A high-quality harness is the secret to a successful walk with your Shih Tzu. For their comfort and safety, it’s important to find the right harness that fits them correctly. Although there are a bunch of dog harnesses on the market, not all of them will correctly fit toy dogs. We’ve rounded up the best 10 harnesses for Shih Tzus, complete with our reviews, that are just their size (and stylish too) so you can spend more time outdoors with your Shih Tzu and less time browsing the internet.
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The 10 Best Harnesses for Shih Tzus
1. Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness – Best Overall
|Chest Size:||Multiple sizes to fit your Shih Tzu as they grow|
With padded mesh fabric, the Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness is an excellent choice to accompany your Shih Tzu on their many adventures. The fabric evenly distributes the tug of the leash across their chest and back, refraining from pulling on their sensitive necks. This harness is our best overall harness for Shih Tzus choice because it’s soft and padded, while still featuring an adjustable buckle to make sure your Shih Tzu stays safe.
The X-small size adjusts from 13–14.5 inches, a suitable range for most Shih Tzus, but you may need to upgrade to a larger size as they grow. Unfortunately, there’s no reflective tape, which can be a perk for nighttime walks. However, this problem can be easily mitigated by choosing a reflective collar.
2. Frisco Padded Nylon No Pull Dog Harness – Best Value
|Chest Size:||Small 16–22 inches|
We like the clever, easy-to-use design of this no-pull dog harness. Two pieces of nylon webbing rope are pulled through a padded chest piece and loop over to two adjustable buckles on either side of your dog’s back. You’d never guess that the Frisco Padded Nylon No Pull Dog Harness costs less than $10. Plus, customer reviews give this harness 4-paws up, which is another reason why it’s our choice for the best harness for Shih Tzus for the money.
The harness pulls from a D-ring located near your dog’s chest. The small size runs between 16–22 inches which is more than plenty of room for your Shih Tzu. Unfortunately, there isn’t an extra small, so you might have to wait until your puppy grows up before they fit this harness. There isn’t any reflective tape, so it may not be the best choice if you’d like to take your dog on a midnight rendezvous.
3. Chai’s Choice Premium Outdoor Adventure 3M Polyester Reflective Front Clip Dog Harness – Premium Choice
|Chest Size:||X-Small 13–17 inches|
|Closure Type:||Quick release|
The Chai’s Choice Premium Outdoor Adventure 3M Polyester Reflective Front Clip Dog Harness is fashioned similarly to our best value option but features extra perks that make it worth premium status. For example, reflective fibers weave through the nylon webbing, making this harness one of the top choices for walking safely at night. There’s a front clip and back clip so you can decide if you’d rather pull your dog from the front or back. The chest piece is well-endowed with mesh and padding for a comfy walk.
If you like your dog’s accessories to match, you’ll be happy to find that this harness comes in nine color options. The X-Small size runs between 13–17 inches and probably fits most Shih Tzus, but there are more sizes running up to X-Large if you feel they might need something bigger. Since the smallest size starts at 13 inches this design might not fit Shih Tzu puppies. You’ll also pay a little more for this harness than some designs, but we think it’ll be worth the investment.
4. Li’l Pals Microfiber Step in Back Clip Dog Harness – Best for Puppies
|Chest Size:||8–10 inches or 10–12 inches|
The two sizes are both smaller than most harnesses on the market, making them perfect choices for your Shih Tzu puppy. The Li’l Pals Step in Back Clip Dog Harness trains your puppy to wear a harness by featuring super protective padding and minimal webbing. Your puppy simply steps their front legs through the arm holes and you’re ready to secure the back. The harness clasps via a small buckle and attaches to the leash through a metal D-ring in the back. There isn’t any reflective tape, so you might want to invest in a reflective collar if you plan on taking your puppy on nighttime walks.
5. Best Pet Supplies Voyager Plush Suede Dog Harness
|Chest Size:||Multiple sizes may fit your Shih Tzu as they grow|
Your Shih Tzu will be ready to step out of their front door in style with this suede harness. We love how the neutral colors match most Shih Tzus’ white or brown fur. The adjustable quick release buckle design is very similar to our overall best choice made by the same company. There are two main differences: the D-ring attaches to the leash in the back instead of the front, and the harness material is also different.
The Best Pet Supplies Voyager Plush Suede Dog Harness might even be a little cushier since it uses soft suede. The material isn’t best for hot climates however, because it’s very plush and thick. Your Shih Tzu may need an X-Small, Small, or Medium depending on their size and life stage.
6. SlowTon Car Safety Dog Harness with Seat Belt
|Chest Size:||5–18 inches|
If your Shih Tzu is your ride-or-die, you’ll appreciate how the SlowTon Car Safety Dog Harness clips onto a dog seat belt whenever it’s time to hit the road. The mesh design protects your dog’s chest on walks and provides them with gentle protection during the drive. Everyone knows an excitable Shih Tzu is a driving hazard, so the added dog seat belt reminds them to stay in the backseat.
There are two D-rings, so you don’t even have to worry about unclipping your dog as you load them in the car. The price is surprisingly affordable given the extra features. The only problem we see is that the smallest size runs a little large for Shih Tzu puppies.
7. Frisco Outdoor Lightweight Ripstop Nylon Dog Harness
|Chest Size:||Small 16–22 inches|
This extra-padded, reflective harness equips your Shih Tzu for excursions any time. Four fun color options let you tailor their look to their personality or style. There are two D-rings, which allow you to attach their leash to their back or to their chest. Two plastic quick-release buckles set your Shih Tzu free in a flash whenever they arrive at the dog park, or safely return home. The smallest size has a range of 16–22 inches which is too big for Shih Tzu puppies. They’ll have to wait until they grow up to enjoy this harness’s extra perks.
8. Frisco Outdoor Premium Ripstop Nylon Dog Harness with Pocket
|Chest Size:||Small 16–22 inches|
The Frisco Outdoor Premium Ripstop Nylon Dog Harness with Pocket pulls out all the stops with every extra feature you can imagine. Two D-rings attach on the front or back, a nylon handle allows you to grab your Shih Tzu quickly in case of emergency, two zippered bags create convenient storage space for poop bags, padding protects your dog, and reflective webbing covers your dog front and back. This cool harness is available in four colors so you can easily match their collar and style. The only downside is the smallest size is still too big for Shih Tzu puppies, or dogs who are smaller than the breed average.
9. Copatchy No-Pull Reflective Adjustable Dog Harness
|Chest Size:||X-Small 12–16 inches or Small 17–22 inches|
With a plastic buckle that clips at the chest, the Copatchy No-Pull Reflective Adjustable Dog Harness fastens a little differently than most options on our list. Some pet parents like the ease of a front buckle, while others may prefer the traditional back buckle. This harness attaches through a D-ring on the back, where there is also a nylon handle for your convenience. The mesh fabric keeps your dog cool and comfortable, and the nylon webbing has reflective fibers to keep nighttime play safe. This harness is available in four color options. Your Shih Tzu might need an X-Small or a Small, depending on their size.
10. PetSafe 3-in-1 Reflective Dog Harness with Car Control Strap
|Chest Size:||13–19 inches|
|Closure Type:||Quick release|
The PetSafe 3-in-1 Reflective Harness with Car Control Strap features nylon webbing instead of a mesh chest piece. A more suitable choice for hot climates, there’s no fabric to add unnecessary warmth. The two D-rings attach in the front and back, and it even comes with a car control strap to make your car rides safer. This 3-in-1 harness also comes with a leash and is available in three cool colors. The 13–19-inch range is perfect for an adult Shih Tzu but may not fit puppies. As an added perk, this harness is reflective and waterproof.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Harnesses for Shih Tzus
There are plenty of options for a harness for your Shih Tzu, but not every product will be a perfect fit for your pup. Here are a few factors to consider when you’re shopping for the right one:
According to the AKC breed standard, Shih Tzus usually weigh between 9-16 pounds and have an average 14–20-inch chest size. While this information can help you begin your search, you should measure your own Shih Tzu to find the most accurate fit. You’ll need to measure their girth, or the wide part of their chest, all the way around. Keep in mind that most harnesses are adjustable, so find a size that gives your Shih Tzu room to grow.
Type of Enclosure
Most harnesses use a plastic or metal buckle clasp. Whether you like to walk your dog in front of you or behind you will determine whether you want a D-ring on their chest or on their back. Several products we reviewed had a D-ring on both the front and back so that you can choose.
If you mostly walk your Shih Tzu at night, you probably want to invest in a harness that has reflective nylon webbing. This safety feature makes it easier to spot your dog in the dark if they become lost or slip away. It’s not absolutely necessary for daytime adventures though, and in the worst-case scenario, you can always choose a reflective collar instead.
Some harnesses keep things pretty basic, with a simple chest piece and nylon webbing. Others, like the Frisco Outdoor Premium Ripstop Nylon Dog Harness with Pocket, are outfitted with extra padding, pockets, a nylon handle, and other fancy features. Deciding whether you want these additional elements will help you narrow your search.
There are plenty of harnesses out there, but we’ve rounded up some of the best so you don’t have to dig. Our overall best choice, the Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness, provides comfortable padding and is available in three sizes so that you can find the best fit. Frisco Padded Nylon No Pull Dog Harness scores our best value choice because of its low price and high-quality design. If you’re a night walker, Chai’s Choice Premium Outdoor Adventure 3M Polyester Reflective Front Clip Dog Harness, is an excellent option made similarly to our overall best choice with the addition of reflective webbing.
No matter what you choose, all of the harnesses we reviewed will have your Shih Tzu’s back as you lead them out on their next excursion. It’s important to find the best fit for your dog’s safety and decide which design is best for you, and hopefully our reviews helped with this.
Featured Image Credit: KellyNelson, Shutterstock