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Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Freedom Harness: 5/8" vs 1" Size Medium

I'm a big fan of the Freedom No Pull Harness by 2 Hounds Design. I recommend them to clients, and own several. However, I did have some fitting issues with Brisbane because he was very sensitive about straps crossing his shoulders after he developed hip arthritis. On the 1" wide medium and large sizes, the chest straps sat too low.
Size medium comes in two different strap widths, but there are some other differences as well.
Photo by Erin Koski

One of my local stores carries Freedom Harnesses in nearly every size. They have the 5/8" strap width harness in extra small and small, and the 1" strap harness in size medium, large, XL, and 2XL. The only size they don't carry is the 5/8" wide medium.

Since the store had all of the other sizes, I was able to compare them side by side. The first thing I noticed was that the martingale loop on all of the 1" harnesses was the same size. The small and extra small harnesses had a smaller loop, but it was also the same size for both. This led me to believe that the medium 5/8" harness would also have the smaller loop size, resulting in less distance between the buckles, and therefore the chest straps would sit a little higher on the dog.
This is how the 1" wide medium harness fits.
Photo by Erin Koski

Both size medium harness are listed as fitting dogs with 22-28" chests. The one with the thinner straps seems to be difficult to find, so I was delighted to see an entire rack of them at the 2 Hounds Design booth at SuperZoo. On comparison, I found that the 5/8" harness did indeed have the smaller loop and less distance between the buckles.

I purchased this bright and cheery raspberry-colored 5/8" medium harness at a discount so I could compare the fit on my own dog. I don't really use the Freedom Harness on Sisci, but I am a huge nerd and couldn't pass up the opportunity to answer this burning question.
5/8" size medium harness
Photo by Erin Koski

The fit between the two sizes is pretty close, but the harness with the thinner straps does sit a bit higher on Sisci's shoulders. I don't know that it would make a dramatic difference in shoulder movement, but it's worth considering when choosing between the two sizes. I think the 5/8" strap harness fits a little bit better, and droops in front a bit less.

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