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How to Choose the Best Dog Harness for Your Dachshund

January 18, 2023

How to Choose the Best Dog Harness for Your Dachshund -

Miniature dachshund Dexter (above) is wearing his DJANGO Adventure Dog Harness in color Sunset Orange. Dexter wears size small in all DJANGO dog harnesses.

Updated May 2023

Dachshunds are a small, stubborn, loyal, and adventurous dog breed. Mike and I (Steph) know from experience. We're the proud dog parents of Django, our 7-year old long-haired dachshund and adventure pup. Django has been all over the United States and Europe with us, and we even named our dog accessories and dog apparel business, DJANGO, after him!

Although most sausage dogs will be completely content cuddled up against their human on the bed or sofa, they are also an outdoor-loving dog breed. Originally bred for hunting badgers (standard dachshunds) and small forest animals (miniature dachshunds), almost all dachshunds cherish outdoor adventures and hikes with their family members. It's no wonder they're considered one of the best small dog breeds to take hiking and backpacking.

Despite being one of the most popular small dog breeds, dachshunds are often difficult to outfit. It can be challenging to find a dog harness that comfortably and securely fits your wiener dog's broad chest, muscular build, and long frame.

In this DJANGO Dog Blog article, we discuss what to look for when choosing a walking harness for your sausage dog. We also examine how often you should walk and exercise your dachshund.


Back-Clip Harnesses Are Your Best Bet

There are 3 main types of dog harnesses: back-clip dog harnesses, front-clip dog harness, and dual-clip dog harnesses which allow for both front and back leash attachment.

Back-clip harnesses and dual-clip dog harnesses are the best options for dachshunds. These harnesses have a D-ring on the back harness panel for leash attachment and "do not create pressure points or squeeze dogs' shoulders together,” says Dr. Paula Simons, an emergency and critical care vet at Cornell University Veterinary Specialists.

Unlike dog collars, a properly fitting dog harness will not put extra strain on the discs in your dachshund's neck or back. Why is this important? Because dachshunds are prone to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). IVDD is a condition where intervertebral discs between a dog’s spinal vertebrae bulge or burst. The condition can be incredibly painful, debilitating, and even lead to partial or full leg paralysis if not corrected with surgery. 1 in 4 dachshunds will get IVDD in their lifetime.

Unfortunately, our dachshund Django developed Stage 4 IVDD in early January 2022 and immediately underwent back surgery. He's fortunately made an almost full recovery since then. You can read all about IVDD surgery for dogs and its cost here.

Lightweight, Padded, and Comfy

Dachshunds may act like super tough pups, but they are still a small and petite dog breed. For this reason, it is important to select a dog harness that is lightweight, padded, and incredibly comfortable for your dachshund's low-and-long build.

DJANGO dog harnesses have a lightweight, padded, and slender harness body. DJANGO's trademark harness body shape is purposely crafted to fit petite breeds and prevent chafing of any kind around and under the front arms. Even DJANGO's custom webbing is incredibly soft against the body and designed to maximize comfort no matter how active or energetic your pup is.

Durable and easy to clean

Wiener dogs are dirt magnets since they are so low to the ground! For this reason, look for high strength and durable fabric that is easy to clean. DJANGO dog harnesses are made from tough and weather-resistant neoprene—the material wetsuits are made from. The dog harnesses repel water, quickly dry in wet conditions, and are made to last year after year with proper care. They are perfect for beach days, rainy days, romps in the mud, and snowy sidewalks.

Our recommendation

DJANGO dog harnesses are incredibly popular amongst dachshund owners—and for good reason! The harnesses are designed with the barrel-chested breed in mind. DJANGO's owners, Steph and Mike, even own an adorable dachshund (named Django, of course).

DJANGO harnesses are made with weather-resistant neoprene and feature a soft and breathable sport mesh interior lining. Their super soft custom webbing straps are incredibly comfortable against sausage dogs' bodies. And unlike other dog harnesses which look stylish but offer no support, DJANGO harnesses are supportive, padded, comfortable, durable, and designed for adventure.

Best back-clip dog harness -

Best Harness for Dachshunds Recovering from IVDD Surgery

If your dog is recovering from thoracic (chest) or lumbar (lower back) Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), it's time to ditch the collar.

“Harnesses are the safest option for sausage dogs recovering from spinal diseases,” Dr. Simons says. “Softer padded harnesses can also be used in dachshunds that are recovering from back surgery to prevent irritation of the incision site or shaved areas.”

Throughout our dachshund's recovery, he wore this lightweight and supportive Adventure Dog Harness by our USA small business, DJANGO. The front of the harness is comfortable, padded, and slender, as you can see in the main image above. The back of the harness (image immediately above) is sleek, minimalistic, and made of DJANGO's soft, custom webbing.

Django's incision site was in the middle of his back and located at T12-13 on the spinal cord. Not once did his DJANGO dog harness interfere with his scar or healing. For dogs with higher-up incision areas closer to the neckline, email DJANGO's support team at to see if their Adventure Dog Harness will work for your doxie. They're incredibly responsive and always happy to help their customers.

For dachshunds with cervical IVDD—disc disease in one of the neck's seven vertebrae—please consult with your veterinarian to select the best padded harness for your doxie. Dogs with or recovering from cervical IVDD will likely do best in a step-in harness that avoids the neck area completely. Unlike DJANGO's Adventure Dog Harness which has an adjustable neck strap and slips over the head, step-in harnesses avoid the neck area completely. Dogs with a sensitive or injured neck will likely do best in this type of walk accessory.

Countless loving dog owners have ordered DJANGO dog harnesses for their pups recovering from an IVDD diagnosis or IVDD surgery. In addition to the lightweight and supportive designs, customers also love DJANGO harnesses' premium materials. The exterior of the harness is made with high quality neoprene, a water-repellent and very easy-to-clean material. These padded harnesses also feature a breathable, soft polyester sports mesh lining that reduces wound odors.

For immobile dogs and/or those that cannot move their front legs with ease, two secure side-release buckles allow for easy on and off. These buckles will not create pressure points over the thoracic or lumbar spine.

Best Harness for Dogs That Pull During Walks

If your dog is an aggressive puller, consider a versatile dual-clip dog harness that allows for both front and back leash attachment. DJANGO's dual-clip Tahoe No Pull Dog Harness is a great option for those that want the functionality of a no-pull dog harness while still having the option for back leash attachment. Trying to deter your dog from pulling during your morning walk? Use the front D-ring to discourage pulling. Hiking up an open mountain trail? Opt for the back D-ring.

Any cons with front leash attachment? “Front clip harnesses are training tools used to stop dogs from pulling. But with long-term use, they can cause gait abnormalities,” Dr. Simons says.

Sherman in Dark Teal Harness

English cream long-haired mini dachshund Sherman (@shermithedoxie) is rocking his DJANGO Tahoe No Pull Dog Harness in Dark Teal Green.

Preventing Hot Spots 

Sausage dogs are prone to moist dermatitis, or hot spots. These red, oozing lesions often occur where there is friction, such as under armpits, fur mats, or collars. To prevent hot spots, all DJANGO dog harnesses have a narrow, deep body. This sophisticated design reduces the risk of chafing or rubbing under the front legs. “With that said, harnesses should only be worn for walks or times when your dachshund needs to be leashed,” Dr. Simons says.


Shop DJANGO's dog harness collection on and

DJANGO is a USA small business. We design modern, durable, and stylish travel and adventure gear for small and medium dogs and their humans. Our mission is to motivate you and your dog to go outside, travel, and adventure together more often.

In addition to our website, you can also shop DJANGO dog harnesses on and at various pet stores and pet boutiques throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and European Union. Ask your local pet store today if they carry DJANGO dog products.

P I P P I N | Mini Dachshund 🐾

Handsome mini dachshund Pippin (pippin.dapple.doxie) is perfect in his Plum Purple DJANGO Adventure Dog Harness. 


“Dachshunds are rugged little guys with lots of energy,” says Dr. Simons. Adult standard dachshunds 16 to 32 pounds) need at least 1 hour of exercise per day. Miniature dachshunds and "tweenie" dachshunds (15 pounds and under) only need 30 minutes. With that said, if your dachshund is in good health and antsy for more exercise, definitely consider adding another daily walk to your schedule. Walking is excellent exercise for sausage dogs and helps these obesity-prone pups keep off the pounds and maintain a muscular and healthy build.

How much should you exercise your dachshund puppy? Sausage dog puppies usually need to exercise 5 minutes per month of age. Extreme exercise can hurt their growth plates, and they generally will need a break from play after a few minutes.

Dachshunds are not a good fit for someone looking for a jogging dog or long-distance running dog. Originally bred to hunt badgers, dachshunds are built more for short explosive sprints. 


Churro (@thechurrogram) looks gorgeous in Forest Green. The 9 lb miniature dachshund is wearing a small size DJANGO Adventure Dog Harness



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