|Barked: Wed Apr 9, '14 11:57am PST |
|This is what is typically referred to as a step-in harness. Are you using something different? I have not used the Hurtta, but the Guard/Distance is different than a step-in harness.
A non-adjustable neck strap makes a huge difference, or so I've found. If you put pressure on an adjustable piece of nylon for hours, it loosens. Then the harness slips up too far and before long the dog is choking. On that note, proper fit is everything. A lot of mass produced harnesses (for Petco, etc) are made with too dramatic differences between sizes and so they only actually fit a small number of dogs. They also tend to be made for very tiny, or Lab-sized, overweight dogs.
A wide chest plate is not necessary for pulling. If anything, that's going to rub armpits and throw a dog's gait off. As long as the straps are thick, and placed to distribute weight, it shouldn't be an issue. The straps on the guard/distance are 1 1/8" nylon against padding that brings the neck to about 2", the chest and back to about 1 1/2". I don't have the harness with me right now, so I don't have exact measurements. The padding is firm enough to distribute weight, unlike many harnesses that use materials like fleece as padding - which does prevent the nylon from rubbing but serves little purpose otherwise. And it's held together with metal O rings, which allows it to move with your dog, rather than your dog moving around it.
I've been using it for several months now, and I haven't had any issues with choking, rubbing or impeded movement. Recently another member of our flyball team purchased one for her very intense, still-in-training dog, who has scarring from improperly treated kennel cough. He's only a few weeks in, but has been doing great with it so far.
You can add a belly strap to an x-back for escape artists, so that's not such an issue. It's more that the harness would need to be pulled on to really work correctly.
I have a Ruffwear Webmaster for both of my dogs. In my experience, about 50% of dogs hate wearing them. There's too much coverage over the back, and they just don't like moving under it. You can work with this hiking or something, but when you're doing flyball or agility where you're both under pressure and really need your dog to be as comfortable as possible to get the best performance, it just does not work.
The Webmaster is fully adjustable, but it does stay where adjusted to fairly well. They are the same basic set up in front as the guard/distance harness... It looks different, but it is hitting all the same points on the dog. It does not stay in place well when a dog pulls - the back tends to lift up off the dog and crease in the middle, unless you are using the nylon loop on the back for the leash, which I frankly am not comfortable with. It does not look sturdy enough for a puller, and a friend of mine did have that loop come unstitched on her dog's Webmaster (which Ruffwear was great about and immediately replaced under their warranty). Mostly I used them as mobility aids for old or injured dogs.
I have not used the linked to harness, but I am not a fan of that style harness. It seems to restrict forward motion in the front legs, and on that specific harness also firmly covers the shoulder blades. That particular one has more chest padding than I would like, too.
Yes, many people do stick to slip leads for agility. There's no problem doing so, as long as your dog isn't going to choke himself on the way up to the ring.
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