7 Best Dog Harnesses for Maltese in 2024

The spunky little Maltese dog is perfect for apartment living and for those who need a little extra love in their lives. Having a Maltese in your life means you always have a loving companion for as long as he lives, as they are bred for companionship and affection. Its long hair makes it a perfect show dog, but when cut in a “puppy cut,” the Maltese makes a great playful companion.

Chewy Online Dog Supplies

35% Off at Chewy.com

+ Free Shipping

Save Now

Since Maltese dogs are so tiny, they need a harness that holds them without damaging their frame. They have fragile anatomy, so any harness used needs to be gentle, yet durable to not hurt your pup. Known for their high energy and impatience, Maltese dogs need a harness that they can step in and out of easily. Collars are widely advised against because they can cause injury to their fragile necks.

Maltese dogs are perfectly happy to sit on your lap and show you tricks inside your home. But when they need to get out and run around, a harness will support their bodies and allow them to run outside safely without undue injury. You will need a harness that does not open unexpectedly, letting your little dog run away.

If you’re not sure which harness is right for your four-legged friend check out our complete guide to harnesses for Maltese dogs for 2024, including how to measure your dog for the perfect fit and tips on how to help him get used to wearing a harness.

Different Types of Dog Harnesses for Maltese

Harnesses work better for the Maltese dog, due to their fragile necks. For this reason, a harness that your dog can step into would be a better option compared to an over the head harness. While over the head harnesses can work for this type, many Maltese dogs are a bit impatient and may make it more challenging to place on your dog.

Step-in harnesses are often preferable to a Maltese, due to their unusually long fur coat, and are better for their neck, as there is no struggle around that area, reducing the risk of injury.

There are two places for clipping a leash on the harness. O-ring attachments are usually in the front of the harness, while D-ring attachments are in the back. The advantages of a back clip attachment include being able to control your dog without any undue strain to the neck. These are preferable for Maltese dogs, as they tend to pull against the leash. With the clip to the rear of your dog, there is less chance of damage to his trachea.

Front clip harnesses clip the leash to the front of the harness in front of the dog’s throat. While this gives more control when training your dog, it does carry more risk for damage.

On the other hand, front clip attachments give you more control when trying to gain his attention, or he is lagging behind you. Font clip harnesses are used as a training tool, and you should not use them for the long term.

How do I Ensure the Best Fit for My Maltese?

Due to the Malteses’ small size and fragile anatomy, yet overwhelming propensity to slip out of a harness, the harness must fit snugly without being too tight. Maltese dogs only grow to be 8-10” tall and 6-8 pounds, so look for the extra small size when looking for a harness.

You will want to allow for the length of your dog’s coat while measuring the chest, especially if you let it grow to a show-length. While you will probably not go for long walks, a harness must be able to contain your dog for a short walk.

Before measuring, make sure your dog is standing to get the most accurate measurement. First, measure around the thickest part of your dog’s chest, using a dressmaker’s measuring tape. Next, measure your dog’s neck around its thickest part.

Finally, measure the length between the neck and chest at the top to make sure you have the correct length for your dog. You will know that your dog’s harness fits well if you can place two fingers between the harness and your dog’s body.

You must be careful with this type of dog, as they can be injured easily. Toy breeds are incredibly fragile yet very energetic.

Overall Best Dog Harnesses for Maltese

Maltese dogs are a special toy breed known for their spunky attitudes and fragile bodies. We have rounded up the best harnesses for your special pup, but this one is the best of them all.

Best Overall – Best Pet Supplies Voyager Plush Suede Dog Harness

Our top-rated harness is the Best Pet Supplies Voyager Plush Padded Suede Dog Harness, as it allows your dog to step in, rather than have it go over the head, with a back leash clip.

The harness adjusts in multiple points throughout the body, giving your dog the perfect fit, regardless of how long or short his fur is. A quick-release buckle helps you release your dog from the harness quickly after a short walk.

Plush suede side panels create comfort and warmth during those brisk walks. It is machine washable, making it easy to keep clean. The fashionable harness on your adorable Maltese show dog will have everyone stopping to rave and adore your best friend while out walking.

6 More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for Maltese

Although the plush suede harness is our favorite, there are several more harnesses we highly recommend for your Maltese baby.

Copatchy No-Pull Reflective Adjustable Dog Harness

With the Maltese’s fragile body, they need a harness that gives security and comfort to your dog while out on walks. As your dog pulls against the leash, the harness distributes the tension evenly, creating a safer walk for your pal.

The reflective material keeps him safe in low light conditions, while the multi-point adjustable harness creates the best possible fit. A breathable mesh material will keep your dog cool and comfortable, while the convenient pull back handle will help you keep control of your buddy. Back clips allow for extra safety.

Because the harness runs a bit small, it is recommended that if your Maltese measures between sizes, to purchase the larger size.

Sporn Non-Pull Mesh Dog Harness

The elasticized mesh harness designed to fit your Maltese like a glove as it moves with your pet. It is a veterinarian-approved and patented system that moves when your dog walks, which makes it a comfortable alternative to a collar. Padded restraint sleeves provide extra comfort under your dog’s legs.

Your dog can step right in this one-piece harness, and with the back clip assembly, it allows you to have control as humanely as possible when out on walks. The harness is great for training your puppy to wear a harness and walk with a leash, as it gives you complete control without harming your Maltese.

The harness is recommended for walking only and is not designed for car rides.

Chai’s Choice Outdoor Adventure 3M Reflective Dog Harness

The step in and one-click harness is perfect for your energetic and spunky Maltese! With lightweight fabric and padded panels along the belly and chest, your pal will be comfortable during your daily walks. The padding also discourages pulling, which is great for an energetic Maltese. The reflective fabric allows safety for those walks after dark.

Either front or back clip placement allows you to decide where to put the leash, depending on your Maltese’s mood. An additional loop in the back allows you to buckle up your pup when going on errands, to the vet, or just out for a ride.

Frisco Padded No-Pull Front Lead Dog Harness

When taking your Maltese out for a walk, the Frisco padded harness will keep him comfortable and relaxed. It has a durable nylon webbing and a padded chest piece to help with supporting your dog’s weight.

The harness comes with an O-ring leash attachment on the front for when your dog is a little more spunky than usual. A front lead clip can also help train your dog when just starting him out with a harness.

When he is a little less spunky, the D-ring leash attachment on the back helps to keep control without the risk of damaging your dog’s trachea.

Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness Dog Harness

Perfect for the outdoor enthusiast, the Julius K9 harness is made for service dogs, as well as dogs who love to get out and walk or play. While your Maltese is perfectly happy to stay indoors, he also thrives on getting a little sunshine and fresh air daily. The Julius harness is perfect for training your Maltese to walk outdoors more often.

It has an inner liner that allows air to move through, so your dog can wear this for more extended periods. You can take your pal out in various weather conditions, as it has heavy-duty freeze proof buckles and a water-repellant cover,

The back clip leash attachment makes walking more comfortable for your buddy.

Best Harness for a Maltese Puppy

If you do decide to get a Maltese puppy, be extra careful not to put any undue strain or stress on it. The following is our favorite for a Maltese puppy.

Puppia Soft Vest Dog Harness

Perfect for an energetic Maltese puppy, the Puppia Soft Vest harness allows you to put the vest on quickly and without too much struggle. It protects your puppy’s fragile neck by supporting the chest and belly.

The front easily snaps closed with a fuzzy velcro fastener but has a secure quick release clasp in the back. Two D-rings in the back allow you to clip on the leash, allowing your puppy to roam free, yet safe and comfortable.

A vest harness is perfect for a Maltese puppy, as it allows her to explore and sniff every area while out and about in the park.

Tips for Getting Your Maltese Accustomed to Using a Harness

Maltese are bred for human companionship, and rarely do they want to leave your side. They are pleasant and energetic, wanting to please you in all things.

It may be difficult not to want to carry them everywhere you go, but with the use of a harness, you can train them to walk and get much-needed exercise. Check out the following four tips to help you get your Maltese ready for a harness.

  1. Introduce the harness by putting it on the floor. Let your dog sniff it. Give him a lot of attention and show him you like it.
  2. When he is calm, put it on your pup. If he struggles, stop, and try again later. However, if he takes to it right away, give him plenty of praise and let him wear it for a while. Make sure you don’t tighten it for now, as he is just getting used to it.
  3. Before taking him outside, let him wear it around the house to help him get used to it.
  4. When your Maltese is used to the harness, attach a leash, and take him outside. Take it slow, though, and if he seems distressed, back off. If necessary, repeat this process from the beginning until he gets used to it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I Know What Size Harness is Right for a Puppy?

Maltese puppies don’t get that big, as this is a toy breed. Toy breeds usually are tiny, and a harness that has sizing for any small puppy should generally fit. Be sure to measure first, then get the biggest you can find for that measurement range, as you want to have it for a while while they grow.

What Features Should I Look for in a Harness for a Maltese?

Maltese dogs are fragile, so a harness that supports their body while out walking is a must. Because they are more energetic than most toy breeds, a step-in harness is better, so you can get him in and out quickly.

A back clip leash will also help reduce the risk of injury when he pulls against you while out walking. Soft padding around the chest and under the legs are a plus for this breed.

Why Should I Get a Harness Rather than a Collar?

A collar is just too dangerous for this breed, as their necks are much more fragile than larger dogs. Most of their trachea are rings made from soft cartilage, which allows flexibility of the neck. All dogs have this, but in toy breeds, they are thinner and prone to breaking.

Larger dogs have a thicker cartilage and can handle collars better. Collars pull against the neck when the dog lunges, but a harness will support the body, taking the pressure of the neck.


Malteses are affectionate, pleasant, and a faithful companion who wants to please you. It is tempting to carry this little one wherever you go, but try to resist this. A harness will help you train your dog to walk more often, and you will enjoy taking him outside to play. As long as you stay by his side, he will be pleased with the right harness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *