Gear & Accessories

6 Best Dog Harnesses For Small Dogs

Best Dog Harness For Smaller Dogs
Written by Graeme Hall

Small dogs make for great pets, they're easy to pick up, they're super cute and let’s not forget that their poop is tiny compared to bigger dogs, which is always a plus in my book. But smaller dogs do have a problem, their delicate necks, being such a small size a traditional dog leash can often do more damage than good when you're trying to control your dog.

What smaller dogs need is a good harness rather than a leash and collar. The good fitting harness will enable you to control your dog from the torso rather than the dog's fragile neck. Plus, it will be a better option to facilitate training and good leash behavior.

So, if you’ve just got yourself a cute and cuddly “small” dog and you're not sure which dog harness to buy in this article I have handpicked some of the best harnesses available for small dogs I could find.

Quick Comparison: Recommended Smaller Dog Harnesses

* Take a look at our quick picks below, or spend a few more minutes and continue reading our full reviews further down the page.

Image

Product

More Info

Puppia Soft Dog Harness small

BEST OVERALL

Puppia Soft Dog Harness

Chai's Choice Reflective Dog Harness small

BEST FOR NIGHTTIME

Chai's Choice Reflective Dog Harness

Comfort Fit Metric USA small

BEST IN STYLE

Comfort Fit Metric USA

PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Harness small

BEST VALUE

PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Harness

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness small

BEST FOR CAR

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

EcoBark Dog Harness small

BEST ECO FRIENDLY

EcoBark Dog Harness

What are the Benefits of a Dog Harness?

Aside from smaller dogs having thin, delicate necks and the regular collar and leash not really being a viable option, a harness can also be beneficial in a number of other ways.

Control

A good, premium well-made dog harness will provide you with excellent control. Even though your dog might be tiny, he can still shot off in all directions and rather than tugging on his neck, controlling via the torso means you can restrain your pooch without fear of doing any long-lasting damage.

Sure, your small dog isn't a massive 60 lb Mastiff that will drag you around the neighborhood but knowing you have full control over your pocket-sized pooch will make walkies and training a lot easier when compared to a collar and leash.

Harnesses Discourage Pulling

Because a small dog harness gives you total control, you are able to discourage pulling. It makes this even easier if you chose “front attachment harness” which applies pressure to your dog's shoulders and chest when he pulls, which turns him back towards you with almost no effort on your part.

Keeps Your Smaller Dog Secure

Using a good fitting dog harness on not only small dogs but puppies too will give you peace of mind that they are completely secure. Puppies have a tendency to squirm and slip out of regular dog collars and they also are bad walkers when they first leave the house.

A harness will keep your puppy by your side and you'll have full control when it comes to walking them with no fear of them slipping loose and running under a passing car or getting tangled in a long leash - you'll be able to guide then exactly where you want them to go.

A Good Option for Lungers

I have heard of many horror stories of dogs collapsing on the road due to excessive lunging and an ill-fitting dog collar crushing their windpipes. This isn't an isolated case, this is more common than you can imagine and the sad thing is it can be avoided by switching to a harness rather than a restrictive collar.

For some breeds that already have issues with their breathing such as bulldogs, moving to a small harness will make their walking experience a lot more enjoyable. By opting for a good fitting dog harness your dog's breathing won't be affected no matter how hard he pulls.

Kurgo dog vest

​​​​​​​​​​​What Makes A Harness For Small Dogs Better Than The Rest?

So I've convinced you that a small dog harness is better than a regular collar, you've made your mind up and now you want to buy one. Hold on there before you run off to your local pet shop here are a few things you’ll want to look for in the best small dog harness - trust me there are some bad ones.

Harnesses differ in terms of quality, so you must be sure to select one that will fit well, keep your dog safe, and let not forget it has to look good.

Always make sure that the harness has some of the following attributes before parting with your cash.

Correct Fit And Size

This should go without saying but you really have to make sure that the harness is the correct fit for your small-sized dog - it shouldn't be too tight but at the same time it shouldn't be too loose.

Getting the correct fit isn't as hard as you might think, almost all of the best harnesses for small dogs with have some sort of size-chart to help you pick out the right measurement without having to try on every harness in the pet store.

Once you have a general idea of what size you’ll need, pick a handful off the shelf and start to try them on your dog. Adjust the straps or buckles to ensure a good fit, the harness once fitted should have just enough room so you can slip two fingers underneath - Remember, not too loose and not too tight.

High-Visibility Features

It doesn't matter if you're buying a harness, a collar, a leash or even a dog coat I always recommend that you look for products that feature reflectors, reflective tape or reflective stitching to keep you and your dog safe when you're out walking in low-light conditions.

Small dogs can often be hard to spot at night by motorists, people out cycling or even kids playing on scooters or skateboards. So I strongly recommend buying a small dog harness that has some sort of reflective surface or even an LED light.

Secure, Easy-to-Open Fasteners

Any fasteners, buckles or clips need to be secure yet easy to open, many reputable dog harness brands will use a quick release plastic fastener that can be locked together easily and undone in most cases with just one hand.

Good Durable Material

Most manufacturers understand the importance of producing a durable and hard wearing dog harness but many overlook making the harness comfortable to wear.

Hold the harness in your hands and run your fingers over the stitching and buckles to get a feel of how comfortable and durable it is. Material such as soft mesh and plush fabrics combined with nylon webbing can provide adequate comfort for your small dog.

small dog harness

What is the Best Dog Harness for a Small Dog?

Last week I popped into my local pet shop with my Yorkshire terrier I tried on every small dog harness they had in the shop - luckily I'm friends with the owner. I must have fitted over 30 on my Yorkie and after much deliberation, these are the best of the bunch.

Puppia Soft Dog Harness

Puppia Soft Dog Harness

My first recommendation is this small dog harness from Puppia. The Puppia RiteFit has been manufactured from comfortable and durable nylon straps that provide excellent support without hurting or chafing your dog.

The adjustable chest fastener ensures you'll get a snug fit and the neck strap can also be adjusted for dogs that are still growing - so the harness will grow with your dog.

Puppia isn't new on the dog supplies scene by any means and they’ve received plenty of acclaim from trainers and dog owners. What makes Puppia stand apart from the competition is that they actually listen to their customers and this harness is proof of that. After receiving feedback from users they have made adjustments and tweaks to the design of their harness to make sure it fits perfectly.

It comes in all different sizes and colors but for smaller dogs, the small and medium sizes would probably be just the right size.

PROS: Feedback from owners of the Puppia RiteFit all say the quality of the material and the fit are what makes this dog harness a winner. The ability to adjust the neck strap is excellent for growing puppies. The RiteFit is super-easy to put on your dog unlike some others I tested, which is something to keep in mind if you have an overly excited dog or puppy.

CONS: To be honest I couldn't find much to complain about with the Puppia RiteFit. However, it seems that some owners have had trouble fitting the harness on a dog with larger heads. So if you own a bulldog or other breeds that typically have a large head make sure you try on the harness before you buy to make sure it will fit. Other owners also mentioned that this harness has too many moving parts making it a little complicated to fit. To be honest, this is what makes the Puppia RiteFit a winner in my book, the neck and chest fasteners ensure a good fit and these will only have to be adjusted once, when you first fit it to your dog.


Chai's Choice Reflective Dog Harness

Chai's Choice Reflective Dog Harness

This dog harness is a favorite among small dog owners due to its simple design, the large range of colors, reflective materials and affordable price point. With the Chai's Choice, there's sure to be a size for your dog, with small and even extra small available for your pocket-sized pooch.

The Chai's Choice is easy to put on, a just and simple to remove making a great option for everyday use or when you're in a rush to get out of the door. The mesh materials used for the straps are soft and comfortable and the soft sponge padding on the torso will keep your dog snug.  

PROS: The adjustable straps will allow for a custom fit on small dogs that are in-between sizes (still growing). The handle located on top of the harness is perfect for aiding with handicapped or injured dogs in recovery and will give some much-needed support when your dog is climbing stairs, walking or needs help to overcome obstacles.

CONS: I found that the straps on the bottom of the harness were a little fiddly to adjust the first time but once you've set them, you shouldn't have to adjust them again unless your dog is still growing. Also, the belly straps are held on one side with elastic, now this ensures that it will not be too tight when your dog walks, but I don't think it would be strong enough if you intend on using this harness as a car restraint.


Comfort Fit Metric USA

Comfort Fit Metric USA

My next recommendation is the Comfort Fit Dog Harness that comes with the best range of size for a small dog and even extra tiny pooches. Yes, this harness has sizes ranging from Medium, Small, X-Small, even XX-Small.

The design of this harness is perfect for the smaller dog and they have designed it to keep your canine secure, safe and comfortable. The adjustable buckle on the back strap makes the harness very easy to put on and remove.

PROS: The soft padded material used offer a nice snug fit, it actually looks more like a vest than a dog harness. A nice feature is the removable fabric bow that fixes onto the harness where you can write your pet's name and other details.

CONS: After doing a bit of research I noticed that some owners weren't happy with the size between extra-small and small variations and could not get a good fit. Also, it's worth mentioning that this harness doesn't seem to be a great fit for Chihuahuas and may cause chafing under the armpits.


PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Harness

PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Harness

If you're looking for a budget small puppy harness that’s still made-well and provides excellent support and comfort look no further than the PetSafe Deluxe.

The PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk helps to stop your dog from lunging or pulling when you take your K9 buddy out for “walkies”. The durable nylon material and simple buckles and fasteners ensure that your dog is not only comfortable but super secure too.

Available in a range of colors from green, pink, blue and grey I'm sure there's a color fit for your dog.

PROS: The way they have designed the harness with the leash attached at the front helps to steer your dog to your side which helps to reduce pulling - great for dogs with pulling issues. Fitting this for the first time on your dog is a doddle and once it's been fitted your dog is set for all future walks, unless he's still growing.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​CONS: Unlike some other harnesses that offer more padding the PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk comes with a simple strap design that may cause chafing and soreness if it's not fitted correctly.


Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

The Kurgo Tru-Fit is one of my personal favorites for small dogs. The combination of a simple, durable and comfortable design and the ability to use it as a tether with your seatbelt in your car has made this a best-selling harness for quite a while.

For the car, and using the supplied tether, Kurgo has designed this dog harness with safety in mind - the additional padding helps to reduce stress on the trachea and sternum and disperses the force over the chest in the unfortunate event a car collision should happen.

It’s comfortable, versatile, and with a range of sizes to fit almost any size of dog I’m sure there will be a good fit for your K9 buddy.

PROS: The best you will find for using in the car. It’s well-made, durable and comfortable. The harness comes with hassle-free Kurgo lifetime warranty against any defects, which is nice to know.

​​​​​CONS: Initial fastening of the harness on your dog can be a little problematic but once fitted you can rest assured that your dog is safe and sound. I researched this harness, and I read that some owners found that the Kurgo Tru-Fit rubbed on the shoulder areas or the dog, I'm not sure if this was an isolated case but it's something to keep in mind.


EcoBark Dog Harness

EcoBark Dog Harness

My final recommended small dog harness is from premium EcoBark Pet Supplies. What I like about this harness is the no-choke design and the durable material used in the overall construction.

Believe it or not but the EcoBark Dog Harness has been made from recycled plastic water bottles - I kid you not!

PROS: Walk your dog securely and in style with the EcoBark, while helping take care of the planet at the same time. A few owners of this product have mentioned that this harness has put an end to their dog’s leash-pulling behavior. The EcoBark isn't specifically designed to do so (unlike the PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Harness) but it’s great it does and it's an added advantage to an already eco-friendly dog harness.

​CONS: Make sure you get the correct size because unlike other harnesses for dogs there isn't any way to adjust the neck size. Also, the sizes of this harness seem to run a bit small so I recommend that you buy the next size up to ensure a good fit.


Dog lover get more content like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our Doggytastic! mailing list and get dog stuff directly to your email inbox.

Dog lover thank you for subscribing you'll hear from us soon!

Whoops! Something went wrong.

About the author

Graeme Hall

Graeme is the founder of Doggytastic! which is where he blogs about dog training, health, nutrition and anything else related to keeping a dog happy and healthy. Want to know a little bit more? Make sure to check out his full bio.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!