7 Best Dog Harnesses for Maltipoos in 2024

All dogs are adorable, but is it possible that the Maltipoo is the cutest of them all? A designer mixed- breed, they’re a combination of a Maltese and a Miniature (or Toy) Poodle. With a friendly face and charming personality, they make great family pets and thrive in both houses and apartments.

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While they’re easy to train, they’re also fairly quick to startle, which means they shouldn’t run around outside off-leash. Most experts recommend the use of a harness instead of a traditional collar. After all, Maltipoos average between four and 14 inches tall. Like most small dogs, attaching a leash directly to a collar increases the risk of neck, throat, and shoulder injuries.

Many different types of harnesses are available, but how do you know which is right for your beloved Maltipoo? You’ll need to consider the materials used, design, size, and other factors. Plus, you’ll need to make sure the fit strikes the right balance between security and comfort.

Don’t worry if you don’t know much about selecting a harness. The following guide includes everything you need to know about the types of harnesses, how to size them properly, and how to fit them on your pup properly.

A harness is the safest way to keep your tiny, furry friend safely under control when in public. When you’ve finished reading this guide, you’ll know what type of harness is best for your Maltipoo!

If you don’t have time to read the entire guide right now but want to check out the top picks, here’s a list of the best choices:

Different Types of Dog Harnesses for Maltipoos

A popular, safe choice for most Maltipoos is a back-clip harness. It has a D-ring placed on the dog’s back approximately between his shoulder blades. Hooking the leash to the D-ring allows you to stay behind the dog when he walks, allowing for freedom to explore but control over his movements when necessary.

Back-clip harnesses are often ideal for Maltipoos because they rest below the trachea when attached. Small dogs, including Maltipoos, have delicate throats. It’s a major reason why you don’t want to attach a leash to a Maltipoo’s collar.

Another option is a front-clip harness. Here, the D-ring sits in the front of the harness by the dog’s chest. It provides the maximum level of control over the dog’s movements.

These harnesses are mainly used temporarily as a training tool to stop leash pulling. They’re not suitable for everyday use for a Maltipoo due to the risk of a neck injury. Additionally, because the leash hangs in front, your tiny pup can easily become tangled. Only use a front-harness under the supervision of a professional trainer.

Another excellent choice for a small dog is an over-the-head harness. It has a neck opening that slips over the dog’s head. They’re typically made with more material than a back-clip harness, which helps distribute pressure evenly across the dog’s torso. These harnesses are typically easy to fit on small, well-trained dogs.

How Do I Ensure the Best Fit for My Maltipoo?

Maltipoos are generally well-tempered and easily trainable. Fortunately, their natural traits mean they often respond well to a harness. Don’t be surprised if they take to it right away. Of course, a major factor in their comfort with the harness is ensuring it’s the right size.

First, disregard your dog’s weight. You’ll find some harnesses out which measure size by weight, but that’s an inaccurate way to do it. Instead, you fit a harness by measuring your dog’s chest and neck with a fabric tape measure. Note that chest measurements are sometimes called “girth.”

Finding the proper fit is the single most important aspect of buying a harness. A harness that is too tight impairs your dog’s ability to walk properly. A harness that’s too loose poses a safety hazard because your dog can slip out and run away. To check for a proper fit, slide two fingers between the harness and your dog. Your fingers should fit easily but without extra space.

If your dog doesn’t chew on the harness, he can safely wear it all day long. However, you should never allow your dog to sleep in a harness. It creates a risk of choking. Also, don’t let your dog sit around in a wet harness, as it’ll likely irritate their skin.

Overall Best Dog Harness for Maltipoos

Best Overall: Blueberry Pet 3M Reflective Dog Harness

Every harness on our list is a good choice, but the one we recommend the most is the Reflective Dog Harness from Blueberry Pet. All harnesses help keep your pet safely controlled and free from neck injuries, but Blueberry Pet’s harness goes a step further.

The harness features a nighttime visibility system consisting of reflective strips on the sides and a reflective triangle on the top. Considering how tiny some Maltipoos are, the top of the vest is often the most visible part! These reflective strips are a must-have feature if you walk in the early morning, evening, or night.

Of course, reflective strips are just one feature. The harness is made from durable, lightweight mesh and polyester with a D-ring on top. Adjustable straps allow for a snug fit, even if your Maltipoo is tiny.

6 More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for Maltipoos

Frisco Soft Vest Dog Harness

Maltipoos can weigh as little as four pounds. For such a tiny dog, you need a soft, lightweight harness that fits securely. Frisco’s Soft Vest Dog Harness is an ideal choice for even the smallest Maltipoos because it’s made from a soft, breathable mesh. It stays cool and doesn’t weigh your dog down.

Also, all Maltipoos owners know this breed is skittish from time to time. If your pup doesn’t like putting his head through an over-the-neck harness, Frisco’s vest is an excellent alternative because it has a step-in design.

Finally, Maltipoos and other tiny dogs aren’t always easy for drivers to see. Four reflective bands help protect you and your dog when walking near the road. They’re positioned along the front and sides of the harness for increased visibility at any angle.

Puppia Soft Back Harness

Maltipoos, especially those on the small end of the breed’s size range, need a secure but gentle harness that won’t hurt their torso. With 100% polyester construction backed up by air-mesh padding, the harness wraps comfortably around your pup.

Also, it’s easy to take on and off. Slip the neck opening over your dog’s head then fasten the chest belt. A D-ring on the back distributes leash weight evenly across his upper body, helping prevent damage to his neck.

You and your pup can stroll in style, too. Four color schemes are available, including camouflage. While it’s unlikely you’re taking your Maltipoo hunting anytime soon, the camo print does add a fun touch of style.

Best Pet Supplies Voyager Harness

Head out for adventure with the Voyager Harness from Best Pet Supplies. It’s made from high-quality, breathable fabric which dries quickly when wet and allows for refreshing airflow when it’s warm. If your Maltipoos demands a walk no matter the weather, this is the harness for you.

It’s a step-in harness with an adjustable fuzzy fastener plus a snap-in buckle. Dual 2-D rings use the natural tension of a leash to help secure the harness in place.

The soft, lightweight material is ideal for dogs with sensitive skin or who are prone to chafing. Additionally, the harness gently hugs the dog when secure to help promote relaxation. It’s an effective choice if your Maltipoo is frequently frightened by noises or unfamiliar settings when walking outdoors.

Halti Dog Harness

Front harnesses help dogs learn how to walk on a leash without pulling, but there are special considerations when buying one for a small dog because of their sensitive joints. The Halti Dog Harness is an atypical front harness with a unique front control that moves the dog but doesn’t apply painful pressure.

You can hook up two leashes at once. The lead in the front moves the dog to help correct pulling behaviors, while the one attached to the back acts as a traditional leash. Think of the front leash as training wheels. As the dog learns to walk without pulling, you can rely less on the front leash and more on the back.

Alfie Pet Vince Sailor Harness

Ahoy, ye salty dogs! The Vince Sailor harness from Alfie Pet has a delightful nautical theme with blue stripes and red outer trim. It’s lightweight but strong with a webbed interior lining. Two sturdy D-rings at the top hold your leash securely in place.

More than fashionable, it’s functional, too. The design of the harness allows for pressure to spread evenly and comfortably across the dog’s chest. The top of the harness rests below the dog’s trachea to avoid accidental irritation and choking.

Finally, your pet will always look ready to sail because this harness is easy to clean. It’s completely machine washable and quick drying.

Best Harness for a Maltipoo Puppy

Noxgear Lighthound Harness

Puppies need extra safety protection, which is why this Lighthouse harness from Noxgear is an excellent choice. It’s made from military-grade Cordura fabric, so it’s unlikely to rip or tear even if chewed. (Of course, you shouldn’t let your puppy chew on his harness, but accidents happen.)

However, the most interesting feature is the rechargeable LED light. Whether walking in the day or night, your little buddy will stay highly visible to pedestrians and passing traffic. The light lasts for up to 12 hours and recharges through a standard USB port.

Tips for Getting Your Maltipoo Accustomed to Using a Harness

Small dogs like Maltipoos need a harness to stay safe, controlled and injury-free when walking. Because this breed is intelligent, well-mannered, and easily trained, they typically don’t have major problems adapting to a harness. However, if your dog isn’t quite comfortable with their new gear, here are some tips to help get a Maltipoo accustomed to using a harness:

  1. Teach your dog to sit and stand. You’ll have a far easier time attaching a harness if your dog already understands how to remain still on command.
  2. Let him check out the harness. Set it on the floor and allow him to sniff to his heart’s content. While he won’t know exactly what it is, he’ll get a sense it’s non-threatening.
  3. Guide your Maltipoo’s head through the harness, or fasten the harness around his body. Move quickly but not suddenly.
  4. Practice positive reinforcement. Maltipoos don’t respond well to yelling or aggression. Instead, reward him when he responds well to the harness, and remain patient if he doesn’t.
  5. Check the fit. Make sure you can slip two fingers snugly between the dog and his harness. A tight harness is uncomfortable and often leads to behavior problems. After all, wouldn’t you get mad if someone forced you to wear a jacket that was too small?
  6. Use treats. When you successfully place him in the harness, reward him with his favorite snack and plenty of verbal praise.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Fit a Maltipoo Puppy with a Harness?

Follow the same steps as you would for an adult. Measure the chest and neck. However, remember these measurements will change quickly, often after only a few months. You’ll need to adjust the size or buy a new harness as the puppy grows into an adult.

Is a Harness Better Than a Traditional Collar?

Absolutely! Small dogs have delicate necks and throats. Pulling a small dog on a leash can result in damage to their skeletal system and trachea. However, a harness allows the force to spread evenly across the dog’s chest, which is far more comfortable.

What Type of Harness is Best for an Adult Maltipoo?

While front harnesses help prevent leash pulling, the best type of harness is a back harness. It’s easier on the dog’s body and poses a decreased risk of tangling. For calm dogs, consider an over-the-head harness, which is fast to equip.

What Features Does a Good Harness Have?

Select a harness made from soft, durable materials. It should have at least one D-ring, although many harnesses have two. Also, don’t forget about reflective tape or lights if you frequently walk your dog in low-light conditions.

Will My Maltipoo Wear a Harness?

You’re probably in luck here. Most Maltipoos wear a harness with minimal fuss as they’re generally an easy-going, trainable breed.


With delightful personalities and beautiful looks, it’s no wonder these designer dogs are so popular. Of course, you want to keep your furry friend safe, and a harness is an important way to do so. Only a harness allows you to control your dog while also protecting him from neck and back injuries. Choose any of the harnesses listed above if you’re looking for a highly-rated model you can count on.

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