6 Best Harnesses for Shiba Inus

Shiba Inus have become one of the internet’s favorite dogs. Their silly personalities and adorable smiles have turned them into lovingly popular dogs. Shibas were first introduced to America in the 1950s, and have since gained a reputation for being good-natured companions.

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Shiba Inu means “brushwood dog” in Japanese, and they were originally bred for hunting. These feisty dogs are rather alert and will enjoy different types of outdoor hobbies, but they can thrive on adequate playtime and brisk walks. Whatever sort of lifestyle your Shiba enjoys, they will need a good dog harness to match their favorite activities.

We’ve compiled a list of the six best harnesses for Shiba Inus, and we are confident that each one is reliable and high-quality.

What to Look for in a Good Harness for Shiba Inus

Although Shiba Inus have a coat which isn’t subject to matting, they do shed a lot, and frequently. When choosing a good dog harness for your Shiba, you’ll want a harness that won’t hold in all of that extra fur. A tight fitting, obtrusive harness can potentially irritate their skin or cause itchiness.  A more open style, step-in harness is recommended for a Shiba Inu.

Shibas have bold, adorable personalities, and of course they need a harness to match! Dog harnesses are often an expression of our pup’s personalities, so you may want to buy one that is bright and colorful for your furry fashionista. Shiba Inus flawlessly strut their stuff, and they deserve a stylish harness to match!

Of course your Shiba Inu needs a comfortable harness that won’t restrict their movement. If your Shiba will be sporting a harness for long periods of time, it’s especially crucial that your pup will feel good while wearing it. A padded harness free of rough edges is best for extended use. Breathable, lightweight material will also help the comfort factor.

Many dog harnesses come equipped with additional features which can be helpful for your adventures. Some of these benefits include removable storage pouches on the sides of the harness, or an LED light attachment for hiking or nighttime adventures. We also recommend that your dog harness has reflective trim and metal buckles for extra security and peace of mind.

Different Types of Harnesses for Shiba Inus

Leather harnesses are a remarkable option for Shiba Inus. Leather is easy to clean and maintain, and it’s extremely durable for a variety of weather conditions and activities. We recommend leather harnesses for Shiba Inus because they are stylish and work well with a Shiba’s fox-like coat. If your Shiba likes to rough house or attempt to chew on their harness, leather will stand up to that task. Leather tends to be puncture resistant and it won’t fray like other materials.

Standard, step-in harnesses are a noteworthy option for Shiba Inus. The simplistic design of a standard harness is easy to put on, adjust and secure. Purchasing a step-in harness is good for your wallet, and they are often available in a variety of vibrant colors and fashion-forward designs. Shibas have a mellow temperament on the leash, so a standard harness will keep them happy and safe during walk time.

We recommend utility harnesses for Shiba Inus who like to engage in a variety of activities. If your Shiba rides in the car with you frequently, a car safety harness will keep your vehicle distraction free while securing your pup. Car restraint harnesses are used as a sort of seat belt for your Shiba, then you can attach a leash to commence normal use. Good car harnesses are crash-tested and come equipped with metal hardware for extra protection.

Shiba Inus have recently become popular service dogs due to their charming demeanor and confident personalities. If your Shiba is a service dog, you will want to purchase a dog harness made for that task. Service dog vests are built with a no-pull design and come equipped with an assistance handle. Many of them also have Velcro removable storage pockets and a place to don their ADA approved patches. The material of harnesses made specifically for service dogs is comfortable, durable and weatherproof. These harnesses also come with safety features for a variety of situations.

Shiba Inus aren’t known to be aggressive walkers, but you may find that your Shiba likes to jump or lunge when they are excited. If that sounds familiar, then you will want to purchase a no-pull dog harness. They are designed to help you keep your pup under control if they start tugging at the leash. Front leash attachments and a belly strap will help keep pressure and strain off of the body, by evenly distributing weight.

Overall Best Shiba Inu Harness

Buddy Belts Classic Dog Harness

This fantastic leather harness slips on your Shiba in seconds and quickly buckles, so getting ready for a walk is a breeze. The Buddy Belts design is safe for your Shiba Inu because it won’t put any strain on their trachea, even if they begin pulling on the leash. We like this leather dog harness because it’s not only stylish and simplistic, but it’s made from self-healing leather which is easy to clean and maintain. The leather will soften upon use by your Shiba, so you don’t have to worry about it feeling stiff. Grab an attractive leash to match your Buddy Belts harness, and your Shiba will be ready for a night on the town.

5 More High Rated Harnesses for Shiba Inus

Red Dingo Designer Dog Harness

The Red Dingo Designer Dog Harness is an attractive, comfortable, standard harness. The stylish ribbon and nylon webbing work together to create an abrasion-resistant design that won’t cause irritation. Red Dingo harnesses are equipped with a Bucklebone system, which is said to be more secure than regular release buckles. This standard harness will be a cozy fit for your Shiba Inu, as it has have five points of adjustment. Red Dingo harnesses are available in a multitude of colors and designs.

Harness Lead Dog Harness

When it’s time for a walk, the Harness Lead Dog Harness slips on and tightens for a secure, lightweight fit. This lead helps reduce pulling if your Shiba tends to walk briskly or likes to jump or lunge on the leash. This nylon dog harness is braided to handle any kind of strength, but it has a soft texture as to not cause any chafing. This gentle dog harness is easy to clean for Shibas who like to get dirty outside, as you can put it in the washing machine for effortless cleaning.

Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness Dog Harness

This Julius-K9 working dog vest is highly rated for Shiba Inus. Although any dog can enjoy the comfort of this harness, it’s especially helpful for service dogs. It’s built from German-made materials that are soft and comfortable. The outer shell of this harness is water-repellent, and the buckles are heavy-duty and break-resistant. We like that the chest strap on this service dog harness is  broad and reflective for additional visibility. You can attach labels to the sides of this dog harness if your Shiba Inu is a working or service dog, and there’s also an assistance handle attached to the back.

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

Does your Shiba Inu like to accompany you on car rides? The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness is crash-tested and durable, made with steel nesting buckles to ensure strength and safety. This dog harness has five adjustment points to comfortably fit your Shiba, and the chest piece is breathable and lightweight. For vehicle safety, this harness comes with a seatbelt loop for distraction-free driving. You can head out on exciting adventures knowing that your Shiba is secure in the backseat. Ready to hit the trails? Unbuckle the seatbelt to use the harness for everyday activity.

PetSafe 3 in 1 Dog Harness

While PetSafe has several dependable harness options, we like this one for Shiba Inus. It’s terrific for everyday use, providing premium comfort, security and adjustability. This reliable dog harness has two leash attachment points, for standard walking or a Shiba who pulls. We like this this PetSafe 3 in 1 dog harness has reflective stitching for additional safety, and it also has a car safety option! You can truly use this quality dog harness for any activity that your Shiba Inu enjoys, and that’s why it makes our list.


Tips for Getting Your Shiba Inu Accustomed to a Harness

As Shibas are curious dogs and born hunters, it’s important that you always keep them on a leash. Leash and harness training should be done as young as possible, or as soon as possible if you’ve just adopted an adult Shiba Inu. We suggest using the tips below to get your Shiba Inu accustomed to using a harness.

  1. Positive reinforcement is the most effective means of training your Shiba Inus. You’ll want to train your dog to love the harness by using this reward-based training, with plenty of treats and praise. Once you have your Shiba’s favorite treats available, you are ready to begin!
  2. To start your Shiba’s training, allow them to become acquainted with the harness by sniffing it and checking it out on their terms. Treat them while they discover it, in order to reward the positive behavior.
  3. Now you will need to put the harness on your Shiba. While you are equipping it and adjusting the harness to fit, continue to treat your Shiba and praise them once you successfully outfit the harness.
  4. With the harness on, have your Shiba Inu walk around the house for a few minutes. Watch their movement to be sure that the harness isn’t causing skin irritation or restricting their motion in any way.
  5. Once your Shiba is comfortable with the feel of the harness and you’re confident that it’s a good fit, it’s time for a walk! Bring treats on your walk, as you’ll want to continue positive reinforcement training.
  6. When training your Shiba Inu to do anything, you need to be patient. Getting frustrated will only make matters worse. Take training as slow as necessary for your dog. Forcing them against their will only causes fear and distrust.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I choose the appropriate size harness for my Shiba Inu? – Choosing the appropriate size harness for your Shiba Inu is important to avoid strain, injury or chafing. Shibas can also be escape artists, and a good-fitting harness will help avoid your pup wriggling free. To pick the best size, measure your dog’s neck, body length and girth. You always want to pick a harness based on your Shiba Inu’s measurements, not their general size. Most brands have a sizing chart available when purchasing a harness online. Compare your Shiba’s measurements to the sizing guide to choose the best one for your furry friend.
  • What should I do if my Shiba Inu is chewing on their harness? – There are a few options for you if your Shiba consistently tries to chew on their harness. The first observation you should make is if their harness is too big. Are they chewing on the harness while it’s on them? If so, the harness is too big. Adjust it to fit more snugly, leaving two fingers between the harness and your dog’s body. You can also try purchasing a puncture-resistant material, such as leather, or a completely different design so that your Shiba can’t possibly start chewing on it. If your dog is getting a hold of the harness by grabbing it from a place around your home, simply put it up where they can’t reach it.


Shiba Inus aren’t known to be destructive dogs, but they need ample exercise to stay mentally and physically stimulated. Exercising your Shiba daily is important, and choosing a proper harness is crucial to fun, stress-free activity. From our list above, we’re confident that whichever dog harness you choose for your Shiba Inu, it will be comfortable, long-lasting and a reliable. No matter which dog harness you end up purchasing, always keep that packaging, tags and receipt in case you need to return or exchange it.

This article was written in memory of Everest. She earned her wings at 17 years of age, on April 26, 2018.

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