Well, after much deliberation and consideration, I have decided to officially call my “Deconstructed Dog Harness” the “Moonshadow Dog Harness”. I know, I know, not very original 😄. But it’s something I thought up and made up myself, so I might as well put my own stamp on it.
I took my original prototype “Deconstructed Harness” (back when it was called that) to the Refuge last week, and had a friend,Greg, test it out on one of the dogs, Laddy. We first took Laddy out on a Sporn Harness, got him to a secure yard, then swapped harnesses and Greg got to test it out. After it was evident that Laddy could not wriggle out of the harness, and that my seams and the fabric and webbing were strong enough to withstand the strain, Greg took Laddy out for a bushwalk.
Well, we got a big Thumbs Up from Greg. He suggested shortening the front Connector strap, as it was a wee bit too long. Thanks for the feedback, Greg! He said it worked on Laddy really well, as Laddy was quite a “pully” dog and reactive to other dogs. With the “Deconstructed Harness” on, Greg was able to control Laddy without any trouble.
Here’s Laddy and Greg in the yard.
Below is a closer view of Laddy wearing the Harness, you can see how extraeneously long the connector part is:
Laddy looks like a fat, rotund version of my own Scruffy dog 😄. So cute!!
Anyway, I told Greg he could be my test-pilot for the new, improved version of the harness. He said he couldn’t wait to try it out on his own dog, Poppy.
So, back to the drawing board, and 5 hours (and 2 broken needles) later, ta da!
Pretty in pink! This is the whole shebang: my 4-in-1 convertible lead, the collar with the extra ring, and the harness.
The Convertible Lead.
The components of the Harness and Collar.
I present to you the “Moonshadow Dog Harness”. Or, more accurately, the “Moonshadow Front-Leading No-Pull Dog Harness With Collar”.😄
And who better to try it out on than my own faithful Muse, Shelagh.
Here the lead has been shortened to a standard 4 foot length. (The grey collar around Shelagh’s neck has her registration tag on it, I should’ve taken it off before taking this photo). Isn’t that pink just shocking?! 😄😄😄 Cerise, I think the colour’s called.
Do you know how hard it is to source proper snaphook clips? These ones from China via eBay were tiny and came with rings to make them the 25mm size I needed. Not really ideal, but the big ones would have cost much, much more and I was also concerned about the extra weight on the dog’s body.
Basically, the “Moonshadow Harness” has a Girdle piece which goes round the dog’s body, behind its front legs; a small Top Connector that clips the Girdle to the Collar, and a Front Connector which connects the Girdle to the Collar between the dog’s front legs.
The Front Connector also has a D-ring at the end, which slips through the Collar’s O-ring. The dog’s lead then clips to the D-ring. When the dog pulls ahead during a walk, the lead pulls the Front Connector, which in turn tugs on the Girdle round the dog’s chest, checking it gently.
Here you can see how the Front Connector’s D-ring goes through the Collar and is attached to the Lead.
Shelagh can’t believe her eyes. The “Moonshadow Harness” Mach 2 matches the colour of her ball and its flinger!
Side view showing pretty much how the entire contraption is set up. Ok, we remembered to remove her grey collar this time.
And we’re off to the park to test this out! I like this better than the Sporn or Balance Harness, that you can buy from pet shops (for between $35-45, depending on size). It doesn’t go under and round the dog’s armpits, so there’s no chafing from pulling. There’s also no strap going across the dog’s chest, which, if pulled from the back, may encourage the dog’s Opposition Reflex to pull forward. The Collar is basically a standard side-release clip collar with an extra ring for attachment, so it can be used as the dog’s normal everyday collar.
Must.Have.A.Sniff! It’s funny how long the Front Connector strap appears to be, even after being shortened by 3 inches. This is such a pretty colour on Shelagh, don’t you agree?