Both Bessie and Pippa wear a harness out on walks, there’s a couple of reasons for this:
- Both dogs tend to pull with the power and tenacity of small Victorian steam engines so inevitably, a collar puts enormous strain on the neck and risks injury whereas a harness should spread the load.
- A harness is stronger and seems to give you more overall control than a collar. Harnesses are also easier to get hold of if your dog falls into a canal and can’t get out (yes, this is the voice of experience!).
After much testing, we have two different harnesses for Bess and Pippa and each meets a different need.
EzyDog Chest-Plate Dog Harness
What Does it Claim to Do?
‘…The ergonomic and super comfortable fit of the EzyDog Chest Plate Harness is celebrated by dogs all over the world (we’re guessing!). The Chest Plate distributes the load evenly across the dog’s chest rather than the throat, to make walks enjoyable for both you and your furry companion’.
Quality The first thing to say is that it feels like a quality harness. The material is very thick, the stitching is strong and the clips and D-ring are reassuringly sturdy. We’ve had ours since December and it’s been to the beach, in ponds, through brambles and in the washing machine without complaint. Pippa is a serious puller and it has shown no sign at all of giving way under the strain. It also dries quickly which is a bonus with a springer.
Ease of Use It’s really easy to put on, you simply put one paw through the gap on one side, pass a strap under the belly and clip at the top and pass the other strap around the front and clip. Pippa is very excitable and wiggly but compared to many harnesses this is pretty foolproof and there’s no awkward threading through of straps to deal with.
Comfort This is where it gets complicated! The main feature of the harness is a thickish padded plate that sits, (as the name suggests) on the chest. It feels quite inflexible at first but it quickly reshapes itself to fit the contours of your dog. Pippa seems to find it comfortable and it doesn’t restrict her movement at all when she’s off lead. She has swam in it and runs considerable distances without complaint. There’s been no sign of rubbing etc and she’s always eager to get it on as she knows it means a walk!
BUT, there is a problem. We tried this harness on Bessie a few years ago and unfortunately we had to return it. Bessie has quite fine fur on her underside and this meant the material was too rough for her skin and it began to rub and leave red marks on her under-arms (can you say dogs have under-arms?!).
Looking back now, we don’t know if the fit was wrong or if Bessie has quite sensitive skin. However, as Pippa isn’t a heavily furred dog and loves the harness I don’t think it will be a problem for the vast majority. If your dog has very fine fur it’s just something to consider.
Light reflective stitching – doesn’t reflect a huge amount but is handy
Car restraint attachment – These aren’t cheap so a good addition and I wouldn’t travel without a seatbelt restraint. I prefer the ones that clip into the seatbelt clip but this one does the job.
Price – £18.84 -£24.77 includes seatbelt strap worth £4.99
Overall score: 10/10
Pets at Home – Mesh Comfort harness
What Does it Claim to Do?
‘..Our Comfort Harness has been carefully designed to keep your dog safe when out and about on walks. Made with soft yet durable passing for extra comfort. Recommended for dogs up to 18kg’
Quality This is a cheaper harness and it certainly doesn’t feel as high a quality. As Bessie pulls, we find the stretchy part of the harness becomes too big over time. After several washes, one harness split slightly at the seam. However, it’s a soft harness and with a strong dog it no surprise that they don’t last forever.
I wouldn’t use this harness with a heavier dog as although it’s never let us down, it just doesn’t feel as reassuring as the EzyDog. For Bessie (7.5kilos) this works well and we just replace them more regularly. It dries reasonably quickly when hung-up but needs a regular wash to keep the mesh part smelling fresh.
Ease of Use The soft part goes over the head, then a strap goes under the belly, through a tab at the top and then clips. The threading the tab part is a bit fiddly, especially if you’re wearing gloves but it’s generally straight-forward.
Comfort Very soft and has caused no issues with rubbing. For a dog with thin hair or easily damaged skin it’s a good choice.
Price – £8-£10
Overall score: 7/10
In Summary – EzyDog is a high-quality product and is worth the money. It looks like it will last for a long time and can withstand any amount of abuse! The Mesh Comfort harness is great if a soft touch is needed. However, it isn’t ideal for a strong dog and will need replacing more frequently than the EzyDog if your dog pulls a lot or likes getting tangled in brambles etc.
If you have any questions please leave a comment.
We’re not sponsored to feature any product, items were purchased with our own hard-earned cash so this review is a true representation of our experience.
See you next time!
from Bessie, Pippa and the human staff x
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