What's my favorite harness?


There’s great news in the world of training equipment; things are changing for the better. What we commonly used a decade ago like “choke chains” are a thing of the past. New research gives us new discovery, insight and new technology which ultimately gives us new choices; now we reach for effective and friendlier products. The choices are vast.

Luckily, new harnesses are on the market and I love them! My favorite is the No-Pull Freedom Harness by Wiggles, Wags and Whiskers. Dooper’s been wearing one for over a year and I am totally sold on it. I’m not the only one who really likes this harness. It’s selected as one of the best recently in Whole Dog Journal, a bi-monthly periodical that I really respect. They are a little bit more expensive than others but I think they are definitely worth the few dollars more. I sell them to my clients at the Dooper Market at my studio where I can fit and show how to use it properly, but you can get it online.

There are several reasons why I like this harness over others. First I think it’s a very simple harness to fit. If it’s simple for me to fit, then it’s simple for my students, too. This is important because in class, I don’t want to waste time. It comes in different sizes and strap thickness. And, I know my students can easily remember how to put it on because it’s so simple.

Another reason, it’s a comfortable harness for the dogs. The belly strap is a soft, high quality felt strap so there’s rarely any chaffing. Other harnesses aren’t as soft and can cause rubbing and hair loss. The other straps of fabric, though they aren’t made of felt are soft yet strong. It’s incredibly durable as well. Dooper wears his all day long; on walks, during agility, therapy dog visits as well as running in the fields and swimming. To clean it, I usually hand wash his but I’m sure it will do fine in the washing machine I’ve just never have tried it.

Fashion wise, they are great looking on the dogs. They offer many choices and all are two-colored; the martingale loops are a different color than the main straps so it makes it easier to remember how to put it on your dog. I seem to stay with the unisex colors like neon green/kelly green, orange/black, black/silver, red/blacks, navy blue/light blue but they have more feminine and masculine colors available.

Most importantly, it’s effective and offers a unique feature of having two places where a leash can hook to it. There are two rings attached to martingale loops; one is on the chest and the other is on the back. Dooper does great with the leash hooked to the back ring; whereas other dogs do much better with the leash hooked to the chest ring. The beauty of the two rings is you can hook your leash to the back ring or the chest ring or both rings. You can buy their custom leash that has two bolt snaps; one at each end. I make my own using a carabiner.

The final reason I like this harness is because for many therapy groups, it’s an approved harness. This is so important for my therapy dog clients because we can practice in the actual equipment they will wear during their therapy dog certification test. It’s the harness that Dooper wears during our weekly therapy dog visits. The only down side is that even though they make an X-Small size, it isn’t small enough for some of the smaller dogs like yorkies, shih tzus, and the like. For those smaller guys and gals, I have to find an alternative. That’s my only complaint.

I give the No-Pull Freedom Harness by Wiggles, Wags and Whiskers an A+.