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Hello everyone. I was wondering if anyone else has had a difficult time fitting their bassets into harnesses. My puppy is on her fourth harness. The first three were step-in, back attaching kinds. I bought her a new one today that is front attaching. It seems like no matter what I do I can't get the harness to fit quite right. It seems like her arms and shoulders are so far set back from her chest, that harnesses doesn't rest properly without choking her or hanging so low on she can trip over it.

I've been able to compensate until now by just leaving them a bit too lose. I even thought I had this figured out with her last harness but...I've been proven wholly wrong today. :( Today I got her a front attaching harness so that she's pulling less while out on walks until we've trained lose leash walking together (though even then I'd prefer her on a harness rather than in a collar).

The new harness is a "Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness" made by Primer. The harness had instructions on how to fit it -- I was super excited because I figured most of my problems with harness fitting was that I just didn't know how to put one on. I measured her girth over and over to ensure I had the right size. I am confident what I have is correct. She has a 19 1/2" girth and so is right on the cusp of the "small" / "small / medium" and "medium" sizes. She weighs approximately 17 lbs and so at the store clerk's suggestion (little specialty pet store in my area with educated personnel) we got the small/medium. The harness says it fits from 19-25" girths and so by all means this should fit.

The directions for fitting this thing are like so:

Part I: Fit the Shoulder Strap


1. Open the quick snap buckle on the belly strap. Place the shoulder strap over the dogs head with the chest strap resting on the dogs chest


Check. We did this of course, since it was easy.

2. Adjust the shoulder strap so that the connector ring sits above and behind the dog's shoulder.

[The diagram shows the "belly strap" as open.]

We did this, kind of. The chest straps are extended to their largest length. Moving them the connector rings back, her chest girth is so forward from "behind the dog's shoulder(s)" that with the chest straps fully extended the connector rings don't reach to where they say they should be. Time and time again this has been the problem I've had with harnesses and so I figure, perhaps the diagram is wrong...move onto the next step.

Part II: Fit the belly strap

3. Tighten the shoulder strap to a comfortably snug fit, allowing for just fingers with underneath. The snug fit is required because the girth creates the "foundation" that keeps the harness in place. When the girth (shoulder and belly straps combined) are fitted correctly, it should resemble a vertical line.

[It shows a picture of the belly strap now connected.]

And....this is where we completely fall apart. No matter what I do, I can't seem to get the "shoulder strap connector rings above and behind" her shoulders, while having the belly strap connected. The closest I've come is with the shoulder strap at its absolute smallest "setting" and the belly strap as extended as possible, with the chest straps extended as much as possible. Even then, it feels like it's tugging under her arm pits. Then when she stands up, it appears as if she's just going to step through the belly strap or it's going to drag on the ground. She actually did step right through the front straps while playing around as I typed this. In essence, it just doesn't fit right. Having it so it will "resemble a vertical line" because the "girth (shoulder and belly straps combined)" are fitted correctly is out of the question.

I know a photo is much easier to decipher what I'm describing by. I tried to take some photos I can't get her to sit calmly enough while I point to the problem sites to take photos (and she hates the camera ). I see the photos of the dogs in the pictures in the directions and it all fits them like a | (vertical line) but, I can't seem to get the chest/belly/shoulder straps to create anything but > while on. Much of this seems to me because the chest strap (extended to its max) is pulling the other two straps forward, yet, with where her arm-pits and chest-girth are (where you connect the harness behind the legs) it doesn't fit. *sigh*

The other harness sizes are too large and *sigh* beyond that I've had this problem with every harness I've tried to put her in. So...I guess I was wondering if it's a breed thing since bassets have such long bodies, and if it is, what you all do to compensate.
 

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if the purpose of the harness is to reduce pulling while training then I would suggest a Sporn no=pull halter IF you look at the picture you will see that girth is not an issue With a puppy get the largest size you can reduce down to small enough this give the dog room to grow into it and not having to keep buying them


For traditional and not traditional harness. Alwas shop a pet stores that allow pets and bring the dog so you can try it out before you buy. It saves a lot of fitting headaches. Many harness say measure the girth at the widest point of the chest, which works fine for more traditional conformed dogs but this is not where the harness will ultimately rest on a basset, measure the girth just behind the front legs and go with that measurement. Most basset have promenent sternums which means from front to back the harness need to be longer than more traditional breeds. This usually means getting the largeest size possible and shortening the girth strap and/or the strap around the neck to minimium size.
 

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We were having the same trouble but thankfully we just found a great harness at our local pet store. I think you can find them online though the brand is ipuppyone and its their mesh harness. It fits Charlotte perfectly!!
 
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