There are a number of different designs of harnesses from which to chose - some suitable, other not. The design will also depend on what the harness is to be used for.
Here are some features to look out for when choosing a harness.
It should be made with wide straps and be well padded
* Please do not use harnesses with thin straps of line, rope, webbing, elastic or leather. They cut into the dog's body when they pull or lean against the harness and cause discomfort and pain.
* Avoid buying any harnesses made with hard materials or sharp edges,
* Avoid buying those used to stop dogs pulling when on a lead,
* Try to buy the biggest and widest straps you can possibly get, but don't forget to
a) take account of potential growth for youngsters
b) consider accommodating a coat (ie placing the harness over the coat) during inclement weather.
* If a harness is fitted over a dog's head, the dog may not like this and react. Also, if it fits over the dog's head then potentially the dog can back out of it and escape.
WHICH HARNESS IS BEST?
That depends on what job the harness is to do
PERFECT FIT DOG HARNESS
The ultimate fleece lined harness,
custom made to fit most shapes
& sizes of dogs (even cats & pigs!)
With option of FRONT RING
for added control
Both styles are available from our web shop
HOW WILL I KNOW IF IT FITS?
When trying a harness on for the first time, adjust the buckles and lengths of the various straps until the harness fits snugly, but not too tight! To make sure that the harness is fitting correctly, place four fingers flat against your dog's body, underneath the girth strap (like testing a horse's girth). If the straps are too tight, this will restrict the dog's breathing as well as marking its coat. If the harness is too loose, then the harness will slip as the dog walks and cuse irritation to the dog.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE A HARNESS?
Yes it is. We have come across a webpage called "Make Your Own Dog Harness" that gives instructions on how to make different types of harnesses, including a Walking Harness. Although I have not actually tried making one myself, it may interest those of a practical or imaginative nature! Only use soft edged webbing so that it does not cut into the dog's body. I would also strongly suggest that you experiment by customizing the harness by adding padding to the neck area, and possibly putting it almost everywhere that the webbing could rub against the dog. If you do make one of these harnesses, let us know as we would be very interested to hear your comments.
INTRODUCING THE HARNESS TO THE DOG
Be careful how you introduce the harness to the dog, bearing in mind that we don't want the dog to have unpleasant or bad associations with wearing the harness, otherwise it will be reluctant to wear it for walking or when in training. Look at Nibbles for the ideal way of introducing a dog to wearing a harness. Soon the dog will look forward to seeing the harness and will be more confident when the harness is put on properly - building strong, happy and positive associations for the dog.
WHERE CAN I GET A GOOD HARNESS?
Either visit your local pet shop to see if they stock suitable harnesses or, better still, browse around our Dog Games Shop. There are a two styles of harness (as above) to choose from in various colours and sizes.
Our harnesses are designed as WALKING HARNESSES. They can be used to anchor a dog in the car but have not been tested under crash conditions. We recommend car harnesses sold by Safe Dog, who have thoroughly tested them for use in cars. See also Safest way to travel with a dog?
"I WANT A HARNESS FOR DOG CARTING OR PULLING"
The two styles of harnesses that we have designed and manufacture are not suitable for pulling carts, sledges etc. They are for walking a dog on a lead or long line.
When a dog is pulling something along the ground its centre of gravity is altered because the weight is being applied from a different angle (horizontally behind its back legs and body) rather than coming from an angle above when it is attached to a lead.
Specially designed harnesses will be required and here are a number of links that may be of help if you are looking for a dog cart/pulling harness -
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