The dachshund is a truly special dog.
Despite being vertically challenged the dachshund is a big dog – at least he believes he is.
Full of character, intelligent, and loyal to a fault these much beloved canines are love and adored by those who truly understand what makes them so special.
However, that doggy long wheelbase with a spine that’s out of proportion to the leg length makes for back problems.
Quick look: Top 5 Best Harnesses for Dachshunds in 2017
The brave doxie is a martyr to slipped discs, which means choosing the best harness for dachshunds an absolute must.
How a Harness can Reduce Health Hazards
Think of a wide river spanned by a long bridge.
Let’s say there are two supports, one on either shore.
What’s going to happen at the center of the bridge?
The likelihood is that the long length of the bridge makes it sag in the middle.
This is down to the length of the bridge and that its supports are at the extreme ends.
Remind you of anything?
Yes, the dachshund’s long back with short legs at either end makes for a lot of strain on the spine.
There are forces applied to the shock absorbers (discs) between individual back bones (vertebrae) which are never meant to happen.
This squeezes the discs and increases the risk of them slipping out of position to put pressure on the spinal cord.
This is what’s known as a slipped disc.
So how does a harness help?
When a doxie wears a collar and he pulls, this conducts force along the back and amplifies the pressure squeezing the back bones together.
This increase the risk of a slipped disc.
Much better is a harness, which spreads the forces more evenly over the chest area, and better supports the spine.
The other option is to train the perfectly obedient dachshund, who never pulls on the leash!
Perhaps a harness is the more realistic option.
The dachshund’s lack of height does not make him a slouch.
Dachshunds are capable of hiking, trekking, or walking with the best of them…although admittedly perhaps not as far….but there again they’re a good size to pop in a doggy backpack, but that’s a different story.
Take one look at the Embark active dog harness and what does it say to you?
Just look at the wide padded chest plate and back piece.
However your dog decides to pull it’s like cinching a Thundershirt tighter.
This is a hug of a harness but highly functional to boot.
Let’s tick off what makes it a best harness for a dachshund by ticking some boxes.
Firstly, it’s easy to put on and take off.
Simply slide the neck over the dog’s head and buckle him in round the chest.
It comes in a range of sizes suitable for small dogs, and each size is fully adjustable around the girth and neck for optimum fit.
The harness is sewn with safety in mind.
Indeed, it is unique in that it is safety sewn four-times using military grade thread.
So even the most determined tugger isn’t going to get out of this one.
The Embark Activity harness also has two leash attachment points: One at the front which acts as a no-pull point and the other over the back.
And then to top it all off Embark offer a money back guarantee if you aren’t completely delighted with your purchase.
As for pet parents who used this harness – their voices are raised in universal praise.
They love it!
They cite the quality construction, comfort fit, and ability to stop pulling as just some of the reasons they think it’s pawsome!
OK, so not every dachshund is an action hero…well, there has to be someone who stays home and watches the movies, right?
If your doxie is more princess that adventurer, then a best dog harness for dachshund is the Puppia Soft Vest Harness.
Why, just the name makes you feel quite sleepy, it sounds so comfortable.
This is a reasonably priced harness that majors on comfort.
In fact it fits more like a piece of clothing than a harness.
It’s made from polyester mesh (easily washable) that is soft and breathable for optimum comfort.
Even better, there’s a layer of padding between the mesh and the dog, so it’s almost a bit like being hugged by a thin duvet.
Hmm, sounds nice.
Another great feature, especially for the dachshund whose precious about appearances, is that you can choose from a gorgeous rainbow of different colors.
From a mouth-watering turquoise to true girly pick, earth mother green, and dark & dangerous black, there’s a color to suit every preference and coat color.
Puppia are well-known for their puppy-wear and have brought all their expertise to bear in creating a well-made, comfortable harness.
They also provide clear instruction on how to measure your pup so that you order the correct size.
Indeed, pre-measuring your dog is important because the vest-like construction of the product means there’s little room for adjustment post purchase should you get the wrong size.
Pet parents love this harness, with the biggest stumbling block being the sizing.
Some owners ordered based on words like small, medium, or large, without measuring their dog.
They got tripped up.
The clue is in the brands name “Puppia” – meaning puppy.
What’s large for a Puppia harness is tiny for a regular brand.
These guys specialize in products for smaller breeds.
This is great because it means if your four-leggers are pint-sized you have a wide range of sizes to choose from.
However, the unwary buyer who goes with their gut instinct about sizing is going to find their dog in a bit of a bind when the product pops through the letterbox.
Measure your dog before ordering.
Top of the class for this Comfort Fit Metric harness.
This dog has a unique design which is so simple that you wonder why no has thought of it sooner.
This is a one piece-harness which literally wraps around the dog’s chest with two holes for putting the legs through. (For the ladies out there, it’s a bit like putting a bra on – only easier!
Fitting it to the dog is simply a matter of slotting each front leg through a hole and then velcoring two straps together over the back.
But even cleverer than that, once the harness is on, you snip together a buckle and strap for extra security.
Your dog is already wearing the harness, but you have added safety in case the dog pulls.
The actual fabric of the harness is soft, strong, and incredibly light.
This makes it extremely comfortable for the dog to wear.
Many owners of dogs who previously hated their harness, fell in love with the comfort of the aptly named Comfort Fit.
However, amongst the praise there is the odd voice of criticism.
People did find the sizing somewhat erratic, with one owner who ordered two small sized harnesses in different colors, found they came up as quite different sizes.
Another problem was the failure of stitching around the arms and neck, for one dog that was a seasoned puller.
The good news here was that the dog wasn’t chaffed or rubbed whilst doing the pulling!
Another feature that puzzled us a little was the placement of the D-rings for leash attachment.
There are two D-rings, which the manufacturer cite as an extra feature for those dogs that regularly escape from a harness.
However, we found this a little odd.
Unless we’re missing something, there is no centrally placed D-ring, which means the leash is always attached off-center.
Odd. Very odd, but still a best harness for dachshund.
In case you’re wondering, the X-fit refers to the shape and how the dog wears it, rather than exercise or fitness.
Just a bit of reassurance there is your dog is more inclined to stroll that lift weights.
This is another nice, simple harness which is super-comfortable to wear.
What’s different about this one is the way the fabric straps are arranged in an X-shape (almost a figure-of-eight actually) through which the legs slot.
It is has micro-suede trim and uses synthetic sheepskin strapping for extra comfort.
It comes in a pleasing array of colors from black through brights to fashion colors.
We particularly liked how this was a light-weight harness which works by spreading the force of pulling over the dog’s brisket.
It’s also quite an ‘open’ harness meaning that it leaves quite a lot of the dog un-covered, which is ideal for baking hot weather.
Fully adjustable, this harness ticks a lot of boxes…except for two.
Again, sizing is an issue for some.
The wise pet parent plans ahead and measures their dog ahead of ordering.
The size you order might not necessarily be the one you’d assume the dog needs.
In addition, and most seriously, this harness isn’t suitable for escape artists.
If your dog is good at wriggling out of restrains, then pass this one by.
It isn’t worth the risk of having an escapee if your dog is a flight risk.
The Sporn YUP is a mesh harness that stretches with the dog for comfortable control.
It’s lightweight, which is great for the doxie, and the mesh is breathable.
It’s designed as a no pulling harness.
Unlike other harnesses, this one sharply divides opinion.
There are pet parents who are awed by the product, and use descriptions such as the best harness they’ve ever used after years of dog ownership, whilst others describe it as junk!
What can safely be said is that it is comfortable, sturdy, and practically escape proof.
After that, opinions differ.
The Sporn YUP is definitely worth investigating, but isn’t for everyone.
Oh yes, a couple of glitches – It only comes in one size “Medium” which spookily fits a good-sized dachsy.
It also only comes in one colorway, which is black with red trim.
Smart, but not pretty.
So there we have our romp through the best harness for a dachshund.
Hopefully you have turned away from the dark side and thrown away your dachshund’s collar and instead have become a harness convert.
Spreading the forces of a pulling dog over the brisket, goes a long way to protecting those delicate backs.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that a dachshund is never going to slip a disc (the risk is always there) but at least you’re taking positive steps to minimize that risk.
When choosing a harness, bear in mind factors such as how wriggly the dog is, how much of an escape artist they are, how hot it is where you live, and whether your pup is a fashionista or not.
Draw all these factors together then measure your dog to be sure of accurate sizing.
Do all these things and you can’t go far wrong.
Then for extra peace of mind, look for a manufacturer who offers a money back guarantee.
That way, if you are underwhelmed by your purchase they will accept it back.
There are few things sweeter in this world than making a risk-free purchase, especially if your dog then falls in love with the product.
That way you both you and the dog can be completely happy with the purchase.
Happy walks, doxie people.
May all your dogs be long ones!
Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.