My blog post of April 3rd “Improperly Fitted Harness is Dangerous” has generated a whole bunch of requests for more information, so, I followed the call.
Anyone out there who loves a soft harness? Somebody who prefers an H-harness to a traditional harness? How about a Buddy harness, a Rope-on the Go harness? Oh, yes, and how about a Halti, or an Easy-Walk harness, or a No-pull harness, or any other specialized harness?
Confused? I’m not surprised, because there are countless styles of dog harnesses available today, and making the right choice for your particular dog can pose an almost impossible challenge.
Bottom line is this, whatever type of restraint you chose for your dog, buying a harness is not just a matter of personal preference, because even dogs from the same breed come in different sizes, shapes, weight, girth and so forth. So, go and get help; the best way to fit your dog with a harness is to take him to the store with you! There, trained staff will assist you in finding the right style and fit, so you won’t pick form over function, or beauty over safety, and still end up with a rockin’ piece of safety gear for Fido. This may take some time and a few fittings, but any decent retailer will do this for you and your dog. All staff at The Jumping Bulldog are trained to fit a harness properly, and none of us will let a dog walk out of the store with an ill-fitting restraint because it’s dangerous.
A harness that is not fitted appropriately can cause chafing, bruising, chocking, it can affect a dog’s gait and posture, and a dog can simply slip out and run off.
As for Ozzie, he lives in all kinds of funky step-in harnesses. They are easy to use and adjust; they provide an even distribution of pressure around the dog’s chest and they are choke-free (no tracheal interference). Equally important is that he feels comfortable in them. How do I know this? No, he didn’t tell me. But I know my dog, and if he is a piece of gear that doesn’t fit right, or feels too stiff, or is itchy, or pinches him somewhere, he will not move –not even for a t-bone steak! But he loves his step-ins, and when it’s time for a walk I lay his harness on the floor, he steps into it on his own, and trots happily along my side -and that makes a mom happy.
Those are the facts.
Then there is my husband’s philosophy that says that Oskar’s harnesses should be pre-worn for a proper fit. Similar to those special people in England who hire someone to walk-in their shoes for six months, or wear their suits before personal use (No, I am not kidding!). So, my advice is to listen to me, instead of my husband 😉
To learn more check out this great article “Dog Harnesses – makes, models and colors explained” I found on Squidoo, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woof, woof & meow
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