Merry is an incredibly determined, headstrong and excited little pug who loves to be out in the fresh air, surrounded by the sounds and smells of living in the city, meeting and greeting her public who nearly always stop to pet her and say hello.
In other words, she's a tugger. The first year, she wore nothing but harnesses because otherwise the determined little bit would have strangled herself a hundred times over in her race to smell the latest smells, see the latest things, and visit with the latest people. Over time, through careful training, I've been able to get her in a collar, walking beside me. Mostly. Okay, sometimes. When she feels like it. :)
Therefore, I've always been skeptical about the viability of a soft dog harness or harness vest. While charming, these items usually fasten with velcro. And I was always convinced the headstrong little princess would pull her way right out of the thing, and go bounding down the street.
But we decided to give the soft harness vest from Bella Paris a try, anyway. Partially because it was so darned cute - pink polka dots are one of Merry's favorite things in life.
I have to admit, they're a nice alternative to a collar. Style and function in one little package - how many products can say that? The style of this harness was adorable, and I was impressed with the amount of room left in the arm area - Merry had free movement with evey step she took. In fact, the harness was far less constrictive than most sweaters and shirts.
I was reassured to see how deep and wide the velcro was at both the neck and belly fastenings. Lots and lots of room for contact here, ensuring a relatively safe walk. The D-ring was also securely sewn, putting me even more at ease.
But the real test was taking the princess out for a walk, so out we went.
It held. And it looked darned cute on her, too - we got many different comments from Merry's adoring fan base while we strolled around the area. (And yes, I was paranoid, and kept to less-populated streets.) But for all her tugging, the harness stayed together and kept her safely on the end of the leash.
If I had one thing to change about this product, it would be that a wider range of styles were available, perhaps some more fancy. While Merry's not the kind of pooch that looks great in frills, it would be nice to see some styles that have a little more to them. Different colors, special buttons or trims, something to bring the look and feel a little more upscale. [Ed. note - some new fancier styles have just launched for fall.]
Bella Paris harness vests are handmade in the USA and come in 5 different sizes. And they definitely put our mind at ease about the safety of harness vests. Great product, good execution, and a nice alternative to collars.
You can find out more about Bella Paris from their web site
at www.bellaparis.com. Tell them Merry sent you!