Making a Quality Dog Harness
16th Aug 2022
Dog harnesses have been a topic of conversation at Belted Cow over the years. Customers often ask when we would offer harnesses designed to match the stylish collars and leads we sell. The question inside our facility was, could we build a harness that was better than what was already on the market? We knew we could piece together a very stylish harness with our popular ribbons but a Belted Cow Dog Harness needed to encompass our company's passion for quality materials, construction and innovation. In short we needed to build a better harness.
Fast forward to the summer of 2021. Fresh off an investment in new tooling and staff, we tasked our inhouse design team to do just that, build a better harness. The Belted Cow harness needed to be comfortable, secure and easy to put on your dog. We also wanted to add features / functionality not readily available in the market. Early this year Belted Cow finally rolled out a harness we are very proud of and we’d like to take you inside what separates it from the herd.
Quality starts with material choices. Everything from the ribbon, webbing and fasteners that make up the fit and finish were considered and tested before the first prototypes made it to production.
The Belted Cow Dog Harness is constructed around our 1” ribbon width as it provides the most flexibility in sizing and will comfortably and securely accommodate the smallest to the largest dogs. The ribbon is hand stitched to high tensile nylon webbing, a material we chose for its durability / strength and the material’s ability to hold adjustment over time in the Tensionlock buckles.
Solid brass rings were chosen for the connection points within the harness. Being from Maine we understand how salt water and harsh winters can corrode metal fixtures and have found that brass is the perfect choice for our pet line.
We have tested many clips and closure mechanisms and found that some would disengage under pressure. The Weinerlock Clips are made in the USA by Duraflex and are by far the strongest on the market. We also use their Tensionlock adjustment buckles to round out our harness.
Dog Harness Fit
Materials aside, fit and function were the areas where our harness needed to stand out. From the outset we knew our harness had to fit a large variety of dogs securely and comfortably. Our designers spent days, weeks and months researching, prototyping and testing harnesses on our model dogs. We found that a 4-point adjustable harness let us achieve the perfect fit in our prototypes time and time again.
The two main adjustment points, one on either side on the front of the harness, comfortably hold the dog's upper chest / shoulders and center the harness on your dog. The third adjustment point can be found on the right side of the harness trailing to the back portion of the dog's front legs. With the centering done via the front adjustments, this point is designed to cradle the dogs underside just behind their front legs. The final adjustment should be made with the lower adjustment point controlling the overall length of the harness fit. Rest assured, with the addition of our stable Tensionlock buckles the fit you achieve will hold over time.
Paying attention to the details is important and adding small touches like a curved Weinerlock Clips clip and the careful placement of the Tensionlock adjustment buckles will keep your dog comfortable even under pressure.
Functional Dog Harness
It’s a harness, how can we add function to a fairly simple item. The first item we made sure to address was creating a design that was easy to put on your dog. We have seen friends struggle to get their dogs into a harness and we sure didn’t want this to be an issue for ours. The Belted Cow Harness features an easy step in design. Simply lay the harness out on the ground, position your dog's front paws in the harness and pull it up and close the top closure clip.
Second was adding functionality that other harnesses generally do not offer. During our research we found that harnesses were either front action or rear action. The traditional rear action harness features a leash attachment in the center of the dog's back, between shoulder blades. While a front action harness has a clip for the leash to attach on the dog's chest. This type of harness is considered better for directional walking control and encourages your dog to stay beside you, keeping their attention on you during your walk.
The Belted Cow Harness features both front and rear attachment points allowing you to choose how you would like to secure your dog. It’s a simple difference between our harness and the competition but it adds a lot in the way of functionality. Whether you choose to use the front or rear clip to secure your lead is purely personal preference. However we have found the front attachment point is perfect for securing a doggie seat belt tether as well as a light for night time walking. Or we have customers that simply clip their keys to the spare attachment point, the options are endless.
Made in USA (Maine) Dog Harness
While we often focus on and promote the fun designs and our harness and other pet products are built around, quality is a critical element of the Belted Cow DNA. This level of quality extends to our in-house craftspeople who personally build / stitch each harness by hand in our Cumberland Maine facility. These are the same people who poured their time and passion into designing our harness and they are extremely proud of every one that goes out the door.