Escape Proof Dog Harness | The Ultimate Guide To Inescapable Canine Harnesses

True story!

Daze, my kelpie x cattle, was 6 months old when he first slipped through his collar to chase some birds down at the beach (as puppies do right?). I didn't think much of it at the time.

However the next time I did.

What happened haunted me for days as the situation was similar but much more serious.

OUR #1 PICK

best escape proof dog harness

The best value for money

Chai's Choice (True Love) - Reflective Outdoor Adventure Pet Harness/Vest

This particular model has a lot of features worth noting. You will notice that it has two adjustable girth straps which provides extra security. Not only will it help prevent escape if you have a real wiggler on your hands, it also helps distribute weight if you need to assist your buddy up and over something.

This is what happened.

We were walking to the beach, and the protagonist was again a bird, but the consequences had changed dramatically. Walking next to the road that leads to the beach a seagull had darted down onto the road to scoop up a forgotten chip.

On puppy impulse Daze went to chase, slipped his collar and ran onto the road, just as a car was coming. In an instant I heard the screeching of breaks and thought the worst. Turns out Daze was fine, the car didn't come close to him, but it could have.

In that moment I knew I needed to get a harness that he couldn't slip through and escape (as well as train harder on his impulse control).

Escape proof dog harness

Daze The Monster - Showing off his smile (and his harness)!

The lowdown.

In this article we will help you choose the right escape proof harness for your dog, even if they have a proven track record of escaping in the past.

First, we will look at some reasons why a harness is a safe alternative to collars. Then we offer a detailed review, complete with pros and cons for our top 5 escape proof dog harnesses.

We made sure to include a wide range of escape harness styles, price points and sizes so that you can find a quality piece of gear that best meets your specific situation. We have even included harness sizing information so you can see at a glance if each selection comes in a size that works for your pet.

Finally.

Finding the perfect harness for your toy breed dog houdini dog presents a special challenge. Our bonus pick is just for the little guys!  

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

RATING

Price

escape proof dog harness

Chia's Choice - Reflective Outdoor Adventure Pet Harness/Vest

  • Extra strength buckles for durability.
  • 6M reflective material on all webbing for added night-time safety.
  • Mesh lining for added harness breathability.
inescapable dog harness

EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness

  • Easy to get on
  • Wide range of harness sizes to fit any dog
  • Extra padding across the top and front
Frisco padded front lead dog harness

Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness

  • Fantastic price
  • Front and back attachment point options
  • Padded chest piece for a comfortable harness
Voyager Mesh Harness

Voyager Mesh Harness

  • Ideal choice for toy and small breed dogs
  • Excellent price point
  • Light fabric and mesh for plenty of harness comfort
Kurgo-Tru-Fit(TM)-Crash-Tested-Dog-Harness

Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness

  • Doubles as an escape proof car harness with included seat belt connector
  • High quality fabric, webbing, and steel components
  • Front and back attachment points, great for harness pullers

Myth: A Harness Will Make Your Dog Pull More. 

The truth is.

If your canine companion is pulling on a leash they need to be leash trained. This is true whether they are wearing a collar or a harness.

People often misunderstand this because they, rightly, point out that a harness is more comfortable for dogs, thus they can put more force at the end of a leash before pain forces them to stop. This is true. It is why sled dogs are attached to sleds with harnesses and not collars.

However (this is a big however too!).

The same people may not be aware that although your dog can apply less forward force with a collar, they can and do still apply plenty of force to cause permanent damage to their trachea, neck and/or spine.

You have seen that poor dog on a collar choking at the end of a leash to try to get a sniff in? This dog is neither a joy to walk, nor are they being treated with true compassion. The solution for this dog is not a collar, or a choke collar. The solution is leash training.

We're not through yet.

Even with a perfectly trained dog, there is always the risk that a strong distraction like a squirrel (or a bird) or something that startles your dog like a sudden loud noise might cause them to run hard and fast with a strong jerk when they get to the end of the leash. In such a situation a harness is much less likely to injure your pet.

Harnesses can result in giving your dog more “leverage” at the end of a leash. However, if you have a strong puller you can get a harness with a front clip. When your dog tries to pull hard, this simple solution will force them to turn, taking away their forward momentum without choking them or causing permanent damage.

Listen.

Leash training is the solution for pulling. However, if you need an equipment solution in the meantime, the safe and smart choice is a front clip harness, not a collar. We have included several front clip models in our review below.

If you want to walk your dog with love, choose the right harness for leash walking and use the collar for style and pet identification tags.

inescapable dog harness

Help! My Dog Keeps Backing Out Of Their Harness & Escaping! 

If you have an escape artist on your hands, then you may have tried dog harnesses before and had a bad experience. The vast majority of harnesses are made with nothing but webbing, buckles and clips. You have probably seen them lining the shelves of your local pet store in a myriad of colors and sizes.

These harnesses are cheap and easy to manufacture, making them the “go to” for many dog lovers. In fact, for most canines they work great! Right up until your smarty pants pet figures out that all they have to do is back up and duck and they slip right out! Once your dog learns this trick, they won’t “unlearn” it.

All is not lost. Dog gear manufacturers have recognized this problem and solved it. Although you may have to invest a little more for an escape proof harness for dogs, there are some great options out there. Let’s take a look at some of the best for your pet!

Beagle illustration

Best Escape Proof Dog Harness | Preventing A Canine Getaway

#1 Best All Round Escape Proof Dog Harness

Chai's Choice (True Love) - Reflective Outdoor Adventure Pet Harness/Vest

This is another top selection for escape artists. The 4-point adjustments and padded chest and saddleback, allow you to get a great fit which is critical for ensuring that your dog can’t slip out.

Another feature we love about this model is that it has a front clip on the chest piece. This is great if you have a puller on your hands. If they try to pull forward the front connection will turn them sideways, taking the power out of the pull and teaching them that pulling is a losing strategy. Over time this can even train your dog that pulling just doesn’t get them anywhere. 

best escape proof dog harness

With 5 sizes, almost all dogs can find a great fit. Three color choices give this model some points for style as well. And, you can purchase a heavy duty leash that matches this design.

A great deal of reflective material makes this one of the safest escape harness designs for night-time walks. The lightweight design will keep your pal cool and provide them with a free range of motion.

One downside of the design is the high top-line on the chest piece. This is likely not going to be an issue for all dogs, but if you know your pet has a sensitive neck, this harness may not be the best design as it could irritate the windpipe depending on the fit.

Escape Proof Dog Harness Sizing (measure widest part of the chest):

  • X-Small: 13-17 inches (33-43 cm)
  •  Small: 17-22 inches (43-56 cm)
  • Medium: 22-27 inches (56-69 cm)
  • Large: 27-32 inches (69-81 cm)
  • X-Large: 32-42 inches (81-107 cm)
Chai's Choice Reflective Pet Harness PROS
  • Extra strength buckles for durability.
  • 3 colors and 5 sizes to choose from.
  • 6M reflective material on all webbing for added night-time safety.
  • Mesh lining for added breathability.
  • Large padded chest piece and saddleback for comfort.
  • Two attachment points, including a front ring for added control with strong pullers.
  • Affordable pricing.
Chai's Choice Reflective Pet Harness CONS
  • Lift assist handle on the back is pretty small and located too far back to be very helpful.
  • Will take some practice to get in and out easily.
  • High laying top line on chest piece may agitate the windpipe of strong pullers.

#2 Best Easy to Use Escape Proof Dog Harness

EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness

Many dogs get so excited when you pull out the harness that getting them to step through the leg holes can be a real hassle. In fact, the reason some people are still using collars to walk their dog is because learning to use a harness can be a little bit of a learning curve for both owners and our pets.

This escape proof dog harness is actually about as easy to use as a collar because of the innovative design. Just slip it over your dog’s head and use the single quick clip to fasten the buckle. Because the chest strap goes right behind the legs, it ensures a snug, escape free fit.

EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness

There is plenty to love about the quality and features offered by this escape proof harness. Wide and thick webbing, reflective stitching, and extra reinforcement make this a good choice for safety. And, it is strong enough for even the more powerful breeds including German Shepherds, Pitbulls and Rottweilers.

The chest piece is low profile. What this means is that instead of having a section that goes around the neck, this chest piece is well clear of the windpipe. If you have a dog that insists on pulling when he is distracted by the neighbor’s cat or another dog on a walk, the padded chest strap won’t injure your dog’s delicate neck area.

If you are color conscious, this may be an excellent choice for you. It comes in 10 vibrant colors.

Escape Proof Dog Harness Sizing (measure widest part of the chest):

  • ​X-Small: Chest 15-18”, Neck 11-18”
  • Small: Chest 18-21.5”, Neck 14-22”
  • Medium: Chest 21.5-26.5”, Neck 16-27”
  • Large: Chest 26.5-33”, Neck 18-31”
  • X-Large: Chest 33-42”, Neck 21-36”

EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness PROS
  • Easy to get on: No step through and a single quick-clip
  • Strong enough for powerful dogs
  • Wide range of sizes to fit any dog
  • Extra padding across the top and front for comfort and safety
  • 10 great colors to choose from
  • Heavy duty materials and construction
  • Escape proof design
  • Low profile front strap to prevent any chance of choking
EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness CONS
  • May chafe behind legs if used for extended wear

#3 Best Budget Escape Proof Dog Harness

Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness

If you are shopping for a bargain, this is a good choice. This escape proof harness combines the simplicity of a web style with a little padding along the chest for some added comfort.

It has the features you would expect: plenty of adjustability, quick clips for easy on and off, and front and back enclosures. You can take the padded section off and toss the harness right in the washing machine as well.

Frisco padded front lead dog harness

It comes in 5 bright colors so every dog in the house can have their own, fitted perfectly. And, if your pet tends to pull on the leash, then clip to the front D-ring and any force from pulling forward will be transferred to the side instead.

The best thing is that the web material used in this harness is durable. For an inexpensive option, choose this is escape proof harness as it will last.

Escape Proof Dog Harness Sizing (measure widest part of the chest):

  • Small: Chest 16-22”
  • Medium: Chest 22-34”
  • Large: Chest 26-40”
  • Giant: Chest 32-50”
Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness
PROS
  • Fantastic price
  • Front and back attachment point options
  • Padded chest piece for comfort
  • Quickly get on and off with easy clips
  • Three adjustment points to get the right fit
  • Four bright colors to choose from – pink, blue, red or black
Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness
CONS
  • Chest piece offers padding, but isn’t as tough as webbing

#4 Best Escape Proof Dog Harness for Toy and Small Breeds

Best Pet Supplies Voyager Mesh Harness

When it comes to the little dogs, it can be hard to find a harness made just for their small bodies. A loose fitting harness is pretty easy to wiggle out of, especially if it is the plain strap style.

This vest style is the answer for toy and miniature breed dogs such as Yorkies, Pugs, Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas. It comes in sizes perfect for these tiny tikes and fits snuggly around their frame to keep them snug in the harness with no chance of escape.

This harness is lightweight and lined with a soft mesh fabric. It is ideal for all day wear and won’t be too hot even in warmer weather.

Voyager Mesh Harness

Style a big concern? The black mesh is lined with a sharp piping that comes in 5 colors for a snazzy look: red, pink, orange, blue and basic black.

There is a reflective strip on this escape proof dog harness, but it is a small area – not the best if nighttime visibility is a big concern. It also lacks a front attachment point which could be an issue if you have a little puller on your hands.

Escape Proof Dog Harness Sizing (measure widest part of the chest):

  • X-Small: Chest 14-14.5”, Neck 8”
  • Small: Chest 14.5-17”, Neck 9.5”
  • Medium: Chest 16-18”, Neck 11”
  • Large: Chest 18-21”, Neck 13”
  • X-Large: Chest 21-23”, Neck 15.5”
Best Pet Supplies Voyager Mesh Harness
PROS
  • Ideal choice for toy and small breed dogs
  • Excellent price point
  • Light fabric and mesh for plenty of comfort
  • Easy to adjust via the Velcro strap along the back for a hugging fit
  • Vest design is escape proof
  • 5 colors to choose from
Best Pet Supplies Voyager Mesh Harness
CONS
  • Won’t last as long as some more durable styles
  • Only two small reflective strips – not ideal for night safety

#5 Best Versatile Escape Proof Dog Harness

Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness

When it comes to keeping your pet safe in the car, a car harness for dogs is the way to go. This model by Kurgo is not only escape proof, it is designed to work both as a walking harness and as a safety belt made just for your dog.

The chest piece in this harness makes sure that the pressure will be evenly distributed across the chest in the event of an accident while you are driving. Heavy duty fabric, reinforced construction, stainless steel buckles and thick webbing all contribute to a safety harness that will keep your pet safe on rides to all of his favorite places. 

Kurgo-Tru-Fit(TM)-Crash-Tested-Dog-Harness

There is a total of five points of adjustment which gives you the ability to get that perfect fit. This is gear you will be able to rely on, even if your dog fancies himself the next Houdini.

It’s little low on style with just a classic black option. And, it is a little pricey. However, the quality is there to justify the investment. This is one escape proof harness that you won’t be replacing anytime soon.

Escape Proof Dog Harness Sizing (measure widest part of the chest):

  • X-Small: Chest 12-18”, Neck 9-13”
  • Small: Chest 16-22”, Neck 12-23”
  • Medium: Chest 18-28”, Neck 16-25”
  • Large: Chest 24-34”, Neck 19-30”
  • X-Large: Chest 28-44”, Neck 24-35”
Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness
PROS
  • Doubles as an escape proof car harness with included seat belt connector
  • High quality fabric, webbing, and steel components
  • Front and back attachment points, great for pullers
  • Five places to adjust for just the right fit for maximum control
  • Well known and trusted name brand in pet supplies
  • Backed with a lifetime guarantee
Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness
CONS
  • Limited color selection
  • Relatively high price, although this is top quality harness

BONUS PICK! - Escape Proof Harness For Small Dogs! 

Comfort Fit – Small Padded Dog Harness

Because so many escape proof dog harnesses are designed with medium to large dogs in mind, we wanted to feature this top pick just for tiny and medium dogs. With a chest size that goes down to 7 inches, even the smallest dog is going to find a size that will keep them secure.

This vest style harness is fully padded with a sturdy foam and durable poly fabric exterior. This harness will evenly distribute weight around the entire chest of your pet, thus eliminating any pressure points for a complete comfort fit. In addition, the materials are very easy to keep clean – just wipe with a damp cloth.


escape proof dog harness

With a single snap closure, this harness is easy to get on and off. Unlike strap style harnesses, you won’t need much practice to get the hang of this simple design! Even better, the complete enclosure design means there is no way your dog will be able to back out and escape.

There is one major downside to the simplicity of design and that is that it is only adjustable at one attachment point across the chest. For this reason you will need to make sure that both the neck and chest measurements (found below) are going to be in range for a great fit.

Concerned about quality? This harness comes with a lifetime guarantee. Save your receipt and buy with confidence.

This product is a little stiff at first. Don’t worry. Once your pet wears this a few times it will form fit to a snug and comfortable vest. Your dog will look like he is wearing a custom-made outfit!

Escape Proof Dog Harness Sizing (measure widest part of the chest):

  • XX-Small: 10-13 inches (25.5-33 cm)
  • X-Small: 13-16 inches (33—40.5 cm)
  • Small: 16-19 inches (40.5-48 cm)
  • Medium: 18-21 inches (45.5-53 cm)

Escape Proof Dog Harness Neck sizing (measure around the lowest part of the neck)

  • XX-Small: 7-10 inches (18-25.5 cm)
  • X-Small: 10-13 inches (25.5—33 cm)
  • Small: 13-16 inches (33-40.5 cm)
  • Medium: 15-18 inches (38-45.5 cm)
Comfort Fit – Small Padded Dog Harness
PROS
  • Specific design with small dog bodies in mind, this model works with even teacup size dogs.
  • Low neck line adds safety for your little puller.
  • Full coverage design is an excellent added layer of warmth, critical for tiny dogs that lose heat fast in even mild conditions.
  • Soft padded vest style has no pressure points that could rub or chaff.
  • Sharp look in 4 bright colors.
  • Smooth interior and exterior makes wiping clean a snap.
  • Extremely lightweight design, less than 2 oz.
  • Lifetime guarantee.
Comfort Fit – Small Padded Dog Harness
CONS
  • Not available for large and giant dogs.
  • Could be too warm for very hot climates.
  • Only one adjustment point, measure neck and chest to get a good fit!

Why Does Your Dog Need A Harness?

  • Harnesses help reduce the risk of strangulation and other types of neck and trachea injuries that can be common with collars. Many dogs will constantly pull the leash causing direct pressure to the neck region, a harness disperses the pressure usually over the shoulder and back.
  • The harness will usually provide a far greater amount of control over your dog, which can be important when it comes to training and general life skills like crossing a road etc
  • Harnesses can discourage your dog from pulling on their lead, which not only makes for a more easily controlled pet, but also reduces the potential risks to your dogs health, as stated above.
  • There is more versatility with a harness. Some designs come with handles etc which, for smaller dogs, can be very handy when some tricky situations arise. Some can also be fitted in a car and used a your own dog seat belt.
  • Harnesses are harder to escape from. As the basis of this article states, harness are a lot harder to escape from, especially if you go for the escape proof options that have been mentioned.

Escape Proof Harnesses Conclusion

We hope this detailed review of the best escape proof dog harness has been helpful. Please feel free to leave your comments below if you have a related story or comment that might help our readers. Happy tails!

Sharon Elber (M.S. in Science & Technology) - Professional Dog Trainer

Sharon is a writer and received her M.S. in Science & Technology Studies from Virginia Tech and has worked as a professional dog trainer for over 10 years.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Evelyn - January 17, 2018

I have a chihuaua/ miniature greyhound mix female. Chest is 17 “, Neck is 10”. Help?

Reply
    wileypup - January 17, 2018

    Hey Evelyn,

    The very last harness (under the heading ‘BONUS PICK! – Escape Proof Harness For Small Dogs!’) in the article has a great harness called ‘Comfort Fit – Small Padded Dog Harness. The x-small has a chest of 13-16 inches and a neck 10-13 inches. I think this is going to be your best bet, it’s better for the chest area to be looser than the neck and that extra inch in the chest that your pup has could be taken up by their hair.

    If not let me know and I see if I can find something more suited! (also amazon should have free returns so you shouldn’t be out of pocket).

    Reply
Teri - June 11, 2018

It would have been nice to see the products on dogs. I’m looking for something where the girth is farther back, like behind the diaphragm, so it cannot ride up over the ribs & cause chafing behind the front legs & chest.

Reply
    wileypup - June 12, 2018

    Hi Teri,

    If you click through to the products they often will show the harness’s on the pups! Hope that helps

    Reply
abby - July 6, 2018

Need a better harness, definitely!

Reply
    wileypup - July 6, 2018

    It’s never an easy choice as well. What looks good on paper might not be the most suitable when actually in use, if that’s the case definitely return it for a refund and try a different option.

    Reply
Ryan Olivas - July 17, 2018

Great list! Oh no, picking one of these would be very tough. Which one can you recommend?

Reply
    wileypup - July 17, 2018

    Hi Ryan,

    No worries at all! Can you tell me a little bit about your dog?

    Reply
Leah Stumpf - July 26, 2018

Thanks for this great list! Actually, I’ve been using trackimo, a gps tracking device, and attached it to my pet’s collar. But i’ll definitely try these for my pet’s additional security and protection. Thanks!

Reply
    wileypup - July 26, 2018

    Thanks for the kind words Leah! Always good to have a few options, especially when it comes to our fur babies!

    Reply
Kathie - October 23, 2018

My miniature poodle backs out of harnesses and collars. And since I am arthritic I have a hard time with the plastic snaps you have to pinch in to remove the harness. Two questions: Which harness will work best to prevent escape by backing out? Can I leave it on all day?

Reply
    wileypup - October 23, 2018

    Hi Kathie,

    We would recommend the Ruffwear – Web Master Secure, Reflective, Multi-Use Harness however make sure choose one that’s right size for your mini poodle (measure widest part of the chest).
    Recommend leaving it on when your outside your home or a secure place 🙂

    Reply
Jessica - May 2, 2019

Thank you for writing this article. People don’t ever think about escape proof harnesses until it’s too late. I wasn’t so lucky with my last puppy, Colby, and she ended up getting hit and passed away. I appreciate people like you writing these articles for anyone who doesn’t realize the importance of escape proof harnesses!

Reply
Sarah - November 30, 2019

Kurgo has a Tru-fit that has regular plastic buckles instead of the metal attachments. Would this one still be considered a good choice for an escape artist? I don’t have a car and I only need it for walking.

Reply
    wileypup - December 2, 2019

    Hi Sarah,

    What type of dog do you have? The metal option would almost always be a more secure option.

    Reply
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