When starting canicross finding the right harness for your dog can become a complicated matter as there are so many to choose from.

And even once you have been doing it for a while, if you join us for a run or go to an event and see all the other dogs in different harnesses you can also get kit envy!

We have run Dakota (above) in the Zero DC Short Dog Harness for the last year.  This harness is really popular with dogs in the club as it is easy to get one to fit your dog.  From our smaller terriers to our larger Dalmatians.  It is seen as a short harness as it doesn’t go all the length of your dog.  It is easy to put on over their head and clips either side.  And it is safe to leave on them if you let them off the lead to free run.

We have got on well with this harness on Dakota (15kg sprocker spaniel) as I often run her attached and then let her off to walk back to the car through the woods after a run.

But I was curious to try out a long harness on her, so this weekend I borrowed a Dragrattan X-Back Harness to try it out.

This harness is a long version, so isn’t suitable for some dogs due to its length.  But fit her perfectly.  It is slightly harder to put on as you have to put the head in then feed the front paws and front legs through.  One thing I did note, for before you are running and we were waiting the harness doesn’t stay on their back well.  But once they are leading you it is perfect.  It isn’t suitable to let them off and free run in though either.  You would have to remove it.

I think she ran better in the Dragrattan, her breathing didn’t seen as noisy and it stayed in place better when attached.  The DC tends to move around her back unless straight in front.

Over all, I think we will use both harnesses for different things.  On runs at events and where we know we are only running and then finishing we will use the Dragrattan and for fun runs where we run attached for a while and then I let her off to free run we will use the DC.

Additional note: If your dog rasps in a harness it indicates it is rising above the sternum and therefor not the best fit.

You can find out more information about canicross kit here and suppliers that give tailrunners members a discount.