Dog Harness Review - A Merryvaluation by Angie McKaig
When the princess was a puppy, she lived in harnesses for the first full year. She just tugged too much to be allowed to wear only a collar. It wasn't a case of training - we did plenty of that - but just one of energy level. Even several hours of walking a day wouldn't exhaust the pug sufficiently to keep her from running rampant on the leash. Now that she's a more elegant lady in the prime of her middle age, she can hang out in practically anything we put her in. Harnesses are a fashion statement, not a requirement.
Buddy Belts, made by Class Art Productions here in Toronto, are a lifesaver for pups who still need the trachea-saving properties of a walking dog harness. That's because these little harnesses are made of leather (tough enough to stand up to most tuggers) and are cleverly designed to sit very low on your pet's chest, ensuring a safe trachea and neck.
These aren't a new design, though it's the first time we've reviewed them. Buddy Belts are all over! They're very popular in Canada, the US, and worldwide. A friend of Pampered Puppy who has three pugs has literally dozens of these belts in every color imaginable - they work that well. :)
The design is deceptively simple. Two ovals surround your dog's legs, meeting in the chest. A single strap crosses their shoulders with several holes and a real stainless steel buckle. But once you have the harness on them and see how it moves with them, you realize that you're looking at a design that must have taken ages to develop properly. This style works with nearly every body type - it was originally designed for a Dachshund, but works well for barrel chests (like Merry) or slender builds as well. They come in a huge range of sizes and can fit dogs from 2 pounds to 85 pounds.
As with any design, the angel or devil is in the details, and we're looking at something decidedly angelic. Every element of the design is aimed at ensuring your dog's comfort. The inside of the belt is lined with buttery soft suede. All metal findings are smooth-edged and every bolt that holds the belt together sits absolutely flush with the leather, making sure that nothing will rub against your pet as they walk. Even the strap across the shoulders has an additional suede liner to make sure the d-ring doesn't rub against your pet's back. You can also purchase additional super-soft leather "underarm covers" if your pup is particularly sensitive to leather rubbing on their underarms (seen in the first two photos). These attach with velcro.
The Buddy Belt dog harness is also designed with stability and longevity in mind. The all-leather harness (and matching leash) are double stitched and very well fastened. The stainless findings will hold up for years with proper care. Only quality leathers are used; while this leather is a little stiff on the first few wearings, it softens nicely with just a bit of wear.
The matching leashes are available in every color to match the belt - in this case (signature color, folks) pink. They're finished on both sides but not too thick or heavy, and they feature a nice suede inset at the top of the handle to ease owners' hands when taking Little Mr. Tugsalot for a walk.
We loved the fit, the design, and the fact that there are always new colors available in their Fancy line of Buddy Belts, for fashionistas who want to show off their hip harness style.
If your pup needs a harness, then Buddy Belts may be a harness style well worth considering. These harnesses are designed well, built to last, and are incredibly clever. They may just be the smartest harness you'll ever buy.
You can find out more about Class Art and Buddy Belts from their web site at www.buddy-belts.com. Tell them Merry sent you!