Many of today’s most competitive mushers are running with deep chested hound or pointer crosses (sometimes called Eurohounds). If you have a similarly built dog, you might find you need a special harness to fit them just right.
Today, I thought I’d share the top three harness designs for your deep chested dog.
#1 Zero DC Faster Style
One of the most popular designs is the style popularized by Zero DC. Their “Faster” harness was created with modern sled dogs in mind. It has a smaller rounded neck opening, solid Y front (no o-ring to potentially cause hair loss), and allows for a lot of shoulder movement.
It fits deep chested dogs very well, and goes to the tail of the dog (for full pulling power).
This is a very popular harness for good reason, but might not fit dogs with a larger neck quite as well as other options.
#2 X-Back Hound Harness
With the popularity of hound crosses many manufacturers make x-back harnesses sized just right for our deeper chested friends (feels like I should make an inappropriate joke here, another missed opportunity).
Again, these harnesses share a narrower neck opening. The back may be slightly shorter than traditional x-back, to allow for shorter backed breeds, but the harness is still meant to be full length and run to the dog’s tail.
They are designed with two chest straps running between your dog’s front legs, to help anchor the front of the harness and prevent twisting…while still remaining close enough to fit between their legs without rubbing.
If you’re looking for a more traditional harness style, but having trouble with fit, this is a great choice for your dog.
#3 Half Lash / Shorty Style
This is similar to the Zero DC Faster design, but stops mid-way down your dog’s back. Like the Faster style you’ll find a solid Y front of the harness, more rounded neck, and open back (top). There are a few manufacturers that make this style, my dog Riggs was not excited to model, but he loves this Man Mat version, and it fits him well.
I’ve found that the Faster brand can be a little narrow necked for larger dogs – dogs that might be deep chested, but aren’t common breeds (like pointers). The Man Mat brand gave us the larger neck we needed.
So this style might work better than the Faster for dog’s with a little larger neck.
If you think one of these styles might be a good fit for your dog, download our free Equipment Suppliers Guide for some of our favorite shops (and manufacturers) to help you in your search. We aren’t an affiliate for any of them, we just like their products and think it might speed up your search.
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