When picking a harness, the main concerns for your Dachshund are their back problems, unique shape, and short legs. Due to their long bodies, Dachshunds are naturally prone to spinal injuries, like intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). For this reason, it is extremely important that they get the support they need and that harnesses don’t cause unnecessary stress–even for big pullers.
Likewise, their short legs make it easy for them to back out of most harnesses, meaning it is essential to find a harness that fits snug without causing skin irritation. Dachshund owners also have to be particularly careful with measurements. Even if you think you have a good sense of your dog’s size, double check these areas with soft tape.
Neck: Measure around the base of the neck.
Length: Measure from the base of the neck to the base of the tail.
Girth: Measure base of the neck, encircle the body just behind the front legs.
Height: While your dog stands, measure from the base of neck down to the floor.
Sizing is not consistent across harnesses, and the number one complaint for every harness is fit. So, if you need the size to be perfect on the first go, keep these measurements nearby. It is especially important to keep in mind that standard Dachshunds and miniature Dachshunds have different size needs. While most of our reviews are with standard sizes in mind, we found did find a few harnesses to be excellent choices for any minis.
Types of Leash Attachments
Another factor to be mindful of when shopping for your Dachshund is the location of the leash attachment. The vast majority of harnesses come in one of two varieties: back-clip and front-clip.
The back-clip is true to its name. The leash attachment is on the back of the harness and is best for very relaxed walker. There’s next to no chance of your Dachshund leg getting caught on the leash. This are by far the most common style of leash attachment, and the one most dog walkers are familiar with. The advantage of back-clips is that they evenly distribute pressure across the dog’s chest. This is a particular plus in the case of Dachshunds, since we don’t want to cause any stress on their back.
If your Dachshund is an active puller, however, a front-clip may be a better fit for your needs. While training is always recommended, front-clips can be used to help mitigate the problem as you train. Front-clip harnesses are designed to redirect your dog by using their own force against them. Because the leash is attached to the front, anytime they pull, they use their own momentum against themselves and turn to the side–thus giving you a lot more control.
In general, front-clips are not ideal for Dachshunds. As their bellies are relatively low to the ground, they are more likely to get tangled in or stumble over their leash. Additionally, the uneven stress on their back can cause problems down the road if pulling remains a problem.
That’s a Wrap
Because of their unique shape, Dachshunds can be a real challenge to fit in a comfortable, affordable, secure harness.
Overall, there are many options on the market, but only a handful that provide the support in the back that a Dachshund needs, while preventing terrifying harness-escapes. We hope this guide has given you some insight so you can purchase the perfect harness for your canine companion with confidence.
Let us know which harness you went with and why. We would love to hear from you and your Dachshund.