The 6 Best Harnesses for Chihuahuas (Our Top Picks – Reviewed)

Collars aren’t suited for all dogs, especially if they have a tendency to pull. A harness can be a far better option for your dog and for a Chihuahua, we recommend the Comfort Fit Dog Harness. It’s easy to put on and take off, very lightweight, comfortable and works well with this tiny breed.


Our Top Pick

This super comfortable Chihuahua harness is recommended by owners everywhere. Not only is it lightweight, weighing an impressive 2 oz., but it’s also very soft and easy to put on. The lead attaches to two metal d-rings at the top of the harness.

Choosing the best dog harness for your adorable little chihuahua may not be as simple as picking one off the shelf. Not only do you need to consider sizings and that they won’t escape, but you also want something stylish and comfortable for your toy breed.

Boasting the title of worlds smallest breed, the Chihuahua (also lovingly called Chi or Chi-chi) originates from Mexico, where it shares its name with the Mexican state.

Chihuahuas have also been a star favourites, boasting celebrity owners such as Madonna, Britney Spears and Marilyn Monroe among well-known dog owners.

In this guide, we will explore what makes a good harness for your Chihuahua, how best to measure them for that perfect fit as well as review our top five choices for your tiny friend.

Why Choose a Harness for a Chihuahua

When choosing a harness for your Chihuahua it is important to understand why collars may not be the best option.

With most breeds of dogs, particularly when they are puppies, there can be a tendency to pull when out on a lead and collar. This can cause a number of problems, firstly – it doesn’t make a good walk for anyone.

It can be stressful for the dog owner as well as the dog and make walking more of a chore than a pleasure.

Why Choose a Harness for a Chihuahua

Secondly, pulling on a collar can cause discomfort for the dog. This can have the adverse effect of increasing the pulling behaviour as the dog tries to escape the unpleasant sensation of being choked.

Thirdly, and most importantly, is the pressure this puts on your dog’s throat. When you walk a dog using a collar, it can put a lot of pressure on their throat – particularly if they pull. If your dog has a collapsed trachea, continuing on a collar will be wholly unsuitable – and a harness will help dramatically.

Chihuahuas are prone to a few difficulties around breathing and the throat area. One is pulmonic stenosis which restricts blood flow to and from the heart. One of the effects of this is difficulty breathing. A suitable harness will place less pressure on the throat and reduce the strain when out walking.

Because of the size of small breeds such as chihuahuas, Dachshunds and French Bulldogs – the risk of tracheal collapse from too much pressure is also a worry. A continued honking cough can be a sign of issues and in addition to considering harnesses – you should always consult your vet if you are worried.

What Size Harness for a Chihuahua?

It is crucial you consider the Chihuahua’s size and shape when buying a dog harness. An ill-fitting harness can be easily escaped from, not only when they pull but when they wriggle out whilst idle. As one reviewer online put it “I was left with a lead and harness with no dog”.

“I was left with a lead and harness with no dog”

You can find out more about measuring your dog for a harness below, but let us discuss some of the basics.

For a very small or puppy Chihuahua you will want to look for sizes such as XX-Small and X-Small.

Generally these measure around the chest at about 29-35cm.

For adult chihuahua a chest Size roughly 36-50cm.

These sizes vary quite a bit depending on the manufacturer and retailer, so you should double-check it’s the right one for you.

You may also consider measuring the neck of the dog, especially if they have trachea issues.

How to Measure your Chihuahua for a Harness

How to Measure your Chihuahua for a Harness

For a complete guide to measuring any breed for a dog harness, you can read our complete guide. As a quick summary for fitting the perfect Chihuahua dog harness, here are the steps you should take:

  • Start by measuring the chest. Take a tape measure and find the widest part of your Chi’s chest. This is a few inches, or a few fingers, from the back of the dog’s front legs. Wrap the tape all around and make a note of the measurement. You now have the chest sizes of your dog to compare against the harness manufacturers measurements.
  • Add a couple of inches to the total. You obviously do not want the harness to be too tight, and also want to allow room for growth and slight weight gain. Adding a few inches allows you flexibility and most harnesses are adjustable.
  • Measure the circumference of the dog’s neck. Not all harnesses require the head to go through. However some do, and of those, some may not be adjustable. It is therefore important to measure the neck to make sure your dogs head will fit through and that you can remove the harness without tugging. Similarly, it cannot be too loose or your dog could escape.

Types of Dog Harnesses for Chihuahuas

There are several types of harnesses available. Not all are suited to every breed, and some just look silly on others. We’ve covered our choices of the best harness for Chihuahua’s in the section below – but if you’re still looking, these are the types of harnesses you’ll read about online.

  • Vest Dog Harness. These are the most basic types of harness, vest harnesses are usually the easiest to use and usually the more affordable out there. They are often made of nylon or mesh fabrics, are soft and lightweight. They often fit over the head and can be adjusted easily. The leash attachment point of at the back and they make great general walking harnesses, particularly for dogs who are new to harnesses or those who have a tendency not to pull.
  • Front clip or back clip Harness. Often recommended by dog trainers, these harnesses are secure, robust and can help your dog if they are a puller. There are various forms of this no-pull harness. One popular option is a harness with a D-ring (leash attachment point) at both the front (chest) and back (top). Using a double-ended training lead such as a Halti, the attachment clip can be clipped to both the front and back – similar to a horses reins. This not only helps to guide the dog but offers better control and a training method for when they start to pull while out walking.
  • Tightening or Control Harness. We wouldn’t recommend these, and they are best left to experienced trainers. However, these are designed to tighten when your dog pulls on the leash. Though this can help fix bad behaviours in your dog, it can lead to discomfort in less experienced hands.
  • Leather Harnesses. It may seem obvious to describe a leather harness as simply a harness made from leather. What should be noted from these are that they can act as more than simply a fashion statement. If you’re looking for something practical – consider those designed to reduce pulling and aid with training. Also, look for harnesses which are not only comfortable but do not rub or chafe the dog’s skin, particularly when wet.

Our 6 Best Harnesses for Chihuahuas

Our 6 Best Harnesses for Chihuahuas

1. 🏆 Comfort Fit Pets Small Dog Harness

This hugely popular harness for tiny breeds is not only practical but gorgeous.

Easy to Put on and Take off Small Dog Harnesses Our small Dog Harness Vest has padded Interior and Exterior Cushioning Ensuring your Dog is Snug and Comfortable ! The XXS size is better for Chi puppies and Teacup / smaller sized chihuahuas, whereas most will fit well into the XS (or small in some cases) size.

The harness uses two reinforced metal D-rings, located at the back (top) of the harness, for attaching to a leash.

This helps balance the pull across the top of the harness instead of pulling directly from the top.

Weighing only 2 oz. this is an incredibly lightweight harness.

The sizings for the X-Small size are Chest Girth 33 cm – 41 cm and Neck 25 cm – 33 cm. For the Small sized harness the Chest Girth is 40cm – 48 cm and Neck 33 cm – 41 cm.

Although the red is often a favourite, this harness is available in five distinct colours including blue and black.

Putting this harness on your chihuahua is very easy. Simply put on and take off using the secure quick release clip.

Probably the most noticeable things about this harness are it is soft and very straight-forward. The softness makes a very comfortable fit on your dog.

It’s easy to see why this dog harness is so popular with Chihuahua owners. It’s simple yet secure and great for controlling your Chi’s walking habits and training them to have a more enjoyable walk.

2. Julius-K9 16IDC-PN-B2 IDC Powerharness

Some Chihuahua owners may dismiss this harness as being too robust for such a small dog – but it’s definitely a harness worth looking at.

3. Zellar No Pull Dog Harness [UK Only]

Zellar No Pull Dog Harness, Adjustable Breathable Reflective Soft Padded Dog Vest Harness with Handle for Training Outdoor Activities, Black, Extra Small Another very popular Chi breed harness is the Zellar. This harness is very much designed to be a no-pull harness, with aluminium allow rings on both the front (chest) and back (top) of the harness.

For general walking, a normal leash can simply be attached to the back of the harness. When used in combination with a double-ended training lead, such as a HALTI, the leash can be attached to both points.

This will increase your control of your Chi when they walk, guiding their direction and giving better control when they begin to pull. It also does this without putting any undue pressure on the dog’s neck.

Designed to last the overall harness is made from a strong oxford material with a lining of soft padded breathable mesh. The outer layer of the harness has a 3M reflective trim for increased visibility when walking in dark conditions.

4. Umi. Essential Classic Dog Harness

5. All Pet Solutions Soft Mesh Dog/Puppy Adjustable Harness

6. LSW Pet Design No Pull Dog Harness

Very cute and very inexpensive – these are adorable choices for your beloved tiny friend. The polka-dot design is available in a range of six different colours including black, blue and green. They are very simple and comfortable.

These are an example, as mentioned in our measurement guide, of a harness that goes over the dogs head and cannot be adjusted. It is, therefore, important that you measure the chihuahua’s neck beforehand to make sure you can easily put it on and take it off (and that it’s not too wide).

The material is made from breathable soft cotton and it’s incredibly lightweight as a result.

The small is probably perfect for your dog if they’re already grown, but for teacups and puppies – you should check out the extra small (XS) sizing.

Summary

Whether it a puppy, adult Chi or a teacup Chihuahua harness – hopefully, this guide has helped you make the best decision for your miniature friend. Though it may appear normal to simply walk your chi-chi on a collar and lead, it’s worth considering a harness for helping train your dog as well as reduce unwanted pressure on the throat.

A well-designed harness should not only be comfortable but should fit well and not be easily escaped from.

If you have had any successes with the dog harnesses mentioned in this article, have other suggestions or even tips – remember to comment in the section below. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Co-Founder of Collar & Harness, there's little he doesn't know about dogs. TopDog loves agility but is far too unfit to keep up. Offers advice and articles on dog harnesses, collars, travel, food and temperament. Has featured articles in Huffington Post, The Guardian, BuzzFeed and others. Is woeful at speaking foreign languages.

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