Rating Guide

X No paws: Not Recommended or product has serious flaws

One paw: Not recommended for most pet owners

Two Paws: Ok product, some reservations

Three Paws: Very good product

Four Paws: Love it, great product

VestHarness Review

Rating: 3 paws

The VestHarness is a sort of cross between a dog harness and a padded vest or chest protector. I bought the Vest Harness (made by Canine Friendly Products) mainly to use as a "seatbelt" for my dog. I have previously used other car harnesses and regular harnesses as seatbelts, but the main problem I had is they were uncomfortable for her to wear, and most were not padded. The Vest Harness design doesn't put the pressure a regular harness does on the dog's neck or chest in case of an accident or sudden stop, which I liked. Most of the harness is padded, so it's comfortable for the dog to wear. One thing which can be a problem: There is a space for you to thread a car seatbelt through the harness to use it as a car harness. This works fine if the dog sits still in the car, but if she tries to turn around, she will get twisted in the harness. What I did to prevent this is I bought a very short lead with a swivel hook, attached it to the harness, and threaded the car's seatbelt through that. Unfortunately even with this, my dog was getting tangled. I then tried a BatziBelt, which is a leash strap made for use in cars. This worked pretty well, but the dog still managed to get tangled fairly often, so I finally stopped using this seatbelt altogether and switched to the CARE Champion System (see review.) Please note also that the VestHarness is not an accident tested dog seatbelt, which I would recommend using for car travel.

The only problem I had with the VestHarness was fit. My Golden has a large chest and small neck, making it difficult for her to fit many products that have to go around the neck and chest. Due to this problem I was not sure which size to buy. The size I ordered turned out not to fit my dog, and when I exchanged it for the next size down that did not fit either. I ended up contacting the customer service of the company that makes the VestHarness, Canine Friendly Products. They were very helpful and they actually modified a large size harness to fit my dog.

I have used the VestHarness when bike riding with my dog. It works VERY well for this, and, unlike a normal harness, doesn't dig into her skin if I stop the bike suddenly. It would also work well in other situations where you want a dog to be comfortable while pulling, but it is not an actual "pulling harness" for weight pull or similar sports.

You can purchase the VestHarness at the manufactrurer's website www.caninefriendly.com

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About the Critique

Chicago Canine Critique is a product review site which is part of The Chicago Canine, a website for dog owners with news, reviews, guides to taking your dog places, feature articles, Chicago dog-friendly event and business listings, and more.
If you have a product you would like us to review, please email chicagocanine@aol.com

Meet the Reviewers

Below you can see photos and stats on some of the canines who have tested the products reviewed at the Canine Critique.

Breed: German Shepherd
Size: "Large" 26" tall and 70 lbs.
Occupation: Pack Dog
Birthdate: 4/14/04

Breed: Labrador Retriever
Size: "Large" 100+ lbs.
Occupation: Family Dog

Breed: Golden Retriever
Size: "Medium" 24" tall and 65 lbs.
Occupation: Therapy Dog
Birthdate: 1/9/96

Breed: Rat Terrier mix
Size: "Small" 14" tall and 25 lbs.
Occupation: Trick Dog
Birthdate: 8/8/94

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