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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Yuppie Puppy vs. Sporn: The Battle of the Simple Control Harnesses

Wait a second, did I really do two different reviews of the same Simple Control harness? Kinda. The Yuppie Puppy and Sporn brands are owned by the same guy, Joseph S. Sporn. This is the guy that invented the original Sporn no-pull harness back in 1992, when I used it to walk the neighbors' oversized Weimeraner. He also opened the first dog daycare in the United States back in 1987, I like his style. (I will someday do a review on the original Sporn harness as I do own one...in just-barely-big-enough-for-Ru size. Every time I see it laugh.)
Photo by Erin Koski

At face value these products are incredibly similar. Actually, the same picture is used for both products on the Yuppie Puppy and Sporn websites and packaging. The Yuppie Puppy harness is also packaged and sold as the Sporn harness, and it's possible that this design has replaced the earlier Sporn design. At any rate, here is a side-by-side comparison of the two products.

The red harness bears the Yuppie Puppy logo on its neoprene sleeves and tag. It has bright stainless steel hardware and a plastic quick-release buckle. This harness has a martingale-style loop that tightens both the neck and chest straps when pressure is applied. The buckle is placed down on the side by the dog's elbow.

The black harness bears the Sporn logo on its tag and buckle. It has brushed metal hardware including one half of the quick-release buckle. The chest strap of the Sporn harness tightens by pulling part of the chest strap through a ring attached to the neck strap. The neck strap on this harness does not tighten at all. The buckle is located up high by the leash ring, well away from the dog's elbow. The tightening action on this harness is not very smooth or quick due to the end seams on the strap.

I acquired both of these harnesses from thrift stores. If I ordered the Sporn Simple Control Harness from the Sporn website, I am not certain which product I would receive. I suspect that the red harness is the current design, and the black one is an older model. It doesn't seem to work as well.

As neither of my dogs pulls on the leash, I have sent these to a friend with small but mighty dogs. They may not be fancy or fabulous, but they're about as simple as harnesses come.

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