Lassie

Which dog harness?

Navigating the jungle of dog harnesses is not always easy. There are many different models and uses and in this article we will look at what you should consider when choosing a harness for your dog. So there are other harnesses; like pulling harness, tracking harness, anti-drag harness etc, which we will not discuss right here.

Anatomy of the dog

The absolute most important thing to consider when choosing a harness for your dog is the fit of the harness, which is all about how the dog's skeleton is affected by the harness. Here we'll look at some signs that the harness is going wrong on your dog's particular body shape.

The elbow

If the harness fits very tightly at the elbow, there is a risk that it will rub your dog. It may also be uncomfortable for your dog to move his front leg backwards and his stride is likely to be shorter than normal.

Arch blade (above the front leg)

A harness that crosses the arch blade will affect the movement of the arch blade. This can lead to stiff muscles and the dog may eventually have a "tipping" movement in the front legs.

The bow joint (the joint where the bow and forelegs meet)

Freedom of movement in the fetlock joint is very important and if the harness is disturbed, the dog may become stiff, have a shorter stride than normal and eventually develop joint problems.

Neck and sternum

It's easy to find your dog's sternum. Between the front legs and a little further down the neck, you will find a bone that stands out slightly. We want the harness to end up right on the sternum so that it doesn't risk pressing on the dog's windpipe a little higher up. Keep in mind that the harness should not be so wide at the front that it can affect the freedom of movement of the shoulder joint.

Ribs and soft tissue

The harness should be no further back than the ribs can protect the internal organs. So make sure the harness does not go further back than where you feel the ribs end.

Choosing a dog harness

Now that you know a bit more about the dog's anatomy around the dog harness, it will be easier to find the perfect harness for your dog. Every dog looks different and therefore harnesses will fit different dogs differently. The width of the padding, how adjustable it is and how far it goes down the back are just a few aspects that make it positive that there is a lot to choose from.
Try several different models to see the difference in your dog's stride, and feel to make sure the harness is not preventing any movement or rubbing/pressing on soft areas. Then you will find the perfect harness for your best friend!

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