Ruffwear Front Range Harness
You may be thinking, what are the benefits of using a harness instead of a collar while partaking in outdoor activities? Well, I have a few really good answers to that question. Earlier this year, we had been taking Aspen to a veterinary chiropractor for various therapies. The veterinarian said that if a dog happens to pull while a leash is attached to a collar, that can lead to acute & chronic neck pain/injuries, to both the soft & hard tissues. Secondly, if a dog pulls hard enough, it can cause a lot of damage to the trachea & larynx, which can then lead to other problems down the road.
The third reason why we use a harness instead of a collar is because a harness allows us to have full-body control. This is extremely important when we are trekking along steep mountainsides or rough terrain. If she were to slip, we could have some lifting capability of her body with the harness instead of strangling her by the collar. Too many times, I have sees people literally pick their dogs up (little dogs) by their collars, & their poor bodies are dangling on the leash. Or, I see people snap the leashes so hard that it’s a sheer miracle that poor dog’s necks don’t snap. For everyday wear & bathroom breaks, Aspen wears the KeepSafe Breakaway Collar.
With all of these things considered, we wanted a harness that would be lightweight, yet provide padded chest coverage for snowshoeing, hiking & everyday walking. The padded chest piece is very important because harnesses made with a thin strap that runs down the center of the chest can lead to problems. The thin strap usually doesn’t stay entirely centered in the middle of the chest, as it tends to slide to the side under the armpits. That can lead to skin chaffing, & more importantly, can cause the shoulder to pull out of socket when/if the dog pulls. It does happen, which is why people should NOT loop the leash underneath a dog’s armpit to “control them.” One bad pull & the dog’s shoulder would be severely injured.
For going on rides, Aspen has a thicker, full-bodied harness that buckles into a seatbelt device on the second-row seat of the Tahoe. Even though Aspen’s car harness possesses a very wide, padded chest, I felt that it would be too warm for hiking her in the summer months (plus that harness is solid black). Fortunately, I stumbled across the Ruffwear Front Range Harness early last year, & it fit the bill perfectly.
Aspen has worm her Ruffwear Front Range Harness swimming, hiking, snowshoeing & walking for close to two years now. The material is extremely durable & hardly shows any signs of wear from use. Plus, is super easy to put on – just place it over the head & buckle the straps around the torso. The padded chest piece extends under the stomach & then wraps up along each side of the torso, thus preventing armpit chaffing. For leash attachment, there are two options: a loop on the front of the chest piece & loop along the back (we use the back one). The harness is available in six bright colors, & has reflective trim all around the edges of the harness.
This year, we are looking to purchase a winter coat for Aspen. Initially, I had been searching for coat that had a build-in leash attachment (d-ring) but I have been unable to find any coats in her size. So now, I am considering a coat by Ruffwear where I would put the coat over the top of her Ruffwear harness. All of Ruffwear’s coats have a built-in “leash portal” so that the leash can be attached to the metal ring of the harness from underneath the coat. Check back in a few months to find out what I end up buying!
Overall: Great Purchase
Price paid: $39.95
Place purchased: Amazon
Link to Ruffwear website: Ruffwear
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