This company is close to me because they started as a small, Hungarian family business in 1997, and since then, they sold more than 7 million products - many to police units and for service dogs. They are also one of the few companies that do extensive testing on their products and conduct researches to understand better what works best for the dogs.
Julius-K9 is well known about their Norwegian type harnesses, so we were excited to be one of the first ones to test their first Y-harness before it is available on the market. Since we got an early version, it has the original “Guard Your Joints” name on it. The plan is that the IDC ® Longwalk Harness will be available on the market in the spring.
The quality and the attention to detail are amazing as expected. The harness has strong sewing, durable material, and a few impressive features that I will introduce later.
Julius-K9 did extensive research before coming up with this design. They put a high emphasis on designing the neck part of the harness in a way that doesn't put any pressure on the neck.
You can read about the health issues related to a badly-shaped Y-harness on this link.
I had nothing against the padded material that Julius-K9 used for their IDC harness, but I'm glad they explore other solutions. This harness is much lighter than the IDC harness due to the part on the dog's back being a thinner material than the one used for the IDC harness, and the chest pad is even thinner. This way, the harness doesn't collect as much mud as the other harnesses that I tested before, and it doesn't soak the water in either.
The harness has four adjustment points: two strong plastic buckles on the chest straps and velcro straps on both sides of the neck.
This is a unique solution to Julius-K9; at least we haven't seen any other company using velcro for adjustable straps. It worked great on their IDC harness, so why change it. It holds strong and can be easily adjusted.
The only downside of the velcro straps is that it can collect all kinds of plants, flowers, etc.
The other signature of Julius-K9 is the customizable patches. I appreciate that they design their products in a way that the same size patch fits the same sized IDC harness, the neoprene coat, or this new harness as well, so you don't have to order new ones. As you see in the picture below, the velcro part is a little wider on this harness (not the exact size of the patch), so it is easy to put on.
And here comes the most impressive feature of this harness. This harness has a flexible property, which reduces the micro-vibrations, thus, as a result, significantly increases the comfort of both the animal and that of the dog walker. This is done by using elastic attachments to absorbs micro-vibrations when walking on a leash.
The elastic parts are hidden under the material of the chest pad and also on the top of the harness, under the see-through plastic cover. If you look at the picture above and below, you will see that the ring where the leash is attached is connected to all these straps, so when the dog pulls, it reduces the micro-vibrations. Like using a built-in bungee leash. Isn't this amazing?
The plastic cover over the top straps is an interesting solution. Maybe it's there to ensure that no one would try to attach the leash to that ring, but as a result, there is a see-through part on the top where moisture and mud can get stuck, and it's just impossible to clean.
• No-pull: It does not have a no-pull front ring. It can help with pulling in the sense that the elastic parts are reducing micro-vibrations, so at least it helps to protect your and the dog's joints, but it's not going to help you change this behavior.
• Running/biking (as an irregular hobby, buy specific equipment if you want to get into it seriously): I would prefer a harness with the back ring attached farther back on the dog, but I guess you can use it to give running/biking with your dog a try before investing into a more suitable gear. The elastic attachments are also useful for these activities; it will make it much more comfortable for both of you. As always, be sure the harness is a good fit for your dog and is positioned as should be.
• Hiking: It doesn't restrict the dog's movement, and it's visible. The holder on the back gives you the opportunity to help your dog up or down, but it lays flat, so it will not get stuck on something in the forest. I also appreciate that the harness doesn't soak the water and mud in as much as other harnesses. It's also practical that the part between the front legs is not too wide (like in case of the medium-sized Truelove TLH5551 Harness ); it doesn't bother Mia even on long hikes.
• City walk: works pretty well for city walks for the same reason I describe above.
• Easy to put on/adjust: All straps are easily adjustable, but only the chest straps have buckles, so you have to pull the harness over the dog's head and use both buckles on the chest straps.
• Visibility: Good, it also has reflective sewing beside the bright color. It's easier to see from the front or when you look down at the dog - there is only a small part of the colored, padded part which is visible from the side. It would be nice if the straps would also have reflective sewing.
The Long Walk Outdoor harness is an innovative, excellent quality harness. It does not restrict the dog's movement; it is lightweight and only has padded parts where it is actually needed. The elastic attachments are a great addition, which makes walking a puller dog much more comfortable for both the dog and for the owner.
You can buy all Julius-K9 products on their website and can probably also find retailers and stores in your country.
The leash on some of the pictures are also from Julius-K9 - you can find my review on the Color & Grey leash and collar set here.