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FOSTERING 101

HOW TO: Harnesses

Types: Vest style harness, Buddy Belt & No Pull (“Easy Walk”) Harness

Note – there are other styles of harnesses on the market but they are NOT APPROVED for DWB dogs.

What is a VEST STYLE HARNESS?

This is a very common type of harness. The harness is usually made of mesh or fabric and has a velcro closure, in addition to a plastic snap buckle, on the back. The leash clips to 2 (TWO) D-Rings on the back.

Vest Harness Pros

  • There are many different types and colors to choose from.
  • Most are breathable mesh fabric and do not chafe
  • It’s easy to fit and adjust.
  • You can easily attach tags and leashes to it.
  • Easy to put on

Vest Harness Cons

  • Not all body types and shapes can be properly fitted with a vest harness
  • Can increase pull instinct in some reactive dogs.
  • Hard to control a wild dog

How to use a Vest Harness

  1. Open the harness and lay it flat on the floor
  2. Place your pup’s feet into the circular holes
  3. Pull the harness up the legs and fasten securely behind the shoulder blades
  4. Attach the leash to BOTH D Rings
  5. The harness should fit snuggly and not gape in the front, or sag around the body.

What is a BUDDY BELT HARNESS?

Made in Canada, these harnesses are getting more popular in the USA. They look kind of like super hero masks are ideal for very small dogs, and dogs who have long spines (like Dachshunds) who should not have any pressure on their neck. They slide on both legs and buckle behind the shoulders. Leashes attach to a single D-Ring on the back

Buddy Belt Pros

  • They come in both genuine leather and vegan options
  • They last FOREVER
  • They are suitable for most body types
  • Most are breathable mesh fabric and do not chafe
  • It’s easy to fit and adjust.
  • You can easily attach tags and leashes to it.
  • Easy to put on

Buddy Belt Cons

  • Expensive
  • They can chafe your dogs underarms while they “break in” (pads are available to fix this)

How to use a Buddy Belt Harness

  1. Open the harness and lay it flat on the floor
  2. Place your pup’s feet into the circular holes
  3. Pull the harness up the legs and fasten securely behind the shoulder blades – follow the 2 finger rule
  4. Attach the leash to BOTH D Rings
  5. The harness should fit snuggly and not gape in the front, or sag around the body.

What is an EASY WALK/NO PULL HARNESS?

If your dog is a puller, has some leash aggression, or prone to escape you may receive a no-pull harness. These can be a bit confusing to put on because they often have more than one D Ring but this allows for easy double leashing if your foster is a flight risk (Korean and Chinese meat market dogs, etc)

 

Easy Walk Pros

  • They give more control over pulling on the leash, jumping up or other poor leash manners.
  • They provide directional steering, allowing for the dog to be turned around when needed./li>

Easy Walk Cons

  • Can be confusing to put on and are often put on incorrectly
  • The leash on the front of the chest can tangle under the dog’s front legs if too much slack is given.

How to use an Easy Walk Harness

  1. Familiarize yourself with the harness components
  2. Unbuckle the harness belly strap
  3. Place the harness over your dog’s head
  4. Pull the belly strap under your dogs chest, behind their legs
  5. Tighten the harness using all 3 adjustable points – use “the 2 finger rule” – you may need to remove the harness to properly adjust it

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