“ Brand: Cosydogs / Type: Dog Harness „
~~*~~ Cosy Dogs Harness ~~*~~
Approximately 6 months ago, I decided it was time to get fit. Usually my exercise regime lasts about a week and then I get bored but due to my wonderful girls (Pig: chocolate Labrador & Puddle: Irish water spaniel) I've actually stuck with it and quite enjoy it, honest.
~*~ Pull yourself together ~*~
I think jogging is boring especially when you're on your own plus you look a wee bit of a failure when you're bent over breathless just getting out the car - running with the girls means I have company, something to focus on (other than dying) and they're getting fit too. My brother bought me a special belt which enables the girls' leads to be attached to me leaving my hands free and they're able to pull me along at a steady pace - ultimately, we're aiming to be good enough to compete at a Canix event: www.cani-cross.co.uk. To enable the girls to pull me without strangling themselves on a regular collar, I got them some lovely harnesses.
~*~ Pull your finger out ~*~
Lucky for me, the Cosy Dog Harnesses are made in Lancaster in a shop on the ridiculous one-way system - the shop itself has no parking but when I rang the lady to see what time she closed, she said to just park on the double yellows right outside as if making a delivery! So I did. The shop is usually locked, but ring the bell or ring them and they'll come downstairs as mostly they do internet orders and make the harnesses upstairs on the premises. The lady who fitted the girls was absolutely lovely even with the Pig who hates wearing clothes or people touching her - she goes absolutely rigid and stares at the floor so the lady gave her a pig's ear and suddenly the harness wearing became much less stressful! Now that she knows the harness means running, she's quite happy to wear it.
~*~ Pulling out all the stops ~*~
It's particularly important when running with dogs that they are visible especially if you're sharing the circuit with cyclists and other walkers - we run on Morecambe prom, preferably in the dark (!), so I chose the High Visibility Fleece in Yellow - I think the girls look fabulous as they're both brown and the yellow is still very bright. The harness has a reflective strip in the centre of the yellow fleece which headlights pick out but my girls also wear collars with lights on to warn walkers that we're careering towards them. Once I'd chosen the colour, the fitting was pretty simple. On their website, they recommend you measure your dog around it's chest just behind the front legs though they do have a general chart for breeds should you be buying the harness for a friend's dog. The lady guessed correctly on both accounts as the Pig is a very deep chested Labrador and Puddle is a fairly scrawny version of an Irish Water Spaniel. Not that it matters a great deal as the harnesses can be adjusted around the chest area but the neck part is where it matters - too tight and the harness won't sit on the dog's shoulders, too loose and it fails to be a harness anymore. It's very simple to put on - just place the neck loop over the dog's head, pass the chest flap through their legs and clip the side straps accordingly. Now stand back and admire your pooch in all their glory.
~*~ Pull your socks up ~*~
The reason I chose these harnesses for the girls, is due to the thick fleece fabric - it's been generously placed pretty much all over the harness to prevent chafing (particularly important since Puddle has a curly coat that's prone to rubbing off which isn't great when she's got major dog shows to participate in). Secondly, I needed something that was strong and these claim to test the clips and use particularly strong webbing. I also wanted a harness with a handle on because the girls can be totally unruly if they see a cat - I wanted something I could grab closer to the dog to keep them by my side and if necessary lift them off the floor (in retrospect, the two weigh over 10kg combined so it was a little optimistic!). The D-ring to attach your lead is situated at the back of the harness so all the 'pull' from the dog is weighted on the shoulders reducing the risk of neck injury if running on a collar. One point to note is that with a harness on, the pull force is greatly magnified - I was able to cope if the girls saw a cat wearing a lead and collar, but when their harnesses are on, I am as the professionals say, buggered - their strength is superb.
~*~ Get your coat, you've pulled ~*~
If you'd like a brilliant harness to help you get fit (they also have them for cats!) then I can highly recommend Cosydogs. The prices vary according to what size and what design but the girls were £20.99 - which may seem a little pricey when you can pick up harnesses for a tenner but these are pretty perfect and can be washed - hurrah!
P.O. Box 775,
www.dog-harnesses.co.uk - I've not used the website to order but they have loads to choose from on there, for example, there are matching collars and leads too for sad people like me that like their dogs to look their bestest.
Me, Pig, Puddle & Oink - the latter being far too little to participate, yet.
Review will more than likely appear elsewhere.