When I started looking for harnesses for Walter I came across the Paw Five brand harness. The first thing that caught my eye was the ability to customize it with his name on the side. I mean, how cool is that! This harness came in a variety of color options, and with all of those options, I went with red for all three of my boys. Along with the customizable patches the company also offered some already premade, commonly used side patches, such as “In Training” and “Do Not Pet”. The name patches and other patches are sold separately from the harness but the harness itself does come with patches that say “Paw Five” on them. Here are the links to both the HARNESS and the name PATCHES.
This harness has some really great features other than the customizable patches. One of the things that I blew off as not a big deal was the built in bag holder. However, this feature has come in very handy on more than one occasion! The harness also has a large reflective chest strap and small reflective tape around the stitching of the harness which helps with visibility at night. There is a large handle across the back of the harness that is easy to hold and durable. This handle helps with control and we used it to assist our boys up into our vehicle before we had our ramp. The large D ring on the back makes it very easy to clip the leash onto, and there is also a smaller ring on the side that can be used to carry other accessories.
Since Walter was already 15lbs at 7 weeks old, we started him with a size medium. That medium harness did not fit him until he was closer to 12 weeks old and weighed about 35 lbs. Once he was in the medium size he did not need to go up to the XL until he was 33 weeks old and weighed about 110 lbs. We skipped right past the large size to save on having to purchase more sizes than necessary. At 155lbs he is still in the XL size with room to expand if needed. Along with good sizing, the straps are easy to adjust so that you can get the right fit for any dog. We reused Walters harness for our Great Dane mix, Clyde, and it fit him great too with adjusting the straps properly.
All of my dogs seem very comfortable with the harness on and it is very easy to get on and off the dog when using it. Simply pull it over their head and wrap the strap around their belly. No trying to get their feet through hoops or anything like that. I have also used these harnesses on dogs that I have been dog sitting for and all have put them on without issue and wore them comfortably.
Most of this has been positive so far but I do need to share two stories of how this harness did not meet up to its claims. Although I still love this harness and continue to use it to this day, we did have a couple of issues with it. Let me start by staying that the harness we were using at the time was over a year old and had been used pretty much daily for about a year at the time of these instances.
The “no pull” claim… Let me tell you a little story on how we came to find out this feature did NOT work! Walter is typically a great walker, he doesn’t pull, he doesn’t walk in front, whether on harness or collar. He usually isn’t distracted by things on our walks either so I had not tested this feature until one evening when we were out camping. We decided it would be nice to take all three of the dogs for a walk around a campground that we were staying at for the night. Prior to this evening it was not an issue for me to walk all three of our 100+ lb dogs together at the same time by myself. On this particular night, I was walking Walter and Clyde and my husband was walking Norman. We came around a bend in the path and a family was sitting around their campfire with their very small dog. That dog (although on leash) charge out at us and for some reason, Walter and Clyde decided to run after it towards that family’s campfire. I was literally skiing behind the dogs while watching the family run from their fire as we came charging towards them. After they dragged me about 30 feet, I was finally able to get them under control and apologized to the family who was obviously terrified. I now use a different prong collar for walks as a back up that works much better for not pulling.
The last issue we had I am assuming happened due to the age and excessive use of the harness. While we were on the same camping trip mentioned above, I took Clyde for a quick little run, leaving Walter and Norman on their harness and cables at the campsite. As soon as I got out to the road with Clyde, Walter charged to come with us and when he reached the end of his cable length, Walter actually ripped the D ring and its sewn in holder right off of the harness leaving the D ring attached to the cable on the ground and he was free to run after us. Luckily he did not run after us and the jolt of breaking the harness stopped him in his tracks. When my husband got over to him after hearing the snap, he was just sitting near the end of the cable looking at where he wanted to run.
Even though we have had a few issues with this harness, I still love it. I do not expect any harness to live up to a no pull feature as a harnesses original use was FOR pulling. The issue with the D ring ripping out is a bit concerning but like I said our harness was very used and did have some loose threads on it that should probably have been repaired. Overall this is still a LOVE IT item in my opinion and for the price, you cant beat it.