Friday, December 9, 2011

Product Review: EZYDog Chest Plate Harness, Part One

Back in October (wow, that was two months ago. How did that happen?), Brady from EZYDog contacted a number of BlogPaws bloggers to see if they would like to review one of their products. This was a bit of kismet, as I was looking for a harness for Elka, that would function in the car with a seatbelt, and the EZYDog Chest Plate Harness is the one that I had sort of settled on (that, or getting a mucho expensive leather tracking/Schutzhund one, on the rationale that it would outlive us both).

So, delighted, I emailed Brady back, heck yes I would like to review! Could I get it in red? Of course!

To Elka's credit, when I'm holding something new and say "C'mere", she does. I let her sniff it ("it", this time, being the harness) and then I put it on her. This is a fairly easy design to do so with, if you have a dog who will stay still. Both buckles are on the same side, so it's only necessary to "thread" one of the legs through, not both, which Elka will handily do, either if I ask for her paw and stick it through myself, or hold the harness out and say paw. Sometimes she gives me the wrong one but, well, we're working on right and left! Then the front buckle secures the chest plate, and the back buckle secures the ribsey bits.

My slight misgiving with this is that, though the D ring that the leash (or seatbelt attachment) fastens onto is metal, the buckles are plastic. Granted, they do seem to be of a rather rugged, heavy duty plastic, and certainly don't show signs at this time of opening on their own, cracking, anything like that, just from the regular walking and playing wear that we've put on the harness in this time.

The chest plate itself, over time, does mold to your dog's shape, which I think is pretty cool. It also slides a big on the straps (you can see in the picture above, that the buckles have slid from center) but that doesn't seem to result in any kind of safety hazard. I assure you, I do have the straps adjusted so that the harness fits Elka snugly, and this sliding does still happen. It doesn't seem that she would be able to slip a paw or even her muzzle through it and hurt herself, though, even if she's laying down in it (say, in the car), so I'm not terribly worried. Importantly, the straps also don't seem to rub her in any kind of irritating way.

Her behavior on the harness is interesting. I don't know if, because it covers so much more of her than a collar does, it makes her more sensitive to the feeling of the leash or what, but she's seemed less inclined to hit the end of her leash, either 4 foot or 20 foot, on walks with the harness. In the house, if I put her on the leash to maintain her manners around guests, she'll be at the end occasionally, but that's just the way that goes. We're working on it!

All in all, I'm really digging the EZYDog chest plate harness. It's lightweight, easy (hurr hurr) to put on, and seems to in fact be pretty tough. Obviously, this is a concern, when you have a 71 pound Doberman who you want to maintain proximity with, and ensure the safety of. Some harnesses I've seen seem to be essentially made out of ribbons, and that just will not work.

This review is Part One, as in the future, I intend to do a Part Two regarding the merits of the harness for car restraint purposes. I wanted to be sure of it on the ground before I tested it in the vehicle, you see! The notion of a dog needing a seat belt didn't really occur to me until after we got Elka. Then I read about how an airbag could kill your dog, and she was relegated to the back seat. Then I read stories about dogs running away or being thrown from the car after an accident, and also about how much force a 71 pound dog can generate during a car accident, and thought a seatbelt harness would be a darn good idea. Some people crate their dogs in cars, which is also cool, but we don't have a crate, and haven't crated Elka so, option B.


  1. Looks pretty good, but it seems a bit too tight under the armpits (in lack of a better word). Can't really see how close it sits in the pictures, but you should be able to get four finger between your dogs shoulder/elbow and the chest strap to avoid chafing.

    Seems like a pretty good harness, though. Nice walking harness.

  2. It does look tight, but it also moves quite a bit (and I have checked her each time she's worn it; she doesn't seem to have experienced any chafing at all, which is nice!). Thanks very much for the comment, though. I will continue to adjust the straps to find the best fit possible for her.

  3. Mesa needs one of those

    Stop on by for a visit

  4. I noticed the same reluctance to hit the end of the leash in Kolchak when we tried ours. It's a **wonderful** change for us!