When I originally started this blog, I intended to write to the occasional dog post, but I got side tracked and that didn’t really happen. With the launch of the new site, there’s no better time to start adding some dog related posts into the mix. Today, I want to share a special harness with you that has been very beneficial to both myself and my dogs. It is from Friendly Dog Collars, an Australian company, who run an online pet product store but also have various stockists.
Edit: Since publishing this post, Friendly Dog Collars have given me an affiliate link and a discount code all my readers can use. Just use ALINTA to get 10% off your order. I really love what this company does, so I’m sure I will be using this discount code myself soon.
Friendly Dog Collars specialise in making “colour coded temperament awareness products” for dogs of all sizes. The products are designed to stop any incident before it could happen by warning the other dog owners that your dog has special needs. They have 10 product ranges to choose from which includes Friendly, No Dogs, Caution, Nervous, Blind Dog, Training, Adopt Me, Deaf Dog, Service Dog and Do Not Feed. Each range then includes various products that are all colour coded. So in the Friendly range, you will find harnesses, collars, jackets and leads all in the same green colour, with the word ‘Friendly’ easily visible on them. I found out about Friendly Dog Collars when I volunteered my dogs to do some marketing images for them. I am glad I volunteered the time to those photos as I found a product that I have been dedicated to ever since.
The product that has made the biggest difference for me is the Nervous adjustable vest harness that I use on my dog Pickles. She has a deformed leg that is probably from abuse as a puppy, so she gets nervous in new situations with new people and dogs. The Nervous harness is always seen by any other owner in the vicinity and a lot of the time they ask why she’s nervous, or if they have a nervous dog themselves, they often ask for the purchasing details. People usually understand that the harness means that she needs a longer time to adjust to the situation and to give her some space to do so. I have had people ask if it makes people more likely to pat her and it doesn’t. It makes people far more likely to engage in a conversation with me about her, but people are far less likely to run up to her and overwhelm her, which happens a lot without the Nervous harness on. Big dog owners who often let their dogs bound up to mine, and therefore freak Pickles out, also take notice of the harness. There are always going to be some people who don’t understand, and they’re usually the ones with big dogs who bound up to mine who are cowering, but overall, the harness makes a huge difference. I have been meaning to buy the accompanying Nervous lead for her too, but I haven’t got around to doing that yet. Our time away from home is now much easier for her to deal with, sure she still gets nervous and wants to snuggle into me for protection, but with the harness, we have been able to avoid any big incident that would take time and lots of confidence building to get over.
The other products I own are from the Friendly line. I have both the adjustable vest harness and the standard/medium length lead (120cm/4ft). Kobi uses both of these products as he is the nicest dog I have ever known, but he sometimes makes sounds when he is overly excited. The Friendly vest just reassures people who don’t know dog body language that he is in fact just being friendly. It doesn’t have the same impact as the Nervous harness does, as people approach Kobi just as much with it on, but that’s fine because he loves the interaction. It has allowed owners with other friendly dogs to approach us without worrying about what sort of temperament Kobi has, so he has had a lot more interactions with happy, friendly dogs like himself.
If there is any particular item in the range that I would tell everyone to get, it is the harnesses. Every small dog should be wearing a harness anyway, to ensure that there is no excess pressure put on their trachea, and this is a great one to buy. I own Puppia, Dogue, Rufus & Coco and eBay harness, all in the same style. Other than the eBay one, they are all good quality and reliable harnesses, they just differ in what they are made of, with some being soft mesh, some being canvas and others being padded. The Friendly Dog Collars ones are made of polypropylene webbing “for maximum durability” but I can’t see any big difference between them and the other brands. The reason why you should get the Friendly Dog Collars ones is because of the message telling other owners about your dog’s temperament or special needs. There is a harness in a different style that will fit big dogs, and have the same benefits when it comes to letting other owners know about your dog.
If someone knows dog body language then they can see that Kobi is being friendly and Pickles is being nervous but it’s a good reminder to people, and gives Pickles a barrier that she doesn’t have otherwise. When I did the photoshoot originally, they didn’t have a size that fitted Bonsai our Chihuahua, but I have seen that they do stock an XS in the vest harness that would probably be his size. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out which harness would be appropriate for him as his personality is entirely dependant on his mood. He really needs a harness that changes between the words devil and angel in a split second – but I think that is probably needed by most Chihuahuas.
The sizing off all products is on the Friendly Dog Collars website, so it is easy to measure your dog and find the right size, but you can also go to a stockist if you want to check the fit before you buy. The products are very durable and the wording is embroidered on them, so you won’t have issues with the wording rubbing off over time. The company seems to have put a lot of thought into the products they make, and I am certainly a fan. I have sent a huge amount of customers their way because I know the difference that a harness with the word ‘Nervous’ on it can make for a dog that needs some extra time or space in public. The company has information on their website about expanding into the USA, so American’s may be able to get their hands on these soon too. Do you like the idea of products that let other owners know about the temperament of your dog?