I live with three high-energy dogs, and twice a day, every day, rain or shine, we walk 1.5 miles. This is one of the ways that I survive living with high-energy farm dogs without losing my mind. I have always owned high-energy dog breeds, and I cannot imagine not walking my dogs. Arizona state law requires dogs to be on leash any time they are off your property, and since the desert is full of hazards – rattlesnakes, coyotes, cactus, scorpions, Colorado River Toads – I leash my dog when I walk.
All three of my dogs are rescues, which means that they have issues that we are working through. For my Dalmatian, Rylee, and my Australian Cattle Dog, Lefty, pulling on the leash is a real problem, especially if we encounter a coyote. I developed tendonitis in my elbow in part due to their pulling, so I decided to do something about it. While we are working on the obedience part of leash walking, I bought each of them a no-pull harness to minimize the strain on my arm. After much research and a few failed purchases, I chose Rabbitgoo no-pull harnesses (buy it here), and they have completely changed our walks.
Rabbitgoo is not exactly a well-known brand, so I was hesitant to order the harnesses. However, they had 5,000+ reviews on Amazon, which ultimately led me to click the “Buy” button.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. The exterior is made from cordura nylon, and it is good quality. The interior is a soft mesh. The nylon straps are not very thick, but they are sturdy and have a reflective strip for nighttime walking. My perception is probably off on the straps because I’m used to the double-layer nylon of horse halters, and this is thinner. The stitching is tight, and the buckles are good quality. The company did not go cheap on materials.
I used the size chart on Amazon and ordered a large for my 55-pound Dalmatian and a medium for my 40-pound Australian Cattle Dog. Based on my dogs’ measurements, the size chart is accurate, and I am very pleased with the fit.
These harnesses are adjustable at the girth and at the base of the neck, and I love that. Once I got these harnesses adjusted (which was super easy), they stayed in place. I hate when a harness slips, but that has not been an issue, even with my dogs’ very different body types. Rylee has a narrow chest and Lefty has a wide chest, and I was able to adjust both harnesses to a perfect fit.
The harness slips over the dog’s head and then you buckle one girth strap on each side. I find this much easier than a step-in harness. Lefty’s head is bigger than his chest, so I have to adjust the lower neck straps every time I put the harness on or off, but that is just his anatomy and not anything against the harness. The adjustments are easy to make.
The cut of these harnesses is perfect. The piece over the back has cutouts so that it does not interfere with shoulder blade movement, and the chest piece is designed so that the chest muscles can move freely. These harnesses did not interfere with my dogs’ movement at all, so I would be completely confident using these on a long hike.
My favorite feature of the Rabbitgoo harness is that I have the option of clipping my leash to the front or the back. I had never used a harness with a front leash connection, and I was unsure how effective it would be. I have, however, used Cesar Milan’s method of using both a noose and a harness and connecting them together using the back ring, so I figured that if the front ring did not stop the pulling, Cesar Milan’s method would.
My worries were unfounded because the front ring works perfectly for loose leash walking. Since both of my dogs are rescues, I have no idea if they have ever been walked with a front ring harness, but they took to it right away. My first walk with them was very pleasant with significantly less pulling, and they have improved on every walk since then.
The handle is an extra bonus that I have used more than I anticipated. Because of rattlesnakes, I do not let my dogs stick their noses into tall grass or bushes. Occasionally, they make a lunge for one that smells exceptionally good and I have to pull them back. The handle has worked very well for this.
The Rabbitgoo no-pull harness is not quite perfect and does have a few negatives.
The biggest one, for me, is that the girth straps have a bit of elastic on the back of them, which allows the harness to shift if the dog pulls. It shifts and stretches enough that an ambitious dog could get a leg through and slip the harness. The elastic also reduces the effectiveness of the harness if the dog decides to pull. Since it has a little give, my dogs are not completely discouraged from pulling. When they stopped pulling, however, the harness moved back into the perfect position on its own.
The elastic issue was easy to fix. The elastic is stitched to the back of the nylon strap, so I took my scissors and cut it off. Doing this did not affect the integrity of the straps and eliminated the problem. Now I can snugly adjust the harness and I know it will stay in place.
The interior mesh is a dog hair magnet. Rylee sheds a lot, all the time, so the interior of her harness is already coated with hair. Lefty only sheds seasonally, but even his harness has picked up a good amount of hair.
The other negative is the color selection. Rabbitgoo harnesses are only available in “construction zone” colors – electric green, safety orange, and black. I avoid buying anything black because I lose it much easier than brightly colored products. Each of my dogs has an assigned color so that I can quickly identify which product belongs to which dog. Rylee’s color is bright green, so the electric green was a good choice for her. Lefty’s color is red, so I went with safety orange for him, but it definitely clashes with his leash and collar. No doubt, if we find ourselves wandering through a construction zone, we will be easily seen.
Overall, I am extremely happy with the Rabbitgoo no-pull harness. I love the fit and I love the quality. It was thoughtfully designed and a good choice for my high-energy farm dogs.
What is your favorite no-pull harness? Let me know in the comments below!
3/15/2020 07:54:30 pm
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11/23/2020 03:27:50 am
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Welcome! I've been a freelance writer since 2002 and have numerous horse-related articles published in print and online publications. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Rocky Mountain College with a major in Equestrian Studies and a minor in Business Management. My current business ventures include High Plains Arena and real estate investing.