7 Best Dog Harnesses for Cavalier King Charles in 2020

Those who own a Cavalier King Charles can attest to the fact that this breed offers the best of two very distinct worlds. These dogs provide the companionship characteristic of their toy breed distinction, but at the same time, they display the athleticism spaniels are known for. And with its sweet face, it’s no wonder the Cavalier King Charles has become incredibly popular.

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All Cavies love to be out and about, but they often suffer from major pulling issues when it’s time to put them on a leash. Though their small size belies the amount of energy and force Cavies have, this breed’s natural curiosity and outgoing personality mean they’ll try to pull you in any direction that catches their interest.

Given their propensity to go any way they feel, a traditional collar and lead may not be the best option for the Cavalier King Charles. Instead, you may want to try walking your Cavie with a harness, which has benefits for both you and her—one of which is that harnesses provide better control for the owner.

But perhaps the most crucial benefit is that they also put less pressure on your dog’s delicate neck when she does pull. Standard collars can cause choking, as well as tracheal and neck injuries. Cavaliers are especially prone to these types of injuries because of their small size, and they may fail to realize they’re hurting themselves when pulling on a collar.

Different Types of Dog Harnesses for Cavalier King Charles

There are several different kinds of harnesses. It’s vital to know the differences between them before purchasing to ensure your Cavie has the right one for him.

Back Clip Harness

A back clip harness loops around the dog’s body, which includes their chest, and typically clips in the back (though not always). The leash attachment is located near the back clip. This harness is often the first line of defense for pet owners dealing with pulling and is probably the most common type you’ll see.

Front Clip Harness

Like the back clip harness, the front clip version encircles the dog’s body and chest. The only real difference is that the leash attachment is located on the dog’s chest. The front clip harness is less popular than the back clip, but it offers even more control over your dog. If he pulls, the leash directs his head toward you, which discourages this kind of behavior.

Front and Black Clip Harness

For especially boisterous dogs, a front and back clip harness can do the trick. This model features a leash attachment at both the chest and back. This harness is useful for training and then later transitioning to the back clip.

Overhead vs. Step-in

All of the leash types we’ve mentioned can be either overhead or step-in. The step-in types go around your dog’s body, and he has to lift his leg for it to be adequately secured. Overheads don’t require your dog to lift his leg, which is perfect for elderly dogs. These harnesses also tend to be more padded than the step-in versions.

How Do I Ensure the Best Fit for my Cavalier King Charles?

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel originated in the United Kingdom, though the breed has become a fixture around the world. These dogs are spirited, loving, eager-to-please, and obedient. Owners with children love Cavies because they do very well around kids, plus they’re easy to have in reduced spaces because of their small size.

To make your walks as enjoyable as possible, it’s critical to ensure the best fit. As a general guideline, extra-small and small harnesses work the best for this breed, but careful measurement is a must. There is wide variation in breed weight—which ranges anywhere from 13 to 18 pounds—and no standard harness measurements.

Weight is a good place to start, though you shouldn’t rely on this number alone. You can obtain your dog’s weight by consulting your vet or by weighing your dog on your scale. If you find it difficult to get her to stand on the scale, pick her up, and weigh both of you together. Then put the dog down and weigh yourself. The difference is how much your dog weighs.

Next, measure your Cavie’s chest with a tape measure, finding the fullest part. Generally, this area is about two inches behind his front legs. Once you’ve got the measurement, add two inches, which allows room for fluctuation in weight and coat length. Some harnesses also require neck measurements, so those are handy to have.

How do you know if the harness fits correctly? One that fits properly should sit nicely on your dog’s body without being too tight. If you start to see chafing or fur loss in the harness area, you need to size up. Similarly, if the harness twists at any point, it’s too loose. Your dog should be incapable of escape, so if it can slip out, size down.

Overall Best Dog Harness for Cavalier King Charles

We researched the top products on the market to find the best dog harness for Cavalier King Charles. One harness stood above the competition.

Best Overall PetSafe 3 in 1 Dog Harness

Pet owners rave about this minimalistic yet effective harness. It’s got five adjustment points that allow you to achieve a perfect fit, and you can use it in several different ways: with the front or back clip, as well as with the seatbelt handle for safe transport in your vehicle. Your dog will be nice and comfortable in this utilitarian harness that features neoprene-lined straps.

For those dogs that enjoy nighttime walks, reflective stitching makes this harness a fantastic choice. Overall, if you’re looking for an intuitive, sturdy harness for everyday use, this one topped our list because it exceeds expectations. It’s available in three beautiful colors.

6 More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for Cavalier King Charles

Besides the PetSafe 3 in 1 Harness, we found several other top-rated dog harnesses perfect for the Cavalier King Charles breed. Here are the rest of the products that rounded out our top seven.

Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness

The Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness is an excellent option for both puppies and adult dogs, though it has some features that make it especially pup-friendly. You can use this overhead harness with either the front or back clip, which is perfect for both pullers and leash-trained dogs. And there is a handle you can use to steer your dog during training if needed.

Users like that this harness can grow with your dog, too, as it features straps that adjust at four different points. The thick padding is ideal for dogs with short fur, and reflective lining will help keep you visible at night. You can purchase the Rabbitgoo in three colors.

Best Pet Supplies Voyager Dual-Attachment No-Pull 3M Reflective Technology Dog Harness

If you want a no-fuss harness, the Voyager may be just what you’re looking for. It’s a step-in model with D rings on the back, where the buckle is also located. The harness adjusts via Velcro straps, a slightly different feature than most harnesses, and owners find it easy to regulate the size. Owners also like the buckle is located on the dog’s back.

Breathable mesh fabric means that this harness is excellent for use in warmer weather, and we think overall, the price is right on this model. It’ll last you a long time, and reviewers are quite happy with how easy it is to get on and off.

Comfort Soft Wrap Adjustable Dog Harness

If you’re looking for simplicity and comfort outside of traditional nylon harnesses, look no further. The Comfort Soft Wrap boasts a padded yet breathable back clip design, so you don’t have to worry about choking on your walks.

This step-in model has got just one adjustment point, which means the fit might not be perfect for all dogs, though many users prefer the simplicity of this design. And for such an excellent price, you can’t beat it.

Puppia Soft Trim Dog Harness

Puppia is one of the less expensive options on our list, and it offers pet owners excellent value for money. They’ve created a no-fuss option that’s got just one buckle and one point of adjustment. It features a back clip and an overhead design.

The Soft Trim Dog Harness is one of the plushest and comfortable harnesses on our list thanks to the soft air mesh fabric it’s made from, which allows airflow while your dog is exercising. It’s easy to get on and off, so you’ll be walking in no time at all.

Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness Dog Harness

Julius-K9 is a well-known harness brand, and it’s a ubiquitous name in many dog homes and among trainers. It has a slightly different design than most harnesses in that there is much more back coverage, but your dog may prefer it. This ample back coverage has a handle that’s useful for training and a back clip to attach the lead.

The Powerharness is very robust, with reinforced stitching and heavy-duty buckles. The chest strap is adjustable, and the waterproof outsider layer is complemented with breathable material on the inside—perfect for walks in the rain.

Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness 

Chai’s Choice Harness has both a no-pull design, as well as a back clip, and it can also be used to secure your dog in your car. It’s an overhead harness, so it works well for senior dogs, and both the chest and belly straps are padded to make walk time comfortable.

Users are quite pleased with the built-to-last construction of the harness, and the 3M reflective piping will help make your nighttime walks safer. It’s available in many fun, bright colors to suit your style tastes.

Tips for Getting Your Cavalier King Charles Accustomed to Using a Harness

The right harness will help ensure the safety of your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, as it reduces the pressure that this energetic breed places on its neck while pulling. And if the thought of using a harness is a little overwhelming for you, know that it can be quite terrifying for your dog. Here are some tips to get your Cavie accustomed to using a harness.

  1.   Before putting it on, let your dog smell it.
  2.   Put a treat on the harness to encourage your dog to go near it.
  3.   Allow the harness to touch your dog, and praise your Cavie when doing so.
  4.   Some dogs dislike having certain parts of their bodies touched. If the harness touches one of these areas, stroking them there before putting it on can help them get used to it.
  5.   Start young. It’s best to get them used to wearing the harness from when they are puppies. Starting young helps instill leash manners and keeps them from resisting.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a harness help protect my dog?

You may be wondering if a dog harness is better than a collar. Harnesses help keep your dog safe by dispersing pressure caused from pulling across a wider area than just your dog’s neck. It also allows for greater control over your dog, which is ideal on city streets or when there are lots of people around. And finally, harnesses keep escape artists firmly in your reach. It’s much harder to escape from a harness rather than a collar.

What should I look for in a harness?

The right model should tick several boxes. It should be the correct size, comfortable for your dog to wear and you to lead, and easy to put on. It should have strong attachments for the leash and be made from durable material that will last a long time. And in some cases, you may want breathable, soft, and padded material.

Does a harness discourage pulling?

Yes! When a dog pulls with a collar, they continue moving forward, which rewards the dog for pulling. The harness, however, redirects the dog’s movement. Since there is no forward movement, there’s no reward.

What type of harness is appropriate for the Cavie temperament?

The harness type depends on your dog’s personality. If you struggle with pulling, a front clip harness is the way to go. Otherwise, a back clip harness works just fine.

How do you fit a puppy for a harness?

You fit a puppy for a harness using the same criteria as outlined above for an adult dog. Just keep in mind that you’ll likely have to buy a bigger size as your dog gets older.


Reward your dog for all the love and affection he gives you by making his safety a number one priority. Any one of the highly rated, comfy harnesses on our list will be a welcome addition to your home. And the best part? The right harness can help you and your Cavie live a happier, healthier life together.

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