A sled dog harness is an essential piece of equipment needed to perform various dog sports, such as bikejoring, canicross, and mushing. Investing in the right sled dog harness will help you provide more comfort for your dog's body in the activity they are undertaking and avoid injury.
So, which sled dog harness is suitable for your dog, and why do they need one?
Read on as this guide explains dog harnesses from top to bottom, including what a sled dog harness is, why your dog needs one, and which sled dog harness you should choose to best suit your dog's body. With a sled dog harness, your dog can enjoy many sports and activities in total comfort.
Sled Dog Harnesses Explained
Sled dog harnesses come in various structures that each suit different types of dogs and other dog sports. If you are worried about your dog sustaining an injury when pulling on a walk, a sled dog harness can help you ensure their comfort. Performing dog sports with a standard harness designed for walking your dog could be considered cruel, as it puts your dog at risk of an injury and could cause damage to your dog's body in the long term.
Structure And Function Of A Sled Dog Harness
You can purchase dog harnesses in the following structures:
- Spreader bar
Sled dog harnesses need to be used for dog sports, and a standard harness may cause discomfort. The best harness for your dog is going to be the one that results in the most pull and lessens the likelihood of injury. Each sled dog harness structure has its strengths and weaknesses. For instance, spreader bar harnesses can add more power. In contrast, half-harnesses are believed to be more effective in lessening the likelihood of injury for your dog.
Sled Dog Harnesses In History
The earliest uses of dog sled harness in history outside the arctic region can be found in North America, specifically French Canada. Dog mushing gets its name from the French word 'marche', meaning to move or run. English-speaking Canadians then adopted the word and then turned the word into 'mushing'.
Historically, dog harnesses were not unlike horse harnesses. They consisted of a single, circular hame of metal or other sturdy materials, which they then sewed into a padded leather collar to provide cushioning for the dog's body.
Nowadays, we understand the need to provide much more comfortable harnesses for sled dogs to breathe easily and won't cause too much discomfort. Metal and hard wooden hames would likely cause pain for a dog's body, even through the leather padding. Dogs now benefit from the comfort and support of a modern dog harness.
Uses Of A Sled Dog Harness
Many different kinds of dog sports involve using a sled dog harness, and these dog sports can provide fun exercise to improve your dog's body and mental health and make them more content at home. You can purchase a sled dog harness in place of a standard harness when walking your dog to prevent them from injuring themselves if they are prone to pulling.
Dog mushing is a historical tradition that involves two dogs, or a dog team, pulling a sled across a snowy route. Mushing can be a fun, competitive sport, or it can be a leisure activity. Mushing is only suitable for the Siberian Husky or similar breeds like the Alaskan Malamute designed to pull loads in extreme cold. Mushing would not be ideal for a small or medium dog or any dog breed not equipped to handle cold climates.
Bikejoring is a fun sport designed as a training exercise for mushing dogs during the summer months when you could not use a sled due to the snow. Bikejoring is similar to mushing; only the dog, or dogs, are pulling a bike instead of a sled. Bikejoring is suitable for medium to large breeds so long as they are fit and healthy. Bikejoring is not recommended for puppies under 9 months or senior dogs, as it can put too much strain on their sensitive bodies.
Skijoring is a type of cross-country skiing where the skier is pulled along by a dog, horse, or motor vehicle. Skijoring is usually performed on flat ground and must be performed in a snowy and cold climate. Skijoring is a thousand-year-old tradition, and nowadays, it can make great exercise for you and your dog and create a bonding experience. Your dog is your best friend, so why not treat them to a fun activity?
3 Reasons Why Your Sled Dog Needs A Harness
There are 3 main reasons you should use a sled dog harness when practicing dog sports with your furry friend. Your dog's comfort and safety are paramount in any activity you partake in; otherwise, the sport may be cruel for your dog.
Your dog can easily sustain injuries in dog sports like mushing, bikejoring, and skijoring without the proper equipment. You can take additional measures to prevent a side pull, but your sled dog harness will prevent your dog from sustaining an injury if a side pull occurs. Sled dog harnesses allow dogs to breathe more easily while pulling and avoid throat damage.
Sled dog harnesses are an excellent option for dogs suffering from tracheal collapse, a condition that causes a hacking cough in dogs with changes in temperature, pressure, or drinking water. Dogs are our best friends, and we must use the correct dog harness to keep them comfortable and safe at all times.
Helping Alleviate Dog Back Pain
Sled dog harnesses can help to prevent and alleviate dog back pain caused by leash pulling or dog sports. Dogs experiencing back pain may struggle to walk on slippery surfaces or jump up onto the sofa or bed. Sled dog harnesses are recommended for any dog suffering from back pain to help provide more support and avoid aggravating their sore back when walking or exercising.
Guiding And Training
Sled dog harnesses are necessary to train your dog for mushing, bikejoring, and skijoring. A sled dog harness will allow you to teach them commands channeled through the harness so that your dog has a clearer understanding of how to pull you on your skis, bike, or sled. The sled dog harness can help you navigate your sledding route better and guide your dog easily.
Four Sled Dog Harnesses That You Need To Add To Your Cart
It is essential to invest in active dog gear before partaking in dog sports with your dog. Sled dog harnesses come in many different structures and sizes. You cannot use a standard harness for dog sports as it may restrict breathing and cause your dog to sustain an injury.
Each sled dog harness has its strengths and weaknesses, making it advisable to invest in more than one should you plan to participate in various dog sports with your pup. Let's look at the different types of sled dog harnesses and what functions they offer for your needs.
These harnesses are available in a wide range of colors, such as blue, red, pink, orange, and black, to suit your style.
Sled Pro Harness
The Neewa sled pro harness is suitable for dog sports and exercise during any time of year. The Neewa sled pro harness has an X-back structure designed to distribute the pressure of pulling evenly across your dog's body. This helps prevent any strain and promotes full and healthy breathing while your dogs pull a sled or bike.
This sled dog harness is made from durable polypropylene and non-allergenic materials, which prevent your dog's skin from becoming irritated when they wear the harness for long durations. This sled dog harness comes with extra padding to provide your dog with added comfort during their activities and has reflective strips that make your dog more visible at nighttime.
The Neewa sled pro harness is designed to suit the needs of dogs built like the Siberian Husky and may not be suitable for smaller dogs. If you are unsure what the right size sled dog harness for your dog is, we recommend investing in the larger size, as you can adjust it to your dog's body.
Adjustable Racing Harness
The adjustable racing harness is designed for racing and is best suited to courses with minimal change in direction. This sled dog harness has an H-back structure designed to help the dog's airways remain unrestricted and distribute pressure evenly across the body to prevent injury.
The adjustable racing harness comes in a breathable fabric, ideal for the summer months. It also has reflective strips that help keep your dog safe when partaking in nighttime activities. This sled dog harness works well for all pulling exercises like bikejoring, skijoring, and mushing.
This sled dog harness is suitable for sled dogs of any size and has adjustable back and neck sections that can fit your sled dogs' shape and size.
Perfect Fit Harness
The Neewa perfect fit harness is designed to maximize your dog's comfort. It has additional padding on the neck and chest areas to enhance your sled dog's comfort when they are pulling.
This sled dog harness has an X-back structure designed to support your sled dogs when they are pulling by evenly distributing pressure across the body and allowing for more room around the rib cage to promote free breathing. This harness allows for a more comfortable harness fitting for dogs with larger heads.
This sled dog harness is very similar to the Neewa sled pro harness, but its 8 adjustment points make it better suited to fit dogs of different sizes and larger heads. This harness is made from breathable and non-allergenic polypropylene, which ensures comfort, and the water-repellent properties of this material ensure your dog has a dry fit throughout their activity session.
This harness for sled dogs is recommended for activities like canicross, bikejoring, mushing, and skijoring. The harness suits sled dogs like Rottweilers, Newfoundlands, and Pitbulls exceptionally well.
X Back Racing Harness
The Neewa X-back racing harness is designed for sled dogs with a lean body and narrow chest. Unlike the other harnesses, this harness is made from nylon. High-tenacity nylon has better performance in extreme cold and extreme heat. The sled dog harness comes with reflective panels to ensure your sled dogs are visible at night.
This sled dog harness is recommended for competitive pulling sports and is best suited for Siberian Huskies and dogs with a similar build, like the Alaskan Malamute.
Sled dogs require tools and equipment that ensure their comfort while partaking in dog sports and activities like mushing, canicross, skiing, and bikejoring. To select the right harness for your sled dogs, you must consider what kind of activities you will be partaking in, the size of your sled dog, and whether you need a sled dog harness that supports competitive racing. You can also use a sled dog harness when walking your dog to improve their comfort level.