What is the best harness for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? In this article, we will cover the basics of dog harnesses for this adorable breed and review our six favourites:
We got our first Cavalier about seven years ago having looked after one for a friend. Yes, he’s lazy, he snores, he is obsessed with food and a master manipulator – but we love him dearly.
Originating from the United Kingdom, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small spaniel categorised by the American Kennel Club as a toy breed. The breed generally follows four distinct colours; Blenheim, Tricolour, Black and Tan and Ruby.
Their dome-like heads and flat faces make them distinct. They also sadly have a range of potential health problems hereditary to the breed.
A Collar or Harness for a Cavalier?
With larger breeds, there’s a tendency to wear a collar for ID tags as well as a harness for walking. This isn’t quite as important for many smaller breeds. Our Cavalier, for example, actively hates wearing a collar so he only ever wears a dog harness when out and about.
One genetic health issue Cavaliers can also have is Syringomyelia which can result in excessive scratching around the neck. This is another reason a dog collar may not be suitable for them.
It is essential to use a harness, therefore, that includes the option of attaching an ID tag. This is not only a legal requirement in many countries but should be used for the wellbeing of any dog in case they become separated.
Cavalier Harness Sizing
Most people who own a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will know that controlling their weight can be a concern. Their tendency to over-eat can cause serious weight gain.
Because of their possible hereditary health issues – particularly relating to their hearts – it is important to keep your Cavalier at a sensible weight. Online and physical guides discuss this in much more detail than covered in this article.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Handbook is a book we often refer to and has a couple of chapters on feeding and exercise.
This means that measuring and fitting your Cavalier for a harness is crucial. The variation in the weight of the breed means there are no standard harness measurements. Generally, with most manufacturers, small and x-small harnesses fit best. In the review segment, we have gone for the most common sizings.
Our Top Six Best Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Harnesses
1. 🏆 Ruffwear All Day Adventure Dog Harness
|RUFFWEAR Front Range Dog Harness, Reflective Padded No Pull Harness, Twilight Grey, X-Small||Buy on Amazon|
A close tie with the TrueLove harness, we opted for this as the harness we often use because it is slightly better for reducing pulling behaviour. We spent many years trying to stop our Cavalier from pulling and this harness helped a lot once we used it.
The first, a strong aluminium V-ring, is located at the back (top). This is like any leash attachment, simply clip it on and start walking.
The second is a reinforced webbing loop on the chest (front). Using this requires a double ended lead, such as a Halti training lead, to attach on both points.
This dual lead is only used when needed. Normally the second lead clip will remain part of the leash for normal dog walking. When you are training your Cavalier, particularly if he is pulling or being difficult, you would detach the second clip and attach it to the front hoop of the harness.
We tend to then walk our dogs to the right-hand side of us, using the second lead point for guiding or stalling them whenever they pull.
The front range method also helps to train your dog without risking hurting your dog or causing throat injury which can sometimes occur with real pullers.
The Ruffwear Adventure harness is made from lightweight nylon material. There are robust woven straps adapted from mountaineering technology which can be adjusted for a better fit.
For comfort, the harness has padded chest and belly panels. There are also high visibility reflective trims around the outer layer for increased visibility at night. Finally, the harness has an ID tag pocket – though we have generally used the top clip for this.
Overall this is a great dog harness which has really helped our Cavalier. It’s simple to put on, easy to clean (handwash), inexpensive and hasn’t let us down.
2. TrueLove Dog Harness
|TrueLove Dog Harness TLH5651 No-pull Reflective Stitching Ensure Night Visibility, Outdoor Adventure...||Buy on Amazon|
This was the first step in harness we got for our Cavalier and it served us well. It’s a reliable walking harness that we still use on occasion. The small size is a perfect fit for our Spaniel and he always seems happy wearing it.
The handle at the top of the harness is a nice touch. It’s great for holding your dog in place, keeping them under control or helping to lift them when out trekking.
Like the Ruffwear this also comes with two attachment points at the top (Zinc-alloy D-ring) and front (Zinc-alloy O-ring) for better control.
Design wise this harness has an Oxford material outer layer and a nylon webbing. 3m reflective material lines the outer layer. The inner layer has a lightweight soft sandwich mesh lining with soft sponge padding for the chest and belly.
Straps at the side are used for better adjustment. We have found these straps a little rigid in the past which is perhaps the one downside to this harness. This results in the harness sometimes being too loose or worse too tight as we tug hard to adjust.
Style wise it’s different from the Ruffwear and comes in a choice of twelve colours.
Overall this is a sound harness. It lasts a long time, is comfortable and works well as a no-pull style harness. Let down only by the rigid straps – this isn’t a bad choice for your Cavalier.
3. Julius-K9 162PM K9 PowerHarness
We love Julius-K9 and normally we highly recommend it for larger breeds of dogs. Although still a popular choice for Cavalier owners, we tend to find it sits a little too bulky on a pup of this size.
The top has a very durable handle for holding a dog in place. It is not a front range harness, with only a single leash attachment at the back – although in the middle. Placing it in the middle gives less harness resistance should your dog start to pull.
The waterproof outer layer is incredibly rugged; impregnated scratch-resistant material covers it. The inner layer consists of breathable skin-friendly material. This is all designed to improve load stability. Everything about this harness is based around strength, right down to the reinforced stitching.
A belly strap on the Julius-K9 uses a heavy-duty plastic buckle. There is also a chest strap that has an adjustable hook and loop fastening.
One unique feature is the phosphorescent, interchangeable hook and loop patches. By default this comes with the Julius-K9 logo – however, there are over 1,000 different patches you could apply.
Overall the Powerharness is a very strong, non-pull harness which has been recommended by countless. It does work with a Cavalier, and we’ve seen these being used – but for our personal tastes – it’s better for larger dogs.
4. EzyDog Dog Harness – Chest Plate
|EZYDOG Classic Chest Plate Harness | Dog Harness Small, Medium, Large, K9 Dog Harness, Reflective...||Buy on Amazon|
This unusual looking harness is certainly different from the others reviewed here. The EzyDog is designed with a prominent chest plate used for distributing weight across the dog’s body. Like a memory foam mattress, the EVA chest support will mould to your Cavaliers chest.
The purpose of this design is to offer a different way to control and train your dog, and many owners have found good results from this.
The harness is put on with a one-click snap clip. There are easy to adjust straps to fit the harness better on your dog.
Putting on this harness is quite simple. Open the two buckles, place the dog’s right front leg through the harness. You should then adjust the webbings to create a better fit. Then simply fasten the buckles and make final adjustments.
A final note on this is the inclusion of a car seat attachment. A nice feature with a quick release snap shackle.
5. Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness
|rabbitgoo Dog Harness Small Dog No Pull Pet Harness with 2 Leash Clips, Adjustable Soft Padded Pet...||Buy on Amazon|
The Rabbitgoo, made from breathable nylon fabric, is another common dog harness seen in parks. This no-pull harness and Amazon choice are pitched on the more affordable end of the scale. Like previous products mentioned here – it is also a front-range with a leash attachment on both the front and top.
There are two adjustable side straps. The first located on the neck and the second at the front. Like the TrueLove we’ve found these can be a little rigid resulting in a less than perfect fit.
It, however, looks great. Made from high-quality breathable nylon material, it uses a mesh lining with soft padding for comfort. A quick release buckle is used for putting the harness on and off.
This is a great harness, it falls slightly short of the others – but like all good harnesses – the differences are marginal and vary from owner to owner.
6. Puppia Soft Harness
This dapper little harness is both inexpensive and soft. The material uses a soft air mesh fabric which is both light and breathable. The straps on the neck can be adjusted to create a more comfortable fit.
It’s a fairly simple harness with few features. However, if your Cavalier is new to a harness or behaves very well when out walking, this soft and inexpensive option could be ideal.
Unlike the other harnesses in this article, we found the medium sized to be more suitable than the small.
We hope you have enjoyed our article on harnesses for your Cavalier King Charles. Each dog is unique and will have different requirements. With Cavaliers, there are weight, health and pulling considerations. We have generally found the most success with the Ruffwear, although we have also had excellent results from the TrueLove harness.
Make sure you measure your dog first before ordering. We’ve used general measurements for this article, however for a puppy or larger dog, you may need to go a size up or down. Remember you can use our guide here for information on measuring and fitting a harness.
You can also check out our other Cavalier article on the cutest harnesses available. If you have any experience of the above reviews or alternatives don’t forget to comment below. Also, join the conversation on our Facebook page.