My dog is an ex-racing greyhound, which means he is fast. I used to use a Martingale collar and standard lead with him, but after he gave a pull a few weeks after I got him, and gave me a tendon injury requiring bracing for 6 months, I realised that that was a foolish way of managing him.
After that happened, I bought a harness I could use with him and a lead attached to my body. I did quite a lot of looking before I settled on a harness, because I wanted something tough with which I would feel confident in my control of him. I read a lot of reviews, and settled on the Julius K9 IDC Powerharness.
When I first got it, I used it one day, when it started raining. We were about 20 minutes from home and he absolutely hates the rain. In protest, he refused to walk any further, and I had to drag him most of the way. When I got in I was horrified to see wounds in his armpits from the chest pad I had attached to the harness. Greyhounds have very thin skin, but nonetheless I would highlight this as a warning for people using the harness.
As a short term solution, I made fleece covers for all the harness straps, which worked really well. He came to love the harness very quickly, because it meant an extended walk with me – one of his favourite things. I was relieved to see that he wasn’t put off by the injuries, but they left me a bit uncertain about using it too much.
The lead I use to control him is slightly elasticated (see my review of the 3 Peaks running belt), and I wouldn’t feel comfortable using that with a neck collar, so we progressed with the harness, and it is one of his favourite things.
I was recently bought a new chest pad for the harness, which has been a lot softer, and has meant I could get rid of the bulky fleece wrapping and manage him with a more comfortable and flexible harness. I was very impressed by this.
I was also bought some saddle-bags for the harness, in which I hoped to keep water, treats, poo bag, water bowl etc. I was very disappointed by how difficult the panniers were to attach, and how lacking it was in useful instruction. The harness, panniers, etc are very well made and secure, but the lack of instructions has made the panniers useless.
Overall, I am very fond of the harness – I wouldn’t leave the house with my dog without it. It is very well made and well thought-out and I’m impressed. However, it would be improved if they sold a padded lining for it, and the panniers need better instructions. I wouldn’t be without this, but I can’t recommend it to a dog with thin skin, and I can’t recommend the panniers at all, disappointingly.
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