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Old 12-02-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
BeemerChef OP
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Harness for your Buddies!

I was asked many times through PM's and on the Forum to explain how I harness Spirit. This is just my own way after much experience every day 24/7 for the past 6 years, 5 years full time on the road.
The first thing I did was to change the pad from a soft foam to a thinner 1" foam, a harder one. The kind they sell to stand up on in kitchens, easy to cut. (not the square ones, this is real foam, very high density). The reason is, he was bouncing too much on the 3" soft foam which originally I thought would be more comfy. But was not
I then bought a harness and cut the part that goes under his chest, the second rear strap that is. All I wanted really was a collar with three rings.



There is one on each side and one in the middle. I purchased two of those fake fur things some people use for their seat belts and attached one on each side, they come with Velcro which is very easy and the fit is just perfect. I did not want that collar to run against him, specially Pits have no hair per say.



I use a carabiner (yes? spelling?) in the center ring to attach it to his collar ring so it will not slide all the way down to his hips! (ankles in his case!)



I always have the flat part of the carabiners toward him. Then two closed hooks on each side of the lower rear part of the car and a strap on each side also which I riveted. I then added a ring and more carabiners. The reason for the carabiners is to lengthen or shorten the straps depending if he has his coats on or not. The photos actually are just before I added a carabiner on each side to make those straps a bit longer. This is the first day he has his coat on.







He is not happy here!!!

The important fact also is he can lay down when he wants.



This has worked very well for us. All the parts are from the Hardware store. Let me know if you need any more info. The lengths of the side straps are going to be a bit of trial and error. Of course better on the loose side then the tight side.
When he jumps in the car, I put the harness around him, clip the middle, turn him facing straight out (which he always wonder why?), clip the R side and then the L. His butt is against the back of the chair. He is a happy rider!!!

The harness still allows him to lean in the curves and enjoy himself without restrain...



Thanks and be well... Ara and Spirit
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
cyclone67
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Great write up and pictures! Thanks Ara and Spirit!
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:25 PM   #3
tony the tiger
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This made me smile. Thanks Ara!
Give that doggie a cookie!!
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:13 AM   #4
ClearwaterBMW
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thanks for the thread, are
i appreciate the in-depth description of your method of securing spirit in your sidecar

thank you
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:19 AM   #5
fotosaccion
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Just waiting for my hack to be delivered and I will be taking my dog with me as much as possible. Thanks for sharing and making it safer for our best friends!


Héctor
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:58 PM   #6
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Looks like a winner Ara! Say hello to Spirit for me.
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:02 PM   #7
BeemerChef OP
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Looks like a winner Ara! Say hello to Spirit for me.
Thanks Claude! Happy to hear you are doing well... Some day... some day we will visit you!

Ara and Spirit
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
Boondox
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Ara and Spirit -- Many thanks for showing us the way. If not for you I never would have gotten a hack and found the joy that is traveling with Barley.

We started out with a similar harness (unmodified), but quickly replaced it with something more substantial for two reasons. First, he's a gun dog. If a bird or a small rodent crosses in front of the rig he's all about retrieving the darned thing no matter how fast we're going! Secondly, during training I had taught Barley to focus on me so if he was ever startled he would run TO me, instead of into the woods or onto a busy road. The training was so effective that I couldn't leave him unattended for a quick dash into a store or restroom without him freaking out. And since more and more restrooms are located INSIDE the convenience store these days...and when you've gotta get rid of that breakfast burrito and your dog refuses to leave your side. Well, let's just say that the second time I had to stuff a 75# golden retriever into a backpack to smuggle him past the clerk was the time I decided to untrain him!

During the retraining I strapped him into something more substantial, something he couldn't escape from.

It has a reinforced back with a handle that allows me to pick him up off the ground to keep him from chasing a mouse with murderous intent, or to lift him up a short cliff face or even help him into the rig when he's tired. The retraining is going well and we often use the old webbing harness coupled with a lead long enough to let him move around in the hack, but not long enough to let him put his paws over the rim.

I had the same problem with the foam, but solved it a different way. We bought a memory foam mattress at an Orvis outlet (really cheap as it was a return with another dog's name embroidered onto it). Memory foam doesn't bounce, so Barley can lay down and nap in majestic splendor.

I'd be interested in hearing how you provide Spirit with shade. Below is a shot of the tonneau cover with zippered hatch I made for Barley. It works well in rain and lets him get out of direct sunlight, but airflow with the interior vent open is adequate at best on hot, muggy days. We deal by avoiding mid-day travel and taking frequent breaks. Would appreciate any suggestions you have to offer based on your vastly greater experience.


Pete and Barley
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:28 PM   #9
BeemerChef OP
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Very nice!!! I see the Day Long seat there... right?
That is funny!!! Spirit only starts crying when he sees another dog!!! Otherwise he guards the hack with his Life. He growls if I am not around, sometimes..
I had a cover made for the car before we left, I will put it on and take some photos. We are fortunate that we just avoid heat! Period... and our rule is "no shade, no stop"!!!
Thanks for the great and graphic write up...
Be well, Ara and Spirit
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:14 PM   #10
BeeMaa
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Great thread.
Have seen the video before.
Looks like a very happy dog.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BeeMaa View Post
Great thread.
Have seen the video before.
Looks like a very happy dog.

We are BOTH Happy!!! 70's today... back on those Big Bend Fabulous roads!!!

Ara and Spirit
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:39 AM   #12
BeeMaa
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We are waiting for our rig to arrive.
Should be here in about a week or so.
Mrs. BeeMaa has now commenced the "get a dog" argument.
This thread of how to secure a pooch is not helping me stem the tide.
Enjoy the nice weather.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:43 AM   #13
BeemerChef OP
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Originally Posted by BeeMaa View Post
We are waiting for our rig to arrive.
Should be here in about a week or so.
Mrs. BeeMaa has now commenced the "get a dog" argument.
This thread of how to secure a pooch is not helping me stem the tide.
Enjoy the nice weather.
You mean you do not have a Buddy yet?...

Ara and Spirit

*Rescue a Pit if you don't...
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:58 AM   #14
BeeMaa
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Our last dog has moved on...
Hoover, a Scottish Terrier lived 17y1m.
We (meaning Mrs. BeeMaa) are looking at the Scottie rescue sites.
We would love a Pit, but that's a bit bigger than we wanted.
Wanted to stay with the Terrier group, most likely Scottie or Carin.
Whatever we end up getting will be a rescue.

You see what you have done.
I've already admitted we are getting one...
Crap.

I was never gonna win this one anyway.
Cheers.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:42 AM   #15
BeemerChef OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMaa View Post
Our last dog has moved on...
Hoover, a Scottish Terrier lived 17y1m.
We (meaning Mrs. BeeMaa) are looking at the Scottie rescue sites.
We would love a Pit, but that's a bit bigger than we wanted.
Wanted to stay with the Terrier group, most likely Scottie or Carin.
Whatever we end up getting will be a rescue.

You see what you have done.
I've already admitted we are getting one...
Crap.

I was never gonna win this one anyway.
Cheers.
You NEED a Buddy as they need you... and must be a rescue. Good move...
Ara and Spirit
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