Saturday, June 14, 2014

Product Review: Kong Harness

The Kong Harness is a Roman-style harness with a nifty handle on the top for keeping a good grip on the dog. It features buckles on both sides of the chest strap so there is no need to lift the dog's feet through any part of the harness. The Kong harness is available in four colors and four sizes to fit dogs with chests 12-38" around.
Photo by Erin Koski

This is actually the harness that came with foster dog Uly, but it's quite nice so I thought I'd share. Many Roman harnesses only have clip on the chest strap, the harness is put on by dropping the neck strap around the dog's neck, lifting one front leg over the bottom center strap, and then buckling the chest strap.

Photo by Erin Koski
The Kong harness buckles on both sides of the chest strap, so putting it on means dropping the neck strap around Brisbane's neck, pulling the center strap between his front legs, and buckling each side of the chest strap. The design is similar to the Kurgo Go-Tech Adventure Harness.

The Kong harness is highly adjustable, everything but the back center strap can be adjusted to fit
the dog. The bottom center strap is not adjustable on many Roman harnesses, which can mean the difference between a good fit and an ok fit. Happily, this strap can be adjusted on the Kong harness, allowing it to fit stocky, wide, and narrow dogs. Both sides of the neck and chest straps can also be adjusted, making five different adjustment points.

These harness fit a pretty wide range of sizes as well. Brisbane is wearing a size Medium and the neck strap and chest strap are each adjusted to about 2/3 of their maximum length. The Extra Small harness has a chest strap with a range of 6", the Large has a range of 14". Brisbane would fit in both the Medium and Large harnesses, while Ru would fit in the Extra Small.

Pros: Highly adjustable to fit a wide range of body types from sighthounds to bulldogs. Handy handle on top for steering blind/geriatric dogs, or restraining dogs for flyball, lure coursing, or any other super-exciting dog sport. I imagine this would also be a good choice for a mobility-assistance dog.

Cons: The sizing sliders on this harness slip a little bit, so it loosens up over time. Not a big deal for the most part, but could be a potential issue for escape-artist dogs. High-profile handle could potentially get stuck on things during everyday wear, particularly while hiking.

Bottom Line: This is not a harness that I feel the need to own personally, however I see a lot of applications for a highly adjustable harness with a big 'ol handle on the back. If I could only have one harness for Brisbane, this would be a good choice.

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