Thursday, November 12, 2009

Product review - The Freedom No Pull Harness

One of the cool things about being a trainer is that sometimes I get free stuff. I like free stuff. The downside to offers of free stuff or invitations to link exchanges is that some of them are things I wouldn't promote even if you paid me ridiculous amounts of money. Some things are just not happening here. (go hawk your e "training" collars elsewhere please and oh you might want to READ the trainers site before you ask silly questions thank you very much) But I digress.
About a week ago I got a request from a company to send me a free sample to try and give an opinion on. It was the Freedom No Pull Harness from http://www.wiggleswagswhiskers.com/ I am always interested in new (pain free) products to help owners with dog training so I said yes. Here it is straight out of the package:

I took some photos of the harness on Jenny but it can be seen more clearly on their site here: http://www.wiggleswagswhiskers.com/products/harnesses/keystone/HF_KY.htm

Now my Jenny isn't a super puller (normally) but the principals of the harness are very sound. I'll explain those in a minute. The few times she did pull during our "trial walk" it was effective in stopping her with no extra direction from me.
The first thing I really like is that the configuration of the buckles make it super easy to put on AND figure out each time. Some harnesses are confusing to the average owner (in my experience) and I can't count the number I have seen a certain no pull harness on upside down and in two cases even backwards. Here are great photos on putting it on from the brochure that comes with it: http://www.wiggleswagswhiskers.com/products/harnesses/keystone/Freedom_no-pull_Ins.htm
The other things I like about it include the velvet chest strap. My Jenny is quite nekkid under her front legs to I worry about chaffing. Of course any material can chafe given the right circumstances but I certainly appreciated the softness.
The harness comes with a double ended clip leash with a sliding handle so it can be clipped in a number of ways. Two clips to the front ring, or both on the back loop, or one clip on each the loop and ring for extra control. Or one clip to the harness and the other to a collar. Heck you could even use it as a leash for two dogs at once! How's that for options? I like a longer leash so I came up with another. I clipped one end to the loop under the handle to lengthen the leash so only one clip was attached to the harness. (disclaimer-this is not how the manufacturer intended it to be used. I am just a master of jury rigging.)

So back to those principals I mentioned. The strap that goes around the chest has a loop on the back that tightens as the dog pulls. This works to apply pressure around the dog which is a helpful deterrent to pulling. It is similar to a product called the Weiss Walkie: http://www.emilyweiss.com/arquan/arcart/ProductDetail.cfm?ProductID=3 This is also a trick you can do with a long leash paired with a martingale collar in a pinch.
The front ring is also helpful to bring a dogs body around when they pull too. Much like an Easy Walk harness but without the loop that tightens to make the dog off balance. Because it lacks the front double loop it doesn't hang down and get in the way like the Easy Walk harness does on some dogs. http://www.premier.com/View.aspx?page=dogs/products/behavior/easywalk/productdescription
I also really liked that it came with a brochure that was well written and super clear with training tips included. They do not believe the product alone is a cure for pulling. It is simply a tool to help give you more control during training. No one likes getting dragged down the street after all. Their point is that you still gotta do the work needed to teach your dog how to walk properly on leash. (Bravo for this!)
Because my dogs tags are on a removable clip so I can switch collars and still have my dogs id attached, I also liked using the front ring for her tags. It just seems like a better spot than on the back loop like her other harness.

Jenny and I took a trip to our favorite local dog store to show the harness off and hint that she might want to carry them there. (She looks good in pink no?) I will definitely be recommending them to clients and friends in the future. Aside from the harness the company also makes some drool worthy collars and leashes too. (leashes with my favorite scissor clips and my favorite collar type: the double loop also known as a martingale) Go check them out and see for yourself. I will totally be ordering one in the near future. The harness also comes in different types as well as other colors and patterns. It's nice to have choices.

So I report that Jenny and I give this product a 4 paws up. I love it. Happy walking!!

(P.S. The Weiss Walkie and Easy Walk are also good products that I have used and recommended in the past. I just really like the flexability that this product offers and the ease in which it can be used by the average owner. )

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing review.. I have twolack Pugs and I have been on the hunt for this style harness... in pink :P Thank you very much

Anonymous said...

This harness is pretty, but doesn't work any better than an easy walk, even using positive reinforcement, I do would not recommend spending the money on the package.

Marie said...

NO tool takes the place of training your dog to walk politely on a leash.

I like this harness better than the easy walk for two reasons. One is the fit. The easy walk can fall down in front of the front legs on some dogs and be an annoyance. The EW can also trip dogs up when the loop tightens bringing the front legs towards each other. This one does neither of those things. Also the loop on the back of the harness makes the harness tighten slightly giving the dog some feedback on their pulling.

I also like the choice of two different attachment options for the leash.

This is just my opinion. You are welcome to yours.

Lisa Stander-Horel said...

Thanks for the review. I was on the fence, but convinced now to try the Freedom. We've used the EW on our two Bostons who are pretty small and that loop in front really is a problem, especially on the smaller pup - it falls down and she leans to the side...not fun for her.

And your Pug is quite the adorable model. Thanks.

miss.harriet said...

Hi can you tell me where you can get these from in the uk? i can only find websites from the usa selling them, thanks

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear the positivity in this review! I have pit/mix who is about 50 pounds of lean muscle. He is a sweet dog but man, he is a puller!! He takes direction well and I think that with training and the proper walking tool we will have easier walks. I also have a 15 month old, so dealing with Titus and the stroller is a major pain in the rear. I ordered this harness today and am excited to try it. I will submit a review after a few good (hopefully!!) walks.