9 Best Dog Harnesses for Pugs in 2024

Pug Harness

Pugs are sweet little dogs who love family life and snuggling. They can have trouble breathing and will still require activity to remain at a healthy weight, something they’ll likely struggle with their whole lives.

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If you’re using a collar and leash combination to walk your Pug, you may be risking injury or worse. Pugs have difficult airways and any pressure on the windpipe could disrupt that airway for good. Relieve that pressure and that worry by having your Pug wear a safe, reliable harness, and you could be transforming the way you exercise your Pug.

Harnesses are great for large breed dogs, but they offer a lot of benefits for small breeds, as well. Just because you don’t have trouble keeping your Pug in check doesn’t mean they don’t need control. It’s just a different type than what you need for a large breed dog. Make sure you find the right harness so that your Pug is less likely to suffer injury or to slip away and get lost.

We’ve put together a list of harnesses that would be great for your Pug’s health and wellbeing. They all offer durability, safety, and comfort and should help your Pug get that exercise it needs to stay at a healthy weight. We’ve also answered some questions you may have about how to choose the right one and what to expect once you’ve purchased your harness. Let’s take a look.

Different Types of Dog Harnesses for Pug

There are several different types of harnesses that could work for your Pug’s body type and personality. If your Pug refuses to wear one kind, you may have better luck with another type. Here are some common harness types that might suit your individual Pug’s needs.

  • Step in – A step in harness is the easiest style to use by far. It doesn’t require any fancy clipping or positioning and you may be able to train your pug to move right into it without a lot of hassle.
  • Back clip – a back clip is a common component of step in harnesses and has a leash attachment at the back. This offers you the chance to help keep the leash from getting tangled up in your Pug’s legs as you’re walking.
  • Front clip – Front clip styles are good for particularly energetic pugs. It applies gentle pressure to the sternum to discourage pulling, but it does have the tendency to get the leash stuck around your Pug’s legs if you aren’t careful.
  • Dual clip – A dual clip model might be too complex to use for such a small dog. They’re really intended for large breed dog owners to have some choice about how the harness fits and how much pressure is applied when the dog pulls. They’re also more expensive than standard harnesses.
  • Vest styles – A vest style is meant to be worn throughout the day as a piece of clothing and features soft sides that Velcro or zip rather than a collection of buckles. If you walk your Pug frequently for short periods of time, this could be a good choice for convenience sake.

What to Look for in a Good Harness for Pug

The best Pug harnesses should have durability without offering a lot of weight. Pugs aren’t big dogs and they could be overwhelmed with heavy-duty tactical style harnesses you might put on German Shepherds, for example. Pugs will need regular exercise, but they overheat easily and have breathing issues, so how can you make this more comfortable?

Harnesses with mesh designs or lightweight options could help keep your Pug cooler during a walk. A harness itself is going to be better for your Pug’s breathing because it won’t block the airway and won’t cause distress for your Pug’s delicate respiratory system. They should be fitted correctly and offer adjustment points to account for the girth of your Pug’s chest.

Look for rust-resistant hardware and reflective materials for walking at night. The vest should adjust and fit snugly with no seam issues. Just because your Pug doesn’t weigh a lot, it doesn’t mean that your Pug can’t put a lot of stress on a harness. Make sure it’s well-made, and you’ll save yourself a lot of worries.

We recommend back clip harnesses just so that your leash doesn’t get as tangled in your Pug’s legs. You don’t want anything discouraging your Pug from exercising and from wanting to be outside. They’re easy to use and make quick changes more comfortable.

Overall Best Dog Harness for Pug

Here are our top 9 picks:

Puppia RiteFit Soft Dog Harness

Best Overall

Puppia’s soft dog harness could be just the thing to keep your Pug active yet comfortable. It features a soft stretch mesh with a padded chest piece that helps keep your Pug cool while providing cushioning. It won’t rub or chafe and can be worn for longer periods of time comfortably. The nylon material is tough and washable. Plus, the hardware is rust resistant. Back clip leash attachments are easy to use and help keep the leash out of the way. It comes in fun colors to suit your Pug’s personality and with reflective seaming, offers some protection during low light conditions. Two points of adjustment ensure you have the right fit every time and that your Pug can’t escape the harness.

4 More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for Pug

Sporn Training Dog Halter

The Sporn Training Dog Halter harness features padded restraint sleeves that fit under your pug’s legs. The harness is made from high-quality materials and is equipped with steel fasteners for ultimate durability. The braided cord design is built to stand up against the strength of any dog. Even if your pug is pulling on the leash, this harness will not put any strain on their neck. We like that your dog will be comfortable and easy to control with this harness, plus it’s super easy to put on! A special benefit of this dog harness is that it quickly turns into a standard collar if necessary.

Alfie Pet Vince Sailor Harness

This is another fashion choice that can be used as both an overall vest and harness combined. It’s designed with full padding and is highly-wearable, even for energetic pugs. If you frequently change from indoors to outdoors, it’s a good choice because your pug can wear it for longer periods of time.

This vest is great for training dogs or for situations where the dog is pulling and lunging excessively. The harness won’t come off accidentally, but along with security you get comfort and style for your pug. We love that this harness is machine washable, making it easy to keep clean for your pet.

Some users reported that their dogs preferred stepping into this harness as opposed to harnesses that get placed over their heads, so that is an added bonus, as well, if your dog is the same!

Buddy Belts Classic Dog Harness

For senior Pugs who don’t need a lot of control and don’t have high energy, a simple Buddy Harness could do the trick. It’s a convenient, one-piece faux leather loop that your Pug can step into. It doesn’t have a lot of material or buckles that can overheat or weigh down your senior pug.

If your Pug has some aches and pains in the joints or bones, this harness could offer a lightweight comfort that keeps your Pug safe without adding to the pressure. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes and features a one buckle closure. It’s a back-clip style that also helps keep the leash from tripping your senior Pug up.

RabbitGoo No Pull Harness

Particularly energetic Pugs could benefit from RabbitGoo’s style harness. It’s designed to discourage pulling but fit comfortably still without rubbing or chaffing. It features a durable nylon material with reflective stitching for safety. The hardware is rust resistant and tough, and adjustments can be made at each of the four adjustment points.

Your Pug can stay safe and you have the freedom of choosing where to buckle the leash. Choose the front buckle for leash training or energetic Pugs or change to the back clip to ease leash tangling and make quick changes easier. It only comes in one color, but it’s a solid option for more athletic families.

Ruffwear Front Range Harness

If you take your Pug on more extreme walks, the Ruffwear harness could be more appropriate. It features durable nylon with plenty of padding across the chest and shoulders. It won’t rub, but it does offer lots of adjustment points to help get a more reliable fit.

The materials are heavy duty and won’t split or tear. Plus, reflective stitching helps make your Pug more visible in low light conditions. It has two leash attachment points for more flexibility and is an excellent choice for young, energetic Pugs still working on leash training.

It comes in a few different colors and sizes, including extra-extra small and extra small for your particularly tiny Pugs.

EZ Dog Chest Plate Custom Fit Harness

EZ Dog’s design features a molded foam chest plate that molds to your Pug’s chest for maximum comfort. It distributes the pressure evenly along the length of the body to prevent injury and discomfort and is simple for quick changes and transitions.

It doesn’t have a lot of material to overheat your Pug and could be a good option for those of you in hot climates who still have to walk outside. The adjustment points ensure a snug fit and that your Pug can’t escape.

The back clip is easy to use and helps keep the leash out from under your Pug’s feet. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes, ensuring a good fit for both your Pug’s body type and personality.

Best Harness for a Pug Puppy

Frisco Padded Front Lead Dog Harness

If you are looking for a comfortable fit for your dog that will still provide some added control, this Frisco harness might be your best choice. The high-quality nylon webbing is both comfortable and durable, so you’re not only providing your dog with comfort, but you’re sure to get a lot of use out of your harness.

The O-ring leash attachment on the front of the harness redirects your dog’s attention back to you and your walk without causing neck strain and the buckles on either side are fast-release making it easy to get the harness on and off your pug. Another great added feature is the inclusion of a D-clip on the back of the harness so it can be used more like a traditional harness if you prefer, as well.

Frisco encourages you pet owners to follow their specific sizing instructions to insure a “paw-fect” fit for every dog.

BingPet No Pull Harness

BingPet’s harness is specifically made for puppies who are leash training. It has a padded chest piece but minimal straps for easy adjustments and lightweight comfort. It won’t weigh your puppy down, but it can help teach good habits. It’s simple to adjust and comes in a few different colors. Nylon webbing helps keep your Pug from overheating and reduces discomfort.

They’re easy to wipe clean and the back buckle keeps the leash out of the way as your walking while still offering the control you need to correct your Pug’s walking behavior. Ultra-reflective materials also keep your Pug safe during walks at night or in low light conditions.

Tips for Getting Your Pug Accustomed to Using a Harness

Just because your Pug is a small breed dog, it doesn’t mean you can get away with the collar and leash combination. Training your Pug to use a harness helps keep everyone safe and ensures your walks are stress-free. Use these tips to help your Pug get used to being in the harness each time you walk.

  1. Start early and use often – Puppies are so moldable. They’re curious and learning about the world. This is the best time to introduce the harness because your puppy is ready to learn how the world works and what to expect from living with you. Plenty of treats and using the harness often will help your puppy accept the harness, setting up good habits for later on.
  2. If you’ve got an adult Pug, starting with the harness may take some time. Allow your Pug to get used to the harness by leaving it lying around (while supervised, no chewing) so your pug can sniff it and interact with it. If it’s a familiar object, your Pug may not fight it so much. The most important thing is to make the leash seem like a regular feature of your Pug’s life.
  3. Give your Pug treats for putting the harness on. Give your Pug treats for sniffing the harness. Give your Pug greats for nosing the harness. Give your Pug treats for not running away when you move the harness close. Any interest your Pug shows in the harness, reward that behavior. Your Pug will associate the harness only with good things. If your Pug is watching its weight, simple praise can still work wonders.
  4. On the flip side, avoid punishing your Pug for not wearing the harness right away and focus only on the behavior you like to see. You don’t want your Pug to associate the harness with anything negative because that could cause confusion and rejection.
  5. Once your Pug is used to the harness, encourage your Pug to step into it or just wear it for a few minutes at a time. Continue to reward your Pug with treats and then go outside. Make sure it’s the right fit and never force your Pug to wear something if its scared or uncomfortable. It may take some time, but you should be able to transition to the harness fairly easily from here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use the collar and leash combination for short walks? – Using the collar for any length of time puts your Pug at risk. The collar should be for identification purposes only because you never know when your Pug will pull or jerk the leash suddenly and cause an injury. It’s best to be safe. Plus, Pugs may reject the harness altogether if they know a collar is still an option.
  • How do I know my harness is the right fit? Both puppies and adults should be measured at three different points, the neck size, the girth, and body length. Follow the measurement guide for your chosen harness carefully. If you’re in between sizes, go up one and use the adjustments to make up the difference. You should be able to fit two fingers between the harness and your Pug’s body without being able to wiggle them freely, but it shouldn’t be a huge chore to fit your fingers in.
  • What style of harness is best for a Pug? Since Pugs are small breeds, you don’t need anything heavy duty or tactical. The harness should be lightweight and easy to adjust so that your Pug can’t escape. We like the back-clip style for ease of use and because it keeps the leash out from under your Pug’s legs. Energetic Pugs may benefit from a front clip or dual clip style but most of these will overwhelm the average pug.


Pugs are adorable little squishes that make great companion and lap dogs. Don’t underestimate their energy, however. Make sure your Pug is completely safe on walks and can’t escape your protection with the right fitting harness. It won’t interfere with breathing and can protect your Pug from injury.

Choosing the right harness is easy if you follow our list because they’re well-made and highly suitable for your particular breed of dog. Now, all you need is a great walk and some quality one on one time with your best companion.

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