Escape proof harnesses, you have a houndini too, huh? Finding a no-escape harness can be tough, but I’ve done all the leg work for you in this best harness list.
Your dog ducks their head and reverses, and suddenly that harness is gone, and they’re prancing through the park, and cue the panic. That panic might even by why you’ve found this article, and why you’re looking for a new harness.
For dogs like this, it can feel like you need a harness or collar that has restrictive properties, but, I’m delighted to tell you that that’s not the case! You can get a harness that works for you and your dog.
Whether you have a nervous rescue, if you’re new dog owners, maybe a parent to small dogs who find harnesses awkward, or you’re just trying to be extra cautious, an escape-proof harness is a phenomenal option to give you the peace of mind you need.
So, I mocked this up, because it’s helpful to visualise it against a dog’s skeleton. So, the orange is where a dog harness usually resides. These types of harnesses are very typically escapable. However, adding the second strap around the tummy, that goes in behind the floating rib? Makes a harness inescapable (along with a secure fit).
What makes a harness escape-proof?
An escape proof harness goes longer down the body, and normally, it contains a secondary strap that secures around the tummy, known as a tummy strap or belly strap!
This strap is really important, because it sits in behind your dogs floating rib. This created a pinch point (as such) so as your dog tries to back out of their harness, it won’t be possible for the smaller strap to come over their larger chest. This makes them inescapable (the only time this goes against you if your dog doesn’t have much of a waist, by either breed or being overweight).
NOTE: Not every harness is escape proof. A lot will tell you that they’re escape proof and they’re absolutely not. So please, don’t trust the words of the product, or other lists (because half of them haven’t even tested the product… shocking that they can get away with that!). Scepticism is healthy, and now you know better, make sure you tell others that this is the only list!
Indie in the ruffwear flagline and the griptrex boots – they’re really nice together too, and perfect for your hikes. – this one is my top pick for escape proof harnesses.
What we’re looking for
Tummy strap: This is the important part!! Escape proof harnesses tighten in behind the floating rib (see the diagram above), which means that a dog of regular shape (it may be odd for bulldogs and daschunds?), will find it impossible to escape fro them as a result of this. So, these harnesses all have a tummy strap!
Adjustability and size range: We want plenty of adjustability, because not all dogs are sized the same! Adjustment points are important, and if your dog’s chest is very deep, you’re going to want to pay particular attention to the chest strap and whether it has adjustment there.
Functionality: How functional the harness is is really important. Whether it has reflective strips, whether its a comfortable fit (when measured properly). Highlighting breathable material, durability and if the leash ring is made of durable material. Durability is important, no point in investing in a good, secure harness if it falls apart in a few weeks, right? These harnesses get tested over rocks, through brush, and in general day to day life. I will also be trying to highlight when they have multiple leash attachment points, which are a great idea to avail of if you’re trying to teach things like a a loose leash walk if your dog pulls.
Best No Escape Dog Harnesses
Ruffwear Flagline HarnessEscape proof5 Adjustments3 PointsFull Review incoming! But this is here for now! I do love this harness, like the front range, it’s incredibly reliable, and the big benefit is it’s escape-proof-ness. The tummy strap can give phenomenal security for people and their pups.AmazonRuffwearRuffwear Web Master HarnessStrongTummy StrapHandleI’ve been using this harness for quite a while, and it’s a great, reliable harness that is a valuable long body harness (no escape!).It’s not as well finished as the flagline, but it’s still a great quality harness in it’s own right. Though, there’s no instance (in my mind) where it would be beneficial to have this over the flagline.AmazonRuffwearPerfect FitStrongIncredible FitTwo Points5 Points of AdjustmentEasy WashThis harness… whilst it doesn’t necessarily agree that this is escape-proof (because it doesn’t have a tummy strap!), they say it is, and, truth be told, I’ve still never heard of a dog escaping from the perfect fit. One thing is absolutely true is that this harness is made with quality materials.Perfect FitClean RunModern Icon Tracking HarnessTummy strapUnbelievably strongThis harness is unbelievable. This would be my top harness if it weren’t for the cost. It’s an expensive harness. But in terms of strength, finish and even down to the hardware? This outstrips the competition by a country mile. It has supremely durable materials.It does come in larger size too Indie is wearing a medium – and it goes up to a 40 inch chest in an XL.The downsides to this harness? Is the price, maybe the lack of a front attachment point and reflective features.Modern IconRead ReviewRay Allen – Nomad IHS SolutionStrongRobustHard wearingThe Nomad IHS is another incredibly strong harness, this one weighs a good bit (so not great for smaller breeds), but it’s all invested in really quality materials, from the steel joins to the cobra buckles – every ounce of this harness packs a punch. Ray AllenFenrir Ragnar HarnessStrongPaddedTwo attachment pointsThis harness is strong and comes in a lot of big sizes, so even the biggest of mastiffs shouldn’t have an issue with this harness. It does (however) only come in black and has no reflectors. FenrirRabbitgoo Tactical HarnessVery adjustableRobustHandleThis tactical style harness is a really solid option for the pricepoint. Please don’t get me wrong, there are features that could be stronger (and I would expect to be stronger for something marketed as a ‘tactical’ harness), but if you’re going for the aesthetic, and not necessarily the strength component? This is a really great choice.It’s good to note that this one doesn’t have any reflective material.Check PriceOneTigris X Destroyer HarnessStrong4 AdjustmentsThree PointsThis long body, tactical style harness is a really sturdy option. With three handles, three attachment points and the flexibility to not have to put this harness over-head, this is great.I also love the velcro that you use to secure the chest piece in place whilst you secure the side clips! Delighted about that incredibly considerate piece of design!Whilst this does have a “belly strap” it doesn’t fall behind the floating rib, and consequently wouldn’t be deemed “inescapable”AmazonRead ReviewChai’s Choice Premium Double H harnessThis is the most ‘minimal’ harness available, no padding. So if you like harnesses like the Blue-9 or similar, this one might be the right one for you. Check PriceChai’s Choice Rover Scout HarnessThis more tactical style harness runs longer on the body and puts in that needed tummy strap. The packs are detachable, so don’t feel like you need to use these. Check PriceRabbitgoo Escape Proof harnessAnother Rabbitgoo harness. It’s pretty high quality verses others that are produced in China, but it’s good to note that the hardware and the stitching are not necessarily the strongest. It works, it has reflective trim too, so it’s good for medium-large dogs and smaller.Check PriceBELPRO Multi-Use Support Dog HarnessA little generic and not suitable for strong dogs (it frays quickly when pulled a lot), but it is a nice little harness, just not high quality.Check PriceMihachi Large Secure Dog Harness – Escape-Proof Reflective Dogs Vest with Lift Handle for Training Outdoor AdventuresThe Mihachi harness isn’t necessarily the best fit for all dogs as it’s only sized at medium and large and not in small sizes, but it can be an option for some. The handle on this one is very big, and presents a pretty serious snag risk, so just be aware if you have a dog who is a bit of a bush-hog, then this one is a skip.Check PriceICEFANG Tactical Dog HarnessStrong4 AdjustmentsTwo PointsWith 4 metal buckles (though they’re cobra style, it’s good to note they are NOT official cobra buckles and do not have this strength testing) this military-style harness is quite attractive, but it cuts in quite close to Indie’s arms, and as a consequence, I cannot rate it any higher. It’s properly fitted, but it totally limits his movement.I’m also pretty sure even when properly fitted that it’s not escape-proof. It is supposed to be? But I’ve tested that theory and others have too, and it’s just not the case.AmazonRead Review
See here how the chest straps goes between the front legs? This makes it a “Y harness”.
Other Than This, Fit Them Properly!
There’s no point in getting an escape proof dog harness and then fitting it poorly. A poorly fitted harness is unlikely to contain any dog – let alone a hound-ini!
To get the perfect fit for your dog’s body, you’re going to want to ensure you can get 1-2 fingers (1 for smaller dogs, 2 for larger breeds), under the straps at all points and if not use the adjustable straps accordingly – but it shouldn’t be more than that. This will ensure it’s a snug fit, a good fit, and not going to be slipped.
But for a full how to fit a harness, go check out How To Fit A Harness For Your Dog
Peace of mind with the best escape-proof dog harnesses
A well-fitted escape-proof harness can be true peace of mind and a good idea for any dog parent. It might take a little getting used to for your dog (Shelby walked like a crab the first time!), but overall, they’re a fantastic choice to mitigate the risk of escape. It’s something Shelby wears when we hike, but the others don’t typically need it.
If you want to know and understand more about the harnesses on the market, check out the full list of the best dog harnesses. And if you want help finding the right harness? Give me a shout.
Need help? Book a bark day!
Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.
Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!