Freedom Friday

I finally got the Freedom Harness for my doggies!


I’ve been wanting to switch from the Other brand of front-clasp anti-pull harness since that company was bought out by a company that sells aversive dog tools. But Leo was really accustomed to that harness. He doesn’t even try to pull when I walk him on it, but does pull if we use a back-clasp harness or clip the leash to his collar. The old harness doesn’t even fit that well – it hangs a little on his chest – but it’s been working.

So I was in no hurry to get Leo a new one.

Mia is pretty much perfect in every way, and is capable of walking nicely with her leash just clasped to the collar, or with a front-clasp harness, or with a back-clasp harness. Except when she doesn’t. Now and again she pulls. Usually when there’s the scent of deer in the air.

After a recent walk around Rob’s parents’ neighborhood when Mia strained against the leash the whole time, I ordered her a Freedom Harness. I had seen it on some dogs at the Pet Expos, and knew it was the one I wanted.

Mia’s is rose pink and has a coordinating 10-configuration, double-ended leash. While Mia is a candidate for no-hands leash walking (except when there’s deer in the air), she walks best with the leash fastened both to the front and back.

mia harness

When you order online, Jessica MacDonald, inventor of the Freedom Harness, asks your dog’s weight and chest girth, and pre-sizes the harness. Quite handy, because the fit is very precise. I especially love the velvety fabric of the strap that goes across the chest.

So I went ahead and ordered one for Leo in kelly green. It fits him much better than his old harness.

leo harness

The Freedom Harness is designed so that the “control loop” on the back signals to the dog to stop pulling. Since Leo is very used to having a similar loop on his chest, he pulls a little bit more with this new harness, but he’s learning.

A cool feature of the 10-configuration leash is the detachable handle. I took the dogs to a beach where I used to let them run off-leash until Leo lost his privileges. Since then, I’ve clipped a long lead to his collar. Now that I have these longer, double-ended leashes with detachable handles, I can walk the two of them together from the parking lot to the beach, by attaching one of the handles to the ends of both leashes.

tandem dogs-2


Then, I can let Mia off leash and attach the leashes together, with a handle at one end, creating a long line for Leo. If I want to let him go in the water and drag the leash, I can detach the handle so it doesn’t get wet. Genius.

Here’s Leo draggin’ his leash(es) over a piece of driftwood that looks like a dragon.

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Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

13 thoughts on “Freedom Friday

  1. Their Freedom Harnesses look so good on them! Leo looks so handsome in that green! We love the Freedom Harnesses, too! The girls wear them every day!

  2. We have heard about these, they sound really nice! Bailie is the puller in our family, but she is getting better. Mom thinks about getting one of these now and then, but so far has not.

  3. I love the new harnesses. Our pack just got a new set, but I really should get the front clip. They only pull when we start the walk and then they all settle into a nice walk. As long as other folks don’t try and greet us, we’re fine. It would be fun to try these on our dogs.

  4. I hadn’t heard of the Freedom Harness yet ~ it sounds like it works quite nicely! Being a dog walker, I’ve had several clients who’ve used similar harnesses, and they worked great, too.

  5. You’ve picked such perfect colors for both of them!

    I really loved our Freedom harness when I was teaching Nala loose leash walking, although I found the double leash a little frustrating and would just clip my leash to one ring or the other. When I first got Nala, I think that that control loop probably saved my life! She didn’t have an ounce of leash skills, and it definitely kept her pulling to a dull roar. When I started teaching loose leash walking, I found that the best configuration for us was to put the leash clip through both the front harness ring and the D-ring on her collar to anchor her harness in place. Even though I like our new harness a little better, I think the Freedom harness is awesome for dogs when you really need some mechanical help with a big, pully dog.

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