The Best Hiking Harness for a Dachshund

July 13, 2019

Finding a harness for hiking with your Dachshund is a real challenge.

Trust me, I’ve been trying to find one that fits well and doesn’t chafe on wet, dirty trails and longer hikes for years.

Literally YEARS. We’re talking over nine.

I’ve tried dog harnesses from the biggest names is outdoor dog gear to handmade ones I’ve found at craft fairs.

To date, there is only one harness that I would recommend for almost all standard and miniature Dachshunds (especially the minis).

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a qualifying purchase. 

That harness is the Casual Padded Y Harness from Hurtta (IMPORTANT make sure to view the size chart to find the right one).

Is there a chance it could not work for your dog? Sure, just like people, all dogs are built just a little different.

I always suggest trying a harness on at home, before removing the tags, and sending it back for a refund or exchange if it doesn’t fit right.

However, I haven’t heard from any Dachshund owners that it hasn’t worked for.

Hurtta Casual Padded Y Harness Review

The Casual Padded Y Harness doesn’t look so unlike many other Roman style dog harnesses.

But it is!

First, most harnesses of this style have a regular loop that goes around the neck. It’s pretty much like a loose fitting collar.

This means that it’s easy for the lower part of the neck strap to strain a dog’s neck, or put pressure on their windpipe, if they pull.

The Padded Y Harness has a V shape to it so the strap sits lower on the neck in front.

Second, the strap that goes around the rib cage sits a little further back than most harnesses.

This means that the strap doesn’t sit tight in the arm pits, which has been the cause 90% of the time my Dachshund Gretel has ended up with red chafe marks after a hike.

The other 1o% was because the lower part of her front legs (about mid leg) rubbed against, or bumped against, the harness chest strap when it was wet and dirty.

Again, the strap sits back further on this harness so her front legs don’t come in contact with it often, or at all, when walking.

Disclaimer: in the approximately 3 years we have been using this harness, Gretel’s legs got chafed once recently.

We hiked on a trail that had more steam crossings than we ever had so it was constantly wet. We hiked it again a second time and had no issues so it might have just been a fluke.

Third, the webbing has neoprene padding on the inside.

This further helps to prevent chafing since it’s a smoother surface so it doesn’t pick up as much dirt and the surface isn’t as rough as bare webbing is.

I really don’t have many cons for this harness.

But, to summarize, I think the pros and cons are:


    • Sits lower on the neck than other harnesses of this style so it’s less likely to put strain on your Dachshund’s neck or windpipe
    • The chest strap doesn’t sit in the arm pits so the chance of a dog getting chafed on a hike is greatly reduced
    • There is protective neoprene padding on the inside of the straps
    • The chest strap is adjustable
    • The harness has 3M reflectors for added visibility when walking, or hanging out around camp, at night.
    • The harness comes in 5 different colors


    • It has a sternum strap that runs down the front of the chest and through the front legs. Like most harnesses, the chest strap slips to the side of the pointy Dachshund breast bone (that has never caused us issues though).
    • It doesn’t support the back enough to use it as a handle to lift your dog on a regular basis. For example, over a log or up onto a ledge. This is especially true if your Dachshund has IVDD or has previously suffered a back injury.

Where to Buy the Hurtta Casual Padded Y Harness

You can find the Hurtta Casual Padded Y Harness on Amazon.

How to Choose the Right Harness Size

To choose the correct size Casual Padded Y Harness, you will need your dog’s neck and chest measurements.

For the neck, drape a flexible measuring tape loosely around the base of your dog’s neck. You may even want it to hang down slightly like short necklace would.

For measuring the chest, even though the rear strap may not sit on the widest part of your dog’s rib cage when they have it on, that is the best place to measure.

Then compare those two measurements to this size chart.

Sizing chart for the Hurtta Casual Padded Y Harness for Dachshunds

Sizing chart for the Hurtta Casual Padded Y Harness for Dachshunds

Some dogs will fall somewhere in the middle of the size ranges when the neck measurement is considered.

I recommend going with the closest chest measurement range.

Even though the neck strap is not adjustable, there is some “fudge” room there to accommodate a neck a bit larger or smaller than the measurement listed.

For reference, Gretel’s chest measures 16 – 16 1/4 inches and the base of her neck is about 12 inches around.

Summit’s chest measurement is 15 1/4 inches and her neck measurement is also around 12 inches.

Both of my miniature Dachshunds wear a size 18.

Although this harness is advertised as “ideal for everyday walks and activities for all dogs”, my Dachshunds have hiked miles of trail up and down mountains in it. 

This is the best harness I've found for hiking with my Dachshunds

This is the best harness I've found for hiking with my Dachshunds