When out walking your Yorkie, you want to find a dog harness which is secure, comfortable and will help with any pulling behaviour.
Particularly if they tend to pull you want to identify the best harness for a Yorkshire Terrier that will aid with training as well as not put pressure on their throats, an issue sometimes seen with walking on a lead and collar.
Our reviewers researched and tested several Yorkie harnesses and concluded the [wpsm_highlight color=”yellow”]Comfort-Fit Pets Small Dog Harness[/wpsm_highlight] worked best for the breed.
Not only is it compact and lightweight – but the option for two leash attachment points are great for training this small breed, be they an adult or puppy.
- Best Harness for Yorkies – Our Top Six Reviewed
- Collar or Harness for a Yorkie?
- What Makes a Good Yorkie Harness?
- Types of Dog Harness for Yorkshire Terriers
- What Size Harness for a Yorkie: Measurement Guide
- Tips for Harness Training Yorkshire Terriers
Unsurprisingly Yorkshire Terriers, often called Yorkies, are a small breed dog originating from 19th century Yorkshire, England.
Yorkie dog owners often describe them as full of energy, playful and that they make great companions.
This article will discuss the best Yorkie dog harnesses available, the types of dog harness available, why your Yorkie would benefit from a harness, sizing information as some handy training tips for happy walkies.
Best Harness for Yorkies – Our Top Six Reviewed
1. 🏆 Comfort-Fit Pets Small Dog Harness
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The simplicity of this harness is its biggest strength. It’s very easy to put on and take off, using a quick release buckle.
Instead of buckles and straps – a long velcro strip is used to adjust the fit. It’s designed to be snug on your dog, so make sure you get the measurements right; otherwise, you may land up with one that’s too tight.
The recommended size for a Yorkshire Terrier is Extra Small (approximately a 9lb Yorkie – Chest Girth 33 cm – 41 cm Neck 25 cm – 33 cm), though puppies will probably benefit more from the XX-Small size. It’s worth checking the measurements of your dog (particularly the chest girth) against the manufacturer’s guidelines and also account for any potential growth if they’re still young.
Designed with a lightweight, breathable, washable Metric 66 material this Yorkshire Terrier harness is snug and a comfortable fit. The inner layer is padded and cushioned to avoid hurting your dog’s neck and body when they pull.
In addition to the design, the Comfort-Fit harness is also available in eight different colours including blue, green and a stylish cartoon doggie pattern.
Unlike many harnesses with a single leash attachment point at the back, this harness features two reinforced D-rings which prevents the harness from sagging to one side and better distributing any pulling pressure.
Overall, this is a wonderfully unique harness – particularly well-fitting on a small breed like the Yorkie. Just remember to check the sizing before you order.
2. Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness
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The harness is available in a variety of colours – though the black gives the distinct “police dog harness” look. The outer layer is a robust, water-proof, scratch-resistant material.
On the inner layer is an OEKO-TEX breathable skin-friendly material – making it comfortable and strong. There is also a reflective stripe at the front.
There is a chest strap with an adjustable hook and loop fastener. It clicks securely together with a buckle located under the belly area.
A velcroed front closes the harness in place. If this is your first time introducing your Yorkie to velcro, it may be worth doing this in stages so they don’t get a fright with the sudden ripping sound.
As a back clip harness, the Julius-K9 has a strong metal ring on the top. Next to this is also an easy-grip handle which helps with holding your dog in place, aids with lifting and gives better control.
3. Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness
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The outer layer is made from strong lightweight nylon material with nylon straps.
Reflective trims line the outer layer for increased visibility at night.
There are two lead attachment points on the Ruffwar. The first is an aluminium V-ring on the back (top) for attaching a leash and walking normally. The second is a hoop on the chest (front clip).
Both attachments can be combined to make use of the front and back clips. To do this you will need to a training leash such as a HALTI or Mekuti.
The Halti, for example, is a double-ended lead which can be used to give the leash different lengths. It can also be used to combine a harness and a head collar. For the Ruffwear harness – it is used to connect to both attachment points.
The combination of two points makes the lead similar to that of horse reins; the dog can be “steered” or guided. This can help to control your Yorkie, teaching better walking and reduce pulling behaviour.
4. Alfie Pet – Justice Harness Vest and Leash Set [USA & Canada]
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Another popular Yorkshire Terrier dog harness for our readers in the USA and Canada. This combined harness and leash set features a stylish back-clip harness to help with pulling dogs. The leash attaches to a metal D-ring at the top. The leash itself measures a length of 48″.
The inner layer of this harness uses soft sponge padding in the belly and chest areas. The outer layer is fabric-based and available in a choice of three colours.
5. Puppia Soft Dog Harness
It can also be used for dogs who are well behaved on their lead as well as elderly Yorkies.
Made from features plaid fabric, a super soft fabric lining, the Puppia is very soft, lightweight and breathable.
The Puppia doesn’t put pressure on your Yorkie’s neck and offers a very snug fit.
It’s not filled with features, is fairly basic – but at a great price and stylish to match (available in fifteen different colours) – this may be the vest harness you’re looking for.
Suggested Sizes: Average Yorkie – Small, Puppy / Teacup Yorkie – X-Small, Large Yorkie – Medium.
6. Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness
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Another great example of a front and back clip no-pull harness. Two metal d-rings attachment points, one on the chest, the other on the back.
Collar or Harness for a Yorkie?
Two of the health symptoms associated with Yorkies include bronchitis and, less commonly, tracheal collapse. As a result, you should consider not putting undue pressure on your Yorkshire Terriers throat.
Walking your dog on a collar and lead can lead to neck damage over time, especially when they pull on their leash. Excess pulling and sudden yanks put all the pressure on the neck, causing harm and discomfort.
A no-pull walking harness is designed to distribute the pressure of pulling behaviour across the dog’s body, taking the strain away from the neck and throat.
Mobility of your dog is also a consideration, particularly in an elderly Yorkie. Hypoplasia of dens (spinal cord damage), Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome (hip and femur problems) and Luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps) can all occur in the breed – as well as more common old age issues like arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Harnesses can assist with mobility – reducing pressure on your dog. Some are equipped with handles at the top to help your dog over objects and up stairs. You may even consider special rehabilitation dog harnesses to help your dog recover from injury.
Remember that it’s always a good idea, and a legal requirement in some countries, for your dog to wear ID tags in case they get lost. Most dog owners will use a collar solely for this purpose – however, some harnesses do come equipped with a place to keep identification tags.
Finally, it’s worth noting that though harnesses are used for walking when out and about – you should not leave a dog unattended at home wearing a harness as they may chew or become stuck.
What Makes a Good Yorkie Harness?
Whether you keep your Yorkie’s hair short, long or a bit on the shaggy side, you will want a harness that is comfortable for them. You will need to keep in mind the function you want it to perform, but also consider the length of their coat.
Your Yorkie’s harness should not cause them any pain, pinching them or in any way make the walk unpleasant. For most functions, a harness should be light, and it should be Y-shaped to allow proper movement of your dog’s shoulders. Considering their small size, you want to avoid harnesses that might be too heavy for them.
Although they are small, if your Yorkshire terrier pulls on walks, it can still be a nuisance and cause stress on walks. To help you with teaching your Yorkie not to pull, look for harnesses that have a front ring as well as a back ring to attach a lead to them.
Lead attached to the front can sometimes be intimidating to them if it’s in front of their face, so either keep the lead to the side or look for a harness that has a side ring.
If your Yorkie is a great escape artist, should look for harnesses that have more than one body clip. Be sure to measure your dog multiple times so that the harness is not too loose around the body.
For your casual walking needs, you have a lot more choice. You should still be mindful of getting a light harness, but there are plenty of designs, patterns and materials available. Be mindful of your Yorkie’s hair. Mesh harnesses are commonly seen on small dogs, but some get hair stuck in them, which can be quite unpleasant.
If you have a habit of picking up your Yorkie – and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t be tempted to do that – there are harnesses which can help you do it safely. Some cover more of their body and have handles you can use. We wouldn’t recommend just picking them up by the handles, but they come in handy.
Yorkie and sports don’t seem like a good connection, but Yorkshire terriers are not lazy dogs, they’re terriers after all.
If you plan on doing any sports with your Yorkie, check specific equipment requirements for the sport you’re choosing.
Agility and competitive obedience are a good choice for Yorkies, so just a plain Y-shaped harness would be the most sensible option in that case.
Types of Dog Harness for Yorkshire Terriers
Before selecting a Yorkie harness, it’s essential to understand that there are several different kinds of harnesses available on the market. Some harnesses are relatively similar, while others are more specialised for dealing with pulling, training and behaviour.
These soft vest harnesses are great for Yorkie puppies, dogs who are well behaved on their leads and older dog’s needing a little support. Soft, breathable and lightweight – they are often made of fabric, soft mesh or plastic materials.
They tend to be put on your dog similar to a jumper – fitting snuggly without restricting movement behind the legs or around the neck.
Front and Back Clip No-Pull Harness
There are common types of no-pull dog harnesses:
- Front Clip – one of the common options when it comes to harnesses that help with dogs that pull. These harnesses have just one single ring for attaching the lead, usually in the chest area. Although it can help with your training, we prefer a harness with two clips.
- Back Clip – harnesses with just a back clip are usually for casual walking or for certain dog sports. Perfectly normal to use on a daily basis if your dog has gone through the loose lead training.
- Front and Back Clip – This type is the most recommended for dogs that pull on their lead. Usually used in conjunction with a double-ended lead, this set up provides most control without causing any problems to your dog. The front clip allows the lead to gently guide the dog to the side, thus preventing them from pulling. The back clip provides the safety and control should the need arise. It also helps in guiding your dog.
- Control, pinch, tightening – there are some types of harnesses which look harmless, but work on the principle of pinching your dog or tightening around the armpit or the belly area. Don’t be fooled as these harnesses are targeting very sensitive areas of your dog’s body and thus are causing them pain. It’s possible that your dog will learn not to pull, but they also might quickly learn to hate you, the harness, and the overall experience of going out for a walk.
What Size Harness for a Yorkie: Measurement Guide
With an expected weight of 3.2kg, it’s pretty clear that a harness for a Yorkie needs to be extra small.
Some Yorkies can be bigger than that, of course. You want to ensure you measure your Yorkie, before spending money on any harnesses that might not be suitable. Even if you’ve measured your dog before, best to do it again before new purchases, at such small sizes, a few pounds here and there can make a difference.
Should you find your Yorkie to be between sizes, we usually recommend going for the bigger size, keeping in mind that you can use the straps to tailor the size to your dog. Take your dog’s hair into account as well. A Yorkie with a long coat might not need the next size up. It will also depend on how often you trim their hair.
Measuring your dog should be a pretty straight-forward task; here are some of our best tips for measuring:
- Chest: The best tool to have is a tape measure as you will need to measure the circumference of your Yorkie’s chest. Measure around the widest part of the chest and note down the number.
- Neck: This isn’t something that is always required, but it is worth checking the size of your Yorkie’s neck. There are commonly used harnesses for small dogs which do not have adjustable straps in the neck area. Use the tape measure to check the widest part of the neck, usually done at the base of the neck.
- Account for changes: It’s best if you add a few numbers to the measured size, Yorkies are very small so no more than an inch would be required. Adding a bit of slack allows for weight changes, times when your dog has longer hair and other situations where amends might be needed. Make sure to check the harness straps on your dog once in a while to always have the best fit.
- Check your Yorkie’s weight: For small dogs, manufacturers often show harness sizes in weight. Don’t just follow the manufacturer’s weight guidelines, but be sure to know your dog’s weight anyway and compare it along with the above measurements. Checking your dog’s weight regularly is important in general too.
Tips for Harness Training Yorkshire Terriers
- Y-shaped harnesses are the best, but if your Yorkie doesn’t pull, then make sure to pick out a comfortable harness in the correct size for your Yorkie
- If your Yorkie pulls on walks, then look for something that will gently help you overcome the issue; Y-shaped harness with a back and front clip paired with a double-ended lead would be best
- Avoid equipment that causes pain, not just the usual prong collars; some harnesses can look harmless, but they cause pain by tightening around the sensitive armpit area
- When checking the harness size, measure your Yorkie in both centimetres and inches as it’ll be easier to know the correct size
- Take into account your Yorkie’s hair when figuring out the size. It might seem like a non-issue, but depending on the length of their coat, there could well be a need for a different size of harness. You don’t want to let your Yorkie have a nice long hair, only to be squeezed in by a harness that is too tight.
- You also want to avoid pulling any hairs when putting the harness on and off, or when walking around. This can cause negative associations with either the harness or even walking in general, so you can see why it’s important to take care with your choices.
- Many harnesses have to go over your dog’s head. Some Yorkies will find this scary, so be prepared to spend some time teaching them that the harness leads to good things. It would be even better if you taught your dog to put their head through the harness by themselves, it gives them control over the scary thing and they will soon learn to love it.
- As mentioned, leads attached to dog harness with a front-clip can be scary to some small dogs. Whatever the reason for it, be mindful of that, and adjust the lead to the side or look for a harness with a side clip
- Train your Yorkie at home before you take them out on the street. The more they can learn from the comfort of their home, the easier it will be to teach them in the outside world as well
We hope this article on the best harness for a Yorkie has helped make your decision. As a small dog breed, selecting a harness that fits, they can’t escape from and that doesn’t put undue pressure on them when pulling is essential.
Neck collars generally do not help much with a dog’s pulling behaviour. They can also damage the throat of a Yorkie after long exposure to constant yanking and pulling. A well-chosen, comfortable and stylish harness may do wonders for them.
Remember, if your dog is a puller – a combination of good training and eternal patience is a must.
If you have any questions or experiences of Yorkie harnesses, let us know in the comments section below. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook page.