Friday, June 20, 2014

Product Review: Sporn Simple Control Harness

The Sporn Simple Control Harness is a back-clip no-pull harness designed to discourage pulling without choking or causing pain. It comes in two colors and four sizes to fit dogs with chests 11-42" around.
Photo by Erin Koski
This is a very easy to use harness that discourages pulling without being horribly aversive. It does not tighten around the dog's neck whatsoever, and the only part of the harness that does tighten is the strap that goes around the chest behind the front legs. The neoprene sleeves help distribute force over a wide area while protecting coats and delicate skin. The buckle on this harness is place up high, right beside the leash ring, where it is least likely to chafe or rub.

This is a very simple design, it's basically a Norway harness that tightens around the middle. I'm not a huge fan of the way this harness tightens. This one is a size small, and the mechanism probably works better on a larger scale. Basically, there is a short length of strap that is pulled through a ring to tighten the strap when the dog pulls. On the small harness, there is perhaps an inch of single-thickness strap, and half an inch or so on either side that is doubled over and sewn to attach it to the rest of the chest strap. This means the strap does not slide smoothly or evenly through the ring, and it often gets stuck when four layers of nylon are jammed in there. The harness does not tighten without a good tug, you can see in the picture that it is lifting away from Ru's back with leash tension.

Pros: This harness is easy to put on, and definitely won't tighten around sensitive necks and collapsed tracheae.

Cons: The harness does not tighten easily or smoothly, and does not loosen immediately either. This may work better on the medium and large sizes, but since the harness is not that aversive I wouldn't rely on it to control a really zealous puller or a pony-sized dog.

Bottom Line: This would be an easy solution for a mild or moderate puller, but I am not impressed with the no-pull feature. That said, it would still be my choice for an easy everyday harness if avoiding neck pressure was paramount.

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