Do you struggle to find the right harness for your dog?
When you have a barrel-chested powerhouse such as a bulldog, then some restraints are about as much use as spider’s web!
The harness simply isn’t strong enough to do the job; they plum don’t fit, or else chafe and dig in.
If you go by the K9 harness reviews it seems this is the go-to product for you.
But can you believe the hype?
What is the truth about this product, why is it special, and what are the drawbacks?
Let’s take an in-depth look at what to expect and why the product may (or may not) be ideal for your best buddy.
Dog harnesses are nothing new.
There are plenty of them on the market.
The general idea is that the dog is restrained by straps around the chest, so that the dog’s throat and windpipe is not compressed should they pull.
Harnesses are generally considered essential for dogs with breathing difficulties (less pressure on the windpipe) such as the squish-faced breeds, those with weak windpipes, or dogs that lack a ‘neck’ such as the bull breeds.
But not all harnesses are created equal.
There are a multitude of designs from neoprim vests to diamante studded H-harnesses.
Indeed, there are no-pull harnesses, and harnesses that have more in common with battle armor than a dog restraint.
However, the K9 Harness does represent something unique in a crowded market.
It is a well-made, durable, easy to put on, and good looking - a harness that is designed to let working dogs do what working dogs need to do.
Then add in a few design features such as a range of colors and sizes, plus the ability to customize the side panels and the whole thing starts to look a pretty irresistible option for energetic dogs.
Principally, the K-9 harness is about dog comfort and owner control.
It was created by the Australian rescue services as a means of securing their working dogs whilst making sure they were comfortable and their movement not restricted in anyway.
Those dogs included police and fire-rescue dogs, along with earthquake-survivor locator dogs.
To meet their needs the harnesses were created with a number of factors in mind.
First came comfort.
It was essential the dogs were fully mobile and not impeded in anyway by their hardware.
So the design ensures a comfort fit that doesn’t chafe or dig in at all.
Next, comes durability.
It simply isn’t an option for the harness to fail while the dog is on active duty.
This means using top quality materials and ensuring they are impeccably stitched together.
Indeed, the materials are very special with an inner lining made from Okatex.
This is a breathable material made from 100% cotton, for comfort next to the dog’s skin.
The outer layer is made from tough polyester, which is scratch resistant and water-resistant.
This makes it a roughy-toughy product that will cope with a dog that loves to go cross country and is the canine equivalent of a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Then there are nice features such as the safety handle on the back of the harness.
This provides a sturdy handhold should you need to grab hold of the dog.
Originally this was for rescue situations where the dog might need to be bodily picked up.
But it also comes in handy for the dog that likes to jump up at people and you’d really rather they didn’t.
Fit wise it there are adjustable straps around the brisket and around the chest.
These make it infinitely adjustable and suitable for all but the quirkiest shaped dogs.
Then there are the clever touches such as fluorescent strips to increase visibility in the gloom on those late night winter walks.
Plus the message patches that you can Velcro onto the side of the harness with a handy message such as “Do not pet” or the dog’s name.
Now this is all well and good, but what about in real life for real pet parents and their dogs.
Are those brilliant K-9 harness reviews wide of the mark or do they reflect the experience of real life users?
Let’s take and look, and distinguish fact from fiction.
Let’s look at real life K9 harness reviews to see what the word is on the street.
The overwhelming feeling pet parents have for the K9 harness is one of love.
In fact, for many this goes beyond love to worship and adoration.
These are the pet parents with broad-chested dogs who in the past have struggled to fit a harness that matches their needs.
Judging by Julius K9 Harness reviews this product should be top of the shopping list for owners of bull breeds, in particular American and English bulldogs.
These dogs are notoriously for being powerhouses, with a great deal of pulling power and a low center of gravity.
This asks a lot from a harness which has to be both comfortable and strong.
All too often pet parents found products from other brands were either comfortable OR strong, unlike the Julius K9 which ticks both boxes.
The other thing you might notice about bull breeds is they are like the weight lifters of the canine world, and frequently lack a neck.
Again, this can make finding a product that fits a problem.
Again, the K9 harness gets lots of praise because it can be altered to fit a multitude of body shapes, and is especially suited to the barrel-like bulldog.
The harness itself comes in a wide range of sizes, from ‘baby’ up to Size 3, which caters for dogs weighing from 2.5 – 70kg.
Within each size the harness has two adjustment points, which are the strap across the brisket and the girth strap.
Each of these straps is infinitely adjustable.
What most pet parents do is set the size of the brisket strap, and then the harness is put on and taken off by releasing the buckle on the girth strap.
This is another feature that owners heartily approved of, as it makes it super easy to tack up even the wriggliest of dogs.
Simply slip the neck strap over the head and buckle the girth and you’re good to go.
One minor point of dissatisfaction for a small number of users is the brisket strap doesn’t always adjust to a small enough size, in comparison to the girth strap.
If you have a dog of ‘strange’ proportions (in the nicest possible way) then it can be tricky to get the harness to fit, without resorting to trimming down one or other of the straps.
The latter problem is a matter of the dog’s proportions, rather than the size of the harness, and buying a different size may not help at all.
The quality of the materials and construction of the K9 harness, meets with universal praise.
It is evidently made from high quality materials, and time and time again K9 explorer harness review cite how well stitched and made the harness is.
This is no less than a piece of equipment created for use with service dogs, but it’s also nice to know that quality hasn’t been lost as a compromise to price when it comes to manufacturing it on a larger scale.
A good indication of how well the harness fit even the beefiest of dogs is that it doesn’t rub or chafe the dog.
One pet parent in particular had got into the habit of alternating which harness from other brands that he put on his dog.
This was because each harness rubbed bald patches on his dog – but in different places.
However, switching to the K9 Julius did away with this problem.
He was delighted to find a robust piece of equipment that was also kind to his dog’s fur …despite being a strong puller.
And there’s a further great feature which K9 dog harness reviews tell us makes it a great choice for boisterous dogs.
This is the handle on the back of the harness.
In the original design for working dogs, the idea was to have a sturdy handle by which to hoist the dog out of a dangerous situation.
For our pets this handle is extra handy for grabbing hold of a boisterous dog before he jumps up or even for holding him back.
Like everything else about this harness it is well-made and the user has full confidence it will stand up to the strain placed upon it.
The manufacturer advises that the handle is pushed to the down position, when the dog is free-running.
This minimizes the risk of the dog getting hooked up on a low branch or other obstruction in their path.
And last, but certainly not least in our consideration of all things good about the K9 harness, is that it comes in a choice of colors.
You can choose from vibrant fluorescent right through to traditional black – you name it – they design it.
Oh, and did we mention the option to Velcro labels to the side of the harness.
Velcro labels to the side of the harness.
You might decide to put the dog’s name or a short message such as “Kisses given” or “Do not pet.”
So is everything about this harness wonderful or does it have flaws?
Well, it doesn’t have flaws as much as design features that don’t suit absolutely all dogs.
For example the high grade polyester outer shell does enclose the dog, and in hot weather some may find it makes their dog too hot.
Of course the harness is lined with cotton, but the enclosed nature of the harness means there’s less of the body exposed from which to radiate heat.
Therein is another potential problem for some.
This is a sturdy harness, which for some means heavy, bulky, or stiff, and they feel it weighs their dog down.
Also, the origins of this harness means that it was built for the business.
It very much has the appearance of a piece of service dog’s equipment, which means that some dogs may be mistaken for working dogs.
This isn’t a bad thing, except some dogs enjoy pats and fuss from passers-by, and because people think they are working they walk on by.
And last but not least, there’s a design feature which is deliberate but could potentially be worrying for some.
Think of the working dog that gets hooked on something in a dangerous situation.
What the handler needs is a quick way of releasing the dog.
With this in mind the harness is designed so that the dog can back out of it when they move in a certain way.
For some owners, their dog works this trick out, which results in a loose dog.
Other dogs don’t work out this wheeze and are perfectly fine.
Indeed, K9 make a special strap which you can purchase and clip onto the harness which makes this back-out-escape impossible.
In short, you know your dog.
If they’re all about moving forward then you’ll have no problem!
The wriggly dog who backs away from you…maybe this could become a security issue for this harness.
In short, the K9 dog harness certainly lives up to the hype.
The drawbacks are mostly ones that are deliberate and a result of the job it was originally designed to do.
If you have a strong, barrel chested dog then be aware of the limitations (being able to back out) but also known that this might well be the best option for your dog for so many reasons.
Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.