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Harnesses For Dogs Description Of Species, How To Pick Up The Size And Train The Dog

A harness is one of the necessary accessories for a dog. Dog breeders, appreciating its ease of use, are increasingly replacing it with a collar, walking their pets, because it holds the dog well and securely during the walk.

What are the harnesses for?

Initially, harnesses were used in dog sledding and are still used today. The design of this equipment allows dogs to feel comfortable while running: the harness equally distributes the load and does not interfere with the dog’s breathing. Since then, braces have undergone some changes not only in appearance, but also in the purpose, and now they are used for other purposes.

The advantage of the harness to the collar is undeniable. When pulling the leash collar puts pressure on the neck, which can lead to poor blood supply or injury to the lymph nodes. In addition, strict collars and strangulation can cause great damage to the cervical vertebrae and muscles, and even cause throat restriction.

Specialists also found that the consequences of constant sharp tightening of the leash during walking can be various diseases of the back, neck and throat. All this can be avoided if you use a harness.

The classic harness is 2 belts, connected and fixed at 4 points, which girdle the chest (between the front legs) and part of the dorsal region. The leash is attached not on the neck, like a collar, but on the withers. This design allows the dog to breathe freely and move around.

The harness, distributing evenly the tension on the body of the dog, ensures that there is no pressure on the neck of the animal, creates freedom and comfort of movement. In addition, the owner is easier to manage the dog.

This special ammunition not only allows you to keep the dog under control while walking, but also contributes to the development of physical endurance and strength. The harness is also necessary if the dog cannot wear a collar. So pugs, whose neck has a larger volume than the head, cannot wear a collar, as it jumps off the neck.

Dogs whose faces have a specific flattened shape often suffer from breathing problems. This applies to the Pekingese, Japanese quinces and other breeds. Wearing a collar only exacerbates the problem. Harness – the best way out.

It is also necessary to use this equipment if the pet is distinguished by increased activity and is constantly tearing off the leash during a walk, which can also lead to injury.

The purpose of the harness may be different: for walking, for transportation of goods, for racing in teams, for training the muscles of the dog. In accordance with this, there are different types of shlek.

First of all, the species diversity of the shlek affects the purpose of their use. By appointment, they are the following options.

Walking harness

The design of this model provides for the fastening of the ring for a leash in the area of ​​the withers of the dog. Such ammunition is used for daily walks. Harnesses for walking can have different sizes: for dogs of large breeds, medium and small. Ammunition for large dogs should have an additional layer of felt – this reduces the pressure on the chest of the animal.

Ride model

This kind of dog ammunition has been used for centuries in dog sledding by northern peoples in everyday life. As a result, formed the most convenient design. The difference between the rideable harness and the stroller and other types is that its straps are arranged so that they do not put pressure on the shoulder joints, and it has additional fastenings for connecting with the team.

Such harnesses often have special devices that prevent the weaving and tangling of ammunition. In our time, these models are used in racing dog sledding competitions.

Traction (towing) harness

Designed for large size dogs. Its distinguishing feature is the very high strength of belts and fasteners.

In addition to steel rings, it is equipped with a lead on the withers and towing sides. The model allows you to transport cargo and tow in tow small vehicles: children’s sledges, strollers and carts.

These models are also used in such kinds of competitions as skijoring (towing a skier by a dog), bikejouring (towing a cyclist by a dog) and canycross (a joint running of a man and a dog.) They are also used for service dogs, for example, guide dogs.

Harness with freights (cargo)

This specific type is used to develop the muscular system and strengthen the musculoskeletal system of the animal. The model has separate pockets where the goods are placed.

Wearing such ammunition leads to training and strengthening the muscles of the dog, to the formation of a beautiful and powerful muscles, classic rack, which is especially necessary during the preparation of the pet for the competition.

Vest harness

This species is used for walking small decorative dogs (Chihuahuas, Spitz and others) with short hair. This model, warmed and soft, protects small pets from hypothermia.

Corrective model

These types of equipment can have two purposes, one of which is to adjust the behavior of the animal. This model safely controls the behavior of such a dog that has a habit of pulling the leash heavily. In it, the fastening ring for the leash is on the chest. This leads to the fact that when the pet’s leash pulls tightly, it turns by 180 degrees facing the owner.

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Another purpose of corrective models is to correct the shape and correct the development of the spine.

It is important that such harnesses exactly match the size of the dog and sit tight on it.

Medical types of shlek

Designed for dogs with partial paralysis or other injuries. Such models are made in the form of a vest that covers almost the entire body of the animal. The attachment points on them are closer to the hind limbs, and not at the withers.

Harness for puppy

Usually, light, soft, but strong enough materials are used for this type so as not to cause an unnecessary load on the not yet formed musculoskeletal system of the baby. Equipment gives motor freedom and at the same time allows you to fix the puppy during sudden movements.

but it is necessary to take into account that this ammunition cannot be used for a puppy of a small age.. You can walk in harness only after they reach the age of 9-10 months. It is at this time that the formation of its skeleton and the strengthening of the muscular system occurs. Earlier use may cause curvature of the front paws.

Exhibition models

Used during dog shows. They have a beautiful decorative look: belts are made narrower than usual. They have a lot of elegant decorations, which in everyday use often just interfere with the dog. The harnesses for large dogs often have a special device that prevents the dog from pulling the leash.

Braid with handle

These models are used most often for walking large breed dogs, since the handle is an additional and reliable means if you need to hold the dog. It is also convenient to use them for animals with injuries or for weakened elderly pets: the owner, holding the dog by the grip handle, thereby lightens the load and makes the movement of the pet easier.

For the manufacture of this ammunition using different materials.

  • Synthetic. They are considered the most practical. Synthetic is resistant to moisture, does not freeze in the cold, has high strength, durability, is easy to wash and does not shrink when washed.
  • Tarpaulin. Models made from tarpaulin are the cheapest budget option. However, they wear much faster, absorb moisture, it is much more difficult to wash them, and besides, they do not wash well and dry for a long time.
  • Leather harness have a beautiful view, but they are very expensive. Leather models have such drawbacks: when wet, the skin becomes less elastic, is able to stretch and as a result is deformed. After drying, it becomes more rough, and cracks appear on the surface.

What to look for when choosing?

To choose this equipment correctly, it is necessary to take into account certain nuances.

Quality model

The material used for manufacturing should be not only durable, but also light, soft and smooth, as well as wear out well and dry quickly. It is not advisable to purchase models of hard material, such as tarpaulin and leather. They are not comfortable to wear: they limit movement by digging into the skin.

A rough cut with strongly protruding seams and rivets on the inside is also unacceptable: this leads to chafing and irritation of the skin.

For small and miniature dogs, the production material is not so important – it can be anything. Models of velor, nylon, and other soft materials are usually recommended, preferably with a pen, because if necessary, you have to take a small pet in your hands.

For large dogs, it is preferable to purchase synthetic models: They are durable, durable, do not require complex care and are relatively inexpensive. In leather ammunition, you can walk a dog only in dry weather. In the rain, natural leather becomes wet, and when dry, it becomes coarse.

Particular attention is paid to the strength of fasteners, their location on the harness. Choosing equipment for large and medium dogs, it is better to give preference to those models where the fasteners are metal, and for small breeds plastic fasteners are permissible.

The fixing point of the harness and carabiner is also important: it should be on the back, not on the chest (if it is not a special corrective model). All fasteners should not press on the body of the animal, rubbing it and causing discomfort. While driving, they should not interfere with the pet.

Model size

Harness must fully comply with the dimensions of the pet. If the model sits too tightly on the animal, then when it moves, it will rub the skin, and baldness may form on the coat. If the harness is too big for the dog and sits very spacious, the necessary and reliable fixation of the pet will not be provided.


It is very important that the front strap is not in the neck area. The front part of the ammunition should correspond to the anatomical structure of the dog’s chest and be Y-shaped. This form when tensioning the leash does not exert pressure on the neck of the animal.

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The upper part should be in the form of letters H: it does not allow the harness to lift up on the neck when the leash is taut, and at the same time provides freedom of movement. The belts should be joined at the point where the shoulder blades and the beginning of the sternum begin. The back belt must have a secure fit.

Gear front straps

Must be located at a distance approximately equal to the width of the palm of the pet from the shoulder. Tight fitting straps will rub the armpits, preventing movement and creating discomfort. In addition, they should be wide enough: narrow ones will dig into the body of the dog.

Number of fasteners

Models with a large number of fasteners can be applied first to a puppy, and then to an adult dog as it matures. All elements of such ammunition are customized to the individual dimensions of the pet.

Dog size and weight

Also affect the choice of equipment. For dogs of large breeds or with a quick temper, you need to choose the most durable harnesses with reliable fastening assemblies: carbines and fasteners made of steel, and rings – welded.

The purpose of use should also be taken into account: the choice of one or another type of harness depends on it.

Harnesses For Dogs Description Of Species, How To Pick Up The Size And Train The Dog

How to choose the size?

The correct size ensures complete animal comfort. Therefore, it is very important to determine the size of the stitches. It is easiest to pick up the necessary ammunition, if the dog is present at the time of purchase and the harness is just tried on. Buying equipment in the absence of a pet, you need to use the measurements taken from the dog.

The dimensions of this ammunition are indicated in a special plate, but in order to use it, need to know all the measurements of the dog.

  • The volume of the chest. It is measured in the widest part of the sternum, which is located directly behind the animal’s front paws. To the result of measurement add 1 cm for small and 2 cm for dogs of large breeds.
  • Neck volume It is measured in the place where the collar is usually located – in the lower part of the neck. When measuring centimeter must pass through such points:
  1. the anterior point is the keel (the bone that projects under the neck of the animal);
  2. back – not far from the head at the end of the shoulder blades;
  3. the length of the back is the distance from the withers of the dog to the root of the tail.

For the choice of riding and other special models of shleek, having their design features, make several other measurements:

  • length from the keel to the front edge of the shoulder blades;
  • length from the keel to the rear edge of the front legs;
  • length from the front edge of the blades to the last rib;
  • back length from withers to root of tail.

While taking measurements, it is necessary to press the pet’s coat tightly for a more accurate measurement.

Harnesses For Dogs Description Of Species, How To Pick Up The Size And Train The Dog

In the table, each size corresponds to certain dimensions of the chest circumference, neck and back length. It also indicates the possible weight of the dog. Thus, size S corresponds to the following parameters: breast volume – 29 cm, neck girth – 19 cm, length of the back – 23 cm and is designed for a dog’s weight in the range of 1.4-2 kg. In addition, the breeds of dogs that can fit this size are indicated.

Size XXS is perfect for Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua. A harness with an XS size can be used for pugs. For the largest dogs, such as St. Bernard or Great Dane, size XL is suitable. For shepherd dogs and rottweilers size L may be suitable.

With a properly fitted harness, the palm should run freely under the straps. If the hand moves forward with difficulty, then such ammunition is small to the pet.

Usage tips

The first time is not easy to put the harness on the dog. Moving or stubborn, she strongly resists during the vestments in this ammunition. And it happens that she just feels the fear of an unknown new thing. Therefore, it should be accustomed to the new equipment. This advice will help.

First you need to give your pet the opportunity to get acquainted with the new gear: let the dog smell it first. It is necessary to show the dog that this thing is safe. Then, picking up, lightly rub it on the dog’s head, neck and back. After that, you need to give the dog to smell the harness again.

If the pet has calmed down and does not show fear, it should be praised and encouraged by refreshments. After that, you can start clothing gear. If the dog does not dare to pass the head into the corresponding hole, you need to place a hand with treats there, and the pet, having reached for the treat, will put its head into it.

To place the paws of an animal into the necessary holes, it is required, first giving a sniff to the treat, raising a little hand upwards. While the pet stands quietly, attracted by the delicacy, quickly rearrange one of its paws in the corresponding hole. After that, you should definitely treat the dog. Then do the same with the second paw.

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So, training the dog every time, you can accustom her to a new type of equipment, and she will allow him to wear it without resistance.

The dog is considered accustomed to the harness, if it allows him to put it on calmly, does not try to free himself, and calmly walks in it.

There are various methods of putting on a regular walking harness. The first method is suitable for large dogs. Step by step instructions include a specific procedure.

  • First you need to study the scheme of its design, determine which side it should be put on, so that the soft surface fits to the body. Then check how the locking elements and the lock work.
  • Then you should fix the pet. To do this, crouching lightly, clasp the body of the animal in the hindlimb area with legs and knees. If the animal is not calm, then you need to gently crush his back.
  • Holding the harness in your right hand, put your pet on the chest.
  • Taking the left front paw of the dog with your left hand, you need to lift it and then bend it at the elbow joint. It is desirable to do this without the use of force.
  • The paw must be quickly threaded into the left hole between the straps: two circular and one transverse.
  • Then you need to move the equipment higher to the chest, at the same time grabbing it with your left hand.
  • Similar actions are carried out with the dog’s right paw: the right hand raises the right paw, bends it at the elbow joint. Then you also need to thread it into the right hole of the equipment.
  • After that, pulling the harness higher, you need to latch the lock, located at the top of the withers.
  • Now we need to check whether the ammunition is wearing correctly and whether the straps are not messed up. You also need to make sure that the ammunition fits well on the dog, if necessary, you need to loosen or, conversely, tighten the straps with the help of clamps.
  • Lastly, a leash is fastened to the rings at the withers.

For medium dogs, you can use a different method of donning equipment. The procedure will be as follows.

  • It is necessary to consider, assemble and prepare equipment: test the work of locks, straighten the straps.
  • Equipment must be laid out on the floor and straightened well. Then determine which belts cover the chest and which torso.
  • Pet must be led to the equipment on the floor.
  • The next step is to force the dog to move its forelimbs to the corresponding holes in the equipment. To do this, alternately, first rearrange the left paw with the left hand into the left, and then with the right hand, the right paw into the right hole in the ammunition.
  • Quickly picking up the ammunition with both hands, pull it up and snap the lock.
  • After that, you need to inspect the belts, their degree of tension and check the reliability of the fixing units.
  • Clip the leash to the rings at the withers.

This method can also be used for small dogs. After the ammunition is laid out and spread on the floor, you should not bring the dog to it, but rather take it in your arms and place it so that its front paws are in the corresponding holes of the harness. Then you need to perform the same actions as when dressing on a medium-sized dog.

It is somewhat more difficult to wear a two-hole driving model – for the head and for the body. The following actions should be taken:

  • you must first view all the straps and fixing elements;
  • then you should sit behind the pet and, holding its body in the area of ​​the hind limbs with your feet, push the dog’s head into the annular opening for the sternum;
  • straps need to straighten and conveniently arrange the holes for the limbs;
  • then, lifting the dog’s right paw and bending it at the elbow joint, thread it into the right hole;
  • connecting strap need to stretch under the left paw, and then fix the lock ammunition on the side;
  • check the reliability of fixation, and then you can fasten the leash to the ring.

Differently put on a harness with a buckle on the sternum:

  • first you need to fix the dog’s torso;
  • then you should throw a harness on the back of the animal;
  • the next step is to alternately insert the dog’s forelimbs into the corresponding holes in the ammunition;
  • then you need to quickly fix the harness on the chest, while continuing to hold the pet;
  • at last the leash is fastened to the rings on the back.

It is important to note that dog specialists do not recommend daily use of a harness and recommend periodically replacing it with a collar.

See the next video for more information about the features of the hats for dogs.


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