Monday, July 22, 2013

On the hunt for...

... a new day harness for Champ.

Because Champ has had a severe neck injury and has an elongated soft palate, the only thing I use his collar for is to attach ID tags.

Because Champ always seems to have behaviors we are working on improving/eliminating, I need to be able to get a hold of him easily and/or have him drag a line at times.

Hence, our use of harnesses.

I just haven't found the right one.  I'm not that picky, I swear!

+No pressure on the neck.
+Design & materials that minimize rubbing/chafing.
+Comfortable fit.

+Padded or lined straps.
+Loop or handle over the back.

-No-pull design.  (We use a separate harness for walking.)

What he has used for a day harness and still use occasionally:
+Step in harnesses: Straps too narrow/pressure not dispersed enough for my preference; Champ chewed on them (we've gone through multiple) when wearing.
+Padded Pulling/Carting harness: bulky; girth clip rubbed.  (Did love how versatile and well padded it was)
+Easy Rider car harness: Would have stuck with this if the metal strap guides were shaped differently; as they are, they dig into the back when there is any pulling pressure from a leash.
+Julius K9 IDC Belt harness: plastic buckle rather bulky and right behind elbow; not very soft; not padded
+Comfortflex Sport harness: currently use the most, usually with the JK9 chest plate attachment; w/out the attachment, there seems to be too much pressure just above his breastbone; the attachment itself is not very comfortable seeming

Other harnesses we have tried: 
-Tuff traditional halter
-EzyDog quick clip 
-ASPCA car harness

Harnesses I am leaning towards:
Hurtta Padded Y-harness
Doggles V-Mesh harness

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Snoopy's Dog Blog


  1. What are his measurements? Depending on what they are, I'd look into the Puppia original (I've seen Dalmatians wearing them, so they coming in larger sizes) or Puppia RiteFit harness.
    What about a Ruffwear Webmaster?

    A favorite of mine are the Hug-a-Dog/Hold-a-Dog harness. While they were originally made for Dachshunds, they can be made to fit anything from a Chi to a Dane. They're mesh (or fabric, your choice) with velcro at the chest and neck, with a buckle at the neck as well. You can also get a buckle at the chest too, which is what I did with Nola. They're the best possible harness to use on a dog who has back/neck issues or is more likely to have issues, and are recommended by most ortho and neuro vets. Here's their link:

    They're very durable, and I personally know several people who have had theirs last over 10 years. Washable, lots of choices to choose from, great customer service, very breathable and comfortable, force of pulling is moved to the chest instead of the neck. Love it! I just ordered another one for Nola.

    The Hurtta Y looks nice, let me know how you like it if you get it!


    1. Thanks Amanda.

      The Ruffwear is on my wishlist, but I think I want something lighter for him for an every day harness.

      Have you ever seen the Puppia Soft Superior? I was looking at that and the Original Soft. The Rite Fit just looks too bulky for me with the extra buckles. These all seem comfy, though. At first, I wasn't too sure about the overall "look" of this style of larger dogs--I think I'll google some pics of them--but they are growing on me.

      How durable/snag proof is the Puppia material? Can it withstand dog scratching? How about brush? Champ is most active at my parents', and he races through a lot of shrubs/brush there.

      I think I'd go with a Puppia before the Hug-A-Dog. Again, I think it's just the "look" that I think is better suited to small dogs. Not really my style, at least. Although, I did like the fit that they designed for a Vizsla looking dog.... I may send them an email and see what they could do.

      Decisions, decisions. Thanks for the suggestions!

    2. I'd never seen the Soft Superior before, but it looks really neat! Is the necka adjustable with just velcro? I personally stay away from just velcro, because the sand here gets in the velcro and makes it not stick as well. Just me though.

      When I got Nola her first Puppia harness almost two years ago, I was worried it'd just be a cute but not so durable harness. I was way, WAY wrong! It's so soft, flexible and breathable you wouldn't think it'd be as durable as it is, but it's stood up so well. The only reason I replaced the first one was because the puppy (Phoenix) chewed the neck area.
      The harness has stood up to hiking (in brushy areas), the beach (including swimming in salt water), travel, rough playing, ect and is still great. The only time the material snagged was on a cactus one time, but thankfully the spine got stuck in the harness and not Nola's chest!
      No problem with scratching; I got her first one when she was going through her food allergies, and she's having a flea allergy flair up no and the harness is showing no wear.

      I'd really think about the Hug-a-Dog. They're awesome for any sized dog. My friend got one for her Schnauzer/Pointer/Lab/Something mix after he was hit by a car and had trouble with his back and front leg, and it's awesome on him.
      I'd email them! They're great to work with, and very flexible on what they can do.

    3. Thanks for the feedback on both! I'll be looking into them some more. :)

  2. Good luck finding one. We don't use a harness so I can't suggest one. :)

    1. Thanks! It's a PITA! But oh well, I like shopping for dog stuff more than for people stuff!

  3. Saw this while looking for harnesses for Nola and thought of Champ. :) I like the style; might even get Nola one!

    1. Yes! I was looking at these as well. If you get one for Nola, I'll keep an eye out for a review! It's not at the top of my list, but I've heard good things about it!