12 Best Harnesses for Shih Tzus: Features and Frequently Asked Questions

best harness for shih tzu

Quick Access To The Best Harnesses For Shih Tzus 👇

Editors PickBrand
Best OverallThe Puppia Soft Dog Harness
Best Runner UpThe RUFFWEAR Harness
Best BudgetThe Frisco Small Breed Soft Dog Vest
Best Under $10The PAWABOO Dog Harness

Shih tzus steal your heart almost immediately as they’re small, cute, and fluffy. And now that your love has become so strong for them you want to keep them safe and secure on your walks. The best way to keep your shih tzu safe and comfortable on your many walks is with a good quality harness.

Finding the right harness for them can be tricky because of their size though. Not many are sized correctly while also being good quality.

After looking at dozens upon dozens of different harnesses, making sure they have adequate sizing options for a small pup, are good quality, all the while being comfortable for your dog to wear; we were able to find 12 great picks.

We’re confident that if you were to bring home any of the picks on our list below that both you and your pup will be happy.

We also address some of peoples more frequently asked questions so be sure to check those out!

Enough chit chat though! Let’s dive in to our best overall harness pick for a shih tzu, shall we?

Top 12 Best Harnesses For Shih Tzus

Best Overall: The Puppia Soft Dog Harness

Our pick for the best overall harness for a shih tzu is the Puppia Soft Dog Harness with its 100% polyester design and waterproof features. It also includes reflective trim, making it stand out if you find yourself enjoying late night strolls.

This durable harness protects from dirty water and other liquids that would typically soak into fabric. This is especially useful for shih tzus who drool or are drawn to puddles because water won’t absorb into the material.

The soft padding in this harness ensures that shih tzus are comfortable no matter how long they want to explore.

The adjustable chest belt ensures that the harness will give your pup a nice snug hug. Not too loose and not too tight, just right.

From the feedback offered by people who’ve tried out this harness it’s apparent that more often than not this harness exceeds expectations. Several people shared that they like how their pup doesn’t experience any chafing and isn’t able to find points of escape.

**Most complaints are about ordering the wrong size and being disappointed that they can’t use the harness because it looks great. So before you order, measure your pup to make sure you get a perfect fit!

Puppia Soft Dog Harness Key Features:

  • Breathable soft padding
  • Doesn’t chafe
  • Simple to put on

Best Runner Up: The RUFFWEAR Harness

Our best runner up pick is the RUFFWEAR Harness for its considerable comfort and reliable durability.

This harness can be adjusted in four different places to get just the right fit for your pup. There’s also an aluminum V-ring on the back for relaxed walks and a reinforced webbing loop on the chest that will help redirect them if they pull too hard on their walk.

It’s made with foam padding which makes it comfortable to wear even during frequent play sessions. The harness is perfect either in summer–due to its breathability–or in winter with friends who enjoy playing outside.

As a bonus, this vest has reflective accents to give you peace of mind with your best friend in low-lit areas.

Opinions from people who’ve used this harness are overwhelmingly positive with 82% of people giving it 5 stars and sharing that it’s a “repeat buy” for many. The harness left no evidence of irritating their dog’s skin or caused them to scratch after longer periods of use.

RUFFWEAR Harness Key Features:

  • 4 points of adjustment
  • 29 different leash attachment points
  • Reflective features

Best Budget: The Frisco Small Breed Soft Dog Vest

Our best budget harness pick for a shih tzu is the Frisco Small Breed Soft Dog Vest. It’s a safe, comfy option for their daily walks that won’t break the bank.

This harness has a snap-in step-in design that accommodates a wide range of different doggo sizes. Be sure to measure your pup to ensure the best fit.

With two sturdy D-ring attachments points for your leash you’re sure to have a strong hold on your pup. They’re not going anywhere without you!

The harness also offers four different colors to match your pup’s personality: blueberry, lilac, peach muffin and spiderweb.

Frisco Small Breed Soft Dog Vest Key Features:

  • Made with soft breathable material
  • Easy step-in design
  • Comes with reflective bands and 4 cute colors

Best Under $10: The PAWABOO Dog Harness

For an affordable price, the Pawaboo Dog Harness provides both comfort and a sense of security.

With mesh panels that allow for better airflow which helps cool air circulate, and adjustable straps that offer a secure fit, this is a lovely choice for any shih tzu.

The harness is equipped with a D-ring to improve control during walks, and it also includes reflective stitching for visibility when it’s dark outside.

This harness fits well for an average sized shih tzu while maintaining a budget friendly price point.

PAWABOO Dog Harness Key Features:

  • Reflective visibility
  • Durable, comfortable, breathable fabric
  • Adjustable buckles

Other Top-Rated Picks

The Sporn Dog Harness

The Sporn Dog Harness is not only an excellent choice for shih tzu owners because of its fashionable and comfortable design, but it also allows you to maintain total control over your pup.

With a durable nylon construction and quality nickel hardware, this harness will be able to last the test of time.

The harness is lightweight and durable, providing a good balance between safety and comfort for your dog. It helps keep them secure without being overly restrictive.

The elastic webbing of this harness means it stays comfortable even when used on very active pups.

Sporn Dog Harness Key Features:

  • Webbing stretches with dogs movements
  • Made with high quality nylon & nickel plating to reduce wear and tear
  • Designed for complete control over your pup

The Rabbitgoo Harness

Does your pup get a little too excited when the leash comes out? Are you tired of them pulling on their leashes for hours at a time? 

Make your walks just a little simpler with the Rabbitgoo Harness. It’s an easy-to-use harness that has the perfect fit for dogs of all shapes and sizes.

With two metal rings on the front and back, you can choose whichever position is best for your dog’s walking style.

One of the best features about this harness is that it has four adjustable straps so you can get a near custom fit around your pup’s body.

The fasteners on this harness make it easy to put on and take off, which also means your pup won’t feel too restricted.

Rabbitgoo Harness Key Features:

  • Dual ring setup
  • Fully adjustable
  • Easy on-and-off design

The Blueberry Pet Soft Harness

The Blueberry Pet Soft Harness is an excellent choice for shih tzu owners who want a lightweight, simple two-buckle harness.

It’s dual clip which gives you the best of both worlds depending on how your pup is walking on any given day.

The front clip provides more control over your dog’s pulling, and the back clip is perfect for safe, comfortable everyday walks with your pup.

It has plastic buckles that are eco-friendly, the D ring is coated with a matte black coloring for a handsome dark finish, and its materials make it comfortable for your precious pooch throughout all seasons.

Blueberry Pet Soft Harness Key Features:

  • Lightweight
  • Dual clip
  • Made with eco friendly plastic

The Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness

The Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness is a great choice for a shih tzu because of its mesh-covered back panel that allows for air flow in the summer but acts as a nice added layer in cooler temperatures.

With its hook and loop closure that lets you adjust the harness on-the-spot. It also has convenient D-rings to attach your leash to before putting it on your dog. This harness will have your pup comfortable and you confident they’re safe & secure.

Another great and necessary feature is that the harness has reflective pieces. It’s perfect for any time of day but it’s particularly great in low light since it helps make your pup more visible.

Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness Key Features:

  • Easy on/off, step-in design
  • Three layers of security
  • Soft mesh, lightweight fabric

The PetSafe Dog Harness

The PetSafe Harness is a streamlined set of straps that helps keep your pup (especially when they’re excited in the morning) from tugging on their neck and pulling you around.

It has reflective strips that make sure your pup will always be seen when you’re out walking them in the dark.

It has reflective strips to help you keep your shih tzu safe when you’re both out and about before the sun comes up or after it’s gone down.

It’s also perfect for walks in the summertime as it reduces pulling and overheating – so you can enjoy making great memories during the hotter months.

The harness is also perfect for walks in the summertime due to the limited use of fabric. You’ll have no problem creating positive experiences during those hot days.

PetSafe Dog Harness Key Features:

  • Created by a veterinary behaviorist
  • Less covered than traditional harnesses to help regulate dog’s temperature
  • Front leash attachment to minimize pulling

The Chai’s Choice Harness

The Chai’s Choice Harness is a high-quality harness that will make special outings or day-to-day walks with your shih tzu safe.

One of the best features of this harness is that it has double-strap adjustment points, which gives you the ability to make a custom fit.

The harness has an easy-to-use design, so it’s both easy to put on and take off.

The lining is made of a lightweight mesh fabric that won’t cause chafing against your dog’s skin while wearing the harness for longer periods of time.

It features reflective material for nighttime visibility to help you keep your shih tzu safe both during the day and at dusk.

Chai’s Choice Harness Key Features:

  • Dual ring setup
  • Ergonomic design for easy on-and-off
  • Sturdy handle for extra control and seatbelt use

The BINGPET Soft Mesh Harness

This comfy walking vest provides a flexible and gentle experience for your pup. With a mesh design, this harness ensures your pup won’t get too warm on their summer walks.

It’s well designed to reduce chafing and the quick release features make it easy to both put on and take off.

The adjustable buckle enables you to make minor changes to the fit of the harness which helps give your pup a near-custom fit. The last thing you want is a harness too loose that they can easily escape from or too tight where it’s uncomfortable for them to wear.

Also, when it comes to style, it comes in a wide range of different colors with a cute little paw print on the back.

BINGPET Soft Mesh Harness Key Features:

  • Soft mesh padded fabric
  • Adjustable strap and buckle
  • 6 color options

The Comfort Fit Dog Harness

The Comfort Fit Dog Harness is perfect for a walk in the park with your furry friend!

You can rest easy that your pup is secured. This harness has nylon straps and buckle hardware that’ll stand guard against any Houdini doggos attempting to get loose. It’s super lightweight, soft and flexible too.

It has two reinforced D-rings that lock securely onto your leash while out for a stroll.

The design is made to remain comfortable on longer walks and won’t cause chafing or unwanted rubbing.

The harness is made from high-quality materials that keep your pup comfortable and prevents choking – perfect for walks, adventures, or a little snuggle.

Lastly, it accommodates pups that don’t like things being put over their head with its step in design. Simply place it on the floor, put your doggos paws in the holes and strap it up.

Comfort Fit Dog Harness Key Features:

  • Comfy interior padding
  • Easy step-in design
  • Keeps dog secure and difficult to escape from

What To Look For In A Great Harness For Shih Tzus

The most important factors a harness needs to be considered a great harness for a shih tzu are size, fit, and durability.

While there are many different harnesses available (almost too many) they each have benefits that make them unique. However, if the harness you get your pup isn’t the right size and is either too loose, or too tight, it’s not going to work how it should.

That’s why size is one of the important factors when considering a harness for your pup. To find the most accurate size of any given harness for your pup, be sure to measure their chest/ribcage as well as the base of their neck. This will allow you to effectively use the sizing chart that’s provided on the harnesses product page.

Next point I want to touch on is the fit. While you may choose the correct size (extra small, small, medium, etc.) it’s still important that a harness has some adjustability. This will help make the harness look and feel like it was made specifically for your dog. Without any adjustability, the likelihood that the harness you’re buying will be a little too snug or a little too loose will be higher than if it has adjustment points.

Lastly, it’s important that the harness you’re buying is made of good quality material. Like anything you buy, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and won’t have to make unnecessary repeat buys. Your pup will also grow attached to their harness and build comfort with it. You don’t want to have to continuously change it up on them and need them to re-familiarize themselves with a new harness every month or so.


How to measure a shih tzu for a harness?

The best way to measure a shih tzu for a harness is to take two separate measurements. The first measurement is around the lower portion or base of their neck. The second measurement is around their ribcage behind their front legs.

These two measurements will enable you to find the perfect sized harness for your dog.

Simply find the measuring chart on any given harnesses product page and find the corresponding size that matches the measurements you’ve taken of your pup.

What is best for a shih tzu a harness or a collar?

As a general rule, a harness will cater to your dog’s walking needs more effectively. A good quality harness will provide them with comfort, a secure fit, and distribute pulling pressure across their chest as opposed to focusing it on their neck.

Harnesses are becoming a more popular choice among many dog owners because they don’t like the idea of hurting the furry friend’s neck when pulling happens.

When it comes to smaller pups like shih tzus, their necks are even more sensitive than larger dog breeds.

This means even more care is necessary to make sure you’re not accidently causing an injury on one of your walks.

Do shih tzus need a harness?

To say that shih tzus NEED a harness would be misleading and not in our readers best interest.

Do we prefer a harness over a collar for the reasons stated above? Yes.

But ultimately it comes down to your situation and what you feel is best for your fur baby.

If your dog walks perfectly fine and you haven’t had a situation where they ran quickly and yanked on the leash, then you should be just fine with a collar.

However, when it comes to a dog that excessively pulls, or there’s lots of exciting things around on your walks that make your dog sprint in any given direction, a harness may better suit them.

Harnesses are great to prevent any unnecessary injuries from happening while being comfortable and secure.

Traditional collars provide a pretty bare-bones walking experience. And for some people that works just fine.

Final Thoughts

There you have it!

What we’re calling the top 12 best harnesses for a shih tzu.

Finding the right harness for your precious pup can be challenging given their size. You want to make sure you’re not getting something that’s too big where they’ll easily be able to slip out of, that’s not safe.

We hope this list has helped you narrow your choices down and made you feel confident you’re going to pick a great harness for your doggo.

Happy walking!

Other posts you might find interesting:

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Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessoires. Learn more about Alec's story here

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