When a dear friend asked me if I could help design a harness to fit her much loved Banjo who suffered from Megaesophagus and Sarcoglycan deficient muscular dystrophy. I couldn’t let her down.
Precious Banjo was different to all other dachshunds and no other harnesses on the market worked for him at all. She had tried many. Banjo could not wear any conventional harnesses and couldn’t wear any that would wrap around his neck creating pressure on his oesophagus as he is always at high risk of regurgitation which can develop into an aspiration pneumonia and quite an unwell doggie. So, I got my thinking cap on and thought long and hard about how to create something fit for him and well of course something also suitable for all dachshunds whom also are at high risk of suffering genetic IVDD. A design that would avoid neck pressure as well as a design suited to their long bodies and short legs keeping their gentle anatomy in mind.
Most harnesses on the market aren’t designed for the unique body shape of a dachshund. It was no surprise my friend had difficulty finding one to suit Banjo. Ill-fitting harnesses on dachshunds can potentially over time cause elbow dysplasia with long term use and also be exacerbated if you have a dog that potentially likes to pull on the lead. This can affect their gait and over time cause disruption to important ligaments and tendons and potentially cause their legs to bow (commonly known as angular limb deformity) as well as increasing the risk of cervical IVDD if genetically pre-disposed.
The first part of the harness I had to think about first was how to tackle the neck / throat region. Nothing was allowed to wrap around Banjo’s neck. I needed to think about how to avoid the neck and something that sat lower down below the neck but at the top of the breast bone which happens to be the strongest point. It also needed to be safe and secure. This is when I thought an adjustable side release buckle was perfect as this could be lowered down avoiding the neck with the design. Also, a bonus for those doggies who love to pull so that gentle area around their necks is avoided when pulling. Of course, we do highly recommend you train your doggie to walk to heel to avoid any type of pulling and putting them at risk.
Then I created the long body 'Hug Me' part of the harness to ensure that the front legs of our harnesses were avoiding any front leg issues. The hug me part of our harnesses wraps comfortably around the mid torso region well away from their front legs causing any interference to potential front leg gait issues and under arm chaffing.
Once I had nutted out the design it was time to road test it. I sent sweet Banjo a mock up harness to try on ensuring he was happy with his design. Then I made a few harnesses up for some local friends whose dogs were different sizes and also asked them to road test it. A few adjustments were made along the way but I finally came up with a design to suit all long doggies in various sizes. It got the ‘High Five’ paw of approval from Banjo and my local friends doggies.
Then it was time to think about stylish, dare to be different designs for our very own harness design. A harness that your doggie would be proud of wearing and as one customer mentions drives her doggie’s inner ego. So, we choose to support local Australian artists supporting their very own creative work and the fabrics are printed right here in Australia. Being a small local handmade business, we know how important it is to support others.
Banjo has been wearing his harness for some time now and absolutely loves it. He hated all his other harnesses but now loves his 2Royalhounds harness which he wears with pride. Most of all I was so pleased I had created something for him that worked for his condition and something he now loves.
Our harnesses are designed for all dachshunds keeping their gentle anatomy in mind ensuring they are stylish, secure and functional. And of course we dont discriminate either our harnesses will also fit other breeds of doggies if the size fits!