dog walking harness

My young dog has no respect for his collar on lead (we’re working on that!) and he tends to pull on the leash, attempting to drag me to every squirrel, bush, or neighbour that strikes his puppy fancy. On walks where I just want to get to the mailbox and back without being in “training mode”, I was using an EasyWalk dog walking harness. The leash clasps the front of the harness, limiting how much he can pull as he’d spin himself around. The problem with Easywalk is that they don’t make hound-shaped harnesses (very narrow, extremely deep-chested), and it became impossible to fit him with a commercial one.

Thus, I began working on a leather dog walking harness for him. It started out as an exercise in cutting and sewing straps from a hide I got for an amazing price from Tandy. The hide was on special for only $25. It was supposed to be a single shoulder (but in hindsight I think they send be a double because it was very long), and very supple as far as vegetable tanned leather goes. Great for small projects and practice.

I sized the harness based on how the EasyWalk dog walking harness (didn’t) fit on my hound. I tooled a small celtic knot on either side of a celtic concho in the middle of the shoulder piece. I used a filigree blade for the first time, and discovered that it’s amazing for carving fine details. The “proper” blade to carve with is a straight blade, but it’s meant more for swooping cuts, and doesn’t take those tight turns and swirls as easily.

Rivets are crazy-strong, but I wanted to practice hand sewing on this soft leather with a new kind of thread. The thread is nylon with a wax coating, and I’m thinking it would outlast linen and be able to take more abuse. The thread is a little thicker though, so the backstitching is more obvious.

Now, my problem is that it’s TOO easy to walk him in this. The lovely dog walking harness needs to stay on the hook at home when I take my silly Saluki (who think’s he’s a sled dog Husky) on a “training-not-to-pull” walk. Silly boy.