Using a dog harness is the safest way to walk your Yorkshire Terrier. But finding a harness that fits such a small breed can prove challenging. The best Yorkie harness will be lightweight, comfortable, and fit properly without putting any strain on the neck.
In this guide, we’ll show you some of our favorite Yorkie harnesses and highlight the features that make them great.
In this guide:
- Yorkie Harnesses: At a glance
- Best harnesses for Yorkies (reviews)
- What to look for when buying a dog harness for your Yorkie
- FAQs about Yorkie dog harnesses
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Yorkie harnesses: At a glance
Types of Yorkie dog harnesses
The best harness for your Yorkie will depend on the season and how you intend to use it. We’ll recommend an option for each of these types of harnesses in the following section.
- Vest harnesses: This vest-style harness is usually made from a soft fabric and is worn around the chest. It’s typically secured by velcro and a quick-release plastic buckle on the upper back of the vest. It’s the most comfortable choice and also provides more coverage than a strap harness.
- Strap harnesses: Strap-style harnesses are a popular lightweight choice. Most are made of nylon straps, which are washable, durable, and weather-resistant. They tend to be fully adjustable, which can be useful when you have an especially tiny pup. Strap harnesses are great for the summer months since they cover less of your dog’s body.
- Car harnesses: Car harnesses attach to your car’s seat belt to prevent the dog from being thrown around in a sudden stop or accident. They can be secured in a variety of ways. Some of these harnesses can double as a walking harness as well.
- Cold-weather harnesses: These thick, padded harnesses help keep your Yorkie going even during cold weather. They take the place of a regular harness and many are comfortable enough for your pup to curl up in for an afternoon nap.
Best harness for Yorkies
- Specifically made for small dogs
- The patented no choke X frame sits below the neck and distributes the pull around the chest
- Finding the perfect fit is easy thanks to four adjustable points at neck and chest
What we like
Gooby’s Comfort X Harness is specifically created to fit the proportions of smaller dog breeds. And it’s made with a patented choke-free design to protect your pup.
The harness sits below the neck area, and the D-ring sits on the back of the harness. Any force caused by your dog pulling is lowered to the shoulders and chest rather than their delicate neck.
Additionally, the step-in design is easy to put on and take off and perfect for dogs that don’t like harnesses pulled over their heads. It also adjusts at four points for a comfortable, secure fit: two on the chest and two on the neck.
Finally, the lightweight polyester mesh keeps the body temperature cool, and the harness can be machine washed making it ideal for everyday use.
What we’d change
The smallest size may still be too big for teacup Yorkies or small puppies.
Best teacup Yorkie harness
- Extra small sizes from XXXS to XL
- Simple, easy to use design
- Made with a soft, lightweight, and breathable mesh
What we like
If you’re looking for a small dog harness for a teacup Yorkshire Terrier or a tiny Yorkie puppy, you may have just found it. The Voyager pet harness comes in those hard-to-find sizes for even the littlest pups.
The Voyager pet harness comes in 27 colors and has a simple, straightforward design. This is a step-in design with adjusting velcro, a quick-release buckle, and two attachment rings.
This harness is double lined with a breathable, soft mesh fabric. Two reflective bands are stitched into the sides of the harness to help increase visibility during walks in low light.
What we’d change
While we like the simplicity of this harness, the smallest size only adjusts up to an inch, leaving little room for the rapid growth of a puppy. If your pup needs a bit more size adjustment, I’d recommend you look into the Voyager Step-In Lock Harness with four points of adjustment.
Personally, I don’t think this would dissuade me, as almost no harness can keep up with a puppy’s rapid growth. And at this price, I wouldn’t worry about purchasing a new one down the road.
Finally, while the reflective trim is helpful, it’s small, so if you’re looking for a truly reflective harness, this might leave more to be desired.
Best strap harness for summer months
- Simple and easy step-in design
- Minimal fabric for breathability and maximum cooling
- Adjustable straps around chest and abdomen for a precision fit
What we like
Yorkshire Terriers can overheat during the hot summer months. The Pupteck harness uses a minimal amount of ½” high-density nylon webbing to keep your pup cool. This harness adjusts in both the front chest area and on the strap behind the front legs.
We also like this easy-to-use option because it is a step-in harness rather than an over the head type of harness that some dogs hate. This style seems to work better for small, skittish dogs. It’s secured with a plastic clip closure and includes two D-rings to connect the leash.
If you’re looking for a minimal, yet padded version, we’d recommend the Didog Padded Dog Harness as an alternative. It still has a minimal design, but each strap is padded for extra comfort.
What we’d change
The smallest two sizes should fit most Yorkies, but they may not fit teacup Yorkies or tiny puppies.
Best harness for cold weather
- Tailored for small dogs; this vest-style harness is designed with armholes big enough to comfortably walk and clearance to urinate
- Cozy fleece fabric can be thrown in washer and dryer
- Easy on and off design with zipper
What we like
Think of how you feel wearing your coziest sweatshirt on a cool day. That’s the feeling your Yorkie will get wearing the Gooby fleece dog harness. A warm, soft, comfortable fit without any restriction or bulk.
With the aid of a protective zip guard, this harness zips close to the body to retain heat and keep cool air out. And extra fabric around the neck helps keep out wind.
This harness is great for everyday use in the cooler months as the fleece fabric is machine washable and dryable. Two D-rings are stitched on to either side of the zipper for a second layer of security during walks and to eliminate the need for another walking harness.
The fabric varies in length according to the size. The small size completely covers my dog’s back while leaving enough clearance for urination on the underside. I found out this was not the case with most vests I tried.
If you’re in the market for a full winter vest harness, I’d highly recommend the double-layered Gooby Bomber Jacket, in my favorite version, the flannel. It has a soft, inner fleece lining with an outer flannel layer. For a weather-proof version, we’d recommend the Gooby Padded Dog Vest.
What we’d change
The neck area was slightly large for our pooch, but then I think Max has a thin neck. The zipper would work better (and fur would be less likely to get snagged) if the harness secured at the neck with a snap to hold it in place while you zip it closed from the bottom.
Best Yorkie leash and harness combo
- Coordinating harness and leash for small Yorkies
- Machine-washable mesh that’s breathable, soft, and lightweight
- Quick and easy step-in design
What we like
The Matilor harness comes with a matching leash for an easy one-stop shop. Not only does the fabric look good, but it is also soft, slightly padded, lightweight, and breathable for a comfortable fit. It’s machine washable and quick-drying for any messy treks. Two small reflective bands are on the sides of the harness.
This step-in harness secures quickly and easily with velcro, a plastic clip-in closure and two D-rings, for leash attachment. The smallest size harness should fit some puppies and teacup Yorkies, but measure your dog’s chest size first to be certain.
The coordinating 5 ft. leash is equipped with a ring near the handle for attaching a doggie poop bag dispenser or other accessories, and the foam handle makes it comfortable to hold.
The rustproof hook swivels a full 360 degrees to make it tangle free, and the leash itself has reflective thread woven into the rope.
What we’d change
The neck and chest area do not adjust separately. Slight adjustments can be made to the velcro closure.
Best car harness
- Crash-test certified for dogs up to 75lbs.
- Five adjustment points for a customizable fit on dogs of all shapes and sizes
- Padded chest plate for extra protection and comfort
What we like
We recommend the Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness as it’s one of the few car harnesses for small dogs that is crash-test certified. It’s made with durable nylon and stainless steel hardware to keep your dog safe if ever in an accident.
Once the harness is on, securing your dog in your car is as easy as attaching the included carabiner to the chest and lap straps of your vehicle.
After the car ride, this harness doubles as a great walking harness as well. It includes two D-rings; one on the back of the harness for regular walking, and one more on the front of the harness for no-pull training. It also adjusts at 5 points to fit just about any size or shape.
What we’d change
Depending on the size and shape of your dog, the harness may sit a little high on the neck, which may increase the potential for tracheal injury.
What to look for when buying a dog harness for your Yorkie
Your Yorkie’s size
Because of a Yorkie’s small size, they cannot wear most of the dog harnesses on the market. They need pint-sized harnesses from which they won’t be able to wiggle themselves free.
When evaluating a harness’ size, follow the manufacturer’s sizing chart or measuring guidelines, making note of exactly where to measure on your dog. Usually, harnesses are sized according to the neck and chest girths.
Use a soft measuring tape to get the best measurements. For reference, my 5 lb. Yorkshire Terrier’s neck girth is 9 inches and his chest is 13 inches.
If you’re still not sure which size to try, try on two different harness sizes or various brands to see which fits your pup best. Many of the brands’ sizing allows for the larger necks and chests of dogs like the Boston Terrier.
I noticed many of the harnesses were so large in the neck that my dog could step out of the front of his harness. Trying on various sizes and styles will allow you to see which harness you like, which fits your dog the best, and which ones sit below the neck.
Having various adjustment points on the harness will ensure a good fit. Adjustable shoulder straps would have helped my Yorkie in the scenario I mentioned above. If a good fit is hard to find for your dog, opt for a harness that has multiple adjustment points.
There are a few drawbacks with adjustable straps, however; sometimes the straps slip and loosen with movement or pulling. Additionally, because these harnesses tend to have less mesh or padded fabric, they may be less comfortable to wear.
There are a variety of materials used in harnesses, but nylon seems to be the most common. A good everyday harness is most likely going to be made of a mesh nylon, as this material is very durable, lightweight, washable, weather-resistant, and quick drying.
Materials that are insulated and retain heat are used in winter harnesses. These are usually made from synthetic fibers as well. My pup’s favorite way to combat the winter coolness inside the house is by wearing the Gooby Fleece Dog Vest as mentioned above. It’s cozy enough for an afternoon nap, yet it doubles as a harness.
Although very stylish, I wouldn’t recommend a leather harness as they can lose their proper fit as your dog pulls and stretches the material.
There are many varieties of harnesses to choose between, and most pups will need at least a couple of options to suit all occasions. Think about what you need in a harness before making a choice.
Many harnesses double in purpose. For example, some harnesses can be used for walking and securing your dog in a vehicle. Other harnesses have a no-pull construction for dogs that like to charge ahead on walks.
Having a handle on the top of the harness is handy when you need to quickly get your dog out of a sticky situation, or so you can help a senior dog get up a hill or steps.
If you need to train your Yorkie to stop pulling, consider a harness with either a D-ring at the front of the harness or a martingale loop, which gently tightens the harness around the dog’s chest when they pull.
Also, consider the weather and temperature when choosing a harness. Although I love a soft dog harness, it can be too hot for the brutal summers where I live. In this case, I use a harness that has minimal amounts of fabric. The opposite is true for the winter—I need a warm harness that keeps my little guy from shaking the entire walk.
If you aren’t sure, spend some time looking around, reading through descriptions, and—if you have the opportunity—try on several different options to determine your favorite style.
>> Read more: Best Dog Toys for Yorkies
FAQs about Yorkie dog harnesses
My Yorkie hates their harness. What do I do?
It’s not uncommon for Yorkies to dislike wearing a harness. For whatever reason, small dogs tend to be a bit resistant to harnesses, leashes, and walks.
It could be that the harness is uncomfortable, especially if its straps have no padding or your dog has sensitive skin. In this case, lightweight mesh harnesses might work better. Ensure the leg openings are wide enough and don’t restrict movement. The harness should be fitted without feeling tight.
Keep the harness on only when you need it, so your dog begins to associate the harness with something they love—being outside. You could try to rally up some excitement for the walk and then bring out the harness. If that doesn’t work, you could try coaxing your pup with a treat and give it to them only after they let you put on the harness.
Yorkshire Terriers are so small. Do they even need a harness?
Sometimes it’s thought that only large dogs need harnesses so owners can have better control over them. But it’s actually the little guys that need harnesses most.
Small breed dogs, like Chihuahuas, Maltese, Toy Poodles, and Yorkshire Terriers, are prone to collapsed trachea, a health issue in which the C-shaped cartilage rings within the trachea become flattened like a straw. Toy breeds tend to be predisposed to tissue weakness in the trachea, and the cartilage rings can collapse on their own or with trauma to the windpipe.
This is why it’s important to keep anything that may pull or tug off your Yorkie’s neck. Most harnesses do not put pressure on the neck but divert any pressure around their shoulders and chest. Check the fit of the harness to ensure it’s not on the dog’s neck.
If my Yorkie has a harness, do they still need a collar?
A harness is typically used only for walking a dog on a leash, while a lightweight collar holds the ID tags or a GPS tracking device. Collars should be worn all the time in case your dog gets lost. You can learn more and see our top recommendations in our guide to Yorkie collars.