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My dog is a houdini, please help find me a safe harness!

(7 Posts)
pawsnclaws Thu 09-Dec-10 12:55:47

We've had our beautiful rescue greyhound now for 3 weeks and he's slipped his lead twice. First time he slipped the special collar/lead the rescue kennels gave us (even though it was on the tightest setting), he then got out of a slip lead recommended by the pet shop. Thankfully both times he made it home.

I'm now terrified he'll get away again and get run over or lost. We have a harness but it doesn't fit over his coat and doesn't look that secure anyway. He's not a puller, he just seems to be able to duck his head and pull back and out.

I've found a harness recommended on a few sites called the Ruffwear Webmaster - costs £50! Can anyone recommend this or similar? Money no object, I just want to get him the right thing.

jellybrain Thu 09-Dec-10 13:18:10

I have just bought this for my collie puppy http://www.yourdogsneeds.co.uk/clix-car-safe-harne ss-medium-p-157.html. It does up behind her front legs and clips either side. I bought it for use in the car but have been using it when walking her on the lead too. She seems happy to wear it and it looks pretty comfy - she wags her tail madly and shoves her head through it as soon as I get it out which is a good sign!

I bought mine in a local petshop for £12.00, where they were happy to let me try it for size. Pets at home do something similar(their own brand0 but it doesn't look as nice. Bigger sizes are more expensive. There is also another brand called something like Dogeze(?)

pawsnclaws Thu 09-Dec-10 13:21:11

Thanks jellybrain will look at that one.

Scuttlebutter Thu 09-Dec-10 13:21:51

Paws, exactly what type of collar is your greyhound wearing? "Normal" dog collars are completely unsuitable and even dangerous for greys, as not only can they back out of them (as you've found) but if they suddenly pull, the narrow width can put a great deal of pressure on the neck. For the same reason you should NEVER use those awful extending leads.

Your greyhound's collar should either be a specialised leather collar for greys/whippets lurchers (these are the ones that have a nice thick band and it narrows by the buckle), or my own preference, a martingale collar. These are made from tough plastic webbing, which is then coated in soft, smooth fabrics so they are very comfortable for the dog to wear, while also being incredibly strong, and washable. You can get them in a wonderful variety of colours and designs. blush They are generally 1.5 or 2" in thickness (our two big boys wear 2" collars and our smaller bitch wears a 1.5" collar). The collar is fastened by a fabric loop which can be gently tightened to fit snugly (but not tightly) around your dog's neck. I've never heard of one of these being escaped from (if correctly fitted).

You should also make sure his microchip details are up to date, and I'd strongly recommend doing a basic obedience class with him and working on recall. Even if this improves, though, you should never be complacent - sighthounds are notorious for going into the "zone" when they see something of interest and will literally be deaf to all calls from owners.

Congratulations by the way. They are wonderful dogs and curiously addictive. grin

pawsnclaws Thu 09-Dec-10 13:30:36

Scuttlebutter I think he has been wearing the type you describe second, ie it is thicker leather round the throat and then narrows at the back. This was the type he got away from first so I'll look at the martingale collar too. We have to sort this urgently, DH was nearly in tears last night when he got away again. Luckily he was only 100 metres or so from home, he's basically a homeloving lazy boy who would prefer to be sat in the warm than going for a walk (the dog, not DH).

He's microchipped but my real fear is cars, luckily the first time he got away was in fields and he came back to me when he got tired and cold. He's such a lovely boy I don't think I could bear it if he was injured.

Scuttlebutter Thu 09-Dec-10 13:39:06

Yes, in that case try a martingale collar. The only thing I'd say is that as others here can acknowledge, you'll find your self with a whole new shopping experience!! There are a number of suppliers and they are increasingly available in the UK, but the best ones are in the USA and Canada - in particular, any supplier should ensure the "core" of the collare is very strong, fittings (D rings and collar clips) are of high quality, and the quality of workmanship is good. We have collars that have stood up to several years of hard wear, and like the fact they are also washable. Try www.aroundthehounds.com or www.2houndsdesign.com or just google for greyhound martingale collars. I can recommend the two companies I've listed as we've bought a number of collars from them and have been very happy with the quality of the goods and the service received. Generally, delivery takes about a fortnight, although of course we are in the busy pre Christmas period.

pawsnclaws Thu 09-Dec-10 13:44:10

Thanks both will have a look at the sites.

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