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Discussion Starter #1
Cobber is very strong and occasionally leash reactive. As a result he's broken what I thought was a pretty darn tough Petco harness. The part that broke wasn't the slide-together clip/buckle, it was a thick piece of plastic that connects everthing across the back (see photo below). Once that piece broke, the whole harness fell apart and off he went.

I've gone onto etsy looking for harnesses made of basically nothing but leather and metal, figuring they might last a little longer, but they all seem to be for bigger dogs. Cobber's a 27-lb Aussie Terrier with a 12" neck. A lot of the cute little harnesses for dogs his size (like a doxie or a bichon) won't hold him.

It's not a matter of him slipping out, it's brute strength when he lunges (yes, we train, and it's much better, but a squirrel trumps all and there goes my arm yanked right out of its socket).

Here's the Petco harness that failed. The thick piece of plastic that runs between the 2 yellow dots and under the main ring is what split clean apart.



Anyway, if anyone could suggest a harness that comes in Medium and that is basically indestructable, I'd be thrilled :)
 

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Manna hates pine martins with a passion. I love the ruffwear harnesses.
140 pounds lunging against the harness. Nuff said lol
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Dawnben -- very cool, thank you!!! For all the research I've done, I've never come across this harness and lead before. And the price isn't off the charts either. Excellent!!!
 

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I also really like the Ruffwear Webmaster :) Very well made. They also have a front clip harness (Ruffwear FrontRange).
 
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Have you tried the Comfortflex? I think it comes in his size and it's definitely an amazing harness and VERY well priced. The fact that its reflective and mud proof are awesome, but I've had Koda lunge in it without any sign that it might have a hard time handling her, and she's 50 lbs of husky might.

We also use a freedom harness for no-pull stuff, so I highly recommend that as well for a front clip. It can shift a bit if only clipped to the front, but the martingale loop at the back is also enough of a deterrent/reminder for some dogs to correct themselves (I mean, we practice LLWing a ton but Koda reminding herself to not pull is nice) without using the front clip. It's also VERY adjustable and strong-again I have a Koda lunging in these and they don't look worn in the slightest.
 

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I second ruffwear!

Whether you get the webmaster or the front ranger, their products are VERY good. Very well made and sturdy.

Hurtta is another good one. They also produce very high quality products. I can't personally vouch for the harness, but I would trust it on any of my dogs. I wouldn't trust a petco or petsmart harness.
 

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@Dawnben -- very cool, thank you!!! For all the research I've done, I've never come across this harness and lead before. And the price isn't off the charts either. Excellent!!!
My hound follows his nose so sometimes still pulls. Using it hooked at both points does help with the pulling. You pull towards the front and it turns them so they can't pull. As I said I have used it for over a year and there is no sign of wear. It is very well made. I put in the washer once a month and it washes well.
 

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I agree with the Ruffwear suggestion, though I can't comment specifically on holding up to pulling as my dog is just over 20 lbs. However, it seems very well made and works fantastically for the biking we've been doing.

I'd recommend using something like this in case something like this happens again. You hook the leash to the harness and the attachment which hooks on to the collar. This way if the harness fails then he'll still be connected to you through the collar:
Ella's Lead - Oscar's Attachment
 

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we had that same petco harness for blanka...until he broke it. now we're using the ezydog chest plate harness, which is super strong and comfortable (the chest plate is made out of some sort of foam that molds to his chest...it's great if you have a bully breed or a dog with a broad chest) and very affordable: Dog Control Harness | EzyDog Chest Plate Harness

for reference, blanka is a 27lb french bulldog with a 20-inch chest, and when he pulls he has the strength of a thousand pit bulls.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'd recommend using something like this in case something like this happens again. You hook the leash to the harness and the attachment which hooks on to the collar. This way if the harness fails then he'll still be connected to you through the collar:
Ella's Lead - Oscar's Attachment
Actually, that's pretty much what I ended up doing! I got a split-lead attachment off amazon that's supposed to be used to allow 2 small dogs to be walked side-by-side on the same leash, so it has a ring and from the ring are 2 4" leads with clips on the end. I have one clip on Cobber's harness and one clip on his collar, and the leash clips to the ring in the middle (I also clip the leash to the harness ring just for even more security). Anyway, if the harness fails, there's still the connection from the leash to the collar.

Thank you for all the replies. I will also check out all the ruffwear suggestions. I've looked at their harnesses before, but then get bogged down trying to figure out which one and what size.
 

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If you are ever looking... I really suggest any step-in harness with this sort of design:

Guardian Gear Nylon 2 Step DOG Harness With Nickel Plated Swivel Clip | eBay

You can see that the lead snaps onto where the harness fastens making it pretty much impossible for the dog to pull out of. Basically, unless the bull clip on your lead breaks, the dog is not lunging anywhere.

They are also really adjustable, I just keep a large size for dog walking and can use it on a number of dogs. This is what I use on large dogs, some of which pull hard enough to warp the carabiner clips I use to tie them up with.
 

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If you are ever looking... I really suggest any step-in harness with this sort of design:

Guardian Gear Nylon 2 Step DOG Harness With Nickel Plated Swivel Clip | eBay

You can see that the lead snaps onto where the harness fastens making it pretty much impossible for the dog to pull out of. Basically, unless the bull clip on your lead breaks, the dog is not lunging anywhere.

They are also really adjustable, I just keep a large size for dog walking and can use it on a number of dogs. This is what I use on large dogs, some of which pull hard enough to warp the carabiner clips I use to tie them up with.
Couldn't the plastic snap beneath the two clips where the leash goes break and allow enough room for the dog to jump out while lunging? There's probably not enough stress put on that area for it to actually happen, but it seems like a possibility.

Now that I read your initial post again I realize that your dog isn't much bigger than mine. I don't really see any way that mine would break the web master harness that I have for him, and I doubt yours would be able to either. There isn't a single point to break along the back and have the harness fail like on the picture you posted, so I doubt you'd have a problem. I like the webmaster because of the strap that goes around the dog's tuck up that makes it almost impossible for the dog to wiggle out of, but since yours isn't slipping out of the harness that probably isn't so necessary for him. Ruffwear's front range harness has a fairly similar design without that back part, and its somewhat cheaper. Ruffwear Front Range Harness

My dog was just about in between sizes (just under 22" chest) and I chose the smaller size. It fits perfectly with a little bit of adjustment room.
 

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Couldn't the plastic snap beneath the two clips where the leash goes break and allow enough room for the dog to jump out while lunging? There's probably not enough stress put on that area for it to actually happen, but it seems like a possibility.

Now that I read your initial post again I realize that your dog isn't much bigger than mine. I don't really see any way that mine would break the web master harness that I have for him, and I doubt yours would be able to either. There isn't a single point to break along the back and have the harness fail like on the picture you posted, so I doubt you'd have a problem. I like the webmaster because of the strap that goes around the dog's tuck up that makes it almost impossible for the dog to wiggle out of, but since yours isn't slipping out of the harness that probably isn't so necessary for him. Ruffwear's front range harness has a fairly similar design without that back part, and its somewhat cheaper. Ruffwear Front Range Harness

My dog was just about in between sizes (just under 22" chest) and I chose the smaller size. It fits perfectly with a little bit of adjustment room.
The dog that I used the harness on is about 70 lbs (labrador). I now have a Kong Comfort Harness on her which probably has similar mechanisms to the webmaster. When I used the Guardian Gear harness, there wasn't any stress put on the clip so there's no way its unsnapping unless you only have the lead clipped onto one ring.

The one drawback to the back clip step-in design of the guardian gear harness is that it is all too easy to back out of. If the dog can get the single strap that runs across the back over their head, then can get the harness off. But for some dogs, going in any direction other than full-steam ahead is unheard of, and the only thing they know how to do is break out of the harness.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update: So first we tried the freedom no-pull harness, and while I LOVE (and am keeping) the 10-point double-lead leash that was part of the whole package, the harness itself didn't fit. I tried and tried, but no matter how I tweaked the straps, everything would just end up pulled over to Cobber's side when he started pulling towards a squirrel. I didn't feel "safe" with that (as in, sure that he wouldn't get out of it somehow).

Next up, we got the EZDog chest-plate harness, and I love that! I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I actually had difficulty at first figuring out how it goes on, and the YouTube videos I found had dogs already in the harness, so they didn't help. But in the end, there are only so many ways to deal with 2 straps ;) And it works wonderfully! Here's a pic of him in it:

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Further update: definitely like the ezdog harness with chest plate. It seems extremely durable even when Cobber turns into a charging bull after seeing a squirrel. The only downside would be where the straps hit right behind his front legs, sort of in his arm pits. It doesn't bother him too much but I would like to see the straps have cushioning at those spots. Maybe I can sew some little fleece tubes to slide over the straps or something,

But the harness gives me a great feeling of security walking Cobber and that's what I was looking for :)
 

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@CobbersMom i see them in animates the chest plate harnesses but how on earth do they go on? they look so complicated i dont even go near them!
 
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