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Me and my husband are going to be picking up our female from the breeder within the next week or a little longer. When she is older we do want to have her start wearing a vest to carry her toys and poop bags and such while out in public and on walks. What would be the best age to start introducing wearing a vest? Could we get her a cheaper one and keep it empty to get her use to it? This is our first pure bred German Shepherd. We have mixed breeds and other dogs besides GSD in the past.


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By vest you mean backpack / harness correct?

I would weight until full grown for a backpack that has weight to it, you can start with harnesses (without bags, just a regular harness) from the day you get her basically to make sure she is comfortable with the feeling of having something like that on her. then at about a year and a half, have a empty backpack on, maybe with poo bags or a ball on each side, very lightweight, nothing crazy to get used to the backpack feel, then after a few months, closer to her 2nd birthday i would start putting weight in it like heavier things, water bottles etc..
Thats about the timeline i would do for backpacks, other people might have different answers
 

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I suggest being patient. Not only do you want to keep the gear they carry light weight you want to make sure the harness fits really well. Since our dogs come to their full height and fill out between the ages of 2 and 3 don't spend a lot on a harness since you will be replacing it. I found that some might fit the girth of my boy but were too short in length. If the weight wasn't balanced the harness would slip over to one side. Although it didn't seem to bother him I found myself often readjusting it.

I found it was much easier for me to wear a gardening vest and toss treats and bags in front pockets, a water bottle in the pocket in the back and my phone in my chest pocket. I bought a good one from Duluth Trading Company.
 
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