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Discussion Starter #1
I've been flummoxed by the relative lack of data on dog safety restraints, so I set about to summarize what I've found on my own.

As many here know, the 2012 crash results by the Center for Pet Safety (which never revealed the four brands they tested) had four out of four brands fail in their 35 mph test (one of them would have possibly resulted in a decapitation): The Science of Pet Safety, Center for Pet Safety, Pet Safety Testing, Pet Product Testing, Crash Testing, Scientific Testing, Criteria, Pet Safety Advocate

This seems to have spurred some change in the industry. The old threads here reference a few brands that have been crash tasted, but that was as of 2010, mostly. A few more brands seem to have crash-tested now. And yet the crash tests aren't alike -- some are done with a 35# dog dummy (quite possibly not a reliable indicator the system will hold up with a 75# or 100# dog). There's also a new tensile strength standard protocol one manufacturer is pushing for the whole industry.

Since many of the websites I've found dedicated to this are 2010-era (or earlier) info, here's what I've found recently. Hopefully some of you who use these brands and might have seen them perform in a fender-bender can chime in. And hopefully someone here with an engineering background can offer thoughts on the testing protocols. This whole product category is very, very confusing -- and it's hard to trust mfr claims.

Please share your experiences using any of these, and add any other brands you know of that are crash-tested and/or independently tested for tensile strength AND release the results of those tests on the mfr websites.

Bergan: shop products Bergan Pet Products | Pet Carriers & Crates, Cat Toys, Leashes, Pet Travel Accessories, Feeders, Food Storage Bergan Pet Products | Pet Carriers & Crates, Cat Toys, Leashes, Pet Travel Accessories, Feeders, Food Storage
Crash tested: no?
Tensile strength tested/results published: yes/yes
Test Results: V9DT

This company is pushing for an industry-wide minimum standard they call V9DT. They seem to be well-marketed to vets and bloggers (lots of positive reviews), like this: Safety Product Review: Bergan Travel Harness | The Preventive Vet. They also got the ASPCA to partner with them for the Paws to Click initiative: Paws To Click. Still...no crash test, at least that I could find. Anyone know differently?


Kurgo:
Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Smart Harness with Steel Nesting Buckles - Kurgo Products
Crash-Tested: yes (35# @ 30 mph, video available)
Tensile strength tested/results published: yes/yes
Test Results: https://www.kurgostore.com/content/Documents/KG1201_Results.pdf

https://www.kurgostore.com/content/Documents/KG1201_Results.pdf

I think it's terrific for this company to release both the video of the crash test and tensile-strength lab report...but the crash test seems like it was done with too small a dog to assure me the product will provide similar protection to my 75# dog.


Champion: Champion Canine Seat Belt System
Crash-Tested: yes? (I've seen statements to that effect online but found no link to the video -- I emailed to request and will update if they reply. If anyone has a link to the video already, please post!)
Tensile-strength tested/results published: yes/not that I could find

I've seen lots of good reviews of this, including from many people here. I really wish I could see their crash test video for myself and not have to take the mfr's word for it. Does anyone have links to the test results/video?


Ruff Rider Roadie: About Ruff Rider and Our Dog Safety Harnesses for Moving Vehicles
Crash -Tested: yes (according to an email they sent me, they test at 25#, 45# and 75# -- the video isn't available currently, but they are working on putting it up on their website)
Tensile-strength tested/results published: yes/not that I could find

I did find this on YouTube, and it looks like it's from RuffRider:

This appears to be one of only two companies that is testing with a big dog dummy. I've seen reviews that this one is hard to use and dogs get tangled in it. I've also seen reviews that some people love it. The company's email also suggested fit must be very precise because the harness does not adjust much. They were very responsive by email about their testing, and the rep asked a tech to get more information for me.



Canine Friendly Safety Harness(RC Products): -
Crash-Tested: Yes (85# @ 30 mph)
Tensile-strength tested/results published: Yes/not that I could find (their website shows results but offers no lab report--anyone able to update?)

Canine Friendly Crash-Tested In-Vehicle Safety Harness - YouTube

This is the other company that crash tests with a big dog dummy. This one is crash-tested with an 85# dummy-dog. It's also more than twice the price of the others, retailing for around $70 or so on Amazon.


Orvis:
Dog Car Safety Harness / Dog Safety Harness -- Orvis
This looks identical to the RC Products harness, so I'm guessing it's probably mfr'd for Orvis by that company.


PetBuckle: Helping Get You Home Safely - IMMI
Crash-Tested: Yes (video available but no details of speed/weight provided)
Tensile-strength tested/results published: unknown/not that I could find



Snoozer: Pet Safety Harness and Adapter - Pet Travel ProductsCrash-
Crash-Tested: Yes (30# dog dummy @ 30 mph, but I could find no video of the test available online)
Tensile-strength tested/results published: unknown/not that I could find

Please add other companies you know about, with similar links to safety reliability information. If you have more info than I was able to find on my own about any of these companies, please supplement it.

Let's try to gather verifiable safety information on these products. If you use one and like it, but don't have verifiable safety info available online, please email the manufacturer (as you are their customer) and ask them to provide it -- and then update this thread with what you find out!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just wanted to update:

Ruff Rider sent me their lab report for the Roadie's tensile strength test lab report upon request. They tested three sizes. The extra large carried over 5000 lbs. The medium carried over 2700 lbs. Both exceeded the requirements.

I consider their tensile-strength claim to be verified.
 

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Easy Rider® Sport Car Harness | Coastal Pet Products

"This patented safety crash tested car harness features..." this is cut and pasted from the link. But where are the results? I can't find them. I use an older version of this harness (basically, the chest area is wide nylon strap) and I don't think it would protect my dog in a collision. But it keeps him stationary in the back seat so he can't get out the open window or climb on the clutch.

Many years ago I had to slam on the brakes to avoid a lunatic driver - I wasn't going very fast at all - and my loose dog really banged into the back of the passenger seat. If he'd hit me with that force, he could have knocked me out!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another update:

Champion responded to my email, and I'm disappointed with the results, as this is a product I was leaning toward as many here like it.

According to their email to me, they don't crash test, and they test tensile strength up to 2000# (no lab report was furnished to me). I'm concerned 2000# might be too low for a big dog. Compare this to the testing of the Rough Rider (it's half the Rough Rider's strength test for an Extra Large dog). It's also far less than the Bergan test results for larger dogs (and it's even less than their test results for small dogs!).

According to the V9DT standard Bergan developed and is pushing as an industry standard with the ASPCA, harnesses for bigger dogs need to be capable of withstanding more than 2,000 pounds:

HARNESS TENSILE STRENGTH CHART
Harness Size/Intended Dog Weight Range/Displacement Speed/Max Load
Small
10 – 25 lbs
2 to 6 inches/minute
800 lbs

Medium
25 – 50 lbs
2 to 6 inches/minute
1,500 lbs

Large
50 – 80 lbs
2 to 6 inches/minute
2,500 lbs

X-Large
80 – 150 lbs
2 to 6 inches/minute
4,400 lbs



Updated listing for Champion:

Champion (per email)
Crash Tested: NoTensile strength tested/results published: Yes/No (tested up to 2000#)

They did point out a comment in a blog about the harness working well in a real-life crash, but that's not enough for me, personally (since PR firms and others who are less than trustworthy are equally capable of posting to blogs). I'm really looking for actual crash tests--with heavier dogs.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
I also want to add I just went back and looked at the Kurgo lab report:

Kurgo - tensile strength rated only to 2,250#.
(it failed at 2,250#...same issue as the Champion)
 

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I have used several of those harnesses. One thing that bothers me about a lot of the seatbelt harnesses available is they rely on plastic buckles to secure the dog, and I am not sure if these buckles have been load tested. It seems like plastic is not the best choice with the types of forces that can be generated in a crash. This is why I liked the Champion, because it does not rely on the plastic buckles for holding the dog in place. However the strength rating is a bit low. This is the harness I have been using most recently, except for my cat who wears a Kurgo harness mainly because it was the only one that fit her.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have used several of those harnesses. One thing that bothers me about a lot of the seatbelt harnesses available is they rely on plastic buckles to secure the dog, and I am not sure if these buckles have been load tested.
I've since learned that the Kurgo Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit harness has metal buckles. They are the kind of buckles used in mountaineering gear -- a little unusual to work at first, until you get the hang of it, and then they're pretty easy. We ordered one of these to evaluate for a smaller dog (where the 2,250 tensile strength/crash test weight would be in the acceptable range). It's fairly easy to get on and off, and the dog seems comfortable in it (he goes to sleep in the car easily wearing it).

I had to order it from Kurgo directly, as Amazon and other vendors only had the "regular" Tru-Fit with the plastic buckles (not the "Enhanced Strength). I didn't like the tether it came with so I replaced it with one from Bergan that is better designed (the Krugo tether is designed for a seatbelt, so it's not ideal to connect to the cargo area of a van or SUV). As far as I can tell, it's the Enhanced Strength that was tested by Krugo.

Here are pictures with the metal buckles:
Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Smart Harness with Steel Nesting Buckles - Kurgo Products

I'm ordering a Rough Rider to evaluate for my big 80# guy. I'm a little skeptical because it's supposed to require a very precise fit (only a few inches of "give" for adjustments). We'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm ordering a Rough Rider to evaluate for my big 80# guy. I'm a little skeptical because it's supposed to require a very precise fit (only a few inches of "give" for adjustments). We'll see.
I actually ended up getting the Canine Friendly Safety Harness (RC Products) for the big (80#) guy. It was relatively pricey, but it's simpler to get in and out of than the Roadie, and it's crash tested an an appropriate weight. I'll report back on my thoughts when it arrives. It sells on Amazon for around $67 (compared to about $30 for the Kurgo Enhanced Strength).
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Tests On Dog Harnesses Show 100 Percent Failure Rate CBS Miami

They don't name brands tested, but claim 100% failure rate in crash tests on all.
If you look at my research above, it was in response to that. That's the whole reason for this research escapade!

They tested 4 brands. Since that test, SOME brands are releasing their own independent crash tests on redesigned products, and their own tensile strength tests from independent labs. Others are not doing it. The goal of this thread is to find the GOOD ones--there's been a some movement in this product category since that report came out. The idea is for us to collectively keep track of which companies are being responsible and testing (and ideally, releasing results), and which aren't -- instead of throwing up our hands and saying to heck with car safety.
 

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Yeah I had a Roadie for my previous dog but I didn't like it because it was too difficult and annoying to put on. Since it was a snug fit it also required me to pull her leg up in an awkward position to put the harness on.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
FOLLOW UP:

I've been using the Canine Friendly Safety Harness (RC Products) harness on my large male all summer. I really like it! I think it's worth the extra cost: it's easy to use; it's a heavy, substantial product with a thick, fleece-lined chest-piece; most importantly, it's crash-tested at 75#.

I am neutral on the Kurgo Enhanced-Strength product. I've been using for the smaller dogs. It's okay for my 45# dog, but I like the slide-in metal buckles a lot less than the click-to-connect metal buckle in the Canine Friendly product. The Krugo harness feels less substantial in my hand--I'm also concerned that the chest piece covers a lot less of the dog's body, concentrating more force in a smaller area, as compared to the Canine Friendly product.

Here are some pictures to illustrate the difference (keep in mind the red Kurgo is for a dog under 50#; the silver Canine Friendly is for a much larger dog).










 

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Sleepypod is coming out with a new dog seatbelt harness that looks really interesting. It was crash-tested to 75 lb dogs and uses a 3-point restraint.

They have more info and videos of testing on their website:
Sleepypod® Safety
Sleepypod® Clickit

They actually designed a new crash test dummy dog for safety testing, also:
Crash test dummy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



The Center for Pet Safety is supposed to be releasing their new 2013 data in October:
The Science of Pet Safety, Pet Product Testing, Crash Testing, Scientific Testing, Criteria, Pet Safety Advocate, PetSafety
  • Over the next few weeks, Center for Pet Safety is compiling the large volumes of data.
  • The collected data will support the first Pet Travel Harness Standard to be completed in the fall.
  • Center for Pet Safety, along with our Harness Study partner, Subaru of America, will announce the top performing harness brands in early October.
 

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I'm very interested in the Sleepypod Clickit harness. Best thing is it's available locally which I really like and seems to have extremely good reviews

Anyone have personal experience with it?
 

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I haven't used it but I did get to check it out a bit at a trade show. The only thing I wasn't sure about it is because it's a 3 point attachment, the dog may not be able to move around as much. They only had it on a crash test dummy dog at the show so I didn't see it on a real dog and not sure how much it does restrict... However the 3 point attachment seems to be much more secure and safer than one that allows more movement, so it's a trade off I guess.
 

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I haven't used it but I did get to check it out a bit at a trade show. The only thing I wasn't sure about it is because it's a 3 point attachment, the dog may not be able to move around as much. They only had it on a crash test dummy dog at the show so I didn't see it on a real dog and not sure how much it does restrict... However the 3 point attachment seems to be much more secure and safer than one that allows more movement, so it's a trade off I guess.
True, mine aren't belted to the point they can't move but they are restricted. The third point being the seatbelt would restrict them more

Definetely something to consider, thanks! :)
 
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