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How to Choose a Dog Harness

Choosing a harness can be a tricky task. There are more styles out there then you probably realized with different features and styles depending on what you and your dog are needing. Then you factor in the cool prints, patterns, bling and accessories and you can be left a bit confused! Since we have two dogs and have a had a few foster dogs over the years, we have been able to test out the many different styles of harnesses that we sell at the boutique. At the moment, we are using 3 different harness styles for our dogs, depending on if we are using a harness in winter over clothing or in summer just on it's own. The key to choosing the right style is knowing what the purpose of your harness will be: walking a pulling dog, walking a calmer dog, for use with a seat belt lead, for use on a long lead in a open space/dog park, and knowing the tendency of your dog. Has it slipped out of a collar or harness before? Does it have skin issues that may need a soft material? Will you be using the harness along with a coat or sweater?

The first style we will talk about is the "Step In" harness. This harness is easy to get on your pup, so it's great for timid dogs or new dog owners. Your pup just steps into it with it's front paws then two rings meet up in the middle of your dogs back and it is fastened shut with the attachment of a leash.  they come in standard sizes or with adjustable chests and necks. Domo wears a step in harness when going for a walk because we find it easy to put on and it is stronger for a pulling breed like the Jack Russell Terrier that he is!  This harness style is kept on the dog by the attachment of the leash, so it's not the ideal style if you have an escape artist dog, as it can be escaped out of when the slack on the leash is loose.
Step in harness

Coat harnesses or an "All-In-One" harness can be a great option if your looking to keep your pup warm, dry and secure while on a walk. There is no escaping out of these and they eliminate the need for a second layer like a coat or sweater.  You will also eliminate any rubbing or wear along your dogs chest or neck since these harnesses are built into coats so they are great for dogs with less fur or sensitive skin.
Coat and Harness

An "Over the Head" style harness is one of the most popular styles. We have many of these on the boutique and our own dogs wear them all summer long. Corona wears the Leopard and Domo the Tie Harness. Both are adjustable, stylish and made from comfortable fabric Many "Over the Head" styles come in sets with seat belt leads and leashes for a matching look.  Corona also has a "Comfort Bling" harness which is also an "Over the Head" style but with leather adjustable straps so she can wear it in the winter over her sweaters. These harnesses are great for wearing at the dog park so you can leave the harness on without the leash and spot and grab your dog quickly if needed(we usually have to grab Domo before he bolts into the river!), great for walking since the are comfortable and adjustable and can be used with seat belt leads while going for a car ride because they are no easily escaped from.
Tie Dog Harness       Leopard Dog Harness

We also carry some variations on the above styles. Popular with our senior dog clients are harnesses made out of soft fabrics, such as the faux Chinchilla fur harness with Velcro closures or the Puppy Love Vest. The Puppy Love Vest, with its super soft faux seude and sheepskin was also great for a dachshund client who had a recent spine surgery and needed the back covered but nothing abrasive for walking.  Finally, dog life vests or life jackets for boating trips are also available in fashionable patterns. With so many styles and functions your pup may need more than one harness!
 Dog Life Jacket

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