The UK’s Best Harness for Shih Tzus

This is our review of the best harness for Shih Tzus in 2022

Shih Tzus are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United Kingdom, but what’s the best harness for them? Some owners prefer to use a dog harness rather than a collar to restrain their dogs, and there are plenty of options on the market.

So which is the best harness for a Shih Tzu? We’ve looked at some of the most popular models and compared them head-to-head so you can decide for yourself

Our top choice is the rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness. Jam-packed with features, this no pull dog harness is ideal for small dogs, and with thousands of fantastic reviews, other dog owners seem to agree

With so many different harnesses on the market, knowing which one is right for your pup can be challenging. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best dog harnesses for Shih Tzus and discuss what makes them stand out from the rest

In this post, we will review:

Whether you’re looking for something functional or fashionable, we’ve found the UK’s best Shih Tzu harnesses. Keep reading to find out more!

Table of Contents

Our Best Dog Harnesses for Shih Tzus

This Year’s Winner – rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness

Our top choice is the Rabbitgoo harness, with an excellent front clip that helps to protect your dog from pulling injuries. The sturdy metal d ring and double stitching ensure that your dog won’t break free, and the padded lining keeps your dog comfortable during long walks or leash training.

This dog harness for shih tzu has an overhead design which makes fitting the dog harness a breeze, with 2 neck straps and 4 adjustable chest straps to help secure a snug fit, no matter the shape of your Tzu.

We found this harness to be extremely lightweight and easy to wear, with a breathable material lining and a durable nylon outer shell that helped to prevent any overheating in our Shih, despite their particularly thick fur.

  • Padded. Adjustable, Lightweight
  • Chest Circumference: 33-61cm
  • Neck size: 33-48cm
  • Closure Type: Buckle
  • Life Stages: All
  • Washable: Hand Wash Only
  • Colours: Black, Baby Blue, Blue, Coffee, Dark Green, Grey, Lemon Yellow, Mint Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Runner-Up –Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness

In a close second place, we found the comfortable padding of this soft dog harness to be ideal for long walks and for Tzus that wear their dog harness for extended periods.

We also found this harness to provide some excellent escape proofing features, with hook and loop, easy snap buckle and double D-ring closures on the back that work well to prevent even the most fidgety of Tzus from wriggling themselves free.

The reflective trim on the front of the dog harness is also a great addition, providing an extra bit of security to help your Shih Tzu remain visible during nighttime walks, or when exploring the outdoors in low light conditions.

  • Lightweight, Reflective, Padded
  • Chest Circumference: 18″-21″
  • Neck size: 12.5″-14″
  • Closure Type: Buckle
  • Life Stages: All
  • Washable: Machine Washable
  • Colours: Pink, Grey, Baby Blue, Blue, Fuchsia, Lime Green, Orange, Purple, Royal Blue, Turquoise

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Best Budget – Anlitent Lightweight Non-Pull Dog Harness and Leash Set

As far as cheaper options go, we think this Anlitent product is the best harness, plus you get a free dog leash included with these dog harnesses! Featuring an ultra-soft padded lining and made from 100% polyester, which is more abrasion resistant compared to nylon, our little Shih Tzu felt safe and snug all day long

The secure fastener on the back helps prevent an excitable Tzu from escaping. We were particularly impressed with the dedicated adjustment straps for the leash clip section, which helped relieve any pressure on our dog’s head and neck.

The fantastic range of bright colour options for this soft harness is also a great selling point; they make sure your pup looks stylish, but the vibrant designs help keep them visible when playing off the lead.

  • Lightweight, Durable, Adjustable
  • Chest Circumference: 11.5″-13.5″
  • Neck size: N/A
  • Closure Type: Snap
  • Life Stages: All
  • Washable: N/A
  • Colours: Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Navy, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Rose

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Best For Shih Tzu Puppies – metric USA Comfort Fit Step in Dog Vest

When it comes to the best harnesses for puppies, step in designs are usually best; we found this easy-to-wear walking harness to be ideal as the cut-out around the neck and the padded lining made for a comfortable fit that our puppy didn’t feel trapped in.

We love how lightweight this harness is compared to other harnesses, weighing only 2 ounces, and found the incredibly durable outer shell did a great job of protecting our Shih Tzu when rummaging around in the undergrowth.

The hard-wearing outer shell is also easy to clean with just a damp cloth, which is always a good feature when dealing with sociable little puppies who love to sniff everything within sight!

  • Lightweight, Durable, Padded
  • Chest Circumference: 41cm-51cm
  • Neck size: N/A
  • Closure Type: Clip
  • Life Stages: All
  • Washable: N/A
  • Colours: Black, Black & Neon Green, Blue, Cartoon Doggy Design, Pink, Purple, Red

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Best For Car – SlowTon Dog Car Harness Seatbelt Set

Shih Tzus love to go on adventures with their owners, but their little legs aren’t always up to long walks, so a multi-purpose harness that can be used in both the car and for walks is always a good idea!

We loved the elasticated nylon strap that clips directly onto your seat belt, making it incredibly easy to secure our little dogs and ensure they were comfortable and safe during road trips.

This dog harness’s limited amount of material is also great for walks in warm weather, with plenty of open space for ventilation to keep your dog cool, resulting in a super lightweight harness.

  • Retractable, Durable, Easy-to-Use
  • Chest Circumference: 33.5cm-41cm (13.5″-16″)
  • Neck size: 27.5cm-30cm (10.5″-12″)
  • Closure Type: Button
  • Life Stages: All
  • Washable: Machine Washable
  • Colours: Black, Blue, Burgundy, Green, Grey, Plaid Grey & Black, Purple, Red

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Best For Shih Tzus That Pull – Kurgo Dog Harness

If you’re looking for a no pull dog harness, we think this is one of the best harness options around! With a strong double stitched front clip, placed low enough on the chest to adequately deter pulling behaviours.

The v-neck design and supportive chest padding on this harness work great to equally distribute any force on your dog, ideal for protecting vulnerable neck bones from harm.

A perfect harness for no pull and leash training, the breathable mesh lining means it can be worn for long walks, unlike a non ventilated harness. This one boasts reflective material and water-resistant fabric that can help keep your pup seen on the trails and protected from the elements.

  • Durable, Front leash attachment, Adjustable
  • Chest Circumference: 30cm-45cm (12″-18″)
  • Neck size: 23cm-33cm (9″-13″)
  • Closure Type: Buckle
  • Life Stages: All
  • Washable: Machine Wash
  • Colours: Coral, Orange, Purple, Black

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Top Pick Tactical Harness – EASTLION Dog Coat with D-ring

For Shih Tzu owners who live in colder climates, it can be good to invest in a weather-resistant and winter coat to protect your dog from the elements. We found this vest harness to be great at keeping our pup warm and protecting their long fur from getting muddy and matted in rainy conditions.

The waterproof materials make it very easy to clean, and the insulating layer of cotton fibres means this is one of the best harness options to keep your dog warm when the temperatures drop

The internal webbing material and adjustable chest belt are also great additions to this dog harness, helping to ensure that the coat stays snug and secure at all times, even if the outer layer does get snagged on anything as your Shih Tzu rambles around the trails.

  • Waterproof, Padded, Easy-to-Wear
  • Chest Circumference: 30cm (11.8″)
  • Neck size: 28cm (11″)
  • Closure Type: Snap
  • Life Stages: All
  • Washable: N/A
  • Colours: Black, Red

>> Check Price At Amazon <<

Should a Shih Tzu Wear a Harness?

Like most dogs of more diminutive stature, Shih Tzus can be prone to suffering neck issues like tracheal collapse if they often pull on their leash or put too much pressure on their neck bones; this can also cause damage to the spinal cord, so a great harness is a much better option than standard collars

Shih Tzus can also suffer from brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome due to their shortened snouts and repressed facial structure, another condition that can be worsened by standard collars that often put unwanted pressure on your dog’s throat.

Ultimately, there’s no real downside to Shih Tzu harnesses, so kitting them out with a quality harness as a puppy is usually your best option!

Various Styles of Harnesses for Shih Tzus

There are many different types of harnesses for toy breeds, each with its own pros and cons. The most important thing to consider when choosing the best harness for your dog is their particular needs and personality.

A Front clip no-pull harness is ideal if your Shih Tzu lunges forward on their leash; a padded harness is great for Tzus that suffer from skin conditions. It all comes down to knowing the needs of your dog

To help you decide, let’s go over some of the most common harness styles for Shih Tzus.

Back clip harnesses

The Shih Tzu breed is generally quite good at walking in step with their owner; this is mostly down to how loyal they are and thanks to their rich history as companion dogs.

If your Tzu is a casual walker and doesn’t exhibit any pulling behaviours, back clip walking harnesses can be a great option to allow your pup to sniff and explore whilst out and about.

Front clip harnesses

Front clip harnesses are primarily used if your Shih Tzu pulls. Excessive pressure on your dog’s neck can lead to serious health issues like tracheal collapse, which is particularly common in small dogs like the Shih Tzu.

A front-clip harness offers more control over your Shih Tzu’s movement and will teach them that pulling on their leash won’t get them anywhere. They’re also known as no-pull harnesses and are a great tool to keep your Shih Tzu safe on their daily walks.

Reflective harnesses

A reflective harness is essential if you intend to take your Shih Tzu out for evening strolls or the odd hike out on the trails.

As a small breed, these pups fall below the eye line of most people and are fairly energetic, so providing them with a high-visibility reflective harness is vital to help them stay seen by pedestrians and vehicles when out on their walks.

Step in/vest style harness

As a small dog breed, some Shih Tzus can have a little trouble getting used to an overhead harness as the act of popping the harness over them can be intimidating and stressful.

Vest harnesses are a much more forgiving harness, as this gives your dog much more control over the process and allows them to feel safe when putting their harness on. Step-in harnesses are great for harness training in puppies or anxious dogs that dislike harnesses altogether.

Car harnesses

As a faithful companion dog, Shih Tzus often enjoy day trips and countryside walks with their owners. If you’re planning on taking your pup out for car rides, it’s vital that you make sure they’re safe and secure when travelling.

A good car harness for a Shih Tzu will include an elasticated leash that can connect directly to your seat belt and have a crash test rating that covers your dog’s weight; this way, you can be sure that they’re safe and comfortable during your road trips.

A leather harness

Because a Shih Tzu has long silky hair, it can easily get matted when wearing a nylon harness. Leather options are fantastic; they are incredibly durable and should last for years, plus they are a natural material so are unlikely to produce an allergic reaction.

We would recommend choosing rolled leather if you select this option as it is lighter and doesn’t have any straight seams which may rub or chafe.

Choosing a Shih Tzu Harness

Adjustability: comfortable and fits well

The most important aspect of a good harness for a Shih Tzu, or any dog breed, is how well it fits! Your Shih may fluctuate in weight during their lifetime, and their fur may cause harness adjustments in-between haircuts, so the harness you choose must have a great deal of adjustability.

Look for multiple straps with enough length to adapt to your growing pup, and strong buckles that will help to keep the dog harness attached. Aim for a snug fit, with around two fingers of space between your dog and the harness, and look for comfortable padding to protect and support your Tzu’s vulnerable little body.

Weight

A small breed dog like the Shih Tzu can easily harm itself by wearing a heavy or cumbersome harness. Their small bone structure can’t hold a great deal of weight, and a heavy harness can put unnecessary strain on their vulnerable joints and spine.

Look for a lightweight harness made from durable materials. Make sure to check for waterproofing to avoid the added weight of a waterlogged harness causing your dog any avoidable discomfort or pain.

Great design

Poorly designed harnesses can cause a lot of problems in dogs, especially smaller dogs like the Shih Tzu. Their little legs can get caught up in a loose harness, and ill-fitting straps made from flimsy materials can lead to irritation of your dog’s skin, matted fur, choking and even muscle strain.

The best harness options have durable materials and fully adjustable straps that can be easily fastened around both the chest and neck. Other safety features include padding around the back and reflective trim to keep your pet safe during nighttime walks and in low light conditions.

Overheating

Shih Tzu’s are a dog well known for their luscious coat; in fact, most people will probably think of the classic Shih Tzu top knot when the breed is mentioned! These small dogs are double-coated, meaning their dense undercoat can easily lead to overheating when walking in hot weather

To protect your Shih Tzu against the risks of overheating, the best harnesses will be extremely breathable, with a lightweight design that will help to keep your pup cool when exploring the great outdoors.

Escape-proof

Though Shih Tzus are generally well behaved, they are intelligent little things that love to be mentally stimulated. This can sometimes result in escape attempts or chewing on the straps of front buckle harnesses.

If your Shih Tzu is often trying to wriggle or gnaw themselves free, it can be a good idea to look for an escape-proof harness. These harnesses will usually place the closure point around the back, and feature multiple different types of closure, to ensure that your Tzu can’t break themselves free!

Durable materials

As a dog bred for companionship, Shih Tzus are often somewhat excitable when out on their daily walks. They are a small breed who love interacting with other dogs and humans

This can put their harness under a fair amount of duress, so it’s important to look for a product that can withstand the scrapes and bumps that it’s sure to be exposed to. Look for high-quality stitching, tough nylon material outer layers, and buckles that will remain secure no matter what your dog gets up too

Online review sections are a great way to get an accurate understanding of a dog harness’ durability!

Padding

Sensitive breeds like the Shih Tzu can be susceptible to skin issues and allergies. A padded and supportive harness is essential to mitigate the risk of your dog suffering from these issues and provide added support if they already do.

Look for a breathable mesh material with soft padding that can be adjusted appropriately to provide a little support and comfort when they’re out and about.

What Size Harness for Your Shih Tzu

How to measure your Shih Tzu

When searching for a good harness for a Shih Tzu, you must get accurate measurements as sizes can and do vary quite a bit

Use a flexible tape measure to gauge the circumference of the widest part of their neck and the widest part of their chest; these will be the two measurements that most harness size charts will use to determine what size is best for your Shih Tzu.

Measuring a Shih Tzu’s neck

Find the widest part of your dog’s neck and use a flexible tape measure to accurately find the circumference; jot this measurement down and remember to account for a bit of wiggle room.

A Shih Tzu’s chest size

Wrap your tape measure around the largest part of your dog’s chest, mark the point and record the measurement.

Useful size charts

Perfect Fit Harness Size Guide (perfect-fit-dog-harness.com)

How to Fit a Dog Harness – Kurgo Dog Products

Sizes for adults

The average chest girth for an adult Shih Tzu is 35cm-50cm (14″-20″) and the average neck girth is 35cm-42cm (14″-16.5″); this will usually equate to a size small to medium on most harness size charts.

What sizes for puppies

The average chest circumference for a Shih Tzu puppy is 25cm-45cm (10″-18″) and the average neck girth is 25cm-40cm (10″-16″); this will usually equate to a size X-small to small on most harness size charts.

How to Get a Shih Tzu Walking in a Harness

Rewards & praise = positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement training is the simplest way to get your Shih Tzu used to wearing most harnesses, it’s best to start this training as a puppy, but it will be just as effective with older dogs!

Check out this video guide for some great tips! 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different types of harnesses on the market. It is essential to do your research and find one that will fit your Shih Tzu properly and be comfortable for them to wear.

Our favourite Shih Tzu harness is the rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness. These no-pull harnesses are terrific value for money, their quality is backed up by great reviews and the soft inner padding and breathable material makes them a fantastic harness for a Shih Tzu.

We hope that you find this information useful and are able to select the perfect harness for your furry friend!

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John Devlin

Blogger and owner of George and Henry. Two gorgeous goldens that couldn’t be more different. One is a dream loving and caring, and his sibling is as naughty as can be. When I am not blogging about dogs, I love watching sport and travelling with the family.
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