Stetson912

Harness for a lil guy named bo

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I was commissioned to make a dog harness for an Akita. I've never made a harness before. Bit just finished it up and am happy with how it came out. Thanks to Gary for all your help. 

Details, 9/10 oz European bridle from rjf in Havana color. Dark brown tiger thread .08mm at about 7spi. All brass hardware from the buckle guy. Let me know what you think. I hope to get some pics of it in use too. 

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looks nice! and should work nicely too!

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Thanks. I hope it works out. His owner says he can slip his collar and ripped the rings out of another nylon harness. Soo, I hope my stitching is up to par haha

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Stitching looks pretty good to me. This "lil guy" can rip out of nylon harnesses?! Can we get a pic of Bo? :lol:

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Great looking harness.  I'm thinking of eventually making one for our dog.  I'm surprised Bo broke one of the nylon harnesses.  Our dog pulled like a fiend with a collar but really hasn't pulled since now that we switched to a harness.

 

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I think the stitching failed in the other harness. It wasn't nylon webbing, some sort of thin nylon fabric. 

I made the harness for a coworker. Bo is her dog. I will try and get a picture of it on bo but I will need to rely on her for that, I'm curious how it fits and looks on him myself.

My coworker provided the measurements and everything. I just hope it works out. It's all saddle stitched and I can't pull anything apart. But I'm also not an Akita yanking at a harness either haha. This is my first harness and she is using it to try and contain him because he slips collars and things lol. 

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Akitas are strong dogs and can be dangerous. They are also difficult to train.  I worked with someone who bred them, and helped her train them. It took about twice as long to teach them to walk nicely on a leash as it took me to train my German shepherds. 

The problem with dog harnesses is they are designed for pulling. She may find the harness doesn't give her the control she needs. She may have to go for a prong collar, and get someone to teach her how to use it.

A friend brought his dog into my kennel. The dog was towing him along, totally in control. Since the dog already had a muzzle order on it for biting another dog, this was not a good scene.

Fifteen minutes with a prong collar, and the dog was walking beside me, as if he'd been doing it his whole life!  Once he understood the new way of doing things, they were able to transition him back to a regular collar without him starting to pull again.

Anyway, nice looking harness! I use the same style of harness for tracking and protection work.

 

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 @Sheilajeanne, thanks! 

I know how akitas have some behavior issues and are difficult to train. Honestly I no don't think she is going to keep him.

I will mention the prongs collar to her as well. It sounds like a good idea. I don't know much about training dogs or harnesses and the like. It seemed like a simple and effective design though so I tried it out. I wanted thick straps because of how strong he seems to be. 

Thanks for the info! 

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Soo silly me... I put the Dee in the wrong spot. Supposed to go on the belly end haha. Guess I'm fixing that in a few hours haha. 

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Yup, supposed to look like  this:

Another problem with harnesses: they don't give you very much control over the end that bites! Of course, in this photo, that's the whole point of using a harness... :lol:

 

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Edited by Sheilajeanne

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All fixed :) hehe

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Maybe research prong collars first and see why they are so disapproved of. Modern training practices aren't fear based.

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I'ts all in how the collar is used. What's even crueler is having your dog totally out of control, and attacking another dog, then having to be put down. Or pulling its owner off its feet, causing broken bones, then running out into traffic and getting hit by a car. I know people who have had all of these things happen to them. I have been in the dog business a long, long time. But I don't have little lap dogs that cringe if you raise your voice to them. I have big, strong dogs that can be too much for the average person to handle on a flat collar. Yes, there are haltis, and Gentle Leaders, but some dogs can't stand those - the just keep fighting them until they are exhausted.

I adopted a 85 lb. male GSD that had NEVER been leashed trained. He was far too strong for me to have been able to control using a regular collar, so I used the prong on him until he understood what I expected of him. The prongs are blunt, and only come into play when the dog pulls. They do not hurt the neck.

After about a month using the prong, he was walking on a totally loose leash, and I was able to transition him to a flat collar. 

It's a tool, and any good dog trainer has more than one tool in their toolbox. What works for one dog may be a total flop with another. This dog was not trained using fear. I rescued him from life on the end of an 8 ft. chain, and an owner who said he didn't want him and was going to shoot him. He became my hearing ear service dog.

 

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20 hours ago, Sheilajeanne said:

I'ts all in how the collar is used. What's even crueler is having your dog totally out of control, and attacking another dog, then having to be put down. Or pulling its owner off its feet, causing broken bones, then running out into traffic and getting hit by a car. I know people who have had all of these things happen to them. I have been in the dog business a long, long time. But I don't have little lap dogs that cringe if you raise your voice to them. I have big, strong dogs that can be too much for the average person to handle on a flat collar. Yes, there are haltis, and Gentle Leaders, but some dogs can't stand those - the just keep fighting them until they are exhausted.

I adopted a 85 lb. male GSD that had NEVER been leashed trained. He was far too strong for me to have been able to control using a regular collar, so I used the prong on him until he understood what I expected of him. The prongs are blunt, and only come into play when the dog pulls. They do not hurt the neck.

After about a month using the prong, he was walking on a totally loose leash, and I was able to transition him to a flat collar. 

It's a tool, and any good dog trainer has more than one tool in their toolbox. What works for one dog may be a total flop with another. This dog was not trained using fear. I rescued him from life on the end of an 8 ft. chain, and an owner who said he didn't want him and was going to shoot him. He became my hearing ear service dog.

 

That's a great story. And even though he is a bred dog, my favorite part is him being a rescue dog. Our family is not into bred dogs, but pound rescues.

No judgement, just expressing my opinion.

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You can read his full story here: http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/community.read?post=862489-its-time&p=2#862507

You might want to get the tissues out...

Still miss him something awful! 

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There's also a difference between discipline that's intended to hurt and scare, and simply getting the dog's attention via a restrained but unusual stimulus.  Five minutes with a squirt bottle full of vinegar-water was enough to convince my new rescue Prince that bullying his big sister Sophie wasn't acceptable behavior - which saved all of us a lot of aggravation and stress.

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So here is bo. A little long on the top. But I can fix that. He already ripped the Dee out so I will be replacing the top strap. Any thoughts on how I can reinforce that Dee at the back?

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Steston, looking at my own training harness, which is made of nylon, 3/32 of an inch thick (Equivalent to 6 oz leather) ...

The centre strap along the spine is triple thickness. The midline strap goes from the rearmost end of the front breast strap, around the D ring then back around the breast strap and ends just in front of the belly strap. The belly strap is also stitched in place, so it doesn't move.

You need to take the slack out of the midline strap, as when the dog lunges forward, there will be a sudden jerk on it before the breast strap takes the force of the lunge.

Akitas are very strong dogs. There were a couple at the kennel that had to be kept separate from the smaller dogs, or they would kill them.  Two of them went after one of the corgis one day, and both the corgi and the kennel helper were seriously bitten trying to break up the fight. They do have a reputation for being dog aggressive, so Bo's owner really needs something that can control him.

Sheltatha, what works for a pom may not work for a dog the size of an Akita. I am all for using positive methods whenever I can, and did try lemon juice to rehab a dog-aggressive German shepherd I'd rescued from a shelter. It didn't work with her. I also tried a shock collar on low voltage (tested it on my own arm). It was one that gave several warning beeps before shocking, and she'd ignore the beeps and the shocks.

She eventually had to be euthanized after she escaped from her kennel and killed someone's shi-tzu. Worst day of my life...:(

Large dogs tend to have a much higher pain threshold than smaller ones. This same dog once went after my own male GSD, and latched onto his  hind leg. I could not get her to release her grip - shouted at her,  jerked the prong collar as hard as I could, kicked her. She only released when the person in charge of my male let go of his leash, because he was in so much pain he bit her. Then, of course, he turned on the female, and nailed her. She finally released his leg, and we were able to get them separated before they did any more damage to each other. I wound up having to take both my male GSD and my helper (the groomer) to the hospital. Groomer was bitten on the hand and leg, and missed several months off work. :(

I was also bitten by my own dog, but fortunately, suffered nothing worse than a graze across my forehead. When dogs are in pain, they will lash out at the nearest target, and many dog owners get bitten when breaking up fights. 

My suggestion to Bo's owner is that she consult with a trainer that is used to training strong, confident dogs like Akitas and German shepherds. It's not the equipment that will give her control, it's the training. The equipment is only the tool she needs to use to prevent the dog from pulling her off her feet until she is able to learn how to train it to respond to her.

 

 

 

Edited by Sheilajeanne

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@Sheilajeanne, forgive me but I'm having a hard time visualizing what you mean. Do you have a picture you can share? Is the midline strap different than the back strap along the spine? 

I'm using 9/10 oz European bridle should I double that along the spine and around the Dee? 

Thanks for the insight. I'm just not following what you mean as this is the first harness I've made. 

Im thinking of shortening the harness to extend just past the front legs. I want the slack out of the strap that goes down the back also, that mat have been the problem. 

I just feel bad that it broke. He is stronger than I anticipated for sure. 

 

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Stetson, I mean just what I said: if I look at the top strap, the one that goes along the spine, it is THREE layers thick when viewed in X-section. The midline strap that goes along the belly is not as thick, and has a sliding buckle in it that can be adjusted for the size of the dog. But it is not the one that takes all the stress. If you look at the photo of my dog, you will see it's the strap with the Dee in it that takes the dog's weight. Which is exactly why the Dee ring pulled loose on the harness you made.

Imagine looking at the harness from the top. It forms the letter H, with the bar across the middle being the strap along the spine, and the two vertical pieces being the straps that wrap around the chest and belly. The D ring sticks out right where the middle bar is - if the dog's head is to your right, the D is on the far left of the harness. Imagine the strap along the spine starts flush against the flat part of the D ring. It then goes forward, wraps around the chest piece, then goes underneath it, and wraps around the belly piece. It then goes forward again, and ends just before the chest strap, with the final bit of strap sandwiched between the top and bottom wraps, to make 3 layers. The strap is then zig-zag stitched on the top in 5 places. Yeah, it's not coming apart any time soon!

Edited to add - the strap along the spine is only 2 thicknesses where it wraps around the front strap and belly strap: one layer on top of the strap, and one layer on the bottom. It is three thicknesses in the middle section. The strap begins and ends just before it gets to the chest and belly straps.

In this photo, you can clearly see the line about an inch and a half in front of the snap on the leash where the strap begins, as I've described. (The D ring doesn't really show up in the photo, because it's painted black.) The black thing on the belly strap is a plastic buckle that can be opened by squeezing the sides. All the buckles on the harness are plastic. I've been using this harness for 10 years, and nothing has ever broken on it.

 

 

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Edited by Sheilajeanne

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My thoughts are Glue, stitch, & rivet if something needs to stay in place, and I mean good old fashioned burr rivets.

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Can't go wrong with that approach! :thumbsup:

Only rivets don't work too well on nylon.... 

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