I’ve been waiting for the right occasion to do another Ruffwear product review. Finally, the perfect opportunity had arrived – I had just registered my labrador retriever for the CGC (Canine Good Citizen) training class. I needed a good harness for Rio’s training sessions and I decided to test out a harness from Ruffwear. In my Ruffwear Front Range Harness review, I share my thoughts and observations about the harness and its features.
Front Range Harness Fit And Comfort
The harness has four points of adjustment and is super comfy thanks to the soft padding. It’s surprisingly lighter than it looks. The featured image below is a medium sized vest and weighs just 7.2 ounces. Rio’s harness ‘fits like a glove’. It’s a snug fit. And I have had no issues with chaffing – the chest and belly portion of the harness are both well padded so no rubbing around the arm pits. The harness also sits in place well and doesn’t shift when properly fitted. The harness allows for a full range of motion so it doesn’t appear that Rio is restricted at all when walking (or running).
On Ruffwear’s website, they share videos on proper fitting and sizing. Take advantage of the videos so that you get the fitting correct. My dog is a labrador retriever and I generally consider him as a large dog. However, by Ruffwear’s sizing charts, my dog fits into a medium harness. My point is – the vest fits him perfectly so trust their sizing charts.
Training Tip: If your dog is new to wearing a harness or apprehensive about you putting it over his head then please read: Tips on How To Train Your Dog To Wear A Backpack. (Teaching your dog to wear a harness is the same concept as teaching him to wear a backpack)
Granted, I’ve only had the harness for a few months and it’s used mostly in training sessions. But it’s holding up well and still looks brand new. The harness seems to be living up to the Ruffwear’s durability reputation. However, it’s now my go-to harness for our daily walks so if there are any changes I will make updates to this article.
Two Leash Attachment Options
V-Ring – For everyday walks, the harness has an aluminum V-ring that is located on the dog’s back.
Chest loop – Located on the chest of the harness is a reinforced webbing attachment. This leash attachment can be used to help train dogs to walk on a loose leash and to reduce the impact of pulling.
NOTE: I’ve read many comments from people who use the harness. Some people have pointed out that the leash attachments are different and have wondered, why does the chest attachment not contain the V-ring. Aesthetically it looks better this way. However, it’s primarily for safety reasons. Ruffwear explained that they avoided putting the V-ring on the chest section because it could potentially stick out. That would increase the likely hood of it getting snagged or caught on brush or on other objects.
The difference in the leash attachments has also led some reviewers to even question the durability of the chest loop attachment – solely because it “looks” different. Ruffwear assured me that it’s been rigorously tested. They shared that, “the webbing runs top to bottom inside the chest piece and the attachment point has double-reinforced bar tack stitching at both ends to secure it in place”.
Technical aspects aside, my sister has also been using the Ruffwear Front Range harness for several months with her dog, Finley. Finley is an extremely strong dog and just shy of 90 lbs. He can pull like a sled dog trying out for the Iditarod. 🙂 His chest attachment is apparently holding up just fine and showing no signs of stress.
Additional Harness Features
Various Color Offerings – The harness is offered in a wide range of colors. There are six different color offerings that most will find appealing.
Dog ID pocket – The harness is designed to be worn for extended time periods and comes with a nifty little pocket so you can attach your dog’s ID tags. The pocket (on the medium sized harness) is big enough for you to slide in a few dollars and your house key if needed. Since I do not like items jiggling around in my pocket during my walks/runs, I wonder if the pocket design could be slightly modified and expanded so to accommodate slightly larger objects like a credit card. Regardless it’s a nice feature and prevents the dog’s tags from jingling.
Second ID location – You can also write your dog’s ID info on the inside of the harness.
Reflective trim – Around the harness is a reflective trim. Rio is a black labrador and is virtually invisible at night. So the reflective trim is a nice safety feature.
Ruffwear Front Range Harness Review – Thoughts And Conclusion
It was hard for me to find any issues with the harness. I had one initial concern but my perception was not a reality. Just looking at the harness, I thought it seemed like a lot of material. I was concerned that my Labrador may get hot or overheat by wearing the harness. However, like I mentioned earlier, it is very light and the interior is made of a breathable mesh. We’re half way through July so he’s experienced plenty of warm/hot days with the harness. But I can’t say that it has made my dog any hotter than if he wasn’t wearing it.
The Front Range harness helped greatly during my loose leash training in preparation for the CGC test. I used the chest attachment and some yummy dog treats to keep Rio’s attention. I gradually over time moved the leash to the back V-ring. Now, he walks great on the harness. The harness with front loop attachment really helps reduce the impact of him pulling. So if someone has a dog that pulls a lot and they need more control over their dog – consider using Ruffwear’s Front Range harness. I also like that fact that it does not put pressure on the trachea like a normal collar would.
This is a quality dog harness and well designed – especially pertaining to comfort and fit. It’s sporty looking and durable for even the hardest pulling dogs. I would highly recommend the Front Range harness. I love the harness and most importantly, so does Rio. When I get out the harness he gets excited about his walk.
Looking for more Ruffwear product reviews?
Also Read <Hiking With The Ruffwear Approach Back Pack>