Soft harnesses are especially popular for small dogs as an alternative to lead harnesses. Because here you can find cuddly textile harnesses that are not as thick due to less webbing and padding.
Soft harnesses and the all-round vest harnesses are also often unbeatably cheap and available in many brightly colored patterns and colors. However, soft harnesses are not suitable for all dog shapes, which is why the sweet look should not be the top priority for soft harnesses either.
In the article about entry harnesses for small dogs, there are of course some soft variants, so take a look there too Soft harness with step-in lock.
about soft step-in harnesses from Curli and Puppia I already have here in the article about such entry-level harnesses written.
“Here it goes directly to the curli tableware on Amazon
“You can find it here Soft harness from Puppia
What is a soft harness or vest harness for dogs?
When Vest harness is the name given to dog harnesses in which a layer of fabric spans the entire chest of the dog.
Waistcoats are one of the Softgeschirren, which basically include all harnesses in which completely or partially at least soft and wide material is used on the dog’s chest, stomach and flanks.
The locking mechanisms in these types of harnesses for dogs differ, which is why the term “soft harnesses” is often very fluid even for padded harnesses Step-in harness or Harnesses and some harnesses fall into several of these categories.
Due to the comparatively easy application of soft harness and the supple, elastic fit, these harnesses are suitable for a variety of body shapes and also for other pets such as cats or rodents.
Types of soft harness
As already mentioned, all around textile soft harnesses are also referred to as vest harnesses.
The closure types include Step-in closures with two leash and click fastener over the dog’s shoulders.
Some soft harnesses with webbing are normally attached to the back with a click fastener. This is especially pleasant for the little Molossians, as you can often find an adjustment option here to adjust the width of the dishes.
My favorite soft harnesses sit exactly like normal harnesses and meet all ergonomic requirements that the dog would want:
A tie-in point, a wide chest plate and plenty of space to breathe and move around without unnecessary pressure on the neck, chest, shoulders or spine.
Thoughts on soft harnesses for dogs
Like practically all harness types, soft harnesses are not unreservedly suitable for all dogs:
Advantages of soft harnesses
- Soft harnesses are very soft and light, that makes them ideal for very small dogs.
- Due to the high proportion of fabric, you can choose between thousands here different patterns and colors choose.
- Soft harness made of mesh fabric are less bulky on hot days or are more breathable than padded webbing or saddle harnesses.
- Many soft harnesses have one Stretch percentage. This ensures a tight fit all around and does not slip as easily as a nylon harness made from webbing straps.
Disadvantages of soft harnesses
- Often these harnesses only available in small sizes or useful.
- Some vest harnesses offer only one fastening option with Velcro and press studs. Anyone who has ever had a raging terrier in the face of the neighbor’s cat on a leash will surely laugh at tears.
- Many dogs initially find it uncomfortable to wear models of the “turtleneck” type put it over your face allow.
- At Dogs with thick fur press these harnesses everything flat and the dog looks like in the sausage skin.
- The fit is for dogs with an athletic build often too short and the trailing edge of the leg openings rubs in the armpit.
Criteria when buying a soft harness
Due to their short shape, soft harnesses are more suitable for dogs with short backs and, according to some bully owners, are also wonderfully suitable for small, round-headed breeds such as pugs, French bulldogs or Boston terriers.
Most often, however, soft harnesses are recommended for small dogs weighing less than 5 kg.
Because of course, soft harnesses are of course a good alternative for very small dogs, where the straps and many plastic parts are too thick.
However, there are also a few notes here that you should consider before buying:
The fit of the soft harness
Soft harnesses often have few adjustment options due to their firm textile layers. This is especially true for the all-round textile harnesses.
The The neck opening and the total length of the harness are fixed and do or do not fit your dog.
The main problem here is that although the soft fabric on the harness is elastic, it is often framed with non-elastic braids for better dimensional stability. This prevents wear out, but does not allow enough play for intermediate sizes.
It is almost normal that you have to try a few of these harnesses until you find a supplier who finally fits the cut for your own dog.
As with the other types of dog harness, the soft harness should sit in such a way that the dog can breathe freely even when pulling, bending down and sniffing.
Behind the elbows, the harness should provide enough space for the full stride and not rub.
Harnesses that stick out far from the dog, fur trimmings and other knickknacks shouldn’t annoy the dog.
And with soft harnesses with a step-in construction, the leash should not rattle back and forth wildly if the dog sometimes runs off the leash.
For dogs that pull constantly, or for walks on the flexi leash or tow leash, I still recommend that you do not grab the soft harness straight away, but also with the more ergonomic harnesses to see.
Because with soft harness you have to Check the pull point and the force distribution well. The wearing comfort should also be comfortable for the dog and not stress and make him hectic.
The putting on of the soft harness
Soft harnesses are available with very different lock constructions:
However, soft harness should always be easy to put on. If you have to dress the dog for a few minutes until everything is in place, you should change the harness, because it doesn’t have to be that way!
On some models you put the fixed neck opening over your head as you are used to with harnesses and clicks the harness to the right and left of the flank.
At Soft harness with step-in lock you have to have a trustworthy dog so that these parts can actually be put on as easily as often advertised and the dog steps into the leg openings.
At Waistcoat harnesses with Velcro I see the problem that long hair can get stuck in an uncomfortable way for the dog.
A Velcro fastener that is too wide and tight requires a firm pull on the harness and thus also on the dressed dog in order to ever open the harness again. Not all dogs like the sound of undressing.
The stability and durability of soft harnesses
Vest harnesses for very, very small dogs are often only attached to the dog with Velcro. Belt straps that are only superficially sewn onto the fabric of the harness are not uncommon for soft harnesses.
Here you should check individually whether this can withstand your own four-legged friend. Because such a harness will not withstand an energetic dog that wants to tear itself away for long.
And otherwise, not every soft tableware is suitable for individual favorite activities.
Fluffy and soft fabrics Like the often used mesh and other net-like fabrics, when out and about in the undergrowth they quickly lose their cozy feel and get dirty easily. Even “pretty” textiles such as cord, which soak up water with drizzle, are an imposition for the dog.
Soft harness for pug and French bulldog
You can find one on some soft harnesses Adjustment option in the neck of the dog, which allows a slightly wider neck circumference.
This also makes the harness interesting for round-headed breeds of dogs with a broad chest.
However, you have to be careful that the harness still sits well all around and does not just sag down and sit on the dog’s shoulders as a ring.
A semicircular recess on the edges of the soft harness near the neck also help the dog to breathe freely and to stoop down without any problems.
Conveniently, there are a number of good soft harnesses that are specially designed for a wider fit, for example: the designer dishes from Frenchy and Friends and comparable cuts.
Share this post!
Soft harnesses are a good alternative for small dogs that are annoyed with too much webbing and plastic buckles.
Soft harnesses are also popular for bulldogs and other small dogs due to their elastic fit and high wearing comfort.
But not all dogs fit a soft harness. With larger dogs, I would rather refrain from using one just because of the durability of the fabrics used more robust harness guess.
Sources and further links
 Moe and Me Test zum curli Belka:
 Sew soft harness yourself: