Can an "Escape Proof" Harness Really Keep Your Dog From Escaping?
Do you have a problem with your dog trying to escape from his or her harness? If you have been searching for a dog harness for an escape artist, keep reading to learn what the term “escape proof dog harness” really means, and why your dog may be trying to escape from your current harness in the first place.
We get questions on our support line every day asking if we carry and escape proof dog harness, chew proof dog harness and any other type of harness you can think of.
When folks ask us about escape proof harnesses though it’s a bit of a difficult question to answer. There are harnesses available that are sold as “escape proof” but what does that really mean?
There are so many types of dog harness available that it can be confusing trying to figure out which one will be the most secure for your dog. So let’s talk about some of the more popular harness types available and how secure they truly are for your dog.
Why Do Dogs Try to Escape From Harnesses?
There may be any one or several of the following reasons that your dog doesn't like wearing a harness. If you find that your dog is not a happy pup when you try to get him to put on a harness, consider some of the most common reasons dogs become sad when a harness is introduced.
The Harness is Not Comfortable:
The most obvious reason your dog doesn't like wearing a harness is that it’s not comfortable. The harness should be snug and secure, but not tight. Look for areas of your dogs’ skin or coat that may be rubbing against the harness. Some dogs with short hair or little hair may become chaffed easily by wearing some styles of harness / material.
The Dog Doesn’t Like Being Touched In Certain Areas:
One of our dogs, a Chihuahua-terrier mix, has no issues wearing her quick fit harness. But when we tried a dog vest style of harness the teeth came out, big time! This normally sweet dog became a monster at the idea of us putting a harness over her head.
The solution? No more vest harness for her!
They Associate the Harness with a Bad Experience:
There’s no doubt our Chihuahua-mix associates a vest harness with a bad time. We tried to get it on her and deal with her trying to bite us and the whole thing was a nightmare. I can bet if I were to try it again the result would be the same.
If you are trying to force a type of harness on your dog and he/she does not like it, then without some behavioral training it’s just not going to happen.
And why force something on your dog anyway, right? If a vest harness makes your dog go nuts but simple mesh harness doesn’t bother her, then it’s best to stick with what works.
From there you can always search for a similar harness to what she likes wearing that is more secure if you are truly searching for a harness that is harder to escape from.
Generic Dog Harness Types:
If you are brand new to dog harnesses the first place you may look is your favorite retailer. You may search for Walmart dog harness or Petco dog harness hoping to find a super secure harness for you lil’ buddy to wear on your walks.
The problem is online retailers like this may carry dozens of different types of dog harness. It’s hard to figure out which one is the right one for your dog.
So let’s just take a look at some popular types of harness and what you can realistically expect from them.
Cute Dog Harness:
It’s not a shocker that a lot of dog lovers would start their dog’s harness journey looking for a cute dog harness. This type of harness may be studded or come in bright colors or designs and have lots of little things that make your dog look great. If your budget allows you can even go for a designer dog harness that looks great but will for sure cost a lot more than other types of harness.
The typical cute dog harness may look great on your dog, but if the biggest feature of the harness is how good it looks then it may not be the most secure.
And that’s ok.
Some dogs simply do not try to escape from their harness, so there is no need to try and secure them with a heavy duty harness that’s designed to keep them snug and secure.
Of course you wouldn’t want your dog to easily wiggle out of her harness and get loose. But if your dog is the type that does not try to escape and run away then getting a “cute” dog harness is going to work great for you.
A designer or cute dog harness has a main function of making your dog look great, but may not be the most secure type of harness for your needs.
Dog Vest Harness:
Whenever we leave the house and happen to see dogs walking with their parents, the dog vest harness is the most common type we see.
The dog vest harness comes in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors for just about any type of dog or dog parent personality. The great thing about the vest harness is that they are pretty secure.
Many dog vest type harnesses go over the head and around the body, which means they are going to be more secure than some other types of harness. The great thing about a vest harness is in the cooler months it can double as a bit of a coat or shirt, depending on the design of it.
When shopping for a vest style harness you will likely need to measure your dog’s neck and body to get the right fit. Since a dog vest style harness fits like a shirt you will need to make sure both measurements are correct and not too small or your dog will be uncomfortable.
Leather Dog Harness:
If your dog is strong or is rough on harnesses then one option may be to look into a leather dog harness for him or her. Leather harnesses are naturally going to be less likely to break, tear, rip or give out than other types of harness made from different materials.
While there is no such thing as a “chew proof harness”, a leather harness will stand up a bit longer to chewing than a standard, run-of-the-mill type harness that you can buy. If you really need a heavy duty dog harness, then a leather one may be just what you are looking for.
Leather dog harnesses come in a lot of different styles and shapes and security features. So if you are looking for a dog harness in leather you should be able to find one that is both secure and great looking.
Reflective Dog Harness:
Our most popular harness, the Quick Fit Harness has a reflective stitching on it that glows when headlights or other lights outside shine on the material. This is a great safety feature for the harness and one big reason why the harness is loved by so many.
If you like to walk your dogs at night and worry about cars seeing you and them then a reflective dog harness may be the way to go for you.
Whether or not a reflective dog harness is escape proof or not though still will depend on the overall design of the harness. A reflective mesh harness in a vest style could offer multiple safety features. Imagine that cars can easily see you and your dog at night while still being secure and more escape proof than other harnesses.
Mesh Dog Harness:
In the summer months, most folks prefer their dogs to wear a harness that will keep the dog cool, secure and safe. A mesh dog harness is a great way to get a lot of features all in one harness.
Mesh dog harnesses come in all sorts of sizes, colors, designs and levels of “escape proof-iness” for you to choose from. In the hotter summer months the mesh material creates a bit of a barrier between the dog and the harness and will keep them cooler vs a vest style that fits more like a shirt.
Is There Such Things as an Escape Proof Dog Harness?
We’ve talked about a few of the most popular types of dog harness for an escape artist that you can buy. But what about the idea that a harness can be truly escape proof?
We get a fair amount of questions on our support line asking if our harnesses can keep your dog from escaping from them.
These are the toughest questions to answer, because at the end of the day...it is impossible to tell.
A Determined Dog Can Escape From Any Harness:
This answer may be unacceptable for some pet parents and for that I am sorry. The truth is though, that a dog that wants to get out of a harness will find a way. There is not a harness design that exists anywhere that will 100% keep your dog secure 100% of the time.
Unless you can find a harness that fits like steel armour and is welded on permanently there is always a chance that your dog may want to get out of it.
If you have a dog that is a wiggler or Houdini type escape artist then you already know how hard it is to keep him or her secure in a harness.
The best thing we recommend is to try and determine why your dog is trying to get out of his current harness and try to work around that.
It may just be a case of the dog not liking to wear anything. Some dogs just do not want to wear a harness. Some dogs may be completely fine with one type of harness but hate another type.
At the end of the day, you may just need to try a few different types of harnesses. Our Fast Fitting style harness is the best escape proof harness for small dogs because most dogs that wear it do not mind wearing it. It is not "escape proof" in the normal sense, but more because most dogs are not bothered to wear it so they don't try to escape.
But we get messages all the time from folks telling us that even though their dog loves to try and escape from other harnesses they love wearing ours. And we believe this is because the harness has a small amount of material, is cool to wear and does not go over the head.