Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope this day is treating you well? My Hunny left town well before the sun was up this morning and I won’t see him again for awhile, but it’s an exciting training venture for him, so Happy Valentine’s Day to my Hunny! Wherever he is. 😉
I’m doing a harness review today, but in two parts. This first review is just getting the harness onto my nearly eleven year old medium size dog who has never before worn a harness. Next week (hopefully) we’ll review the actual experience of Patches wearing the harness while strapped into the van, going for a ride.
Some of you may recall the conversation here awhile back about restraining dogs while driving. Some of the comments were for, others against. Myself, I didn’t think I’d harness my own two 50 pound creatures, especially since they a) are too large to be underfoot while I drive, and b) love to move from front to back seat when I’m stopped someplace, or when kids get in and out of the car (they ride with me primarily when I’m picking up or dropping off teenagers).
But! My friend Dawn had other ideas for me and my dog! Totally unsolicited, and not even for review purposes, but because Dawn is my friend and wants to see my dogs safe, as well as myself (unrestrained dogs are serious projectiles in an accident), she sent a harness for me to try with one of the Aussies. In fact, Dawn sent the Ruff Rider Roadie. (This is not a paid review)
Honestly, I’m a skeptic at heart. We don’t crate our dogs. We don’t restrain them in the car. They’re well trained in nearly all settings, so it’s not something we think about. But a 50 pound missile in an accident is something which gives a person pause, so I agreed to try out a harness.
Patches is the one dog who loves the front seat, head out the window, and moves around the car the most, as well as being my more amenable dog. We decided to try the harness with her first, see how she handles it.
As you can tell, she wasn’t wild about being subjected to this thing. Consider not wearing clothes your entire life, then, at the age of 70, someone tries to dress you. It’s a foreign, awkward experience, right? But Patches is a good dog, and loves us, so she puts up with our insanity.
It took about five minutes to get the Roadie harness on Patches. We didn’t know what we were doing, but the instructions which came with it are comprehensive. I appreciated the sheet detailing how to keep your dog from chewing on their harness, but Patches isn’t a chewer.
I really like the black and yellow. And the webbing the harness is made from is uber sturdy.
We left the harness on overnight with no problems, then removed it in the morning. Patches didn’t complain. She’s good that way.
Next week I’m hoping to get photos and review of Patches wearing it strapped into the car, as well as on leash, since the harness has an extension and D ring for a leash.
What I like about this harness:
- very sturdy construction
- excellent adjustable fit
- cool colors
- great for belting into the car, as well as leash use
- great written and photo directions for use
The only issues I see are:
- the extension for the seat belt insertion and leash clipping flops around on the dog’s back when not being used for belting and leashing
- because of this, I’m not comfortable leaving the harness on when it’s not being used
- the harness isn’t exactly easy to get on and off, but maybe we just need more practice with that
A couple of things which probably alter my perceptions here:
- I’m accustomed to seeing small dogs who wear their harnesses full time
- we don’t use restraints, so this is new and different
So stay tuned. Let me know your experiences with a harness if you have a larger dog, and especially if there’s an extension. What am I missing? What am I doing wrong? I want this to be a good experience for Patches. The harness fits perfectly, with adjustment, and seems to be very well constructed. Help!
Amendment: Dawn sent me a link for the info on securing the extension. It actually rolls up and tucks into an elastic attachment on the harness. Very cool. I’ll try and get a photo for the harness review part two.
Until I write again …