One of the first things I learned about walking Maxi is that I can't do it with just her collar. She pulls. Hard. And she would choke herself if you let her. Maxi is a strong dog, and very determined, so for her comfort and safety she wears a harness for her walks. There are many dogs like her, especially breeds that were developed to track and hunt. With a harness all the pull is against her chest rather than her neck, making it easier to control her with minimal discomfort on her part.
Our latest harness is a new one from PetSafe Canada. The EasySport™ Harness is made of a lightweight nylon, and is padded throughout for extra comfort. It slips on easily over the head and chest, with two quick-snap buckles to close the harness over the back. The harness has elastic at the neck, which helps with both fit and comfort on those pulling walks - the bit of give is a great feature.
Adjustments are made via the nylon straps and buckles. With two points for adjustment you can get a really good and balanced fit. And the adjustments are easy, which means you can loosen this harness up to go over a sweater or coat on cold days, and quickly tighten again when pup is able to go out without the extra layers.
That line of gray trim is a reflective material, for added visibility when walking after dark. And the padded handle along the back allows you to quickly control your dog should the need arise. Note that the leash ring is at the back of this harness, which confused me at first, since I'm used to attaching near the shoulder blades. At first I was a little nervous about how much control I would have over Maxi, but I needn't have worried. The harness is nicely balanced, and the strain of the leash is evenly distributed over the dog's torso. I felt very comfortable walking my energetic dog with the EasySport.
You may note in this photo that the harness looks a little loose on her. My bad. I followed the size chart on the PetSafe website, but her measurements were right at the edge, between medium and large. I opted for size large, because I often have trouble finding things to fit around her chest, but in hindsight I realise I should have sized down. Trust the size chart. The harness has a lot of room for adjustments, and each size covers a good range.
Do you use a harness with your dog? Or does she walk well with just a collar and leash? What kind of adventures have you been having together this winter?