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Urban Trail custom harness

582 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DaySleepers
So I do, I admit, have a bit of a harness problem. But for a good reason! I'm pretty picky about what I want, and Sam has a deep and narrow chest that doesn't seem to get along with a lot of the styles out there. My most frequent issue is that the harness rides forward into the armpits and gaps at the front, possibly because the sizes that tend to fit his neck are too short for his back. On top of that, he's right in that no-man's land where small dog harnesses don't fit well and something like the Webmaster is overkill.

The Urban Trail seems like a great option, and as pricey as it is I'd rather go all in on a custom fit harness than buy 3-4 more high-end harnesses that don't quite fit. But I wanted to check to see if anyone here has experience with them, esp. if you have a dog with similar build.

Or, heck, I'll take suggestions for other harnesses that fit dogs his build/size, so long as they allow for free movement, don't put pressure on the neck, and have a front and back attachment. I've tried to look at what people with sighthounds use because of the similar chest proportions, but I'm just not sure.
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Just as a thought -- have you looked at the balance harnesses? They're fully adjustable (as long as you don't get the one that's meant to just slide over the head but instead fastens with a clip -- this is the one we have). Just wanted to mention them if you haven't seen them before! I really like ours.
I have, actually! I use some of the Balance techniques when I walk Sam double-clipped to both the front and back rings on his current harness, so I've seen it used before. I've also looked at the Perfect Fit. One of the big issues is I'm pretty much stuck ordering these things and hoping for the best - if they don't fit, the shipping alone makes doing a return/exchange prohibitive, and I've not yet found a place in Norway these are being sold. I may decide it's worth it, though! I'll definitely keep that one in mind when I decide what to order next.

Seriously considering just reselling his Julius K9. It looks smart on him, but it's just. A bad fit. And doesn't stay in place well.
I'm always for reselling things. No reason to keep things that don't fit properly and you won't use. Someone else can make use of it and you make a few bucks!

And ouch, I didn't notice you were in Norway! That definitely sounds like a bum deal with the shipping.
I have some packrat tendencies (but maybe SOME DAY I'll have a dog it'll fit!!). Definitely not the most productive mindset, haha.

And yeah. Even stuff made in the UK or other parts of Europe get pricey fast due to import tax. I may have my next harness sent to my parents so I can pick it up over the holidays, depending on the cost.
Mesa has a deep chest and a small waist. The Ruffwear Webmaster fits her the best. I did have to size up from what the chart said but Ruffwear was very good about exchanging it.
@Sandakat I actually really like the Webmaster (and I can actually get Ruffwear a few places over here, though I'd need to look up their return policies). I just worry it'd be a lot for an everyday harness with a dog Sam's size. And the lack of a front attachment point is a downside. Granted, I've been eyeing their Palisades pack which I think uses the Webmaster as a base? But I'm just not sold on it for daily use in our situation.
I like the Balance harness a lot. The thing is, any harness is going to slide into the armpits if you clip to the front and if the dog is pulling. I like the sternum AND back adjustment options on the balance harness. I can see it staying out of the armpits if it's clipped to the back.
Of course! That's one of the reasons I prefer using a double-clipped lead instead of just one clipped at the front - didn't mean to sound like I'm expecting a harness to defy the laws of physics, haha. This is a problem I've been having with harnesses in multiple styles, even with the leash clipped to the back ring. Unless Sam is actively pulling into the harness (which I try to avoid anyway), they tend to shift forward as he walks, just with his natural movement. Or if he pulls to one side or the other, even without much force, they'll twist and shift forward. Tightening the chest strap doesn't help, because he's narrower by his armpits than where the harness should be sitting.

Our current favorite harness - an X-back style - is safe. I have no concerns that he'll be able to get loose or twist himself up in it, even when he's over threshold because of another dog. He responds beautifully to the duel-clipped leash and rarely pulls outside of reactivity scenarios, but we still get straps up in his elbows and a gapping front. He doesn't show any signs of chafing, but I still feel it's probably not the most comfortable solution for him.
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