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If you’ve ever had your dog slip a collar or back out of a harness, you know how scary it can be. And while harnesses are meant to be harder for dogs to wriggle free from than collars, some dogs are just escape artists at heart and need something more sturdy. Fortunately, there are harnesses for dogs that are escape-proof, or at least more escape-resistant than others, and we’ve put together a list of the models we consider the best.
Note that every dog is different, and what works for one Houdini won’t necessarily work for another. There’s no such thing as an escape-proof harness that works for all dogs, just as no crate or fence can be perfectly escape-proof.
With that in mind, our round-up of escape-proof harnesses takes into consideration a variety of needs and dog sizes to help you narrow down your options.
What Should You Look for in a No-Escape Harness?
There are a few key features of escape-proof harnesses for dogs that we zeroed in on:
- Adjustability: The more points of adjustment a harness has, the more snug and comfortable—and escape-proof—it will be for your dog. Be sure to measure your dog to find the right size to start with.
- Extra padding: Your dog may be trying to escape their harness because they’re uncomfortable. If your dog has a thinner coat or sensitive skin, consider harnesses with more padding and covered buckles or seams to protect them from painful chafing. Also note how straps might fit under their front leg joints or around their bellies, where even the furriest beasts often have less hair.
- Durable materials: If your dog pulls, tugs, and chews to get out of their harness, you’ll need extra tough components. Look for strength-rated clasps and fabrics that feature extra stitching, layers, and other reinforcing elements for escape-proofing.
- Extra straps and handles: Extra straps, such as a belly strap that a few models on our list include, can keep your dog secure in their harness. Harnesses with handles can also help you secure your dog quickly if the leash fails.
- Martingale attachments: These generally operate with a fabric loop that gently cinches as pressure, such as from pulling, is applied. That makes this style of leash attachment perfect for dogs who pull.
The 6 Best No-Escape Harnesses
Best Overall Escape-Proof Harness: Gooby Escape-Free Easy Fit Harness
This neoprene harness has a relatively simple but effective design to earn that “escape-proof” moniker for your dog. The leash attachment on the back has straps that will cinch together if your pup tries to back out of it. It comes in several bright colors and is trimmed in microsuede so edges don’t chafe. The step-in design means any sizing adjustments are on the back. And it’s machine washable—always a plus.
- Back strap/buckle contract the body of the harness when your dog pulls or tries to back out, so it hugs your dog
- Neoprene body is extra tough, water-resistant, and comfortable
- Buckle is made of the same plastic as seatbelt buckles
- Padding in the shoulders
Best No-Escape Harness for Big Dogs: Rabbitgoo Escape Proof Dog Harness
This escape-proof harness has five adjustable straps with three on the chest and belly for a dialed-in fit for your dog. With sizes starting at 19.7 inches around the chest and going all the way up to 43.3 inches, this one is better for medium to large dogs.
- Padded mesh material makes all the tough components comfortable
- Durable polyester webbing
- Padded top handle for better control
Best Escape-Proof Harness for Outdoor Adventures: Ruffwear Web Master Harness
Made by trusted brand Ruffwear, this no-escape harness is built for adventure dogs and rough terrain. It checks all the boxes on our list: It has five adjustable areas to keep your dog secure, it has that additional belly strap, it’s built of sturdy polyester rip-stop, it’s padded and reinforced, and it has two leash attachment options: an aluminum V-ring and a webbing tow loop, plus a handle on top. It also comes in a wide range of sizes, with the smallest size fitting dogs that are 13 inches around the chest.
- Wide size range, including extra-extra-small
- Padding and covered buckles
- Reflective trim and a loop for attaching extra safety lights
- Durable materials and five adjustment points
Best No-Escape Harness for Small Dogs: Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness
If your smaller dog is slipping harnesses because they’re uncomfortable, this well-reviewed, step-in mesh escape-proof harness is the one for you (and it’s also a great budget pick). The mesh fabric is ultra breathable and soft, with reinforced rounded edges to prevent chafing.
It snugly wraps around your pet with all adjustments made on top, first via the Velcro closure, then reinforced by the quick-release buckle on top. Some reviewers report the adjustability of this no-escape harness works very well for dogs with smaller heads for whom other harnesses don’t work.
- Breathable mesh fabric
- Velcro and snap fasteners for extra security
- Sizes go down to extra-extra-extra small, which fits cats
- Step-in style is great for dogs who don’t like harnesses that go over their heads
Best Harness for No Chafing: Didog Soft Flannel Padded Dog Vest Harness
Sometimes discomfort is the main reason your dog is trying to get out of their harness. While many of the picks on our list offer some form of padding and soft edges, Didog goes all out by adding channeled padding that’s wider than the harness straps (you can choose either mesh or fleece material) and keeping to a single buckle design.
We like this escape-proof harness for dogs because of its unusual strap layout that can avoid under-leg chafing, the extra-thick strapping that helps distribute pressure, as well as two welded leash attachment options, including a front no-pull D-ring. If you prefer a more traditional multi-strap design, look at the brand’s sports vest option.
- Lightweight-yet-durable reinforced nylon strapping reduces chafing and pressure points
- Reflective stitching for visibility
- Lots of color options plus two fabric options
Best Martingale Escape-Proof Harness: Sleepypod Martingale
Reviewers, including those on Rover, love this escape-proof harness with a unique design that also incorporates a martingale loop at the back. The harness cinches as your pet pulls, securing it around them. The mesh fabric is ultra-durable yet breathable, with a wide fabric strap around the belly and a chest loop that sits much higher than many other harnesses, which allows more freedom of movement and no chance of hindrance at the front legs.
- Martingale leash attachment style
- Triple-layer mesh is both breathable and durable
- Chest loop sits higher for freedom of front leg movement
How We Chose
The escape-proof harnesses featured here were selected based on a combination of our own hands-on testing and a comprehensive look at customer reviews across a wide variety of retail platforms. We prioritized comfort, adjustability, freedom of movement, and escape-proof features like belly straps and martingale loops. We’re also guided by the experience of living and playing alongside our own much-loved and strongly opinionated pets, who are never stingy with their feedback.
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