Everyone has known or seen that dog that never walks calm - always running around, sniffing here and there and, also - trying to escape every time you don't look. If this sounds like your dog and you still use a regular collar on him - I have some bad news.
The neck collars have been reported as one of the main causes of some serious, and sometimes fatal neck injuries, especially on very active and not always predictable dogs. We'll get back to this in a bit...
Dog harnesses are widely recommended as a safer and better alternative to the traditional collar. Not only do they prevent your dog from escaping, they also help you train and control them more properly on walks and while outside the house.
If you have a Houdini pet and you’re looking for the safest and best no slip dog harness on the market, you’re right where you need to be. In this article, we’ll look at our 4 favorite escape-proof dog harnesses out there, explain why those were our top picks and walk you through all the information you need to know before looking for harness or vest for your canine.
Best No Escape Dog Harnesses [Our 4 Favorites Of 2018]
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
A Closer Look At Our Top Picks
There are so many dog harnesses that claim to be “escape-proof” out there on the market, it would be hard if not impossible to look at them all. So, we went through and did all the work by sorting through dozens of harnesses for you.
Some harnesses claim to be “escape-proof” but are actually quite easy to be backed out of.
Some might be great at holding your dog for a short time, but will break or fray after just a few days.
And some might be uncomfortable or unpleasant for your canine, to the point where they will resist and fight every time the harness goes on – which isn’t fun for either you or your pet!
More on this in a bit...
The harnesses on this list all met our top criteria for comfort, durability, and escape-proof quality. We liked each of these harnesses for different reasons – and we’ll share with you why we’d recommend them to anyone.
Our top pick for an escape preventing dog harness comes from Kurgo, which makes great products for dogs. The Journey harness is no exception.
This harness is as escape-proof as they come—there’s pretty much no way your dog will be able to escape from this harness, or at least it's one heck of a tough job for them to do so even if they tried to with all their might.
It’s simple and easy to use, and was made for both everyday neighborhood dog walkers and people who like to take their dogs out on adventurous runs and hikes.
This harness is a great choice for almost anyone.
Super Escape-Proof: For starters, this was one of the most escape-proof harnesses we looked at.
There were almost no dogs who could find a way out of this harness, since it has an impressive four adjustable points and comes in four sizes to fit almost every dog.
The vast majority of dog owners who tried this product reported that there’s no way their dog – or anyone else’s dog – could get it off as long as the size is right and the straps are snug and secure.
A Note About Sizing: The size is made according to the name of it. Although, there were few users that reported harness being a little bit too big or too small.
Kurgo is dealing great with this problem. The detailed measurement instructions will help you choose the right size for your dog and avoid wasting time and dealing with exchanging the product.
So for any dog weighing from 5 up to 110 pounds, this is as escape-proof as they come.
Back Strap Handle: Lots of people who used this harness loved the back-strap handle which lets you lift your dog up and over obstacles or help him walk around.
For older dogs or dogs recovering from an injury, the back-strap handle is perfect for helping owners move the dog around without hurting the dog’s belly or chest.
Great For Runs & Hikes: As we mentioned in the description, this harness is a great choice for people who want to take their dogs out on hikes and runs too. So this harness really fits its' name - Journey.
The fabric is flexible and padded so it’s extra comfortable for dogs to wear for long periods of time. It's really impressive how easy it is to clip this harness off and on, lift your dog over obstacles like rocks, fallen trees, or streams, but have them stay snug and comfy the whole time.
Durability: The only downside we found to this harness was durability. Sometimes, the fabric begins to fray at the edges after extended or intensive wear, but this has only been found to be the case with really heavy-duty activities that really take their toll on the harness.
Some owners of the chewy dogs also said their pups found a way to chew this inescapable harness after using it for a while.
However, for most dog owners, this harness is undoubtedly the best option out there.
This is one of the most comfortable and durable dog harnesses on the market – and totally escape-proof.
Simple But Stylish: Almost everyone who uses this harness loves it in large part because of how simple it is to put on and take off.
With just two side clips and fewer straps than many other harnesses on the market, this harness is easy to snap in place and get out the door.
With an elegant design and some really fun colors to choose from, you don’t have to sacrifice style for substance with this harness.
Padded, Soft & Durable: Another standout feature on this harness was the quality of the fabric itself.
The harness doesn’t have a lot of surface area, so the padded, soft quality of the harness is really important to prevent chafing or uncomfortable rubbing against your dog’s skin, and this harness definitely delivers that.
This harness is exceptionally comfortable for dogs, and because the fabric is high-quality, it’s also exceptionally durable.
Dogs Love It: This was one of the few products we looked at where the dogs seemed to have zero problem adjusting to their new harness.
With many other harnesses, dogs will continually try to chew or wriggle their way out of their harnesses because they’re uncomfortable wearing them.
But with the Cosy Meadow harness, the majority of dog owners reported that their dogs were comfortable and didn’t try as hard to get out of them.
This harness combines some really awesome features into one single product: it’s incredibly simple and lightweight, almost totally impossible to escape, and is also a gentle but effective way to help your dog stop pulling on the leash.
Helps With Leash Pulling: Almost everyone who used this harness with a dog that pulls on the leash says that this harness helps stop the dog from pulling so much.
It works by tightening gently around the barrel of the dog’s chest – NOT the neck, which could be painful and dangerous – and uses the dog’s forward movement to create pressure to encourage the dog to relax and slow down.
Works For Dogs Of All Sizes: This is a great choice for dogs of all sizes because the rope is so adjustable.
The size can easily scale up or down to fit even dogs that look more like small horses (any Great Dane owners here?).
If you have a big dog that doesn’t fit into other harnesses, the Harness Lead is a great option.
Easy To Put On: This is one of the simplest harness to put on, although it does take some practice to make sure you’ve got it right.
The wraparound rope design comes with a learning curve - it can take a few tries to get the harness on correctly.
Before you take your dog out in your neighborhood or up into the hills, be sure to do a pilot test in the backyard to make sure you've got it on right.
But once you’ve mastered the routine, it’s so simple to just clip on and go.
Soft And Lightweight Rope With No Chafing: Unlike most other harnesses that claim to be escape-proof and that fit snugly on your dog’s body, this design doesn’t have any clips or large pieces of fabric to chafe against your dog’s body during long walks.
The fabric of the rope is smooth and soft which is great for both you and them.
Because this harness is a simple and straightforward looped rope design, it’s extra comfortable and lightweight, which is great news for both you and your dog, and makes it a great choice for dog owners in warmer climates or summer activity.
Note For Owners Of Long-Haired Dogs: We’ve noticed that this harness might not work as well for dogs with really long hair such as border collies, as the rubber stopper or the rope might get tangled in a dog’s long hair.
While it’s worth trying this product out, particularly if you have a very large dog that doesn’t fit into other harnesses, definitely make sure the rope isn’t getting twisted in your dog’s fur.
The Chai's Choice harness was a great choice that scored well on all of our top criteria—durability, comfort, and escape-proof quality. Like the Kurgo Journey, this is a larger harness that comes in even 5 different sizes.
Cool & Comfortable Mesh Fabric: This harness is a great choice for active dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors.
The lightweight cushy mesh padding assures your dog does not get too much pressure during the long walks of sniffing.
Durable Build: We loved how durable this product was, as most dog owners reported that this product lasted a long time and under harsh conditions such as trail running and extended outdoor activity.
Extra Safety Features: This harness comes with some awesome extra safety features, both of which are important depending on what you and your dog like to do together.
First, it has reflective binding on the top and back of the harness, so if you’re walking with your dog in low light, you can keep a better eye on them.
Second, the harness has a handle for lifting your dog or buckling them into a seat belt while you’re traveling together.
This is important because dogs can be vulnerable to slipping off the seat during abrupt stops or turns in a car. Clipping them into a seat belt is a great way to keep them safe and secure while you’re traveling with them.
How Do I Know Which Harness Is The Most Secure For My Dog?
When you’ve got an escape artist dog on your hands, it’s important to buy the right harness or vest the first time, so you don’t suffer any more embarrassment when they get loose and scamper around the neighborhood for the four-hundredth time.
When you’re looking for the best escape proof dog harness for your dog, there are a number of things to keep in mind.
- Is it really escape-proof? – Many harnesses are sold as being “escape proof” but in reality they are quite easy for dogs to wriggle out of, particularly if they’re not sized correctly.
When you’re buying your harness, make sure to double-check that you’ve got your dog’s size right, and also that the product is going to successfully keep your dog contained.
- Durability – If the leash clip snaps just when your dog is chasing after a squirrel, that puts you in a rough spot. It’s important to get a harness that’s well-made and won’t break under pressure.
- Comfort – If your dog doesn’t like the harness you’ve picked out for her, you won’t either, because they'll spend hours chewing, biting, or otherwise trying to roll out of it.
Not to mention they won’t be thrilled about going on walks if the harness chafes and rubs at their skin.
- Ease of use – Some harnesses are complicated or confusing to take off and on, which isn’t a nice experience for anyone. Look for harnesses that are simple and straightforward, so you don’t have to waste a lot of time putting them on and taking them off.
Special Considerations When Looking For Slip Proof Dog Harnesses
In addition to all the things to consider about the harness itself, there are some other factors you will want to keep in mind when picking out the right harness.
Make Sure You Get The Right Size
Sizing your dog correctly is a make-or-break factor in the effectiveness of your new harness.
If the harness is too tight, you risk chafing, injuring, or just plain making your dog uncomfortable.
As kind and loving dog owners, we don't want that. On the other hand, if the harness is too loose, your escape-proof harness won't actually be escape-proof—no matter how great the design is.
To properly size your dog for a harness, you need two measurements: the lower neck, and the chest. This is a straightforward process but it's important to do it correctly.
For a helpful tutorial on how to take measurements for a harness, check out this video:
(And remember, if you don't have a cloth tape measure, you can always use a piece of string and hold it against a hard tape measure.)
Once you have your dog's measurements, you'll be able to buy the right size harness the first time around which will keep your dog comfortable and help you focus on training your dog or just enjoying your time together.
If Your Dog Has Short Or Long Hair
Some harnesses can get tangled in the long hair or fur of a shaggy dog.
Thick fur can also affect the measurements you take, which might help your dog escape from his harness if you buy the wrong size.
Also, if your dog has very thin fur, a snug harness with lots of straps could rub uncomfortably against his skin.
Climate You Live In
Harnesses vary widely in the amount of space they cover on your dog's body.
If you live in a cold area, you might want to consider a larger, padded harness that works a little like a blanket.
In a warmer area, you might opt for a thin harness that doesn't cover a lot of surface area so you're not making your dog hotter on walks.
Also, some harnesses are leather, while others are nylon. If it's humid where you live, a leather harness will fall apart more quickly without special treatment.
Your Needs As A Dog Owner
It's important to think about your own fitness, strength, and training experience as a dog owner as you decide which harness to buy.
If you're a new dog owner with an energetic dog who loves to take the wheel, you might choose a harness that offers not just restraint but a training aid such as the Harness Lead Escape Restraint, so you can help train him not to pull on the leash so much.
Or if you’re an athlete who wants to take your dog on runs with you, you might want something lightweight and with less surface area so your dog doesn’t overheat while exercising with you.