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Measuring your Dog for a Sledding or Weight-Pull Harness

Tape MeasureOn this page:

Some Advice about Measuring:

The measurements you'll need to take will depend on whether you want a sledding harness or a weight- pull harness.

Please read the "How to Measure" section and instructions for each harness type carefully.

If you are having difficulty understanding the instructions or measuring your dog you are welcome to contact us - measuring a dog correctly is not always easy.  We would be happy to help you and can let you know if the measurements you have taken seem about right for the breed, weight and age of your dog.

NOTE:  Point D is not at exactly the same position for both harness types.

How to Measure:  

When measuring a dog for a harness, the tape measure must be held tight against the dog's skin - this is where the harness sits when the dog is pulling. Take the measurements a few times until you are getting consistent results.

Your dog must be in the standing position when he/she is measured, and your dog must be standing straight - you’ll get some pretty strange measurements from a dog who has twisted around to see what you are doing!

Neck fit is critical - take neck measurements on both sides of the dog until they are equal (if they are not equal your dog was not looking straight ahead).

Do not swap harnesses between dogs unless you are sure they fit correctly - each dog has different measurements and what is comfortable for one dog may rub or even contribute to injury in another.

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X-BACK SLEDDING HARNESS

Sledding Harness diagramIf ordering a Sledding Harness, record your measurements on the Sledding Harness Measurement Form and enclose with your Order Form and payment.

The X-back sledding harness is designed so that, when leaning into the harness, the weight of the load being pulled is transferred through to the neck and chest area of the dog. The A-D and BDC sections are therefore load-bearing and will be tight when the dog is pulling. The X-back section over the loin is non-load bearing and should remain fairly loose so that the dog may arch its back when pulling. This section is incorporated into the harness to assist with keeping the harness on the dog and assist in handling the harnessed dog.

What to Measure:

You will need to take at least 2 measurements: 1 & 2 (A-B & B-C):

Measurement

Description

 A-B

Base of neck (centre front of shoulder blades) to breastbone.
From centre front of the dog’s shoulder blades at the base of the neck (A) to the point just above the breastbone (B).
Measure one side only, do not measure all the way around.
2.  B-C Breastbone to base of tail
From the point just above the breastbone (B), down between the front legs and up the side of the rib cage to the base of the tail (C - to find the base of the tail, hold the tail up). When pulling, the harness should not fold the tail down.
Note:  this measurement follows the line of the harness - do NOT measure in a direct line between the 2 points.  
3.  A-C Base of neck (centre front of shoulder blades) to base of tail 
From the front of the dog’s shoulder blades (A) to the base of the dog's tail. To find the base of the tail hold your dogs tail up vertically. 
This gives us an idea of the shape of your dog.
4.  A-D Base of neck (centre front of shoulder blade) to last rib (along B-C line)
From the front of the dog’s shoulder blades (A) to the point on the breastbone-to hind leg line (B - C) in line with the last rib (D)
5.  B-D Breastbone to last rib (along B-C line)
From the top of the breastbone (B), between the front legs and along the B-C line to the point in line with the last rib (D).
Note:  this measurement follows the line of the harness - do NOT measure in a direct line between the 2 points.  

If measurements 1 and 2 do not fit the standard sizes below, take measurements 3, 4 and 5 as well.

Please feel free to email us with your measurements or for help if you are having difficulty
- we know that measuring a wriggling dog isn't all that easy!

Remember:

  • Hold the tape measure as tight against the skin as possible

  • Measure in a direct line between the 2 points unless otherwise specified

  • MEASURE YOUR DOG'S STRUCTURE - DO NOT MEASURE FUR!

  • The fit of the harness is only as good as the measurements you provide.

Download PDF instructionsDownload sledding harness measuring instructions

 

Sample Sledding Harness Measurements

Measurements listed are in inches

    Size
Variation Measurement 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Standard A-B 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
B-C 20 24 27 29 31 33 35 37 40
A-D 9.5 11.5 13 14 15 16 17.5 18.5 19.5
B-D 11.5 13.5 15 16 17 18.5 19.5 20.5 22
Long A-B 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
B-C 22 26 29 31 33 35 37 39.5 42
A-D 11.5 13 14 15 16 17.5 18.5 19.5 21
B-D 13.5 15 16 17 18.5 19.5 20.5 22 24
Short A-B 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
B-C 18.5 22 25 27 29 31 33 35 37
A-D 8.5 10 11.5 13 14 15 16 17.5 18.5
B-D 10.5 12 13.5 15 16 17 18.5 19.5 20.5
Extra Short A-B 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
B-C 17 18.5 22 25 27 29 31 33 35
A-D 8 8.5 10 11.5 13 14 15 16 17.5
B-D 9.5 10.5 12 13.5 15 16 17 18.5 19.5

The proportions of your measurements should be similar to these proportions - if not, please check the instructions and remeasure.

* Please note that sizes and proportions will depend on the build and breed of your dog - we  can make half sizes and custom-made harnesses to your specifications.

Adult Alaskan Malamute
Size 11-13 Standard
Siberian Husky
Size 9-11 Standard
1.  A-B:    11 - 13 inches 1.  A-B:      9 - 11 inches
2.  B-C:   31 - 37 inches 2.  B-C:    26 - 31 inches
3.  A-C:   22 - 26 inches 3.  A-C:    18 - 24 inches
4.  A-D:   14 - 16 inches 4.  A-D:    13 - 15 inches
5.  B-D:   16 - 21 inches 5.  B-D:   15 - 20 inches


Remember:
THIS IS A ROUGH GUIDE ONLY. If your dog is larger or smaller than the average adult Malamute or Husky, or if your dog is a different breed, your measurements could well be outside the ranges indicated above.

If your measurements are considerably different from these, please measure again.

Back to the Sledding Harness page

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WEIGHT-PULL HARNESS

IWeight pull harness diagramf ordering a Weight-Pull Harness, record your measurements on the Weight-Pull Harness Measurement Form and enclose with your order form and payment.

The weight-pull harness is designed so that, when leaning into the harness, the weight of the load being pulled is transferred through to the neck and chest area of the dog. The A-D and B-G sections are therefore load-bearing and will be tight when the dog is pulling.

The X section over the loin is non-load bearing and should remain firm without placing excessive pressure on the dog's back. This section is adjustable, and is incorporated into the harness to assist with keeping the harness sitting straight on the dog and to assist with holding the dog.

The weight pull harness incorporates a rear spreader bar to prevent lateral compression of the hind legs during pulls.  When not under load the spreader bar should rest against the dog's hind legs.

The hitching loop can side-slip and the X-section is not fixed to compensate for dogs that pull off-centre or weave during pulling.

What to Measure:

You will need to take 6 measurements:

Measurement

Description

 A-B

Base of neck (centre front of shoulder blades) to breastbone.
From centre front of the dog’s shoulder blades at the base of the neck (A) to the point just above the breastbone (B).
Measure one side only, do not measure all the way around.
2.  B-G Breastbone to Hindleg
From the point just above the breastbone (B), between the front legs to back of the hind leg (G)
3.  A-D Base of neck (centre front of shoulder blade) to last rib (along B-G line)
From the front of the dog’s shoulder blades (A) to the point on the breastbone-to hind leg line (B - G) in line with the last rib (D)
4.  B-D Breastbone to last rib (along B-G line)
From the top of the breastbone (B), between the front legs and along the B-G line to the point in line with the last rib (D).
Note:  this measurement follows the line of the harness - do NOT measure in a direct line between the 2 points.  

5.  A-C Base of neck (centre front of shoulder blades) to base of tail 
From the front of the dog’s shoulder blades (A) to the base of the dog's tail. To find the base of the tail hold your dogs tail up vertically.  This gives us an idea of the shape of your dog.
6.  G-G Width across hindlegs
Width for the spreader bar from point G on the left of the dog to point G on the right of the dog. Allow a bit extra so the spreader bar is slightly wider than the rear of your dog to accommodate the normal spread of the dog’s hindlegs during pulling.

Remember:

  • Hold the tape measure as tight against the skin as possible

  • Measure in a direct line between the 2 points unless otherwise specified

  • MEASURE YOUR DOG'S STRUCTURE - DO NOT MEASURE FUR!

  • The spreader bar will be positioned 12-18 cm (5-7 inches) behind point G, depending on the size of harness.  If you would like to specify the spreader bar position, please notify us when ordering.

  • The fit of the harness is only as good as the measurements you provide.

Download PDF instructionsDownload weight pull harness measuring instructions

Sample Weight Pull Harness Measurements:

As a rough guide, some fairly average measurements are as follows:

Alaskan Malamute

Siberian Husky American Bulldog
1.  A-B:   11 - 13 inches 1.  A-B:      9 - 11 inches 1.  A-B:    11 - 14 inches
2.  B-G:   25 - 30 inches 2.  B-G:    23 - 28 inches 2.  B-G:    24 - 29 inches
3.  A-C:    22 - 26 inches 3.  A-C:    18 - 24 inches 3.  A-C:    20 - 26 inches
4.  A-D:    15 - 18 inches 4.  A-D:    13 - 18 inches 4.  A-D:    14 - 19 inches
5.  B-D:    16 - 21 inches 5.  B-D:    15 - 21 inches 5.  B-D:    16 - 22 inches
6.  G-G:   11 - 13 inches 6.  G-G:     9 - 12 inches 6.  G-G:    11 - 13 inches


Remember:
THIS IS A ROUGH GUIDE ONLY. If your dog is larger or smaller than the average adult Malamute or Husky, or if your dog is a different breed, your measurements could well be outside the ranges indicated above.

If your measurements are considerably different from these, please measure again.

Please feel free to email us with your measurements or for help if you are having difficulty
- we know that measuring a wriggling dog isn't all that easy!

Back to the Weight Pull Harness page

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