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You know what the greatest fear of every dog parent is?
Watching helplessly as their dog breaks loose of the harness or leash in pursuit of whatever just captured their attention.
You can scream “come” and “leave it” all you want. But, the situation is out of your hands – literally – and there’s no predicting what could happen next.
But this can be avoided by getting a harness that your dog cannot escape from no matter how appealing the object of his interest is.
In this article, we’re going to see the 5 best slip-proof dog harnesses for dogs that have the propensity to escape when on walks.
Let’s start by analyzing the type of dogs that are more likely to slip out of a harness.
Which dogs are likely to slip out of a harness?
Agreed! All dogs are skilled at slipping out of a harness, however, some are more likely to escape than others.
While it is important to invest in a comfortable, slip-proof harness; it is worth knowing the type of dogs that are higher on the “adept escapers” list so you can watch them closely.
Some of the dogs that are likely to escape from a harness are:
1. Nervous and anxious dogs.
Flighty, nervous, or anxious dogs are more likely to chew through or slip out of their harness. Shelter or abused dogs, for instance, are often nervous in unfamiliar environments and will try to slip out of their harness. More so if they’ve formed a negative association with the harness.
2. Destructive Chewers.
Some dogs love having something in their mouth and will chew anything they can get their
hand teeth on, including their harness.
The best thing to do for these types is to choose a slip-proof harness that is not only constructed using durable materials but is designed to be out of mouth’s reach.
3. Dogs that hate leashes
Some dogs hate having a leash on. You’ll see them pull, twist, and turn in a bid to slip out of the ties that bind them. More often than not, they do succeed and they celebrate their freedom by running around the compound or neighborhood.
4. Flexible, lanky, or small-headed dogs.
Dogs vary in shape and build. Unfortunately, most harnesses are designed with a ‘model’ dog in mind. What this means is that some dogs with different shapes and sizes are more likely to escape from their restraints.
In reality, dogs with short limbs and thick heads are less likely to slip out of a harness than dogs with flexible forelimbs, a small head, and a lanky frame.
5. Dogs with a history of escaping.
If a dog has escaped from their harness or crate before, they’re more likely to do so again. So be extra careful when dealing with these types. Even though they may have returned to you, you never can tell when you’ve run out of luck.
6. High prey drive.
Dogs with a high prey drive are more likely to slip out of a harness, especially when they’ve spotted something… interesting. A squirrel or a rodent, they’ll chase it down and nothing can get in their way, not even a puny harness.
While you can train them to be calm as well as teach them the “leave it” command, you cannot completely override nature. Your best bet is to purchase a harness specially designed for such dogs.
6 Things to Consider When Getting an Escape-Proof Harness.
Here are 6 things you should consider when getting a dog harness – especially for Houdini-wannabe dogs:
1. Best quality materials.
When choosing a slip-proof dog harness, you should always opt for one made of high-quality materials. That’s because cheaper harnesses made of flimsy materials may be easier for your dog to bust out of. And, they may not last as long as you expect them to.
Instead, look for a harness that is made from nylon webbing, leather, high-quality faux leather, or some other sturdy and comfortable material.
You don’t always need padding, especially on dogs that are medium- to long-haired breeds since their fur acts as padding. However, to provide comfort and prevent damage to your dog’s skin or fur, a little padding will be needed.
3. Strong, secure connectors.
Harness manufacturers use different types of connectors in their design to make their products escape-proof. That’s why it is important to choose a harness that has secure and durable connectors. Though you may sacrifice a little convenience to strap or unstrap your dog each time, it is worth the trouble for escape-prone dogs.
4. Reflective features.
Motorists will pay closer attention to a visible object than one that isn’t. That’s why you and your dog need to wear reflective clothing, especially when it is dark.
Many leashes and harnesses feature some reflective stitching or patches to improve your dog’s visibility.
If you already bought one that isn’t reflective, then the next best thing to do is to get a LED dog collar to keep your dog illuminated in the dark. They are affordable and simple to use, and may likely save your dog’s life.
5. Multiple-Attachment Points.
You can alter your dog’s behavior by attaching his leash to the harness in a different position. For instance, if your dog likes to pull you can attach the leash near his back to control and reduce the pressure on his chest and the harness – only try this if you have strong leg muscles.
Alternatively, with a leash attached to the front of his chest, you can step to the side and pull on the leash to throw him slightly off-balance, which is very helpful in preventing pulling.
Many good harnesses come with a handle that can help you gain more control of your dog. If, for instance, your dog is in the middle of escaping, a hand allows you to grab your furry friend before he breaks loose.
With the handle, you can even give your dog a hand getting into the car or pull him closer when he’s visibly stressed.
The 5 Best Escape-Proof Dog Harnesses for A Canine Houdini.
1. PHOEPET No Pull Dog Harness.
First on our list is the escape-proof dog harnesses is the PHOEPET No Pull Dog Harness.
This harness is specially designed to fit comfortably on dogs so small that when you tell people he’s an escape artist, they seem surprised or give you a weird, “I don’t believe you” look.
Like most quality, slip-proof dog harnesses, the PHOEPET No Pull Dog Harness has two leash attachment points in front and on the back. Depending on your dog’s mood, you can easily switch between them to gain more control over his behavior while on a walk.
The quality of the padding, stitches, and adjustability of the straps is topnotch. It reminds me of the last laptop bag I bought – I knew from the first time I felt it that I would only replace the bag because I need something newer, not because it tore… and I was right.
Aside from being escape-proof, the PHOEPET No Pull Dog Harness helps prevent pulling, especially in dogs that love to give their owners a good arm workout. They usually learn after a couple of unsuccessful attempts that it’s better to walk normally
Although I said it is great for small dogs, it works just fine for large dogs. And, with the well-stitched handle located on the back of the harness, you can give your dog a lift into the van, pull him closer when you spot a squirrel, or notice a dog that looks like trouble heading in your direction.
Oh, and it has very bright reflector strips that are great for keeping your dog visible to motorists in low-light situations.
2. rabbitgoo No-Choke, No-Pull Pet Harness.
Do you have a stubborn escape artist that would rather pull your arms out of the sockets or choke himself on the leash than lose sight of a squirrel or anything that needs to be chased?
Then the rabbitgoo No-Choke, No-Pull Pet Harness might be just what you need to get that dog under control.
Everything about this harness is expertly put together: the straps are strong, with durable stitches that aren’t going to rip any time soon; the buckles are made of high-quality plastic and can easily be adjusted to fit even the fluffiest hairball without breaking apart; and, it has 2 leash attachment clips for casual walking and for training dogs not to pull.
The rabbitgoo No-Choke, No-Pull Pet Harness features a handle on the back that you can use to lift your dog and some really soft padding that will prevent your dog from slipping or getting horrible underarm rashes.
3. Mihachi Large Secure, Escape-Proof Dog Harness.
Even dogs trained by Houdini would find it difficult to wriggle out of the Mihachi Large Secure, Escape-Proof Dog Harness and that’s because it was specially designed with them in mind.
The high-quality, plastic buckles are very adjustable which makes the slip-proof harness easy to take off and put on.
However, they do not shift from their position once you’ve made them fit snugly around your dog. This is great for keeping energetic, escape artists contained, unlike a lot of harnesses that loosen up as the dogs move around.
What I like about the Mihachi Large Secure, Escape-Proof Dog Harness is that it has 3 sturdy and well-padded straps that hug the front of the neck, the chest, and the underbelly just before the hind legs.
These straps once fitted do not move from their position, and even if your dog were to wriggle his shoulders out of one of the straps, there are still two more holding onto him that can buy you enough time to get him before he breaks free. A great choice for dogs with small heads and big torsos.
Like the other escape-proof dog harnesses that we’ve seen, this one also comes with a sturdy handle on the back so you can scoop your dog into the car, up the stairs, or across some rocks.
Unfortunately, it only comes in one color.
4. RUFFWEAR Multi-Use Support Dog Harness.
The RUFFWEAR Multi-Use Support Dog Harness is another well-made, slip-proof dog harness that comes with three straps to keep the best of escape artists in check – especially those whose neck and head are almost the same size.
Even if such dogs successfully back out of one strap, there are still two sturdy straps clasping on their body, essentially making escape
Having said that, I like how the handle on this harness is attached from back to front. This way, when you lift the dog with the handle, the pressure is spread across all three straps rather than one section of his rib cage.
The padding on the RUFFWEAR Multi-Use Support Dog Harness is extra soft and is made of a breathable material that will ensure your dog’s skin stays rash-free no matter how often or how long he wears it.
Unlike the first and second escape-proof dog harnesses that we looked at, this one doesn’t have a leash attachment point on the front – it only has one on the back.
5. OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness.
Last but not least is the OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness.
Although not advertised as an escape-proof dog harness, this dog harness fits comfortably in a way that is difficult to slip out of.
The build quality is great, and as a no-pull harness, there aren’t many that will do a better job.
One of the numerous things I admire about the OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness is the padding. It is soft and feels comfortable even when adjusted to the tightest setting a dog will allow. The part of the padding that’s in contact with your dog’s coat is made of breathable material to encourage airflow even when worn on hairy breeds.
The buckles are made of high-quality, durable plastic. And, the straps, which are easy to adjust, maintain their position until you take off the harness at the end of your walk.
Although the manufacturer claims that you can use the elastic cord on the back to carry some stuff like a water bottle and some clothes, I just don’t see that happening with some dogs.
If you’re looking for an escape-proof dog harness with great aesthetics and top-notch build quality, then I recommend the OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness.
How to Properly Fit a Dog Harness.
Many times, when a dog slips out of a harness it’s not because of some design flaw, but because the dog pawrents failed to use or adjust the harness properly.
Having said that, it’s actually super easy to ensure your dog’s harness is tight and snug. Simply follow the steps listed below:
1. Purchase the right size.
There’s very little you can do to make a large harness fit a small dog, well, except for returning it which can be avoided by checking the manufacturer’s sizing chart and comparing it against your dog.
You’re more likely to get the size right if you use linear measurement, rather than your dog’s weight. So, get a tape and measure the circumference of your dog’s chest and lower back.
2. Wear your dog the harness while he’s standing.
The harness has to fit your dog properly without leaving him any room to escape. You do this by making him stand while you’re strapping the harness because that’s when his rib cage is the smallest. When in a sitting position the rib cage is larger and will give you a false fit.
And, NO! It won’t prevent him from sitting comfortably.
3. Make sure all of the straps and loops are tight.
When the straps of the harness are tight enough, you should struggle to fit two fingers between the harness and your dog’s body. This way he is secure, yet comfortable in the harness.
4. Test the harness before heading out.
Test run the harness around your living room before heading out, especially if it is new or you’ve changed the way the harness fits. Walk your dog for a couple of minutes and make sure he can stand, lie, and sit comfortably. While at it ensure your dog cannot slip his elbow or head through any of the straps.
What’s the best escape-proof harness for your dog?
As you can see a lot of thought goes into choosing the best slip-proof dog harness for your escape artist.
However, I want to point something out that will make your decision less… daunting.
No dog harness is 100% escape-proof!
Having said that, if your dog is an unapologetic escape artist and will attempt to break loose from his harness any time, any day, and twice on Sundays, you can reduce the likelihood of him succeeding by combining a harness and a collar.
You can do this with the help of Adjustable Collar Backup Clip for Dog Harness. Just hook one end to the collar and the other to the leash clip in front or on the back of your dog’s harness.
Worst case scenario: your dog wriggles out of the harness, but the clip will hold onto the collar on his neck which will buy you enough time to reel him in.
So, which harness should you choose for your dog?
Choose OneTigris Tactical Dog Harness, Mihachi Large Secure, Escape-Proof Dog Harness, or RUFFWEAR Multi-Use Support Dog Harness (in that order) if your dog summons all the energy within him to escape as soon as he spots a squirrel, cat, or any other thing that “must” be chased or investigated.
These harnesses have the build quality to withstand a series of escape attempts, especially from large, powerful dog breeds without the seams ripping or the buckle breaking.
PHOEPET No Pull Dog Harness and rabbitgoo No-Choke, No-Pull Pet Harness are great for small- to medium-sized, fluffy dog breeds because the straps are thinner and will help keep the harness in place without causing underarm rashes or increasing the dog’s body temperature.
Remember to adjust the harness while your dog is standing!