All dog owners are different and indeed all dogs are different, not just in their breed but also in their personalities. With that in mind, not every dog wants their lead attached to their collar. In this blog post ‘Dog Harnesses ‘The One’ – Julius-K9 Powerharness‘ I’ll talk about my dogs harness and all the harnesses that have come before. I’ll take you through the choices that we made as our canine friend progressed to adulthood.
From the outset
We made a decision early on that having a dog pulling on a lead that was attached to a collar wasn’t for us. That sound of choking and the potential to do your dog some harm in the likelihood of having to pull him away from something or someone just didn’t sit right. We opted for the harness route to controlling your dog.
Which harness and why
If you make the choice to fit your best friend with a harness the one realisation is; as your dog grows, so does the harness! We started off with what I like to call ‘the tanktop’ harness. This slips on and off your dog much like a tanktop. It has a large surface area which helps to protect the occupants’ body in their young puppy form. As the dog gets larger, this type of harness becomes obsolete.
Since that first size ‘tanktop’ we’ve made various purchases in the pursuit of finding the right model to suit. We’ve bought various ‘step in’ or ‘walk in’ harnesses and they’ve worked perfectly. However, some ‘walk in’ models still use a large area of material under the chest. Ideal if your dog is a ‘puller’, not so good if your dog spends a lot of time off the lead, running around fields and the woods. They do get dirty and start to fray, even if they claim to be a ripstop material!
Some other ‘walk in’ models don’t use as much material and can often not fit the shape of your dog. For instance, I bought a ‘walk in’ harness, and for our shape of dog, he’s a ‘Patterdale Terrier’, it didn’t seem to look comfortable on him. If he decided to stop and sniff a lampost, you could quite easily pull the harness off his body and he would simply step out of it. Not great if you’re near a busy road!
Properly adjusting the harness size, according to the manufacturers’ guidelines, to the dog keeps them happy and you safe in the knowledge that it won’t just slip off! In my experience, so long as the dog has a couple of fingers gap between the widest part of the chest and the harness to breathe after running around the woods, you should be good to go.
Adult dog harness for life
Once your best friend has grown to his/her adult size it’s time to find that perfect fit harness. After the many attempts as discussed above, we settled on what we like to refer to as Dog Harnesses ‘The One’ – Julius-K9 Powerharness.
Julius-K9 has been making harnesses since 1997. I found out about the brand by talking to other dog owners and actually seeing the product on much larger dogs than mine. To my amazement, they don’t just make harnesses for large hounds, their sizes range from Baby1, for a 2lbs dog, all the way through to size 4, for a 198lbs dog, in 9 steps!
The Powerharness allows excellent range of movement and doesn’t hinder my dog in any way. It simply slides over his head and one wide gauge webbing style strap wraps underneath the chest to a chunky clip on the left hand side. The clip that secures the harness is similar to those found on touring rucksacks. Even with numb fingers, from an early morning winter walk, the harness is easy to get on and off. The only adjustments needed are in the length of the under chest strap, which is similar to a tightening strap on a rucksack and the length of the under chin strap which is of the Velcro/hook and eye variety.
The Powerharness features Velcro/hook and eye side panels which you can use to customise the look of your harness. I’ve stuck with the supplied ‘glow in the dark’ panels. It also features a strong carry handle built into the top of the harness allowing you to lift your dog over fences or stiles to access fields or footpaths thereby minimising the risk to your beloved pet. The carry handle is made from the same, very strong, wide gauge webbing material as the rest of the harness.
Another top tip
If your dog gets walked in the woods he/she doesn’t always need their harness. Leaving the harness off, sometimes, gives your dog a sense of freedom to explore. This builds trust between you. My dog jumps out of the car when we get to the woods and jumps back in without issue after his walk.
And another top tip
If you walk your dog in fields, remember that livestock might be nearby. In this case keep your dog on their lead using a harness or collar. We wouldn’t want livestock to get spooked and a farmer to get his gun out!
Whilst my canine companion gets walked mostly in wooded areas where he doesn’t need his harness, for those occasions when he comes with us for a trip into town for a coffee (us not him) his harness is brilliant. It’s strong, well thought out design is ideal for most dogs. The fact that the size ranges go from Chihuahua to Great Dane and come in colours from black to camo print to pink, there’s literally a variation for every taste!
Happy walking, it’ll keep your dog in good trim and help with your fitness too. Which brings me onto my next canine related blog post, if your dog is comfortable then you should be too!