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Best Harness for Dachshunds (2024): Our 5 Top Picks

We've reviewed five of the best harnesses for dachshunds to help keep your doxie comfortable and safe on walks.

The dachshund is a wonderful breed, but their long spine and short legs make them prone to back injuries. These are common during exercise, so a properly fitted harness is vital.

We’ve tested many dog harnesses, so we know what makes a safe and comfortable harness (and which to avoid!) We also asked IMDT dog trainer Rebecca Morello for her harness recommendations for dachshunds.

Listed below are our five top picks for the best harness for dachshunds. But if you’re in a hurry, our #1 recommendation is the excellent Django Adventure.

Our #1 Pick: Django Adventure

High-quality harness that’s perfect for dachshunds

Our top pick for a dachshund harness is the excellent Django Adventure. It’s a comfortable harness with a narrow design to prevent chafing. It also has four adjustment points and a strong D-ring.

5 Best Harnesses for Dachshunds

There are plenty of excellent dog harnesses on the market – we’ve listed our top picks on our best harnesses page. The problem is that many aren’t suitable for a dachshund’s body shape.

With that in mind, here are five of the best dachshund harnesses available at the moment – along with mini-reviews to help you decide on the right option for your pet.

1. Django Adventure Dog Harness

1. Django Adventure Dog HarnessVIEW PRICE

We think the Django Adventure is the best harness for dachshunds. This excellent harness is made from padded neoprene and a breathable mesh, making it comfortable for dachshunds to wear in all weather. It was also originally designed for the founder’s own dachshund, which is why it’s a great choice for the breed’s body shape.

One of the things we really like about the Django Adventure is that it has a narrow design. This reduces the chance of chafing in the armpits, which is a common issue for dachshunds wearing harnesses. We also like that there are four adjustment points to get a snug fit on your dog.

There are several size options available when buying the Django Adventure. We found that the smallest is a great choice for miniature dachshunds, while standard dachshunds will need one of the larger options. Fortunately, fitting is easy, as you only need to know your dog’s chest girth before buying.

Additionally, we found that the harness is difficult for a dachshund to escape from, assuming it’s fitted correctly. The D-ring is also made from strong metal, rather than a fabric loop. This helps keep your dachshund safe even if they decide to pull.

There aren’t many downsides to this harness for dachshunds. It’s not the cheapest harness, but we think it’s worth the money for dachshund owners. It also won’t withstand determined chewing, which is something to keep in mind if your dog tends to destroy harnesses.

Why We Recommend It:

The Django Adventure is one of the few harnesses to be specifically designed for dachshunds. We found that it’s comfortable, has a narrow design to prevent chafing, and is perfect for the dachshund’s body shape.

Key Features:
  • Leash Attachments: Rear only
  • Colors: Black, Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Turquoise, Purple, Pink, Orange
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Designed for dachshunds
  • Narrow design prevents chafing
  • 4 adjustment points for a snug fit
  • Relatively expensive for a harness
  • Won’t withstand chewing

2. Puppia RiteFit

2. Puppia RiteFitVIEW PRICE

We think the Puppia RiteFit is another excellent dachshund harness. While it wasn’t designed specifically for doxies, we found that the adjustable belly and neck straps allow for a snug fit on almost any dog. The soft design also reduces the chance of underarm chafing.

While the original Puppia is one of the most popular harnesses ever made, we think the RiteFit is the better option for dachshunds. It has many of the same features as the original – such as a soft design, breathable air mesh, and a range of colors – but adds an adjustable neck strap for a safer fit.

We found that the RiteFit is surprisingly durable for such an inexpensive harness. It isn’t designed to withstand chewing, and it’s certainly not the most durable on the market, but it can handle lunging or pulling. We also like that there are two rear D-rings for extra safety. A bonus is that we think it provides outstanding value for money.

Most importantly, this harness provides an excellent fit for most dachshunds. Assuming it’s fitted correctly and you choose the right size, the harness shouldn’t chafe or cause discomfort.

However, this leads to our only complaint about the RiteFit: it’s only available in a few sizes that cover a wide range of neck and chest girth. If your dog falls on the boundary of two sizes, it may be difficult to get the right fit.

Why We Recommend It:

We think the Puppia RiteFit is an excellent harness for dachshunds that provides great value for money. It has a soft design to reduce chafing, while the two adjustable straps make it easier to get a snug fit on your doxie.

Key Features:
  • Leash Attachments: Rear only
  • Colors: Beige, Red, Black, Yellow, Blue and Many More
  • Price Range: $
  • Soft and comfortable design helps to prevent chafing
  • Neck and belly adjustments make it easier to get a safe fit
  • Great value for money
  • Only a few sizes available
  • Not the most durable harness on the market

3. Velpro Mesh Pet Harness

3. Velpro Mesh Pet HarnessVIEW PRICE

If you’re looking for a less bulky harness than popular “no-pull” models, then we think the Velpro Mesh is an option to consider. It’s a shoulder harness that falls between a collar and a regular harness, and is designed to reduce pressure on the throat when pulling.

With its one-piece and buckle-free design, we found that the Velpro is a comfortable harness that most dogs won’t mind wearing. As long as it’s fitted correctly, it shouldn’t cause chafing and greatly reduces pressure on the throat compared with walking your dog on the collar.

We also like that it has a step-in design, so you don’t need to pass it over the head. These types of harnesses can be less scary for some dogs who may not like a harness being pulled over their head.

The biggest drawback to the Velpro is the minimal adjustment options. There are no adjustable straps, so the only way to get a tighter or looser fit is to adjust the Velcro pads. These are relatively small, so there’s not much scope for adjusting the fit. We’re also not convinced that the Velcro is as reliable as a secure buckle for strong pullers.

Why We Recommend It:

The Velpro has a strong one-piece design that reduces pressure on the throat. It fits most dachshunds, as long as you get the right size, and it has a lightweight design. However, there are minimal adjustment options and we don’t recommend this harness for strong pullers.

Key Features:
  • Leash Attachments: Rear only
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Pink, Purple, Red
  • Price Range: $$
  • Difficult for a dog to back out of the harness
  • Step-in design is less scary for some dogs
  • Comfortable and protects the neck
  • Velcro pads are less adjustable than other harnesses
  • Not recommend for strong pullers

4. Ruffwear Front Range

4. Ruffwear Front RangeVIEW PRICE

As mentioned in our guide to dog harnesses, we think the Ruffwear Front Range is one of the best harnesses on the market. While it’s not made specifically for dachshunds, we found that the Front Range’s high-quality design and ample padding make it a great choice for this breed. It’s also durable and lightweight, making it an excellent harness for dachshunds.

One of the great things about the Ruffwear is that there are four adjustment points. We found that adjusting both the belly and shoulder straps should allow you to get a snug fit – even for a barrel-chested doxie.

It’s also a durable harness that’s built to last. The material is lightweight, but includes reinforced chest webbing for extra strength. We also like the padding around the armpits and belly for added comfort.

While the Ruffwear is one of our favorite dog harnesses, we have a few minor complaints about the design. Firstly, the front attachment point is fabric rather than metal, so we only recommend using the rear attachment for pullers. It can also only be hand-washed.

Why We Recommend It:

The Ruffwear Front Range is one of the best harnesses on the market – and we think it’s a great choice for dachshunds. It’s strong, highly adjustable, and has a padded design, along with two leash attachment points.

Key Features:
  • Leash Attachments: Rear and Front
  • Colors: Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, Grey, Wild Berry
  • Price Range: $$
  • Adjustable to fit most dachshunds
  • Lightweight and strong
  • Front and rear leash attachments
  • Front attachment is fabric rather than metal
  • Only hand washable

5. Gooby Comfort X

5. Gooby Comfort XVIEW PRICE

We’re big fans of the Gooby Comfort X, as it’s a dog harness that’s specifically designed to prevent choking. To achieve this, the harness is made with an “X” design to keep it low on the dog’s neck, which is important for dachshunds.

The Gooby Comfort X is also a step-in harness. Aside from making it easy to put on, some dachshunds might prefer a step-in design if they are worried about harnesses passing over their head.

We also like that the Gooby is a lightweight harness. There’s no extra bulk included with the harness, which is important for small dachshunds.

A downside to this harness is that we don’t think it’s the most secure for escape artists. While the adjustment points make it possible to get a snug fit, go for one of the other options on this list if your dog has a habit of slipping out of harnesses.

Why We Recommend It:

The Kurgo Tru-Fit has a similar design to the Ruffwear, but for a lower price. It’s a great harness, although it’s not as good as the other options on this list for a dachshund’s unique body shape.

Key Features:
  • Leash Attachments: Rear
  • Colors : Black, Blue, Green, Red, Pink, Purple, Turquoise
  • Price Range: $$
  • No-choke design to protect your dog’s trachea
  • Four adjustment points for a better fit
  • Step-in design is less scary for some dogs
  • Not the most secure harness for escape artists

How We Chose Our Top Picks

When choosing our top harnesses for dachshunds, we looked at the harnesses we’d previously tested to find models that provided the required comfort, adjustability, and safety.

We also sought additional recommendations from dog trainers and dachshund owners. These helped us to narrow down the options to the five harnesses above.

Back Problems and the Dachshund’s Unique Harness Requirements

A dachshund wearing a harness on the beach
Dachshunds are prone to spine problems, but a properly fitted harness can reduce the risk of injury.

Now you’ve seen our top picks, it’s important to understand why a harness is a better choice for a dachshund than a collar.

The primary reason to avoid walking on a collar is that dachshunds are at greater risk of spinal injury than other breeds. A collar puts a lot of force through the neck if your dog pulls or jerks the leash, which is then transmitted into the delicate spine.

“Collars can cause injury on any breed of dog, which is why I typically recommend harnesses,” says Rebecca Morello, IMDT dog trainer. “But collars are particularly dangerous for small dogs already prone to neck and back issues, such as the dachshund.”

In contrast, a harness spreads the force across the chest and protects the back. Harnesses also reduce the chance of choking or damage to the trachea. For these reasons, The Dog Clinic recommends that dachshunds should always be walked with the leash attached to a harness, not a collar.

Why Are Dachshunds More At Risk of Spinal Injury?

Dachshunds were bred to confront badgers and other animals in small tunnels. That’s where the breed’s elongated spine, short legs, and large chest originate – along with the doxie’s fearless nature.

Unfortunately, this selective breeding had the unintended side effect of making dachshunds more likely to develop intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). In fact, IVDD affects around 24% of dachshunds – more than any other breed.

What exactly is IVDD though? And what causes it?

In short, IVDD is a degenerative condition that affects the discs in the spinal column. Symptoms may go undetected for years, until a fall or sudden impact causes a disc to burst. This results in pressure on nerves, which can cause stiff limbs, pain, reluctance to exercise, weakness, incontinence, and difficulty walking. A burst disc can even cause paralysis in severe cases.

Dachshunds most commonly develop symptoms between 4-6 years old. All doxie parents should be aware of its symptoms, as there’s no way to predict which dogs are at risk.

Can IVDD be Prevented?

There’s no guaranteed way to prevent IVDD – but there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk.

  • Make sure your doxie stays at a healthy weight. Extra weight puts pressure on the dog’s long spine, which can cause faster degradation.
  • Minimize high-impact activities. This isn’t always easy with an energetic dachshund, but jumping, tug-of-war, or running up stairs can all trigger IVDD symptoms.
  • Walking dachshunds on a harness rather than a collar can prevent injury. Harnesses support the dog’s long spine and reduce stress on the neck, which could prevent long-term damage.

What Makes a Great Harness for a Dachshund?

A dachshund wearing a harness

Now you know why harnesses are a good choice for dachshunds, what should you look for in a harness? And is there anything to avoid?

We think the five harnesses above are all great options for dachshunds. But here are a few of the most important considerations:

  • Comfort. Many harnesses aren’t designed for a dachshund’s broad chest. They often rub the armpits or chafe the shoulders. Look for a harness with padding and an adjustable design. Some harnesses are also designed with a dachshund’s body shape in mind.
  • Reduced stress on the neck and spinal column. Most harnesses minimize stress on the neck compared to collars, as they naturally spread force across the chest. Padded or vest harnesses are better at distributing pressure though. Be wary of lifting a dachshund by a harness handle, as this can cause injury unless the dog is adequately supported.
  • Safe and snug fit. It can be difficult to size a harness for a dachshund’s unique body shape, so check for a proper fit to avoid chafing. Look for harnesses with multiple adjustment points, as these are easier to size. Avoid harnesses that ride up to the dog’s throat, as this can be a choking hazard.
  • Escape-proof (or at least escape-resistant). Dachshunds have a reputation for being harness escape artists, due to their energetic behavior, short legs, and thin necks. This can put the dog in serious danger if they slip out of a harness near a road. Look for a harness that provides a snug fit and won’t allow your dog to “back out.”
  • Lightweight. Due to their small size, a doxie harness must be lightweight to avoid weighing the dog down. Large buckles, thick handles, and other extras can add unnecessary weight, making walking more uncomfortable for your dachshund. These extras are also more likely to snag on undergrowth or branches.

If you’re buying a puppy dachshund harness, look for a product with multiple adjustment points so you can use it for the maximum length of time. You’ll still need to replace it with a bigger harness as your dog grows though.

Tip: Want to take your dog on a boat trip? Here’s a list of the best life jackets for dachshunds.

Introducing a Harness to a Dachshund

It’s important to introduce a new harness gradually while building positive associations. Rushing the process could make your dog scared of the harness, leading to stress and unenjoyable walks.

“Many dachshunds are initially worried about having a harness put on,” says Rebecca Morello, IMDT dog trainer. “This is partly due to their small size, which makes everything seem extra daunting!”

“We also tend to physically maneuver and restrain smaller dogs because it’s more convenient than putting in the time to desensitize them to new objects or experiences,” says Morello. “However, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should!” She adds that putting in the time to create positive associations will make things much easier in the long run.

Here’s a simple process for desensitizing your dachshund to a harness:

  1. Start by putting the harness on the floor, so that your dog can sniff it in when they feel ready. Give praise and a treat whenever your dog goes near the harness to start building positive associations.
  2. Once your dachshund is comfortable being around the harness, start to pick it up and gently touch it to your dog’s fur. Again, reward with treats and praise.
  3. The next step is to put the harness on for short periods in the home. Make this a fun experience with treats, toys, and lots of praise.
  4. Gradually build up the time your dog is wearing the harness while continuing to use praise and treats.

Tip: If your dog is scared of the harness, you may want to read our guide to desensitizing a fearful dog to a harness.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your dachshund has a spinal injury or can’t use his back legs, your vet may recommend a dog sling harness for walking. These allow you to support your dog’s back while keeping control via a leash.

There are plenty of slings available, but the GingerLead Support & Rehabilitation harness is one of the most popular options for dachshunds.

For less severe back problems, the Djano Adventure harness mentioned above could be a great choice. This model was designed for dachshunds and was worn by the founder’s dachshund when they were recovering from spinal surgery.

You should always check with your vet that a harness is safe before using it though – especially if your pet is injured or has a chronic back condition.

All the harnesses above can be suitable for a miniature dachshund – just make sure you get the right size for your pet. It’s also important to check that the harness is properly fitted so that it doesn’t chafe or allow your dog to slip free.


It can be difficult to find a harness that fits a dachshund. Many harnesses either chafe the underarm area or allow the dachshund to “back out” too easily.

Fortunately, there are some excellent dachshund harnesses available. Our top pick is the excellent Django Adventure, as this harness was specifically designed for dachshunds. If you’re on a tight budget, then the Puppia RiteFit is a solid alternative.

We hope this article has helped you find the best harness for dachshunds. If you have any questions or comments, please use the form below. You may also want to read our guide to dachshund life jackets.


Richard Cross

Richard is a journalist who specialises in dog behavior. He's written hundreds of articles and books related to dogs, including for the Continental Kennel Club, Dog Fest (the UK's biggest dog festival) and various veterinary surgeries. When he's not spending time with Jess and Rudy (his beloved Labrador and Golden Retrievers), he enjoys reading, hiking and watching sports.
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