Saturday, November 21, 2015

Product Review: Sporn Non-Pull Mesh Harness

The Sporn Non-Pull Mesh Harness is designed to discourage pulling by tightening when pressure is applied. It is highly adjustable and nearly escape-proof. Available in black and red, it comes in four sizes to fit dogs with necks 8-33" around.
Yup by Sporn mesh harness
Photo by Erin Koski

The Sporn Company

Does this look exactly like the Yuppie Puppy No-Pull Mesh Harness? That's because they're by the same company. In fact, it looks like they've finally combined their brands and now the Yuppie Puppy stuff is being sold as Yup! By Sporn. I kind of like that, it sounds like the opposite of 'nope!'.

The Harness

This harness works by concentrating pressure onto the cords running under the dog's armpits. It's kind of like wearing a backpack with thin straps, that just keeps getting heavier. It loosens up nicely as soon as the dog stops pulling, and seems to be a lot more intuitive for them than a choke chain.

This is one of my favorite products to use as a bandaid for a pulling problem. Ideally everyone would train their dog to walk nicely on leash, but some people just want an instant fix, and others need to be able to control a strong dog for safety. A lot of dogs seem to figure out how this harness works right away, and it's only mildly aversive so it won't leave a sensitive dog screaming in pain as Sisci is demonstrating in the picture above.

Because it's not terribly aversive, when no actual training takes place many dogs still pull a bit in the Sporn Mesh Harness. They don't pull as hard, but the discomfort increases as they pull harder so most just find a balance that involves a bit of leash tension. When actual training takes place, the Sporn harness can be used to change the picture for a habitual puller and help them feel the tension they've become desensitized to on their regular walking gear.

Pros: An easy fix for dogs that pull on walks, also good for training loose leash walking. Can help a small person control a large dog. Difficult to escape. Does not appear to cause acute discomfort.

Cons: Rubs the armpits of sensitive dogs. Less effective on fluffy dogs. Tangles up easily when putting it on the dog and easily confuses the less spatially-oriented among us. Leaving the harness on the dog without a leash doesn't work well.

Bottom Line: At around $20 new, this harness is worth a try. For really fluffy or very strong dogs, I would choose the original Sporn Halter as it provides a stronger sensation.

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