New Contributor

Harness Failure

I purchased this harness a year or two ago for my pug.  It is still listed on the PetCo site but is currently out of stock:  https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/petco-adjustable-mesh-harness-for-dogs-in-bright-pi... .   As you can see in the attached photo, the plastic strap across the top broke.  This is a single point of failure for the entire harness -- once that is gone the harness just falls off the dog.   And there was no warning, no sign (such as fraying or smaller cracks appearing) that it was going to go.  It just went.  When it happened, my pug was straining at the leash trying to run across the street to accost a dog in a yard.  The strap broke and off she went.  Straight into a moving car.  Amazingly, although she required some veterinary care and will be recuperating for some time to come, her injuries were relatively minor and she should make a full recovery.  

I am posting this as a caution to others who may have this same harness.  My advice would be to get rid of it immediately or, if you continue to use it, to check it over very thoroughly each and every time that you use it.  My personal opinion is that having a piece of plastic that is a single point of failure is a bad design.  A fabric strap would likely give some indication (fraying, etc) that failure was coming in the near future.  


Community Manager

Re: Harness Failure

Hi masonc


Welcome to the community, thank you for sharing your concerns. I've gone ahead and sent your feedback to our product team for consideration, we greatly appreciate your input. I'm so glad you dog is okay!


Best, Alex 

New Contributor

Re: Harness Failure

[ Edited ]
Hi masonc,

I am sorry that happened, and I am happy that your dog is recuperating.

Thank you for this post. No matter what caused the failure, it is important for people to know what happened and be aware of the possibility. It is reviews like yours that help me eliminate some options when there is a risk I am not willing to take.

If you are still researching alternatives to the harness that failed, I suggest you consider a product called "Harness Lead," which is available from the company's website and some other online retailers. It is a one-piece rope (for lack of a better word) that is constructed to wrap around a dog's chest (below the neck) and under the front legs. It is a harness and leash in one, so it does not seem to have any points of failure. Worst case scenario, there should be visible warnings of a potential problem.

The Harness Lead is made of a soft, rope-like material that has its strength measured like nautical rope. It is branded as escape proof, and I bought one after my dog slipped her collar and then backed out of a regular harness. Fortunately, both of her escapes happened away from traffic. My dog cannot back out of the Harness Lead, and I do not have to worry about any parts breaking.

There is something to be said for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your pet is safe from (at least one) danger. Thanks, again, for your post. It might prevent others from the scary experience you and your dog had... or give people something to think about when evaluating harness options.

New Contributor

Re: Harness Failure

Thanks for the advice!  I have been researching different types of harnesses and did see the Harness Lead, it seemed like the most reliable and best designed out there.  Thanks for sharing your experience with it, I will purchase one when Brie is up for walking again.  Brie (my Pug) is the Houdini of small dogs.  I have never had a harness that she could not figure out how to shake unless I tightened it to the point where she could barely breathe.  Controlling her when she got excited was mostly a matter of making sure she could not get the right angles to work her magic.  I was OK with that until this recent incident when her harness just broke in two which convinced me that I need something more reliable. She is up to walking a bit now but as she is about 9 years old I'm not sure she is going to make it all the way back to where she was before the accident.  She is lucky to be alive and walking at all, so I am not complaining!  Again, thanks for your post.

Occasional Contributor

Re: Harness Failure

Oh my gosh! The is my worst nightmare!!!

I have tried many of them, but I've found the Freedom to be my favorite Harness. Ruffwear also has some tough ones.

I hope your pug heals up fast. I'm so sorry for you both! Thank you for the heads up.!
*Training should be fun for both ends of the leash!*.
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