What's The Best Dog Harness For Small Breeds
What's The Best Dog Harness For Small Breeds

In search of the perfect dog harness for our beloved small four-legged companions, we embarked on a mission to discover the ultimate choice. Finding a harness that combines style, comfort, and functionality can be challenging from chihuahuas to toy poodles.

Having explored various options, we aim to present you with a discerning examination of the best dog harnesses for small breeds, ensuring your precious pup can strut their stuff with confidence and ease.

When choosing a dog harness for small breeds, several factors must be considered. We want to ensure that the harness fits correctly, is comfortable for our furry friends, and is durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear.

Additionally, we want a harness that is easy to use and provides the utmost safety for our small breed dogs. This article will explore these factors in more detail and provide recommendations for the best harnesses for small breeds.

Size and Fit

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a harness for a small breed dog is the size and fit. A properly fitting harness will ensure your dog is comfortable and secure while wearing it. You must measure their chest circumference to determine the harness size your small breed dog needs. This can typically be done by wrapping a measuring tape around the widest part of their ribcage, just behind the front legs. It’s essential to refer to the specific sizing guide provided by the harness manufacturer to ensure an accurate fit.


Comfort is critical when selecting a harness for your small-breed dog. A comfortable harness will make your furry friend happy and eager to go on walks or adventures with you. Look for harnesses with padding on the chest and back areas to provide extra comfort. Adjustable straps and a secure fit will also help prevent chafing and discomfort. It’s also a good idea to consider the materials used in the harness construction. Soft and breathable fabrics are ideal for ensuring your dog’s comfort, especially during warmer weather.


Small breed dogs may be small, but they can be mighty in their energy levels and curiosity. That’s why it’s essential to choose a harness that is durable and built to last. Look for harnesses made from high-quality materials such as nylon or polyester. These materials are not only sturdy but also easy to clean. Double-stitched seams and reinforced hardware will also contribute to the overall durability of the harness, ensuring that it can withstand your small breed dog’s adventurous spirit.

Ease of Use

When putting on and removing the harness, we want to make it as easy as possible. Look for harnesses that have a simple design that allows for effortless step-in or sliding over the head. Adjustable straps with quick-release buckles will save you time and make the process hassle-free. Additionally, consider how easy it is to adjust the fit of the harness. Harnesses with multiple adjustment points will ensure a snug fit for your small breed dog.


Above all else, safety is the most crucial factor to consider when selecting a harness for your small-breed dog. Look for harnesses that have reflective strips or stitching to increase visibility during low-light conditions. This is especially important for walks during the early morning or late evening. Harnesses with sturdy and reliable buckles, D-rings, and leash attachments will ensure your dog is securely fastened and prevent them from escaping during your walks. Choosing a harness that distributes pressure evenly across your dog’s chest is also a good idea to prevent choking or discomfort.

Now that we’ve discussed the critical factors to consider, let’s explore the different types of harnesses suitable for small breeds:

Step-In Harness

The step-in harness is popular for small-breed dogs due to its ease of use. As the name suggests, this harness allows your dog to enter the openings and then secures around their chest and back. Step-in harnesses are typically adjustable and have straps that can be tightened or loosened for a secure fit. These harnesses are great for dogs who are patient and cooperative during the harnessing process.

Back-Clip Harness

A back-clip harness is another option suitable for small-breed dogs. This type of harness has a single leash attachment point on the back, near the shoulder blades. The back-clip design allows for a more comfortable walk since there is no pressure on the throat. Back-clip harnesses are easy to put on and take off, making them convenient for small breed dogs who may be more fidgety or impatient.

Front-Clip Harness

Front-clip harnesses are designed to discourage pulling by redirecting your dog’s attention towards you. These harnesses feature a leash attachment point on the front, at the center of your dog’s chest. When your dog pulls, the front-clip design will turn their body towards you, making it more challenging for them to continue pulling. Front-clip harnesses are especially useful for small breed dogs who pull on the leash during walks.

Vest Harness

Vest harnesses provide full chest and back coverage, offering a snug and secure fit for small breed dogs. These harnesses typically have adjustable straps that allow for a customized fit. Vest harnesses are known for their comfort and stability, making them an excellent choice for dogs with a more sensitive or delicate build. They also provide additional control, ideal for dogs who may be excitable or have a stronger prey drive.

No-Pull Harness

As the name suggests, no-pull harnesses are explicitly designed to discourage pulling behavior. These harnesses typically come in a front-clip or dual-clip design, allowing maximum control during walks. No-pull harnesses often feature a martingale-style chest strap, which tightens slightly when your dog pulls, redirecting their attention back towards you. These harnesses effectively train your small breed dog to walk politely on a leash without causing discomfort or harm.

Now that we have explored the different types of harnesses suitable for small breeds let’s move on to our recommended harnesses specifically chosen for their quality and features:

Rabbitgoo Dog Harness

The Rabbitgoo Dog Harness is a popular choice among small-breed dog owners. It features a step-in design with adjustable straps for a snug fit. The harness is made of durable nylon with reflective stitching for enhanced visibility. The Rabbitgoo Dog Harness also has a comfortable padded chest plate to ensure your dog’s comfort during walks.

Puppia Soft Dog Harness

The Puppia Soft Dog Harness is known for its soft and breathable mesh construction, making it an excellent choice for small-breed dogs. It has a step-in design with adjustable straps for a secure fit. The harness also features a sturdy D-ring for leash attachment and a quick-release buckle for easy on and off.

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Harness

The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Harness is a versatile option for small-breed dogs. It has a back-clip design and is made from durable materials. The harness features five adjustable points for a customized fit and includes a seatbelt tether for car rides. The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Harness is designed with safety in mind, as it has reflective trim and a broad chest plate for even weight distribution.

Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

The Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness is an excellent choice for enhanced visibility during walks. It features a vest-style design with adjustable straps to ensure a comfortable and secure fit for small-breed dogs. The harness is durable nylon with 3M reflective material for increased safety in low-light conditions.

Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness

The Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness is a versatile and durable option for small-breed dogs. It features a front-clip design to discourage pulling and provide optimal control during walks. The harness is made of durable materials with reinforced stitching and includes a reflective trim for increased visibility. It also has two leash attachment points, allowing you to choose between the front or back clip, depending on your preference.

Now that we have explored the factors to consider when choosing a harness, as well as our recommended harnesses for small breeds, let’s discuss how to measure your small breed dog for a harness:

Measure Your Dog’s Chest Girth

You must measure their chest circumference to determine the correct size harness for your small breed dog. Wrap a soft measuring tape around the widest part of their ribcage, just behind the front legs. Record the measurement in inches or centimeters, depending on the sizing guide provided by the harness manufacturer.

Consider Your Dog’s Weight and Body Type

In addition to measuring your dog’s chest girth, it’s essential to consider their weight and body type when selecting a harness. Some harnesses may be better suited for dogs with a stockier build, while others may be more suitable for dogs with lean physiques. Always refer to the harness manufacturer’s specific sizing guide to ensure the best fit for your small-breed dog.

Check the Harness Sizing Guide

Every harness manufacturer will provide a sizing guide to assist you in selecting the correct size for your dog. It’s crucial to follow the instructions and choose the size corresponding to your dog’s chest girth measurement. If your dog falls between sizes, we recommend sizing up for a more comfortable fit.

Now that we know how to measure our small breed dogs for a harness let’s discuss some tips for using the harness effectively:

Introduce the Harness Gradually

When introducing a new harness to your small breed dog, it’s essential to do so gradually. Allow your dog to sniff and investigate the harness before putting it on them. Begin by having them wear the harness for short periods indoors before gradually increasing the duration. This gradual introduction will help your dog become accustomed to the harness and associate it with positive experiences.

Adjust the Harness Properly

Proper fit is crucial for the comfort and effectiveness of the harness. Ensure that the straps are adjusted to provide a secure fit without being too tight. You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between the harness and your dog’s body. If the harness is too loose, it may slide around or let your dog slip out. Regularly check the fit and adjust the straps as needed.

Monitor Your Dog’s Comfort

While using the harness, monitoring your small-breed dog’s comfort is essential. Pay attention to any signs of chafing, irritation, or discomfort. If you notice any issues, adjust the harness or try a different style that may suit your dog’s needs. Remember, the goal is to provide a comfortable and enjoyable walking experience for you and your furry friend.

Use the Harness for Control and Safety

Lastly, always use the harness for control and safety during your walks. Attach the leash to the designated attachment point on the harness and hold it securely. Avoid excessive pulling, as it can cause discomfort or potential injury to your small breed dog. Always prioritize their safety, and be mindful of any potential hazards or distractions that may arise during your walks.

In conclusion, choosing the correct harness for your small breed dog involves considering size and fit, comfort, durability, ease of use, and safety. It’s essential to measure your dog’s chest circumference, consider their weight and body type, and consult the harness’s sizing guide for an accurate fit.

We recommend harnesses such as the Rabbitgoo Dog Harness, Puppia Soft Dog Harness, Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Harness, Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness, and Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness for small breeds. By following these guidelines and tips, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable walking experience for you and your small-breed dog.

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Dylan Mills
Hello there, I'm Dylan Mills, a seasoned veterinarian, committed dog enthusiast, and your go-to entity for all things dog-related. As an expert in the field and an award-winning advising member of several canine organizations, I bring unparalleled dog knowledge. Having dedicated my life to understanding these incredible creatures better, I've been honored with prestigious awards, recognitions, and a commendable reputation in the industry. As a published author, my books have turned into trusted manuals for dog owners across the globe. Raised in a family of dog lovers, my love for these beautiful animals runs much deeper than just my professional credentials. I've keenly observed, nurtured, and trained different breeds, gaining firsthand experience that feeds my expertise. I co-founded MyDogTrainingCollar with a singular mission - to make the rewarding dog training journey accessible, straightforward, and meaningful for you. As you browse the site, you will find a curation of up-to-date, evidence-based tips and advice on training collars, all designed with your furry friend's best interest in mind. Remember, every dog deserves to be understood, loved, and properly trained, and every dog owner should be equipped with the right know-how. That's exactly what I promise here at MyDogTrainingCollar - reliable solutions and expert guidance one click away. Brace yourself for a fascinating journey into the canine world. Let's decode your dog together.