I’ve had this product for nearly 3 years and cannot believe I’ve not written about it! I use it almost every week and it’s really made a difference to my running. A couple of years ago I found a CanaDog hands-free harness for running or walking on a stall at Crufts. Now I could go jogging with my hands free with Guinness rather than holding a lead.
The harness is very comfortable, with wide, padded straps and a side pouch and bottle holder at the back. It sits comfortably above my hips and doesn’t rub or move around much, even when I’m just wearing a thin vest top underneath.
There’s also two strong attachment rings either side but I’ve not had much use for these. I don’t think you could run with multiple dogs attached unless you had longer leads on them. I have clipped Guinness’ lead onto one when he was walking to heel for our cool-down, but that just left the front attachment swinging around loosely so I tend to leave him on there.
At first it felt so strange running with nothing in my hands. There was no longer the comfortable weight of the lead. But quickly I begun to love it. It makes running much more balanced and I can have my hands relaxed and moving naturally.
I use a standard 3m lead attached to Guinness and he tends to run at my side or a little ahead without tripping me up. I don’t even notice the lead swinging loosely near to my legs.
We always finish our run with a sprint and I ask Guinness to pull. He loves it! He digs in and charges ahead, taking the effort for me while I just allow myself to be helped along. It feels scary but awesome! Like you are free and running on air. At first when I had him pulling me I would fight against it, but I quickly learnt to just relax your body and keep your feet moving, letting the dog take you along. Just make sure your dog will slow down on command too ;o).
The only slight issue is the bottle holder. A slim sports bottle is too loose and bounces around and I’ve found when there is a bottle in it the bottom of the bottle pushed into the small of my back and irritates me when I run, almost to the point of hurting me. I only do short runs so I don’t take a drink, but it’s a shame that this feature is useless for me. If I did want to take a drink with me I’d have to carry it in my hand.
However the little side pouch is perfect and I can fit a handful of poo bags in plus treats if needed and my house key.
It’s showing no sign of wear and tear at all and I can’t see me needing to replace it for many years to come. I can’t remember how much it was but no more than £40 I believe, which for a product that’s still going strong after 3 years is worth it in my eyes.
There may be better ones out there, the Ruffwear Omnijore Waist Belt looks pretty good, or if you’re into more serious CaniCross then I’ve seen people using more complicated looking harnesses, but for me and my little jogs around the block this is completely perfect.
- A guide to running with your dog – https://dogoddity.com/2012/07/26/running-with-your-dog/
- Stay safe in the dark with your dog – https://dogoddity.com/2015/10/14/stay-safe-in-the-dark-with-your-dog/
- Our NHS Couch to 5K story – https://dogoddity.com/category/nhs-c25k-2/