Product Review: Lupine Roman Harness

Tuesday outing

A good scratch

I’ve been holding off on a review of Silas’s new harness until I was sure that it was perfect. And it is. So, so perfect.

The problem with harnesses is that Silas is a weird shape. His chest is very narrow, but his chest circumference is somewhere in the low 20-inch range. He’s pretty squarely between harness sizes for most of the big-box type brands. (This same problem hits us almost across the board, which is why my 30 pound dog is in a 36×22 “large” crate.)

Lupine is one of the only brands that we’ve ever had any success with, because they understand this about dogs. At the “between” sizes, they offer their harnesses in two different widths. One of our harness problems has been that they look extremely out of proportion. Silas’s size is often a 1″ width, which is crazy for a dog his size. Lupine offers their 20-32″ harness in both 3/4″ AND 1.”

Our other harness problem is that they rub behind Silas’s front legs. He’s got almost no hair, you know, especially on his little belly. You can see the problem here, in his old step-in Lupine harness:

Silas on a Log

The Roman harness has a longer span between the two pieces, as you can see in the top photos. This harness is comfortable enough for him that I can leave it on for a long car trip, which makes me feel much better about getting him out at rest areas.

Two last perks: Lupine has an excellent guarantee. They promise to replace your dog’s harness, even if your dog chews it up. And, even better, they’re made in the US (webbing and all, it looks like).

Now, there are two drawbacks to this harness. Personally, neither of them negate the perfect, amazing fit. First, it is not the very easiest harness to put on. It isn’t bad, but your dog needs to put his head through the opening and then put one leg through. (You technically don’t have to put the leg through, but otherwise you have to thread the belly strap back through a belt loop. Silas would rather pick up his leg.) Silas is crushed by this process, but he’s a drama llama and has also been crushed by every harness we’ve owned. The second problem is, I think, my adjustment, but the back strap does shift to the side under the weight of his leash as we walk. I believe I could fix this by tightening the straps a little more, but I keep forgetting.

Bottom line: LOVE.

Fine print: I bought this myself, from an excellent local retailer. Find yours at . The leash in these photos is from another company and merits its own review in the future.

11 thoughts on “Product Review: Lupine Roman Harness

  1. Elli has the same build as Silas, it sounds like. So exceptionally hard to fit with harnesses and coats and it’s all very frustrating. I had a Lupine at some point, Elli outgrew it. And she had the same no-hair-on-the-belly thing going on that the Lupine just did no good for. I made a very similar harness, though. One that she doesn’t have to step in because, lol, she’s a drama llama, too — HAHA, hilarious rhyme — and it allows full foreleg movement much like your new harness does. She loves this harness very much. 🙂 I’m glad you found something that works; from one awkward-shaped-hound-mama to the next. 🙂


    1. I’m glad you worked out something for Elli, too. I do not trust my sewing to stand up to Silas’s craziness. I suspect that Elli has much better leash manners.


  2. I can relate…Gizmo is a funny shape too…only 20# but in some items he actually needs a large due to his deep chest…The top photos show a harness that is fitting really well…I’d never seen this style before but it looks perfect for your and Silas’s needs…Congrats on finding a good one!


    1. The “Roman” harness is usually marketed to toy breeds, I think. Lupine calls it “the veterinarian recommended way to walk your small dog and a great way to help larger, older dogs up and down stairs.” I don’t think they’re very popular with average pets because they are harder to put on. But, reading between the lines of that Lupine description I see “a harness for dogs who need to wear a harness 24/7.”


  3. I have an easy walk for Delilah but i put it on her backwards because I want a harness that clips on the back. 🙂 Sampson is very broad chested but has a tiny waist and I haven’t as yet found a harness for him. But I haven’t really been looking either. LOL


    1. We used Silas’s Sense-ation backwards for a while, too. The front clip harnesses are a good idea, but gee golly does the leash get tangled in the dog’s legs.

      We’re pretty dedicated to the harness because Silas panics, usually over nothing that we can control. The *last* thing he needs is to associate a car driving by with a choking feeling.


  4. I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to say that I bought this harness for my (dedicated to pulling, to the point where she’ll develop sores but just keep on pulling because who cares if I’m rubbing my skin off?!) dog on the back of this post. We’re (still!) working on the pulling, but at least now she isn’t hurting herself while doing it. So thank you thank you for this review, I was at my wits’ end!


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