Why 'H' Shaped Dog Harnesses?

Thursday, 17 February 2022  |  D for Dog

The traditional 'H' shaped dog harness has been around for decades, with good reason. It is the perfect shape to avoid muscle and skeletal problems in harness wearing dogs. An H-harness keeps your dog's shoulder joints free from restriction, ensuring a natural and free range of movement for their muscles and joints.

Red Dingo Y-shaped Dog Harness

This design of harness is described as an H-harness because of the shape it makes when viewed from the side. They are also called Roman dog harnesses. However, some people also refer to this design of harness as a Y-harness because when looking at it from the front on the dog, a Y-shape is formed.

How the H-harness and Y-harness sits on the dog's body is pretty much the same however on a traditional 'Y' shaped harness the lead contact point is nearer to the dog's neck. On an H-harness the lead attachment point is much further back, towards the middle of the dog's body so their shoulder blades and legs are free to move without hinderance and joints won't be damaged, even if the dog pulls on the lead.

Why is an H-harness so good?

A well fitted and well designed dog harness should not impede your dog's chest or shoulders as they move (whether on or off lead) and it is clear from the front that a 'Y' shaped harness or an H-harness is an easy way to achieve this. These dog harnesses also keep your dog's neck free from stress and strain. The harness rests on the thorax with the centre of the 'Y' on the dog's chest-bone.

Red Dingo H-shaped Dog Harness

Many feel, for these reasons, that H or Y shaped dog harnesses are preferable to designs that go across the dog's chest, which are often referred to as Norwegian harnesses. These also have their place in the dog harness world but it is best not to use this style on dogs who pull on-lead. You must also be sure to follow the brand's fitting instructions to the letter and make sure that the front strap sits just below the dog's neckline so as not to impede movement or cause muscle or joint strain.

Also, because a Y-harness or H-harness sits so comfortably on the dog without restriction, you will find dogs (even dogs who have resisted wearing a harnesses in the past) will be much more willing to wear one as it will fit naturally and comfortably.

When buying a harness for your dog, be sure to check where the harness sits on your dog and whether it restricts their movement in any way. An ill fitting or poorly designed dog harness, in any shape or design, can do more harm than good if it is sitting on all the wrong parts of your dog or concentrating force and stress in one area. In general an H-harness or Y-harness is the easiest to adjust and fit without fear of making mistakes.

To view our range of dog harnesses, please visit Dog Harnesses.

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