Weimaraner

X-Large

Neck: 24-35''

Chest: 28-44''

75+ lbs.

Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Dane, Mastiff, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard

FAQ

How to put a harness on a small dog?

The method depends on the type of harness. In any case, follow these recommendations:

  • First, check and prepare the harness – whether the straps are twisted, whether the lock fastens well, etc.
  • Put the harness on the floor and put the dog’s front paws in the appropriate holes of the harness.
  • Put in one of the paws and have your pet step directly into the harness’ corresponding hole. Then repeat the same procedure with the other paw.
  • Quickly grab the harness with both hands, pull it up and snap the lock.
  • Check all the straps – their tension, retainers and the reliability of the lock. You can fasten the leash to the rings on the withers.

What is a step in harness for a dog?

Let your dog stand over the harness. Place one of your dog’s front paws in one of the loops, and the other front paw in the other loop. If your harness specifies which loop should fit each leg, be sure to follow these instructions. Snap the belt buckles together on your dog’s back.

What are the Benefits of a Dog Harness?

The main advantage of a harness is that it prevents damage to your dog’s neck, especially if it has a tendency to pull on the leash. Another advantage of a harness is that it gives you more control over your dog – this is also an advantage if your dog is large or overly active.

Article Sources:

  1. “Travel Safely with Your Pet by Car, Airplane, Ship or Train.” The Humane Society of the United States, humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train.
  2. Siler, Wes. “Drive with Your Dog? Consider This.” Outside Online, 24 July 2019, outsideonline.com/2326736/we-need-talk-about-keeping-dogs-safe-cars.
  3. “An Update to the New Jersey Pet Seat Belt Law.” Lombardo Law Office, 25 Feb. 2020, lombardolawoffices.com/an-update-to-the-new-jersey-pet-seat-belt-law/.

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