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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so I found a harness at Dollar General for $5 and decided to try it out. I love it! I don't have to worry about hurting Kabota's neck, I have way more control, and if he does slip the harness, he still has his collar on with his tags, so safer all around.

My question is, what type of harness is best? Right now, I have this:



Is the step in harness better? Can they step out of it?



Kabota's girth is 26" (he has a huge rib cage). I like the look of these harnesses (it seems the most comfortable for the dog), but it's hard to find them in bigger sizes. Is there a website for girthy dogs?



Thank you!
 

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I just got a Julius K-9 harness and I am in love with it. Might be worth a peek as well, but it's more that $5! They are extremely adjustable and are very stable, even on a whippet (a breed that defines "girthy!"

For the sake of safety, if you have any reason to believe that your dog can slip the harness, consider snapping a "coupler" from the collar to the harness itself. That way, if he slips the harness, you are still attatched to the collar. You can use a pre-made coupler or just make one yourself. Buy a cheap leash at the dollar store, cut it about 8 inches before the snap, and sew on another snap. Use a match to seal the frayed edge. Hook that from the collar to the harness and your dog can slip it all he wants! You will still have him!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just got a Julius K-9 harness and I am in love with it. Might be worth a peek as well, but it's more that $5! They are extremely adjustable and are very stable, even on a whippet (a breed that defines "girthy!"

For the sake of safety, if you have any reason to believe that your dog can slip the harness, consider snapping a "coupler" from the collar to the harness itself. That way, if he slips the harness, you are still attatched to the collar. You can use a pre-made coupler or just make one yourself. Buy a cheap leash at the dollar store, cut it about 8 inches before the snap, and sew on another snap. Use a match to seal the frayed edge. Hook that from the collar to the harness and your dog can slip it all he wants! You will still have him!
That's a great idea, thanks!

$5 is not my limit, by any means. For $5, I was willing to try the harness on a whim. People kept telling me that harnesses give the dog more "pull" and with my arthritic wrists and elbows, I didn't want that. Turns out, the opposite is true. When Kabota lunged after a rabbit that broke right in front of him, I didn't get the harsh jerk that hurts my wrists and elbows. I wish I'd ignored everyone and did this years ago.
 

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My dog does pull more on a harness but that's because dogs are so situational and she's trained to pull less on a collar but not on a harness. She has a step-in harness and I really like it, but I use it mostly for biking with her. I'm planning on trying the Easy Walk soon for walks. Also the step-in still presses on her throat if she pulls too hard, but that's because it fits her awkwardly because she has a big chest for her size like your Kabota.
 

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I think the best type of harness depends on the dog. Personally I dislike the step-in type of harness for Biscuit - I find it hard to put on her, and she seems uncomfortable. We just use an H-harness like the one you have and I like it a lot.

If you want a mesh harness like the third picture, Puppia makes good ones, including in bigger sizes and they're available on Amazon with free Super Save shipping in a ton of colors. Cute! http://www.amazon.com/Puppia-Soft-Harness-Royal-Large/dp/B0018V9BTG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343761339&sr=8-1&keywords=puppia+large
 

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ThePuppia XXL should work. Sydney is 20 pounds with pretty slender proportions and a large fits her just right. Anyway, the XXL says it fits chest girths 27-38 inches. If you do get it, you should definitely post pictures, because I (and probably others) have been interested in seeing this harness on a larger dog for a while now. Btw, it's the pink harness she's wearing in my sig and it really does seem super comfortable. I have an Easy Walk too and whenever it's appropriate I use the Puppia because it seems so much more comfy. It also is much more difficult to get out of than the Easy Walk, which she's never fully pulled out of, but she HAS stepped one foot out of, and that makes me uncomfortable enough that now I hook the harness AND her collar to the leash. Never had any issues with the Puppia.
 

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My dog does pull more on a harness but that's because dogs are so situational and she's trained to pull less on a collar but not on a harness. She has a step-in harness and I really like it, but I use it mostly for biking with her. I'm planning on trying the Easy Walk soon for walks. Also the step-in still presses on her throat if she pulls too hard, but that's because it fits her awkwardly because she has a big chest for her size like your Kabota.
I use an easy walk with Winston and it works great for dogs that like to pull. He has been doing so well with loose leash walking that I decided to try a Puppia style harness, unfortunately he went right back to pulling like a freight train immediately. The only issue I have with the easy walk is that it does tend to get tangled in his feet because he is a smaller dog, but it's a small price to pay to be able to control him on walks.
 

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I can't believe I almost forgot to mention the time Sydney DID pull right out of her Easy Walk. She jumped out of the car and the leash was just slightly too short, so the harness pulled right over her legs and head. I was left with a harness hanging on a leash and a confused, fully unleashed dog out in public. The Easy Walk is basically a step in with the clip in the front instead of the back. You really have to be careful with that style.
 

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I find that the H-style harnesses are most secure, and I like that some designs will have a metal connector ring in front that I can clip the leash on (to discourage pulling). I don't like step-in harnesses, even though they seem secure too, because they seem to encourage pulling. As for Easy Walk ones, Buffy can get out of one of those in less than a minute. It also chafed her skin.

Buffy has been getting better and better about not pulling, but even in a harness, she will choke herself when she pulls.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks guys! Kabota doesn't pull often, just when he sees something like a rabbit running away, so I don't need a non-pulling harness. He did almost slip out of his collar once. He got spooked by something and jumped up and backwards which resulted in his collar ending up on his head, pulled over one ear. So I'm terrified of him slipping his collar and running away with no contact information on him. (He's chipped, but that only works if someone scans him.) I like the harness partially because even if he did slip out of the harness, he'd still have his collar on and there'd be no way for it to come off. (Unless it just fell off on its own. I don't see why that would happen.)

I just looked at the puppia website, and all I can say is I can see where a lot of my money is going to go from now on!

ETA: They sell a $795 14k gold ID tag. Even I'm not that crazy.
 

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I own a whippet. They are mostly designed to slip a collar. What I do is double collar her. She has a thinner collar that holds her tags. Then she has a thicker collar that she wears ABOVE the ID-only collar and I put my lead on that. That way, if she slips her collar, she still has ID on. Been doing that since I got her.
 

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The easy walk and the head collar and choke collars are what work for me. For a long time when I was teaching Tank heel and other things I had him on a head collar AND a choke collar. Then the harness and choke collar for back up. He still wears his choke collar but mostly wears his harness. bentley can be walked on his flat collar but I choose to walk him on the harness or choke collar.

Forgot Bentley also has a martingale collar.
 

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Buffy can slip a regular flat collar too, so she wears a martingale. It's worked so far.
 

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I must be really lucky because I have never had a problem with Winston slipping out of his easy walk harness! But I also had it fitted by a trainer, and you need to have them pretty snug.
 

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Initially we got Hamish a step in harness but after he managed to step out of it twice with very little effort we got him a soft mesh harness that could be used in the car.
 

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I use a basic step-in harness (Coastal Pets Comfort Wrap adjustable) for the foster dogs because it is strong, cheap ($12.99 here for a large) and has a double D-ring so if the plastic buckle comes undone, the leash or tieout keeps it attached. They can step out of it if they back up and I pull forward quite a bit, but they can't step out of it going forward or on a normal walk (like, it can't slip as easily as a collar and can't pop open like prong collar)

My main harness for Chester is a Ruffwear Webmaster harness which is really the best I have seen or tried anywhere; to the point that people stop me on the street to ask about it. The second under belly strap that runs behind the rib cage makes it virtually escape proof, the stiff back keeps it from shifting much and it is quite adjustable. Very comfortable for long wear.
I'm using the cheaper step-in harness on him right now just because its hot out and its a little less fabric on him.

I have seen dogs easily step out of the Easy Walk harness and a few different headcollars (which I dislike for safety reasons anyway, aside from comfort)
 

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My favorite harness is made by coastal ... although I have two step-ins. I like the "H" style the best ... and it is adjustable! Also affordable.
It is the 5th one down ... he cannot squirm out of it. :) It is called "Sure-Fit Harness"


http://www.properpet.com/dog/dog-harnesses/dog-standard-harness.html

I also wear a collar with just ID and a spare collar that I can attach to the harness if needed when we are on walks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I do like the look of the ruffwear webmaster, nice to know its worth the money. I am having the problem of the back strip sliding around, but it's a cheap harness and I may not have it adjusted properly. Any tips for proper fit? With collars, I use the 2 finger rule, well 3 because I have tiny hands, is there a similar rule for harnesses?
 

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I am not sure ... but I make mine snug but still able to get two fingers under the harness strap that goes around the underarms. If it is too tight Eddee will bulk? It probably hurts his underarms.
 

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A harness can fit fairly snug, so long as they can fully expand their chest to pant. I go with 1 finger width when Chester is panting (trial and error adjustment basically)
Here's some images of how the Webmaster fits Chester

 
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