Toys Category IconProducts

Best Harnesses for Shih Tzus: Ratings, Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated: April 10, 2020 | 13 min read

Best Harness For Shih Tzu

Here at Love Your Dog, we love purebred Shih Tzus as well as their mixes.  They are an extremely popular breed because of their size, laid back attitude and cuddle factor.  Their size makes them great to pick up and carry along for any adventures, be it outdoor or indoor.  They respond well to walking on a leash, but even better when in a harness due to their size.  If you are trying to find the best harness for your Shih Tzu, you have come to the right place.

While Shih Tzus can walk with a collar, it’s not recommended due to their smaller size and stature. One jerk of a collar can mean damage to your pup’s windpipe if there’s too much pressure, which is why we recommend a harness. Harnesses will always be a better choice for the Shih Tzu’s little body, especially if they decide to pull.  If your Shih Tzu has made a habit of consistently pulling (which isn’t too typical), there are always no-pull harness options available.  Many of the harnesses below you’ll also see can work for just about any smaller breed.

The following list of harnesses will be perfect for the Shih Tzu breed, and most other small dogs. Since this is specific to the Shih Tzu though, keep in mind that these harnesses may not work for your Chihuahua or Papillon. Below you’ll find a buying guide, as well as common questions we get here on our site about which brands are best.  Let’s dive in.

At a Glance: Our Favorite Shih Tzu Harnesses

Best Overall: Rabbitgoo Dog Harness
Budget Pick: Puppia Dog Harness

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to Amazon.com, where you can get additional product information and customer reviews. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Harness Types

Shih Tzu Harness Types
Shih Tzus will do will with many different harness types.

Not all harnesses are alike. This is why it’s important to do your research ahead of time so you know what type of harness is recommended for your specific dog breed.  While there are some specialty harnesses better for other activities like running, most harnesses will fall into four different categories.

Back Buckle: This is the most common type of harness, no matter what breed or activity you are doing. They make it easier to put on and take off, which makes a difference when getting your pup acclimated to harness training.

Front Buckle: Front buckle harnesses are pretty common.  They are easy to assemble and often make it less likely that your dog is going to try to pull you down the street.

Double Clip: More costly than the rest, these are usually the option that people choose when they want the “best” bang for their buck.  It gives you an option to hook the harness together in the way that’s the easiest for your Shih Tzu, instead of only having one way to put it on.

Step-in: Step-ins are what many people will use due to ease of use.  It’s unlikely that your pup will have too many problems with a Step-in harness and you aren’t sure if the Front or Back buckle will work.

Features

Shih Tzus in Harness
Harnesses can have several different features for your Shih Tzu.

Usually you’ll want to look for a feature friendly & feature full harness, especially because the cost from higher end models isn’t significantly more than budget-friendly versions.  Higher quality harnesses will also last longer than those made for tighter budgets. Below are some features you’ll want to look for.

Neck Clasp: Shih Tzus harnesses should not have a neck clasp.  These pups have smaller necks, so you don’t want any excess power to hit their neck, causing any unintended pain or injury.

Comfort & Fit: Buying a harness that’s uncomfortable will only make your pup dread the time they are going to be using them. Finding a harness with plenty of padding makes a difference.  Size also makes a difference, so don’t purchase a harness that’s too tight, or it will put undue pressure on their ribs.

Material: We’d recommend picking up a harness that’s made from material that’s flexible.  This could be nylon or other type of breathable material that’s equipped with padding. Washing machine friendliness is also a plus.

Durability: Buying a cheaper harness will almost ensure that your pup is going to beat it to shreds in a year or less. If you want a durable harness that will last for several years time, expect to spend a little more for a harness that can withstand some abuse.

Brand Satisfaction: Does your harness offer a satisfaction guarantee? If so, this is something to consider as sometimes harnesses just don’t fit the way you planned. Having a no-break guarantee is also a plus.

D-Rings: Easier to detach, but difficult for your dog to take off. These are the go-to for many harnesses, so your leash can attach with ease. 

Best Harnesses for Shih Tzus

Top Shih Tzu Harness on Dog
Below are our favorite harnesses for your Shih Tzu.

While there are many different models on the market, below you will find our favorites. Most of them have been around for quite some time, meaning they have been through the rigors of testing and can withstand a beating.  If your Shih Tzu loves to walk, any of the picks below we have highlighted should make walking them as easy as a stroll through the park.


Rabbitgoo Harness

rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness Padded...
  • 【 LARGE DOG HARNESS 】 - ★ Measuring Neck Girth: 16.1" -...
  • 【 NO PULL, NO CHOKE 】- Our non-pulling dog harness is...
  • 【 EASY TO USE 】- This hassle-free overhead harness is easy to...
  • 【 FULLY ADJUSTABLE 】- This adjustable harness features 4 easy...

If you click the link above and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

The Rabbitgoo Reflective dog harness is one of our top picks for smaller breeds, including Corgis and the top Pug harnesses.  This harness comes in 4 different sizes, and is a rear clasp harness.

It comes equipped with two metal leash rings, making it easy to pick where you want to hook in for your next walk.  You can attach your leash on the top or bottom, making it easy to pick the route that your pup displays the least amount of resistance to.

The Harness is adjustable, making it convenient to work with, especially because most dogs are not one-size-fits-all.  The Nylon material with padding make it extremely comfortable for your pup to stay in for longer periods of time.  It’s also reflective, making it perfect for later night walks.

We love that the Rabbitgoo does such a good job of incorporating comfort along with budget, which is why it’s our favorite all around harness for Shih Tzus.


Sporn Training Dog Halter

SPORN Dog Halter, Red, Medium
  • MATERIAL: Made of highest quality braided cord with nickel plated...
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN: Just as you pull, restraints under the front...
  • EASY TO PUT ON: The ultimate combination of style and comfort...
  • NO MORE PULLING: Walk any dog without being pulled down by the...

If you click the link above and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

The Sporn Training Dog Halter by Sporn is available in multiple sizes, but you’ll want to get the smallest size for your Shih Tzu. Available in blue, black and red this harness is highly recommended for dogs that have issues with pulling on a leash without choking. 

This doesn’t mean the Sporn Halter is uncomfortable, the padded restraint sleeves that go under the legs keep your pet comfortable while training. The nylon webbing and braided cord with the nickel-plated steel fasteners are guaranteed to last with many walks.

You would train your dog by attaching the leash using the instructions that come with the halter. Once your Shih Tzu starts to pull, you can gently pull back and the harness will grip around their legs. The halter doesn’t pull tight enough to hurt your pet. 

We love the key features include being veterinarian approved, as this harness gives to your dogs natural movements. It can also be turned into a standard collar once you’re done with training. This halter shouldn’t be used as a tie-out. 


Blueberry Prints Harness

Blueberry Pet 2 Patterns Soft & Comfy Step-in...
  • Chest Girth 20-26", Chest Strap 6.1", Width 3/4"; The chest strap...
  • The harness does not stretch itself. NEVER leave your dog...
  • Dark orchid buckles are made of eco-friendly plastic. Made of...
  • This harness is a single product. Its matching collar...

If you click the link above and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Walk with your Shih Tzu in style by adding this harness to your shopping cart. Not only does the harness look nice, but it also functions well. The Blueberry Pet Spring Prints Dog Harness has a grosgrain ribbon that is sewn into the high-density nylon webbing. The buckles are easy to get on and off, and are made of eco-friendly plastic.

The harness can be adjusted to fit your pet perfectly, and a D-ring is located on the top for easy attachment and detachment. What you’ll notice first is the bright colors of the harness, which come in blue with pink flamingos, or pink with red ladybugs – both equally adorable. 

Although this doesn’t necessarily train your Shih Tzu to not pull, it won’t choke them if they decide to start running. You can also gently pull the harness yourself and your pet will be comfortable, and won’t unintentionally injure themselves.

We love that this harness is machine washable, and easy to clean. You won’t have to separate it from other items either. Just use cold water and a gentle cycle. 


Puppia RiteFit Harness

Puppia Soft Dog Harness, Red, Small
  • Authentic Puppia Soft Dog Harness made out of 100% Polyester
  • Adjustable chest belt and quick-release buckle
  • Comfortable padded neck opening
  • Machine washable, but hand washing and air drying are recommended

If you click the link above and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Puppia RiteFit is great for daily walks and made specifically made for small dogs or puppies. This harness comes in multiple colors, including black, green, pink, red and blue. If you have another dog that’s larger at 25 inches, they do stock that size.

The quick release buckles, along with the loop and hook straps for the neck are 100% adjustable and can be fit to your pets needs. Included are an easy snap buckle, and an adjustable chest belt. 

Since RiteFit is specifically made for smaller dogs, this brand has in between sizes. This ensures a better fit when compared to the other harnesses on the list. A better fit for your Shih Tzu means they won’t be able to escape once they pull on their leash. This will be more comfortable for you pet, and the harness will last longer due to less rubbing.

We love that when sized correctly, the harness won’t break or tear. The light-weight, breathable material with the soft edges around the underside ensure long lasting comfort for your Shih Tzu.


EcoBark Classic Dog Harness

Classic Dog Harness Innovative Mesh No Pull...
  • SIZING: XS Dog Harness, EcoBark Mesh Purple Dog Harness for...
  • NO PULL & NO CHOKE HARNESSES: Soft, gentle, breathable double...
  • ECO-FRIENDLY- Strong Ultra Padded Vests include Recycled Straps...
  • SAFETY STANDARD: Our Vest Harness is escape proof when the dog...

If you click the link above and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

EcoBark is a no choke, no pull harness that is made of double layered breathable mesh fabric. The fabric is made from non-toxic ROSH tested mesh fabric and is incredibly durable. The custom stitched cover is designed to not chafe and rub around your Shih Tzus legs. This is also a great option for other smaller breeds, like seen here for the Beagle.

A wide range of colors are available, including black, green, red, pink, blue, yellow and comes in different patterns. EcoBark harnesses are completely recyclable, durable, and disperse your dogs weight into their chest to not choke them when pulled.

We love that the EcoBark has a high safety standard, and considers their harness escape proof. The safety buckle is custom built to ensure the highest level of strength, with long-lasting safety. It’s easy to put on, and take off for us humans but really difficult for your pet.


Voyager Step-In Harness

Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness - All Weather...
  • ATTENTION: Sizing does NOT directly correspond to your pet’s...
  • ALL WEATHER MESH: Made with a soft, breathable air mesh, this...
  • REFLECTIVE BANDS: Two reflective bands on the sides of this...
  • THREE SAFETY FEATURES: Our hook and loop fastener, buckle and...

If you click the link above and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Recommended for leash training, the Voyager step in harness is great to use as a no pull harness because of its unique design. The double D ring design on the back will ensure that you have a firm hold on your pup when they decide to pull, making sure that it becomes less desirable.

It has reflective bands, making it a perfect harness to use later at night or in early dusk hours, when you are most likely to be out walking your Shih Tzu.  The step in and clip design makes it extremely quick to use.

This harness is easy to fit and use, and all connects to one leash. The all weather mesh is perfect for being out and about, no matter the weather conditions. That is if you enjoy walking your pup in the rain, snow or muddy conditions.

We love this harness combines budget, with fit and ease of use.  This is one of the easier harnesses that your pup can get used to wearing when out and about due to the design.


Pawaboo Dog Safety Harness

Pawaboo Dog Safety Vest Harness, Pet Dog...
  • 【Driving Safety Comes First】: It prevents dogs from jumping...
  • 【Easy to Use】: Fast-release buckles on both sides, it...
  • 【Detachable Seat Belt for Different Usages】: Since the seat...
  • 【High Quality, Light Weight, Comfortable】: Made of oxford...

If you click the link above and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

If you’re looking for a harness for transporting your Shih Tzu, this is the best in its class. We often forget about the safety of our pets when we put them in the car for a road trip. If you make a sudden stop, your valued family member could get seriously hurt.

Not only will it protect them if you have to suddenly break, but it will also prevent them from jumping out the window. It’s easy to use, and easy to take on and take off. The straps are adjustable, and can attach to the seat belt of your car. 

We love that the Pawaboo also doubles as a harness for walking, even though it isn’t marketed that way. As with all harnesses specifically made for smaller dogs, it usually fits them better. Made out of polyester, it isn’t adequate for aggressive chewers. 


Puppia Soft Dog Harness

Puppia Soft Dog Harness, Red, Small
  • Authentic Puppia Soft Dog Harness made out of 100% Polyester
  • Adjustable chest belt and quick-release buckle
  • Comfortable padded neck opening
  • Machine washable, but hand washing and air drying are recommended

If you click the link above and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Puppia is a great brand known for their durable harnesses, and that’s why two of them are on this list. This easy-to-use harness promises to provide the ultimate support and comfort to your pet. Made for convenience, as well as function, this lightweight harness will even impress dog owners who have used them all. 

Unique to the rest of the products on this list, this harness has a comfortable neck opening with a quick-release, adjustable chest belt and a D-ring located at the top-back. Soft air-mesh padding is used throughout the harness for maximum comfort. 

The Puppia rubber label ensures that their products are high-quality, and are made of cotton and polyester. Comes in 5 colors, including black, grey, green, pink and blue. There are multiple sizes available, with the straps being adjustable for any pup in an inbetween size. 

We love that the Puppia Soft Dog Harness is rated highly, and is often recommended when it comes to harnesses for small dogs. Specifically for the Shih Tzu, there’s one other harness that ranks higher and better than this one.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which is the best harness for a Shih Tzu?
A: This will depend on your overall goal.  As noted above, if budget is a limitation, you should be considering our budget pick.  If budget isn’t a problem, then the Rabbitgoo harness is our top choice.

Q: Are harnesses better than collars?
A: This is largely depends on the dog.  Larger dogs may be more difficult to control on a harness, making a collar a more reliable option.  No pull harnesses can also be explored.

Q: How can I make sure I pick the right size?
A: Measure the harness to the manufacturer’s specifications.  There really isn’t any secret trick here.  Each harness is going to fit differently, so once you decide on a model, measure your pup to get the best fit.

Q: Which are easiest to put on?
A: Dual clip harnesses will make it easiest for you to test with your dog.  Once you can figure out the way that scares your Shih Tzu the least, you can proceed to continue equipping them that way before each walk.

Q: Will these work if my dog is old?
A: Yes. Although if your dog has hip issues and is older, you’ll likely want a lift harness to pair it with.

Conclusion

This breed can be a picky bunch, which is why it’s important to find the best harness for your Shih Tzu the first time around, so you aren’t playing the send back and exchange game.  Any of the models we’ve recommended in this guide will suit your Shih Tzu just fine, depending on your budget and overall goals.

If your Shih Tzu is somehow an escape artist, there are escape-proof harnesses available to stop them from continuing that behavior. Outside of that, anything you see here should do the trick.  With that being said, if you feel we’ve forgotten your favorite harness, feel free to drop us a line in the comments!

Leave a Comment