What Is The Best Harness For A Small Dog?

Looking to buy a harness for your small dog? Keep reading to learn the best type to keep your little pup comfortable!

As dog owners, we are responsible for keeping our dogs fed, hydrated, loved, and exercised. However, exercising your dog requires the right equipment to keep your dog comfortable during your walks, jogs, and hikes.

Are you looking for the best harness for your small dog?

Keep reading as we discuss the best types of harnesses for small dogs and why a perfect fit is so important for your dog's harness.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Harness For Your Small Dog

If you need clarification on the most important qualities when choosing a harness, check out these things to consider when choosing a harness for small dogs.


Safety for your small dog is the most important priority when choosing a harness. And when we’re discussing safety, really it’s all about getting the right fit. If your dog can slip out of their harness, it could run out into traffic or even be attacked by a larger dog. 

There are a variety of small dog breeds that have different types of bodies - what works for a French Bulldog with its barrel chest and thick neck would not work for a whippet! Finding a dog harness that is adjustable is the key to a great fit and a safe pup.


Chafing, rubbing, and constricting will make your dog's walk time unpleasant and painful. If you choose the correct harness with soft and comfortable padded mesh material, you can ensure your dog's comfort during your walks. You also want to avoid a harness that is difficult to put on your small dog - that’s why many owners and pets like a step-in harness for convenience and ease. 


Lastly, you'll need to consider the harness style you need for your small dog. There are many different styles of harnesses designed to support various dog activities like running, pulling, swimming, hiking, and more. Choosing small harnesses tailored to your dog's favorite activities will help keep them safe and comfortable during the exercise while making it easier for you to help your pup enjoy themselves.

What Is The Best Harness For A Small Dog

Characteristics And Features When Choosing A Harness For Small Dogs

Here are some of the best features when choosing a harness for small dogs.


When choosing the material that your dog’s harness is made of, take into consideration the environment in which you’ll be taking your dog. If you live in a dry area and don't plan to take your dog swimming, you won't need to think much about water resistance. However, if you live in a wet or muddy area, you should choose a harness to stay dry. 

If the harness becomes wet, it will become heavier and increase chafing. A breathable mesh fabric will dry quickly and also work to reduce heat and friction. Choosing padded mesh will also reduce the pressure of the harness against your dog's neck and chest.

Easy-To-Use Clips, Buckles, And Fasteners

You'll likely use your dog's harness daily, so why make it difficult for yourself by selecting complex fasteners? Choose a step-in or over-the-head harness with straightforward buckles and clips to fasten around your dog's chest.


If you plan to walk your dog on the street at night, it is important that it will be visible to pedestrians, cars, and cyclists. A harness that offers heightened visibility with reflective stitching or materials will help ensure the safety of your small dog You could invest in a matching leash with reflective stitching to ensure your dog is apparent, even at night or in the early morning.

Types Of Harnesses

Let's discuss your choices when it comes to small dog harnesses.

Back-Clip Harness

A back-clip harness is very common for small dogs. Toy breeds or small dogs cannot pull firmly. So, even though the back-clip harness doesn’t prevent pulling, it's an excellent choice for your small dog.

Dual-Clip Harness

A dual-clip harness has clips both on the front and back. These clips are the leash attachment point where the leash attaches to your small dog harness. If you clip your leash to front clip harnesses, the harness will cause a sideways turn, preventing dogs from pulling you in that direction.

Step-In Harness

The step-in harness for small dogs is a harness you won't need to slide over your dog's head. Instead, you can place the harness on the floor, place your dog's legs inside, and slide it up to clip it across your dog's back.


There are different kinds of strap formations for dog harnesses. You can get an X-back or H-back harness for dog pulling, ensuring that the weight of the pull is spread evenly across your dog's body. Or, you can opt for a harness with handles on the back that allow you to lift your dog, which can be highly beneficial for quickly pulling your dog out of the water or out of harm’s way.

No-Pull Harness

The no-pull dog harness is a harness that stops dogs from pulling with a front clip leash attachment point. As we mentioned earlier, the front clip harness forces the dog's body sideways when they pull, preventing them from pulling you in a specific direction. This accessory is a cruelty-free harness for you or your dog trainers to teach your dog good leash manners.

What Is The Best Harness For A Small Dog

Measuring Your Small Dog For A Harness

It’s important to know how to measure your dog to ensure your small dog harness is a good fit. To measure your dog, you'll need a flexible tape measure or a piece of string that you could place around your dog and then measure. Take the tape measure, place it around your dog's chest, across the thickest part, and measure this value.

Then, place the tape measure around your dog's neck at the thickest part, and this will give you their neck measurement. It's also a good idea to have your dog's weight, as some harnesses for small dogs depend on their weight category.

Once your dog harness arrives, it should fit your dog snugly, and you should be able to place two fingers between the harness and your dog's skin. Before performing this step, use the adjustable harness straps to tailor the harness to your dog's proportions.

The 7 Best Harnesses For Small Dogs

To help you get started with your search for the perfect dog harness, we’ve done much of the research for you! Here are some great options from Neewadogs.com that will keep your dog happy and healthy during their activities

Pro Sled Dog Harness

This harness isn't for toy breeds, but if you'd like to get your small dog started with sports like bikejoring, skijoring, and canicross, this is the best harness for pulling sports. The pro sled dog harness has an X-back structure that helps keep your dog comfortable while pulling heavy loads. The weight will be evenly distributed across your dog's chest, ensuring that the sport is cruelty-free and fun for your doggie.

Perfect Fit Harness

The perfect fit harness is an excellent X-back type harness for dogs with a wide neck or dogs that need adjustment points to fit at the best. The harness comes with a wide range of adjustable straps that help you to ensure your dog is snug in their new harness. If you have a Malamute Husky or a Labrador with a large chest and wide neck, you might struggle to find a harness that fits them suitably. The perfect fit harness comes with adjustable straps to help to increase your dog's comfort and adapt it to his growth.

Dog Running Harness

Do you like to take your dog out jogging with you? The dog running harness is for owners who like keeping pace with their furry friends. The dog running harness helps to keep your dog safe during your brief run. It is made with durable materials that make it perfect for daily use, and the structure of the harness helps to minimize the impact of any strong tugs on the leash, which will be stronger if you're running with your little fluff ball!It’s a great choice if you like to mix your walk with a run without bringing with you one of our pulling harnesses. This harness also comes in X-Small to fit small pups' needs..

Sport Dog Harness

The sport dog harness supports walking and obedience training. If your dog is pulling, you must ensure the pressure doesn’t impact a single body part. The sport dog harness comes with padded straps that improve comfort and a handle that allows you to guide and lift your dog as you need to; it’s easy to put on/off and mostly used as everyday/casual sport activity in the city park. This harness also comes in X-Small to fit small pups' needs.

Adjustable Racing Harness

The adjustable racing harness is an H-back harness with many adjustable straps. The racing harness is not an extra small dog harness, so it is better suited to small to medium dog breeds weighing over 44 lbs. The fabric is breathable mesh fabric, making it suitable for use year-round, and the padded chest sections reduce pressure on the ribcage. Your dog can participate in pulling sports like canicross, bikejoring, and skijoring while breathing remains unrestricted and airways stay free. What’s differentiating this harness from the Perfect fit harness (also called Adjustable Sled Pro in Amazon) is the freedom around the belly and the higher leash attachment. This can be a better solution for bikejoring, especially if your dog stays on the side.

No-Pull Dog Harness

The no-pull harness prevents dogs from pulling on the harness. It is the best small dog harness for obedience training to teach your dog good leash etiquette.  This type of harness allows you to correct your dog's pulling behaviors and prevents your dog from hurting itself by pulling too firmly on the leash. This harness comes in medium-large sizes to suit.

X-Back Racing Harness

The X-Back racing harness supports dog-pulling activities like mushing and bikejoring. The X-back harness allows the weight of the sled, bike, or person to be distributed evenly across the dog's body, preventing discomfort. Smaller dogs have more sensitive necks and tracheas and thus it can be less suitable for them to walk or run with only a collar and leash. 

The X-back racing harness can help ensure your dog is comfortable without straining their neck. Although your dog might be too small to pull a sled, it might be big enough to help you ride your bike by pulling at the front, and this can lead to more satisfaction and physical stimulation for your dog. The design is for narrow chest dogs, with longer back and slim shapes, if your dog is not lean and with a narrow chest, please check the sled pro harness or the perfect fit harness (also called adjustable sled pro in Amazon).

You might also want to invest in a pulling leash attachment with bungee flexibility and an attachment point for your bike or waist (if you plan to begin practicing canicross). Please note that the X-back racing harness is only suitable for small to medium-sized dogs and that your toy dog may not be able to fill this harness.


Exercising with your dog is one of the most important bonding aspects of your relationship. To improve your dog's life with more comfortable walks, you should invest in a harness for small dogs that will perfectly fit your dog's body type. There are many different harness types to choose from, but the proper harness will allow you to enjoy your favorite activities and training with your canine bestie. 

Are you starting to learn more about different dog activities? Check out our collection of dog sports accessories at Neewa!