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How do I adjust a harness?

Adjusting your harness initially will take a bit of time and patience. However, once it is properly adjusted the harness can be put on and taken off in seconds.

Before you start with the adjustment process, please take time to inspect the harness. It came pre-assembled. Review how the buckles are threaded, the webbing is layered, and how the keepers (at the end of the chest straps are applied). Because most dog’s will not tolerate more than a minute or two of fitting, this guide is broken into a series of small steps for fitment, but the actual assembly will take place with the harness off of the dog.

Helpful tools:

– Wooden or plastic ruler. You can also use an alternate thin, rigid tool that is about an inch wide. Just make sure it has no sharp edges

– Clips: clothes pins or binder clips work best

Remove the chest panel


Step 1:
Inspect the pre-assembled harness to visualize how it should look when finished


Step 2:
Undo the velcro from the front chest strap (and rear chest strap if adjusting a Tracking Harness)


Step 3:
Undo the velcro from sternum strap (which runs from the chest piece to the chest straps) and lift the sternum strap out of the way


Step 4:
Undo the velcro from the shoulder straps and unthread from the buckles on the shoulders. At this point the chest piece should be completely separated from the harness.

HINT:

You will note that the excess of the shoulder straps and sternum straps are tucked into the chest piece. To help remove the straps, you can use your finger or a ruler to “break” the strap free from the velcro inside the chest piece, allowing you to pull the strap out.

Adjust the harness body


Step 5:
Unthread the chest strap from the buckle on the side panel. You will now have a loose strap and the male end of the buckle free. (Tracking Harness: repeat for the rear chest strap).


Step 6:
Run the strap once through the buckle and velcro lightly. This provides some retention for the harness, but makes adjusting much easier. (Tracking Harness: repeat for the rear chest strap).

HINT:

Instead of double passing the strap through the buckle, which secures the webbing. You are only going through once—therefore the webbing is loosely draped through the middle of the male buckle.


Step 7:
At this point you can put the harness on the dog (the chest panel should not be attached). Align the harness so that the front chest strap is about one inch behind the front leg (this keeps the strap from chaffing the leg).


Step 8:
Adjust the font chest strap to the desired tightness. (Tracking Harness: repeat for the rear chest strap).

HINT:

This step should be very quick and easy since the strap is just looped through the buckle.

FITMENT:

Generally, for casual wear, the straps should have enough slack to allow you to get two fingers underneath (side by side, like taking a pulse). If using the harness for work where continuous force will be applied, you may want to opt for a snug fit as it will provide more support.


Step 9:
Remove the harness from the dog. On the strap, mark where the start of the buckle hits using a clip. Then thread the strap properly through the buckle, making sure the clip hits at the same place. (Tracking Harness: repeat for the rear chest strap)


Step 10:
At this point the body of the harness should be properly adjusted. Put back on the dog and ensure the fit is correct.

Adjust the chest panel


Step 11:
Remove from the dog. Thread the shoulder straps once through the shoulder buckles and lightly velcro down.

HINT:

The shoulder straps will be threaded through once, just like you did initially on the chest strap. The sternum strap should be hanging free. When holding up the harness by the handle, the logo of the chest panel will be facing out.


Step 12:
Put the harness back on the dog and attach the chest straps. Make sure the body is in the proper place (with the front strap about one inch behind the front leg).


Step 13:
Adjust the shoulder straps to the desired tightness/ location.

HINT:

This step should be very quick and easy since the strap is just looped through the buckle.

FITMENT:

Make sure the straps are even. You want the padded chest piece to be in the mass of the chest, as it helps absorb and dissipate force. Too high and the chest piece will hit the throat. Too low and the chest panel will not provide proper support.


Step 14:
Make sure the harness is not tilted on the dog. Pull the sternum strap down and back, along the dogs belly. Use a clip to attach the sternum strap where it hits in the middle of the front chest strap. (Tracking Harness: repeat for the rear chest strap).


Step 15:
Remove the harness from the dog.

HINT:

You will want to hold the sternum strap to the front chest strap, to make sure your clip does not move. When removing the harness, unclip the chest straps, lift the dogs front leg through the opening, then lift off of the head.

Securing the straps


Step 16:
With the velcro peeled back on the front chest strap, attach the sternum strap where you marked with the clip. (Tracking Harness: repeat for the rear chest strap).

HINT:

You may want to use 2-4 clips per strap to mark (left and right side on each strap). You only need to clip the top layer of webbing, which will allow you to peel back the layers without losing your marking. At this point the straps should be layered and secured properly in their final position. Remember that loop velcro should be in contact with hook velcro and the strap should not be able to slide around. Also, The sternum strap should tightly curve around the front chest strap (or rear chest strap for a Tracking Harness).


Step 17:
On the shoulder straps, mark where the start of the buckle hits using a clip. Then thread the straps properly through the buckles, making sure the clip hits at the same place.


Step 18:
The harness should be properly fitted at this point. Put back on the dog and ensure the fit is correct.


Step 19:
Remove the harness from the dog. Tuck the excess of the sternum strap and shoulder straps into the chest piece.

HINT:

To help insert the straps into the chest piece, you can use your finger or a ruler to keep the velcro from attaching. Once the strap is in place, slide the ruler out and push down to secure.

Step 20:
Apply the chest strap keepers.

HINT:

This is optional, but as the name implies, keepers help hold the straps down. This is so they do not come undone and the velcro does not clog with debris. To apply the keeper properly, align the end (the rest of the keeper will face toward the front of the harness), wrap around the strap, and when secured down the end should face toward the back of the harness.

You most certainly do not have to follow this guide exactly, but this is the least stressful way to fit the harness—for your dog at least. Please remember that if you have any questions you can reach out to our support team and we will be happy to assist!

One last tip… Some customers note that their harness will sometimes lean, or list, to the side. This is due to the fact that the buckles are on one side of the harness. Please note this is purely aesthetic. You will see that when force is applied to the harness it will right itself and provide proper support. If you notice a lean, one way to mitigate the issue is to move the sternum strap off center away from the buckles. This may take a bit of trial and error with small adjustments, but it should be easy to make small adjustments by “breaking” the velcro just enough to slide the sternum strap.

Please note that the velcro on the harness is for aesthetics and does not provide any retention. It is imperative to ensure all buckles are threaded properly, as they provide the retention to ensure your dog stays safe and secure.

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