Which harness for walking near cliffs?? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 03-04-2014, 06:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Which harness for walking near cliffs??

Hi All

I am looking for a harness that is the best for walking near heights like cliffs. I have a 6 month old Gsd who currently has a harness which is just adjustable strapping, custom made but he runs away when I try to put it on him. He clearly finds it uncomfortable, it does rub under the armpits and isn't padded at all.

I walk by cliffs all the time (60ft high on average), I want a harness that if he goes over the cliff (accidents can happen) he can be safely lowered to the ground (via climbing rope I carry in a backpack). So it needs to be a design where his body won't slip out and or be damaged by being suspended while being lowered.

I am looking out for my dogs safety, dogs go over cliffs all the time and I am not going to stop hiking because I have a dog. He goes everywhere with us, literally everywhere so I am hoping people have some suggestions.

I have seen on the web so far, the Julius ones and the Ruffwear ones but can't find comparison reviews.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I havent really used harness but I know a lot people find reliable products from Ray Allen Professional K9 Equipment | Professional K9 Gear | Police K9 Equipment | Tactical Gear | Ray Allen Manufacturing

Good luck and staff safe near those cliffs
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I know nothing about essentially rapelling with dogs other than you want load rated buckles. The Ruffwear Doubleback is load rated.

I have a Signature K9 harness that is also load rated (but not as much) by paying extra to get Cobra buckles. [There is a plastic cobra with 500, not 2000 lbs load rating.]. Don't count on fastek buckles. My goal is simply a working harness with no plans for serious lift.

I know CMC has been around awhile

CMC K9 Rappel Harness | L.N. Curtis & sons

I would google "tactical K9 harness rappel" to find more options. I believe either Cobra buckles, a design which puts no stress on the buckles, or the attachment like in the one Ruffwear harness would be the only choice.

EDIT. So what is to keep YOU from going over the cliff? Also would your climbing rope be attached to the dog at all times? I may not be comfortable and assume the standard leash clips etc. would be out of the question. I would guess the Ruffwear harness would be more than adequate for a slip and quick recovery as opposed to full lowering (where you would not have lines properly set up etc.)
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ruffwear Webmaster, or a similar harness designed for lifting a dog. I personally wouldn't use anything that only had one strap. I use the Ruffwear when I have a dog in the boat, just in case they jump out and I need to lift them back in (ours is a fishing boat, there's no back deck or ladder for swimming and getting back in).
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would trust the Doubleback but not the Webmaster as a full lift/rappel harness. Fastex buckles are not designed to carry a load..

EDIT...... though people trust them all the time......
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I phoned Ruffwear and they said the webmaster would be fine in am emergency situation but not if the dog was to be lowered and pulled back up frequently. I'm just wanting a harness that can be used as an everyday harness that can be used in an emergency situation to lower.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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EDIT...Hey I was looking at getting the K9 float coat for myself, and in house testing by Ruffwear on those buckles (verbal) is about 300-400lb static load ...that is on 1" strap. Just FYI. The Cobra plastics are verified at 500 (still not rappel), Cobra metal and doubleback slider about 2,000lbs. When you take into account dymanic loads not sure how that works out.
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Good point, I'm just using mine around water to possibly lift a dog a matter of 5 feet (and the dogs can swim, it's just a pain to try to hoist one back in a small boat by a collar). If there was more danger involved, I'd go for something tested for that purpose.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Same reason I am considering life jacket....dog can swim but sometimes we have to work in chop....that is when he is most likely to go over...but if buckles broke I would go in after.....
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