Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Product Review: Yuppie Puppy Simple Harness

The Yuppie Puppy Simple Control Harness is a no-pull harness where the leash attaches in the back. It uses a martingale-style loop that tightens both sections of the harness when the dog pulls. The Simple Control Harness comes in two colors and four sizes to fit dogs 11-42" around.
Photo by Erin Koski

I like the Simple Control harness because it is exactly as advertised: simple. This is basically a Norway harness with an anti-pulling feature that causes the harness to tighten when pressure is applied. It super easy to put on even a squirmy, excited dog. Since it is such a simple design, it is easy to use even for the spatially-challenged and those with limited mobility.

All no-pull devices are aversive, but this is one of my favorites because it is one of the least aversive. It does not pinch or choke, does not need a long slow introduction to have a hope of being accepted by the dog, and causes no anatomical discomfort or limitation. It's comfortable, look at those big neoprene sleeves! The force is distributed over a large area. The Simple Control Harness functions merely by making pulling feel kind of funny, that's it. It's a good way to get the attention of a dog that is accustomed to pulling in a regular harness.

That said, this device also does not discourage pulling very much. I would not put this on a giant breed dog and expect it to prevent him from dragging me into traffic to see a dog on the other side of the street. However, I would put this harness on a smaller dog to take some stress off an older handler. One of my friends has a very bad back and can't really handle any pulling at all from her 15-pound dog, this is a simple and easy way to get the two of them out walking again.

This is a size Small harness for dogs 15"-20" around. Ru is actually 13" around so this one is slightly big on him. Adjusting it as small as possible was a little tricky because the neoprene sleeves take up most of the strap length and must be slid to one side or another while adjusting the size. Once sized properly, it is effortless to put on and take off.

Pros: Comfortable and extremely easy to use. Minimally aversive. Tightening feature could be exceptionally useful with escape-artist dogs that back out of equipment.

Cons: Does not discourage strong pullers, particularly large and physically insensitive dogs. May ride up and choke dog if the fit is poor.

Bottom Line: I have some concerns about this harness, primarily that it will ride up and tighten around the dog's neck. As Ru does not pull, I have not been able to test this theory. I am sending this harness to a friend with small but enthusiastic dogs, so hopefully I will have a field test report in the near future. I like the quality of this harness and wish I had had it back when I was fostering a dog who could escape from everything.

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