“ Animals Equipment Type: Dog Equipment „
Regular readers of my reviews will know that I have been seeking the perfect harness for my dog Molly. This journey began in "Pets At Home" with a very unsuccessful purchase in the form of their "Stop Pull Harness". This useless item was, in all credit to them, fully refunded enabling me to continue in my quest to find an alternative.
Molly is a Shih Tzu, and common to others of her breed has an acute sense of adventure. This overpowers all her other senses of danger, and would lead her into mischief in the least, and injury in the worst, so a comfortable harness which is safe is of paramount importance.
If you are a new dog owner it might be worth saying here that many dogs will go through life with a simple lead attached to their collars, and will never get into trouble or injury. However, as I may have mentioned in other reviews one of my daughters is a vet, and she had verified on several occasions the importance of adequate restraint, which makes slipping the lead impossible, because even the most trustworthy of dogs could act of out character in certain situations.
Purchasing a harness was actually very difficult the second time around. My last purchase was over 10 years ago, and has lasted well but was beginning to show signs of wear. After reading several very complimentary reviews I decided to opt for the Ferplast Ergocomfort Harness. Reading reviews on the Petplanet website written by customers who were delighted with the product gave me confidence, and I would highly recommend this approach before making a decision, something I regret not doing with the Pets At Home harness. Ferplast are a company which began in Northern Italy over 40 years ago, and are well known for producing quality items throughout the pet market.
Retailing for £20.42 for the size I purchased this is quite an expensive harness, but when you consider the quality and the safety features this is, in my opinion, a superb choice. I did actually purchase this from Pet Planet themselves, and I was delighted to see that they would offer a refund if I was in any way unhappy with the product or the fitting.
Prior to purchase it is advised that you measure your dog around the neck and also around the chest. These two figures then guide you to the perfect fit. There is "Extra Small" through to "Large" in the range. Molly was large for the "Extra Small", but only just over the threshold for "Small", but I did opt for this as I though she would be larger than the smallest size which is usually for toy dog breeds. Shih Tzus are stocky little dogs, and as the measurements were within the margins I thought small would be perfect, and it was.
The harness is a perfect fit. It is so simple to clip round as it has two straps which have a slide in buckle clip with a push release mechanism. Compared to many harnesses this is so simple to put on. First you secure the neck collar, then the chest strap. Molly was quick to learn the procedure and obliged by lifting one leg at a time to help, and finally the lead can be attached to the o ring which is nicely positioned at the top.
Well made sturdy and strong, this product is a quality item for which I have nothing but praise. It comes in a choice of colours. I chose red to go with my existing lead, but you also have the option of purchasing a lead which matches if you prefer. Red is actually red and black in reality, but this looks good, and to be honest it could have been tangerine with gold spots and green diamonds, and it would still have delighted, as anyone familiar with my previous quest for a new harness will know it was far from a simple affair!
The larger sizes carry a slightly higher price tag rising to £29.99 for the large.
This isn't my first encounter with Ferplast, I have purchased pet items before and have been highly delighted. Having recently returned from a 2 week trip to The Outer Hebrides with Molly I can say that the harness has performed very well indeed. Molly has been walked off her feet, but never once have I been worried about the harness and its capabilities.
It is 10/10 for comfort and fit.
It is 10/10 for being sturdy made with high quality materials.
It is 10/10 for my opinion of its safety.
I would recommend this product to anyone. It excels in all areas and is fantastic value for money. Molly has been a joy to walk even in the presence of sheep, which certainly excite her rather too much. What I really love is the speed I can have the harness fitted and removed in seconds allowing for hassle free dog care.
My daughter has a new Golden Retriever puppy and she will no doubt be purchasing this for her new puppy, Rosie, before too long. Pet Planet were so helpful, their website contained all the information I needed including the reviews which were priceless, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them as a company. Now we can meander along river banks where Molly loves to spend time in the knowledge that she is safe and comfortable. This is journey's end as far as dog harnesses go - a brilliant product.
Anyone who has read some of my earlier reviews on dogs, will already know that I have a little Yorkshire terrier called Mollie. One of the smallest breeds of dog you are likely to come across.
Because of tracheal collapse problems, commonly found in the smaller breed of dogs, it is strongly recommended that when taking them for walks, a harness should be used rather than collar and lead.
However, Mollie is a very small Yorkie and over the years I have struggled to find a suitable, comfortable fitting harness for her, and have until recently, had to make do with one shortened to its minimum size, doubling the thickness of the strapping in the process. Even then it wasn't a snug fit; this meant loose, bulky strapping encircling her tummy, which I am certain could not have been very comfortable for her, chafing away at her body.
A few weeks ago, whilst browsing through Pampurred Pets store, I came across the Ferplast Ergotcomfort dog harness, which had the look of padded comfort. I bought it with the understanding that should it not fit Mollie, I could return it to the shop.
The harness is called the Ergocomfort tattoo shortened to Ergotattoo harness, produced by the firm Ferplast, their logo looking a bit like the caricature of a friendly, three legged slug, though I think it's meant to represent a dog:-)
The cost, I thought was quite steep, as harnesses go. This one, I bought for £22.99 and I should imagine that most good pet shops will stock them.
If you will, imagine an H shape as being two parallel lines joined by a bar across the middle. The wide underside piece of the harness is vaguely H shaped; made with a soft, yet robust, black material with grey edging and beautifully padded, giving it a lovely spongy texture. (It puts me in mind of wet-suit material) The narrower, yellow, grey and black patterned strap, which fits across the dogs back and attaches to the padded underside, is also H shaped and softly padded on the inside, next to the dog's fur. The wider of the two H-bars passes under the length of the tummy and the short, narrower, strap H-bar, which has a metal loop for the attachment of dog tag and lead, fits neatly along the dog's spine.
On the front of the padded underside section, is stitched an orange Ferplast logo, which, because the rear opening is slightly larger than the front, it makes it easier to fit the harness correctly and not back to front. As I stupidly did, at my first, hurried attempt to fit it.
Each of the four strap attachment sites are fitted with sturdy, plastic, quick-release ratchet-type mechanisms, allowing fine adjustments to the fit around the body.
These harnesses come in sizes to fit : extra small, medium, large and extra large dogs. However, it is not suitable for dogs weighing more than 25Kg.
I am delighted to say that this harness fits Mollie beautifully, she seems comfortable and what is more important, her legs don't accidentally slip out whilst we are out on walks, which often occurred, much to her and my annoyance, with her less well-fitting harness.
I feel now, that her walks have become far more comfortable and enjoyable, which makes me a very happy bunny.
It was simple to fit and adjust, though at first the sound of the ratchet mechanism did startle her.
I am seriously thinking of getting one for Moses now, or if not a harness, one of their padded collars.
I'm sure, if Mollie could talk - well if I could understand doggie-speak - I would hear her say. "Thank you very much for my Ergocomfort harness, I love it - and you too, now.
May 2011: It is over a year ago now since purchasing this harness. It is still as good a new, the ratchet fastenings which, I admittedly thought would be the first to deteriorate with use, have not shown any signs a wear and tear.
2012 update: The ratchet fastenings are still working well, I did expect them to deteriorate in time, but so far, there is no evidence of wear.
2013: Update: This harness is still as good as new.