Finding the perfect harness for your dog is not just about style but their comfort, safety, and overall well-being. I love the look of a harness on my dog Yenko. I know he already looks like a "badass," but I think it gives him a softer, sporty look. That's just me. Yenko doesn't complain about the harness; he doesn't feel comfortable without one.
Harnesses: Comfort and Control
When it comes to your dog, harnesses provide several advantages over traditional collars. They are gentler on your dog's neck and throat, reducing the risk of injury during walks. Harnesses also offer better control and support for your dog's neck, chest, back, and legs, allowing you to guide their movements effortlessly. This is especially important for puppies who are still learning leash manners.
While crates like Gunner are considered the safest option for car travel, not every dog feels comfortable in them. Harnesses designed to support car safety can be a great alternative. They support essential parts of your dog's body and ensure they remain securely fastened during the ride. However, choosing a harness certified for crash safety by organizations like the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) is vital. You should get to know CPS as they are a nonprofit organization dedicated to consumer and companion animal safety. They conduct safety research for pet owners everywhere, which means YOU.
So, which harness to use?
I have experience with both Kurgo Harnesses (which are decent) and the Front Range Dog Harness by Ruffwear. I prefer the latter as it comes in various colors, fits my dog perfectly, provides him with all-day comfort, and functions reliably. Despite my dog's rough play, he has only managed to damage one of these harnesses, which speaks to its durability.
But, all these harnesses still need is car safety..how can we go on an adventure and not secure the first activity in the journey, which is the ride?! None of Ruffwear and Kurgo's harnesses are certified by CPS.
The Quest for the Ultimate Harness
I heard about a new harness, the Saker Acsention Harness, about a year ago. Marketed as the "ultimate dog harness" with exciting features like an attachable dog pack and rescue sling for hiking emergencies, it would be certified by the CPS and had that "badass" look I like; I eagerly supported their Kickstarter campaign. After waiting for the harness, Saker kept communicating about the safety tests, which was honestly the most crucial factor to me. The harness looks excellent on Yenko, and of course, with producing items, things happen, so Saker had a "recall," and they sent each pledger a replacement part.
Where is the heart?
It happens throughout the pet industry...the heart of why the product was made gets lost. Creating something can be tricky; so much is on the line, money, production, etc..Saker received at one point a certification from the Center for Pet Safety and later mentioned it was revoked. And yes, an "Acsention harness" was crash tested, but where does this leave me and the harness I received? I reached out to CPS because I needed to get their point of view..their response to Saker was a breach of the terms and conditions. You can read the email from CPS Below. And you can make your own conclusions.
I will use the harness, but I feel it's only the same "safety" as the Ruffwear harness.. and there are numerous harnesses out there that claim to be crash-tested but aren't... According to the Center for Pet Safety, only two harnesses have been certified as crash-tested: those made by Sleepypod. They are not designed for a person like me or a dog like Yenko, but I hope they make something for an active working dog soon.
Remember, your dog's safety should always be a top priority on every adventure you embark on together. Let's work together to promote transparency and strict safety regulations in the pet industry. By making wise choices and choosing trustworthy brands, we can guarantee that our beloved dogs are well cared for.