How to Choose the Best Harness for Small Dogs - Simply For Dogs
Harness Small Dogs

How to Choose the Best Harness for Small Dogs

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Every so often, I find myself drafted for a job that I’d really just as soon not take. It’s not that I typically have trouble saying, “No.” Rather, it’s that I know how I’d feel if I really needed a favor, and someone who claimed to be my friend refused to do some small thing for me.

So, what small thing did I do that I’d have preferred not to do? I walked a small thing. In 19 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Dog Walker, I told you about the time I messed up my ankle and couldn’t walk Janice and Leroy. So, when my friend, Dana, fractured her kneecap and was out of commission vis-à-vis the dog walking thing, I certainly sympathized, and couldn’t say no when she asked if I’d walk her Shih Tzu, Hobart the Horrible.

Okay, his name isn’t really “Hobart the Horrible.”However, I’d be lying if I told you that I’m all that fond of Hobart. He’s a bit snappish, and when it comes to “walkies,” he’s a real handful for his size. The least little distraction has him pulling on the lead, and he’s powerful for a small dog. What made matters worse was that I was walking him with the lead clipped to a none-too-sturdy collar.

The whole experience was so stressful, I actually found myself wondering, half-seriously, if Dana had hurt herself on purpose to get out of walking Hobart. I didn’t want her to feel as though she was imposing on me, though, so I kept quiet and just sort of sucked it up. Once she was back on her feet, though, I did suggest that Hobart might do better with a harness, and offered to investigate some of the better options for her.

If you’re also wrestling with the problem of exercising a dog that’s a real powerhouse in a small body, you might find the following of interest as well.

Best Harness for Small Dogs On Amazon

Click Below To Go To Amazon Rating Price
Puppia Soft Dog Harness
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
Ruffwear Front Range Harness
Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

The Benefits of a Harness

I’m not necessarily saying that a harness is better than a collar; I know a lot of people who really prefer a collar. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but since we’re going to talk about the best harness for small dogs here, I won’t deal with the benefits of collars. Maybe I’ll do that in another post.

The first benefit of a harness is that it gives you far more control than a collar does, and this can be especially important when your dog is first learning how to walk on a lead. Not every dog reacts well to having a lead clipped on a collar, and then feeling the pressure on his neck. Anyone who expects that they’re going to be able to simply attach the lead and then walk calmly around the neighborhood or the park is very likely setting themselves up for disappointment. With a harness, and the additional control it gives, you can guide your dog effectively without running the risk of causing harm to his neck or throat.

Another benefit is that the best harness for small dogs will discourage pulling. This is because it doesn’t move the way a collar does when the dog pulls on it, so the dog doesn’t perceive an advantage in pulling, the way he will when wearing a collar.

A third benefit of a harness is that it’s secure. There’s no danger of the dog slipping out or getting tangled. This can be especially important with puppies that are just learning how to walk on a lead; there’s no danger of them escaping and running into traffic, or getting tied up in the leash and becoming frightened.

My personal opinion on harnesses versus collars is that a harness is almost always the better choice. Now, let’s get into specifics.

The Best Harness for Small Dogs

The following harnesses are all very good choices. These selections represent a variety of materials, options and price ranges.

1. Puppia Soft Dog Harness

Puppia definitely makes one of the best harnesses for small dogs. It’s soft, so it won’t irritate or pinch the dog’s skin, and it provides outstanding support. Since it comes in several sizes, though, I’d suggest measuring your dog to be sure of getting the right fit. Your perception of what constitutes a “small” dog could be different from someone else’s.

If you’re looking for a harness for a service dog, you should know that this particular harness is not certified. However, you can always bring the harness to a service dog

2. PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness

Here’s another “best harness” for a small dog. It’s a top seller on Amazon, and has received amazing reviews. One of the best things about this harness is the price; it’s under $20. The advantages don’t stop there, though. This harness is very well-designed, and made of durable nylon. You’re practically guaranteed to get a perfect fit, too, since it’s highly adjustable. You’ll also appreciate the simple setup and quick-release clasps that make it very easy to put on your dog and to take it off.

Another great thing about this harness is that it’s reflective, so if you like to walk your dog at night, you can be sure that passing motorists will know you’re there.

3. Ruffwear Front Range Harness

Here’s another great harness for small dogs. The design is very simple, and the harness is fully adjustable. The chest and belly areas are nicely padded, so if you and your dog are highly athletic, you can rely on this harness to keep your buddy comfortable for hours. At a bit under $40, it’s also a money-saver.

4. Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

The Kurgo Tru-Fit is another low-priced harness (around $20). The small size is good for most dogs between 10 and 25 pounds, but if your dog is even tinier, it also comes in an extra-small size. And if you have multiple dogs in a range of sizes, Kurgo also makes sizes up to extra-large.

This harness is very comfortable, highly versatile, and even stylish.

Best Harness for Small Dogs On Amazon

Click Below To Go To Amazon Rating Price
Puppia Soft Dog Harness
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
Ruffwear Front Range Harness
Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

The Final Word

Walking Hobart the Horrible would have been so much easier for me if he’d had a harness. I’m hoping that the next time I’m recruited to walk a small, stubborn dog, his person will forego a collar in favor of what I consider to be a much better solution.

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