Dachshunds are one of the most recognizable dog breeds around. Thanks to their short legs and long body, most people can identify the breed just by taking a look at their silhouette. Affectionately referred to as "Weiner Dogs," If you have a Dachshund of your own, you know how much of a handful these pups can be!
One of the most important pieces of gear you can have is a harness.
Body harnesses are the best way to keep your canine companion safe, contained, and under control. While harnesses can be used with any dog breed, they hold a greater significance with Dachshunds.
Harnesses can help your dog avoid many common health issues that are associated with their distinct body shape. To ensure that your pup can roam safely, you need to invest in a high-quality harness that's built to accommodate their unique needs.
Check out the section below to see a list of some of the best harnesses for Dachshunds that money can buy.
7 of the Best Dog Harnesses for a Dachshund
1. Chai's Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness
This harness from Chai's Choice combines multiple materials. It has nylon straps for added durability. They feature reflective stitching and can be adjusted for comfort. For the portion that rests on your dog's back, lightweight mesh padding is used. The padding spreads pressure while preventing any discomfort. For even more visibility, 3M reflective piping is used. There's also durable buckles, a built-in handle for lifting your dog up, and an O-ring on the front to discourage pulling. The harness comes in nine different colors and five sizes. The X-Small size has a chest measurement of 13 - 17 inches, making it perfect for Dachshunds.
2. Pawtitas Reflective Padded Dog Harness
The Pawtitas harness is designed for comfort and safety. It's made out of nylon and features reflective striping. It also comes in a collection of bright colors to ensure that your dog is seen during the day. The chest portion of the harness features a large polyester panel. It has some light padding for comfort.
Four straps extend from the chest panel and meet on the top of the harness.The straps that go around the neck also have padding to prevent chaffing. The harness has two metal rings, quick-release buckles, and adjustable straps for your convenience.
3. Blueberry Pet 3M Reflective Multi-Colored Padded Dog Harness
If you're looking for a cozy harness that your dog won't mind putting on, consider this option from Blueberry Pet. It has two large vest panels. They're connected by durable nylon straps with reflective elements. The panels combine a few different materials. They're padded to prevent any issues as your dog pulls. They also incorporate mesh for breathability, Oxford material for durability, and polyester for comfort. All three designs use multiple colors, allowing you to get a harness that matches your pup's personality.
4. RUFFWEAR - Front Range, Everyday No Pull Dog Harness, Front Clip
Ample padding is used throughout this Ruffwear harness. It can be found on the chest, back, and neck pieces. Tough nylon straps are woven through the vest panels. There are four points of adjustment in total, allowing you to get a custom fit that's comfortable for your dog. Once you have the fit right, you can use the quick-release buckles to put the harness on in seconds. Reflective trim is used strategically on the harness. There are also two leash attachment rings. One is on the front while the other is located on the back panel. Both are reinforced for peace of mind.
5. Puppia Soft Dog Harness
The dog harness from Puppia is designed for everyday wear. It's simple, comfortable, and very easy to put on. Mesh padding is used to create a sizable chest piece. It helps to distribute pressure while keeping your precious pup comfortable on your walks. The padding is quite thin, ensuring that it doesn't weigh your dog down. Polyester is used on the single adjustable strap. There's a durable buckle to help you slip the harness on. There are five sizes available. The smallest can be adjusted to a chest girth of only nine inches.
6. Halti Dog Harness, Black/Red
If your dog has issues with pulling, the Halti dog harness may be the solution you have been looking for. It's quite simple in design. There are only two adjustable straps made of nylon. Like most harnesses, quick-release buckles are used to help you slip the gear on your pup without any problems. The great thing about this harness is that it can be used with two leads. One is attached to the back while the other is attached on the front. If your dog starts to pull, the ring on the front can be used to make your dog stop and focus.
7. Sporn Training Dog Halter
Don't let the simple design of the Sporn Training Dog Halter fool you. It's an effective tool for training your dog to stop pulling while also keeping them contained. It's made out of braided nylon. There is also nickel-plated hardware. Thick padded straps wrap under your dog's legs. The padding is plush and can be removed for cleaning. The unique placement of the straps gives you more control of your pup when they start to pull. However, the pressure is moved off their neck and to the chest for safety.
Why Dog Harnesses Are Important for Dachshunds
Dog harnesses are a great tool for any dog. While a standard collar can provide some control in a sticky situation, the force from a pull is localized to one area of your pup's body. Excessive pulling on a collar can be dangerous for any dog. For a Dachshund, it can cause serious health complications.
You see, Dachshunds are at a high risk of experiencing Intervertebral Disc Disease. It's a hereditary condition that affects a large portion of the Dachshund population. Even dogs from reputable breeders can suffer from the condition.
Intervertebral Disc Disease is a degenerative condition that weakens the spinal column. Vertebral discs can become herniated, causing immense pain to your pooch. Depending on how serious the case is, some dogs aren't even capable of walking or living a normal life.
Dachshunds are more susceptible
Dachshunds are more susceptible to the disease because they are considered to be a dwarf breed. Their long spines, short legs, and propensity to gain weight makes them a prime candidate for spinal injuries.
In addition to some careful lifestyle changes, using a harness can reduce the chances of your dog suffering from spinal issues. As we mentioned earlier, all of the pressure is centralized at the neck when only a collar is used.
If your dog were to take off chasing after a critter, that sudden pull at their neck can lead to serious pain. Furthermore, light pulling over time can cause herniation and other spinal problems.
Harnesses are specially designed to move the pressure off your dog's neck and to their body. They feature multiple straps that wrap around the dog's chest. This is where most of their body mass is, so the risks of spinal problems decrease significantly.
Not only that, but you'll have great control of your pooch. Dogs tend to respond more when it feels like their entire body is being pulled at rather than their neck.
Finding the Right Harness for Your Dachshund
Finding a harness that works for your dog involves a bit more work than just picking the first one that you see. Dogs can be stubborn creatures.
You need to choose a harness that's comfortable for your pup to wear. However, the equipment also needs to keep them safe from danger and injury.
Here are some things to keep in mind during your search.
Harnesses come in a range of styles and materials. While most harnesses are built to last, some materials offer unique benefits.
One of the most popular material options is nylon. Nylon is a synthetic material that's known for its strength. For harnesses, it's typically woven and features reinforced seams for reinforcement.
The great thing about nylon is that its very affordable. If you're on a budget, you can easily find a nylon harness that utilizes simple straps. If you want something more form-fitting and durable, there are also harnesses that incorporate large panels and padding.
When it comes to style, nylon can be made in virtually any color imaginable. Some manufacturers even print fun designs or offer a matching leash.
On the opposite side of the price spectrum is leather. Leather harnesses tend to come at a premium. However, if it's made well, leather harnesses can last throughout your dog's life. The material is tough, pliable, and only gets better with age.
Another big perk of leather is that it's hard for dogs to destroy. The most determined Dachshund will not be able to chew threw premium leather.
If you choose to go with leather, pay special attention to the quality of the material. Not all leather products are made the same. Check the seams, edges, and stitching to ensure that it's built to last.
Fabric harnesses are a great way to dress your dog up for a special occasion. Cotton and canvas are the two most popular fabric options you'll see on the market. In most cases, these harnesses are dressed up with fun patterns. Some may even have extra elements, like ties or bows.
The main downside with fabric is that it doesn't offer the same durability as nylon or leather. It can be destroyed pretty easily, so keep that in mind if your pup's a big chewer. On the plus side, most fabric harnesses can be tossed in a washing machine for cleaning.
For those hot summer days, mesh harnesses are a great option. The material allows for better air circulation around your pup's body, helping them stay cool as they play.
When it comes to durability, mesh is not going to offer the same longevity as nylon or leather. The very nature of the material makes it easy to rip.
Chances are, you and your pup will go for a walk after the sun sets at some point. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not accounting for visibility. No matter how well your dog is trained or how secure you think your leash is, accidents can still happen.
Choosing a harness with improved visibility can make all the difference in those worst-case scenarios. There are a couple of ways to make sure that your dog is seen when you're out and about.
Bright colors can help you keep an eye out on your dog in any lighting condition. Neon colors like yellow, pink, or orange are ideal. They stand out against the natural hues you'll find on your walk. If you and your pup ever get separated, the bright color of their harness can help you spot them from a great distance.
Lights are great for night walks. Some harnesses have built-in LED lights that can be turned on with a flip of a switch. Lights can make your dog more visible to people around you and to those driving. Furthermore, they can help your dog navigate dark locations much easier.
Reflective elements are the most common type of visibility feature you'll find on harnesses. Reflective strips of fabric and shiny reinforced stitching can be found on all types of harnesses, from nylon to fabric.
In the event that your precious pup gets off their leash, reflective stripes can mean the difference between getting found and getting hit by a car. The shiny material reflects light back to its source, improving visibility significantly.
Finally, let's talk about comfort. While there are many types of Dachshunds out there, most have very short fur that doesn't do much to protect from abrasion. The constant friction caused by straps can cause painful rashes and scratches.
Investing in some comfort features will help you avoid any potentially painful problems.
Padding is great for pups with sensitive skin. Many harness manufacturers incorporate some light padding or foam around the straps that go underneath your dog's arms. They're very comfortable for dogs and can actually help to improve the overall fit of the harness.
When you're shopping for that perfect harness, you'll find a ton of different strap arrangements. Some harnesses have a strap that wraps around the base of the chest while others look like a miniature vest. This unique strap arrangement can make all the difference when it comes to comfort.
Typically, the more straps there are, the more comfortable the harness is to wear. This is because there are more places to distribute pressure when your dog pulls. If there are only basic straps under the arms, your pup may experience some abrasive damage.
As an alternative to thick padding, some harnesses have smooth fabric on one side of the straps. The fabric is soft enough to glide over your dog's fur rather than dig into the skin.
If you decide to go with a harness that has some skin protection, make sure that the edges are also covered. The edges tend to be the worst offenders when it comes to discomfort.
Getting the Right
A harness will only serve you well if fits right. Before you purchase a harness, you need to take some accurate measurements of your dog. There are two different Dachshund size classifications.
Standard Dachshunds are about nine inches tall and weigh, on average, 32 pounds. Miniature Dachshunds are considerably smaller. They're only six inches tall and weigh about 11 pounds.
It's not hard to find harnesses to fit both of these types of Dachshunds. However, you need to make sure that the harness can fit your pup's exact measurements. If your dog is still a pup, it's also good to go with a product that can grow with them.
Measurements You Need to Take
To measure your dog, you'll need a soft tape measure. Sewing tap measures are best. If you don't have that, you can also use a piece of string and measure it with a ruler or standard tape measure later.
The first measurement you'll need to take is their girth. This is going to be the widest part of their chest. Typically, this is a few inches behind their front legs. Wrap the tape measure around the chest and jot down the figure.
The tape measure should be snug but not tight enough to depress into the skin. For most standard Dachshunds, this measurement will be between 12 and 17 inches.
Next up, you'll need to find the circumference of their neck. Measure at the base of their neck. Harnesses sit lower than collars, so you'll need to get as close to their shoulders as possible.
Before you go out for a walk, you need to make sure that the harness fits correctly. Most gear can be adjusted manually so that you can get that perfect fit. You'll only have to do this once, as harnesses often have buckles that make putting them on a breeze.
Make sure that the harness isn't too tight. As a good rule of thumb, harnesses are properly fitted when you can slide two fingers behind the straps.
A two-finger gap is loose enough for your dog to breathe comfortably and tight enough to keep them secure.
A good harness can prove to be useful when you're dealing with a rambunctious Dachshund. These dogs have a propensity to explore anything that catches their fancy. With a well-fitted harness, you can keep them by your side.
We recommend using a harness as early as possible. Getting your Dachshund used to the gear at a young age will help you avoid health complications as they get older.
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