Harness Woes

In my list of dog priorities, keeping Silas’s skin attached to his body is at a firm position #2, second only to keeping his food in his stomach instead of vomited back onto my patio.

To this end, we have owned a lot of harnesses.

Here are my problems:
1) Silas is a funny-shaped dog. He has a very large chest circumference for his size, but it’s in a very oval tall/narrow configuration. We have been stymied by several otherwise nice harnesses that just don’t come in a size to fit him. Even his current harness, which comes in rare and wonderful “between” sizes, is not a perfect fit–the chest band is let almost entirely out, while the shoulder straps are too loose in the tightest setting.

2) Silas has wacky metal sensitivities. I can’t figure out what it is exactly that bothers him, because dog-gear companies aren’t lining up to tell you what metal they use in their buckles and clasps. His city dog tags left him with an oozing sore on his chest, so I have to keep all of his ID tags in a Quiet Spot neoprene sleeve.

3) Silas has extremely little hair, especially on his belly, chest, and behind his front legs.

4) Silas cannot be walked on a collar, because he is crazy reacts unpredictably to the world.

I thought I had solved all of these problems with his Lupine Roman Harness. That’s his red one that has been in all the recent photos. I love this harness. My one issue was that some of the seams are quite rough on the inside, but I added some stick on moleskin padding.

Now I’m noticing, though, that his chest is perpetually scabby.

April 23

None of the potential problem seams are in the chest area. This leaves me with three theories:
1) The nylon webbing, which is quite soft for nylon webbing, is too abrasive for him.
2) He’s starting to react to the metal chest ring for some reason.
Or 3) Now that most of the paint is worn of his dog tag clip, he’s reacting to it.

I’m really hoping it’s #3, which is a quick enough fix with a new tag clip. (I can’t really move them. The metal d-rings on collars also sometimes bother him, so his current collar doesn’t have one.) Finding the Lupine harness took months and basically exhausted my local resources. I may be reduced to either finding him a shirt to wear under his harness or sewing (hahahahaha) some kind of fleece cover for it.

Do any of you know a fleece-lined harness that doesn’t sit right behind the dog’s front legs?

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8 thoughts on “Harness Woes

  1. Ruby once told me about these strap wraps – http://www.petexpertise.com/dog-collars-dog-harnesses/strap-wrap-fleece-dog-harness-collar-padding.html. I didn’t like the color choices, so I didn’t go for them, but if you aren’t picky – maybe these would work!

    I still like the Walkeez harness I have for Blueberry – but the downside is the felt part often gets twisted – even so, it still sits far enough away from her pits that it doesn’t cause her any chaffing. But Silas seems like his skin is so much more sensitive, that I am not entirely sure it would work for him.

    I hope you find something soon for him – I went through some similar frustrations in getting a harness for Blueberry. Although, her biggest issue was she just wouldn’t walk if she was chaffed.

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  2. What about buying some tubular fleece wraps (like I have seen for seat belts) and wrap the parts that rub. I can react to metal and what I do is paint it with clear nail polish. You have to reapply but it seems to work for a long while.

    Hope you finds something that works. We have similar issues fitting things to our dogs because of their deep chests. It took forever to find a neoprene hunting vet that fit Thunder correctly.

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  3. Goodness that’s tough! Sampson too has a very large chest and fitting him with a harness is difficult at best, but thankfully he doesn’t have the skin issues.

    My thoughts are to sew some material around the parts that are bothering him.

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