Instruction - The Siwash Harness
  The instruction here is intended to familiarize you with the siwash harness. At first look, the harness seems very complicated with many parts that seem to flop all over. These diagrams will de-mystify that harness and take you through the step-by-step process of adjusting the harness for your dog. Note that putting the harness on your dog and hitching your dog to the cart is covered in separate instruction.
  The Harness
Click on an image to display a larger one
  The main part of the harness (top) is padded and has no adjustments as you order it in a specific size. The purpose of the girth strap, shown beneath the main part of the harness, is to hold the back part of the harness next to your dog and keep it from flopping around. Some people feel it is un-necessary and do not use the girth strap. If you do use it, it needs to be adjusted to fit around your dog toward the rear of the ribs.

The cart shaft strap, shown to the right, is the most complex piece of the harness. There are three adjustments that need to be made to fit it to your cart and your dog. They are detailed here:

1. The two small loops must be adjusted so the cart shafts can easily slide through them. However, the loops must not be so big that the cart brakes will slide through the loops. A rough guide is that for thin shafts about a 2" loop is good while thicker shafts might require a 3" loop.


2. The position of the loops on the harness must be adjusted so that when the strap is positioned on your dog, the bottom of the loops will be just above the midpoint of your dog's body.

3. The adjustment for the overall circumference of the girth strap must be adjusted so it fits around your dog's body. This adjustment must not be too tight as your dog's ribcage must be able to expand for it to breath easy as he/she works. You should be able to easily slide a hand under the stap after it is fastened around your dog. This adjustment is best made with the whole harness on your dog.

Click here to return to the drafting instruction page