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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all! I have a 4 year old pit and she is 80 pounds and extremely strong. We cannot find a harness to hold her. If you name it, she has broken out of it.. Well a few months ago we got her a harness online, not sure where, that is solid leather and steel. A few weeks ago she broke the leather and we drilled a new hole in it. Today she busted the actual steel..

What can I do without putting her in a collar or a choker?? What would you recommend for an extremely strong dog??

Thanks!
 

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Why and how is she breaking harnesses? What are you using the harness for? If she is a leash puller, then you need to address that issue.
 

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The issue, as was pointed out, is more the pulling itself than the harnesses. I can't imagine how much pulling it would take to break so many harnesses.

Here's a great video on how to teach loose leash walking. It takes time and practice, but you'll be able to keep your dog safer if she know how to walk on leash.

Loose Leash Walking:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFgtqgiAKoQ

As far as safe harnesses go, I've been using the Balance Harness for over a year on my three and they look brand new.

Harness:
Dog Harnesses, Halters And Leashes | BalanceHarness
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When she is on the harness while we are around, she is fine and doesn't usually pull. However, we do not have a fenced in area and when we let her out she has a tie out. We never leave her alone for more than a few minutes at a time if we need to, but if she sees a cat or something she just starts running towards it like her leash/harness isn't even there. She is super friendly and I just don't think she realizes just how strong she really is.
 

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I think the problem is your dog is very aware of how strong she is. It's not like she pulls on the leash or tie out because she wants to hit the end of it. She pulls on the leash and harness because she wants to get over to what she wants--like a cat or something else fun. I really do think you should (like someone else said) investigate in loose leash training, as well as try something like a gentle leader. Pit Bulls are incredibly strong and harnesses are usually a poor choice for walking them unless they're well trained. I'm really not a big fan of tie outs, and it sounds like it's causing a lot of frustration and danger of your dog running away, so I don't think you should use it now. Right now work on training and even consult with a trainer on what might work best with your dog.
 
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My daughter uses a Balance Harness on her pitty, and loves it. But it is not used to secure a tie out.

OP, I am not sure which harness would be strong enough for a tie out.
Yeah, I wouldn't use it for a tie out either. Hmm, no idea what harness would be safe for that situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We can try that i guess. She's got a long tie out around a tree, and we have a very big yard. She's never gone missing and usually we only know she's gotten off because she's wandering around the yard or actually sitting at the door. The thought of her actually getting into the road is what's scary to me.

Like I said, if you're standing there she is good. My boyfriend will let her out at night just free into the yard and she does her business and comes right back inside. But man, once you take your eyes off of her.. She's smart.

I'll try all of your suggestions. My dog is just super sassy and strong...
 

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Harnesses shouldn't be used on a tieout/chain(and I believe on most harness labels they say it's not safe for tie outs). It would be best to use a thicker collar. Most people I know use and recommend the stillwater kennel supply collars.
http://www.stillwaterkennelsupply.com/dogcollars.htm

Anywho harness wise my girl(also a "pit bull") has tons of harnesses(might have a minor harness obsession) and we've never had an issue. She's strong as an ox and still working on leash skills(whoops), but so far haven't had any issues with our current harnesses. She has a julius k9 IDC harness, ruff wear front range, freedom no pull harness plus some others...
 

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Harness Wise I suggest this one: DT Cobra Harness - No Pull Plus
It provides:
Cobra Buckle tested to hold up to 2000 pounds and straps, 5 Stainless Steel D-rings: 1 on chest strap, 1 on handle, 1 in the back, and two on backs straps
 

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Harnesses shouldn't be used on a tieout/chain(and I believe on most harness labels they say it's not safe for tie outs). It would be best to use a thicker collar.
hope you don't mind my jumping in, but why are they not safe? I would have thought a dog lunging & hitting the end of his collar would be more likely to injure itself.
Asking because when I go camping, I use tie outs at the campsite (with me there) for sitting around time. I always use a harness for this, and on rough trails if the dog needs help up a rock (then I use it to "hoist" the dog, give them a boost).
I would like to know the mechanics of the safety concerns to see if it applies to my uses.
Thanks.
 

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I agree with the above said. Harnesses should not be used to be tie out your dog, nor should collars be. I would recommend a higher quality, maybe even a little pricier harness. We use Julius K9 and it is great for us, however I don't know how well it would work for you. If anything this harness would help to not choke your dog when pulling because it lays lower on the chest.
 

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It's likely that the failure is due more to wear/fatigue and shock loading via dog hitting the end of the non-elastic cable or chain rather than sheer strength of the dog. I don't know of any company which makes a harness recommended for tie out, thus they really aren't made to deal with the type of shock load elicited from any 80 lb dog hitting the end of a line at 20-30 MPH. Couple that with the sort of wear/abrasion the equipment will receive being used as a tie out, and you have a recipe for failure. There are collars which are made for tie out use which are made to higher strength specifications, and you may look into one of them if you need to tie her out under distraction. Nylon webbing is more consistently strong than leather, and on average has roughly 1000 lbs of strength (working load) per inch of width. The tie out collars have greater strength due to greater width and/or multiple layers which would be difficult to incorporate into a harness, plus harnesses often have more hardware and stitching, which can be a weak point.

It's really not a good idea to leave her on a tie out unattended, for several reasons. A dog on a tie out has no protection from people/other animals coming into their space. Additionally, you know she can currently get loose, and that she will chase prey animals. You don't want her to get into trouble or lost. I would only let her out on the tie out when you are with her, or perhaps if you are inside but have a direct line of sight to know what she's up to- once you resolve the issue of her breaking free. I also wouldn't let her out without a leash, again because of the risks associated with free roaming dogs and other animals. A leash is your friend in most places, if your dog gets in a tussle (whether or not she started it) with a stray dog and is on a leash, it is a world apart from the scenario of your loose dog getting into a fight with another loose dog or (worst case scenario legally) leashed dog.

I think harnesses generally aren't recommended for tie out because of their lower strength compared to collars made for the purpose, as well as a greater risk of tangling with a tie out that drags on the ground. A collar will rotate around on the dog's neck, whereas a harness can't spin if the dog gets the line under their leg or around their chest. Probably less of a risk with the "high line" type tie outs, but still a possibility if the dog can get a leg over it. I would be ok with using one for a short term, supervised tie out, but never as a primary means of confining the dog.
 

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@Artdog if you're going to be out there supervising her than a harness probably wouldn't be an issue. But if it's going to be used as a containment method or the dog is going to be on it for any length of time unsupervised then I would advise against a harness.

1. They are easy to chew off
2. They do not rotate on the dog so the dog gets the cable/chain wrapped around their torso and they get easily tangled
3. Most dogs can back out of a harness
@busannie explained everything pretty well
 

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@Artdog if you're going to be out there supervising her than a harness probably wouldn't be an issue. But if it's going to be used as a containment method or the dog is going to be on it for any length of time unsupervised then I would advise against a harness.

1. They are easy to chew off
2. They do not rotate on the dog so the dog gets the cable/chain wrapped around their torso and they get easily tangled
3. Most dogs can back out of a harness
@busannie explained everything pretty well
Thanks so Boxerluv & @busannie, question answered. I'll keep an eye out for the tangle issue next time I camp. I have to admit I'm pretty creeped out about unsupervised tie-outs in general. Sounds like an awful lot can happen.
I definitely don't think a dog that fights a tie-out so much it needs a special re-inforced collar should be tie-out at all. But thanks so much for satisfying my curiousity, and giving me something to watch for and re-consider.
 
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It doesn't sound so much like the dog is "fighting" the tie out (I picture that as similar to the behavior of a dog which isn't leashed trained and has just had a leash put on to walk with someone), as that they have fairly high prey drive and have learned that the tie out line is inconsequential- ie: "if I take off, this will give way". I have used tie outs with my dogs (only supervised as I don't have a fence), and they learn that the line has a limit (like a dog on a long line with a human attached), but they may bump the end of it a few times before figuring that out- I don't ever let them continually "test" the boundary. The problem here is that this dog has learned that there is no "end", so long as she has momentum on her side, and you're right that that could be dangerous if she ran full tilt into the end of a long enough line and it didn't give. Particularly with a pit bull though (where their every action is subject to intense scrutiny), I think the potential consequences of getting off the tie out when chasing something are more serious than those of not having the collar break if she does hit the end of the average store bought tie out (probably 20' or less) even at a decent speed on a 2" wide collar.

Ideally, she should be supervised so she can be redirected when getting too prey oriented (before she chases), and it would be a good idea to shorten up the line so she can't really gain too much speed if she does take off.

The collars I'm picturing for tie out aren't "reinforced", just 2 or 3 ply nylon, and ideally something wider than 1" in width for greater strength/durability as well as to help distribute any impact to the collar across a greater surface area of her neck. Most "big dog" collars and leashes you buy in the pet store are 2 ply nylon, and some also sell wider collars for bigger dogs or because they've become more fashionable as well within the last decade or so. I'm sure that there are people/places that sell reinforced collars, but isn't really necessary, as long as you watch for wear and tear, and replace items as necessary. You will probably get a cheaper and better (quality materials) product buying from a company who makes collars (Stillwater has a good reputation) over getting one from a big box store, just as a byproduct of it being a smaller business, and building sturdy, comfortable collars being their only focus.
 

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I think the simplest solution would be to supervise your dog when she is on a tie out. That's what your supposed to do.
I have a Ruffwear Front Wear harness for my 60 pound Belgian Malinois, works great, although she doesn't pull on it.
My smaller 30 pound corgi mix has a Julius K-9 which works fine although I prefer the Ruffwear because of the padding.

I agree with the above poster. You need to work on recall and attention so you can redirect your dog before it lunges.
 
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