Hey everyone! If you’re anywhere in and around the Northeastern United States, you are probably spending your Mischief Monday causing mischief at the grocery store, crawling over other shoppers as you fight to stockpile goods for the upcoming blizzard.*
That said, without further ado today we’re going to bring you our official review of Gilligan’s new harness, the Plush Vest Air Mesh Harness by Curli.
This item was purchased from What's Up Dox, a weenderful online Dachshund shoppe that sells high quality doxie gear. We'll be continuing to bring you candid reviews throughout 2015 about the products we have received from them. What's Up Dox has provided us with a couple of extra items for free, in addition to some promotions for our site, in exchange for our honest reviews.
About Harnesses in General
If you aren’t familiar with the benefits of a harness vs. a collar when walking your dog, we highly recommend that you research and consider this option regardless of which harness you might choose. Gilligan’s anatomy as a miniature dachshund makes it imperative that we go this route because of his elongated body. Using a harness, the tugging pressure from the leash is more evenly distributed throughout his frame, as opposed to being an acute jolt at the point of the neck. This means less risk of harm to his body over time (which will be truer the smaller your dog is), but for Gilligan has the added effect of causing better response when walking; Gilly is more receptive to corrections and guidance with a harness on, and our guess is that this is because a harness provides an even force that is distributed around his own center of gravity, and so is better at influencing him.
About the Curli Plush Air Mesh Harness
To answer a question we got from our furiends from Tenacious Little Terrier, this harness is appropriate for ALL dog breeds, and comes in a range of sizes (you will need to measure the circumference of your dog’s chest to determine the size to order). What’s Up Dox markets this specifically as a dachshund harness because of its audience, but you may order one for a non-dachshund breed. What’s Up Dox offers a good price on this item relative to other online shoppes you might buy it from as well, and their customer service has been great in our experience.
Specifications and Why They’re Special
- DogFinder ID and Service: So, this is one feature that we have not actually made any use of yet, but each vest has its own DogFinder ID tag, which is tied to a DogFinder Service that will help you find your buddy if he or she goes missing. This is a worldwide service with a number of options available to you online. Honestly with Gilligan already having a locator chip, this is likely something we won’t need or use, but knowing it is there is pretty nifty, and speaks to the high level of quality of this product.
- Reflective Elements: There are a couple of reflective strips that line the chest area to help with visibility. This feature is fashionable, but we’ll want to purchase an element with an actual light on it before we feel comfortable going out for night walks; depending on the lighting situation where you are, you may or may not decide that reflective elements are enough of a safeguard for when you choose to walk at night.
- Comfortable Material: The air mesh design means that the fabric is more breathable, and we’ve found it to be extremely easy to clean when it gets dirty. The material is light, and the fabulous vest-style design means that pressure is distributed across a larger surface area of contact on your dog’s body. In our opinion this is outright superior to other harnesses we have used that feature a “lattice” structure with prominent straps that loop around the dog’s front legs.
- Adjustable, Step-In Design: Last but certainly not least, the mechanics of how the harness is strapped on are very intuitive, and probably what we like best about it. There are no buckles, no straps, and no real elements that are at much risk of moving around or coming loose once the harness is on, which is something we’ve struggled with using our previous harness. Here are the steps:
1. Step into the paw holes.
2. Fasten the velcro strap above the shoulders.
Of course, the velcro is nice and strong with this being a new harness, but even if it starts to wear over time, the next step ensures this is not an issue. The adjustability means that you can easily fit the harness over a pet sweater or other clothing, which has been great this winter (see photo of Gilly in his winter sweater and harness towards the end of this post).
3. Buckle the clasp.
The buckle snaps securely into place and is very sturdy. In order to unbuckle, you simply press the button and the buckle comes off. There is a rubber flap that covers the button during use, AND your leash hooks onto two loops right above this, so there is really no danger of the buckle accidentally being clicked open while you’re out for a walk.
4. Hook your leash.
The leash hooks into two metal loops flanking the buckle. It is important to ensure that you properly hook your leash through both of these loops, or else there may be danger of uneven pressure when walking. The only trouble we have faced with this harness thus far has been one incident where the leash hook was not properly secured to the loops. For this, we would also recommend looking into sturdier hooks on the leash’s end, with less danger of the leash itself unclasping. On the end of the Plush Harness, the two metal loops are each made of one solid, continuous piece of metal that is of superb quality, so there’s no risk of the hook deteriorating or causing damage to the fabric (something we have encountered with other harnesses and is a serious danger).
…and that’s it! You’re ready for action!
Our Overall Rating:
This is a “five paw” item for Gilligan. He looks terrific in his red harness (by the way there are many colors available), he walks extremely well in it and with clear comfort, and even the features that we don’t use speak to the depth of the harness’s quality. We absolutely recommend the Plush Vest Air Mesh Harness by Curli if you’re looking for a fantastic all-around harness for your everyday use. It has become ours.
We’ll leave you with a few “vogue” photos of Gilligan looking pawsitively dachshund dashing in his harness.
*We all know that news media can have the tendency to overhype storms like this, but it is still noteworthy that weather forecasts are predicting 30 inches of snow, and up to 28 straight hours of snowfall here in the Boston area starting tonight. Oh my! If you’ve seen our recent posts about the observations we have made about how strangely snowless this winter has been thus far, you might conclude that (ruh-roh!)… we kinda jinxed it.
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