Julius-K9 started as a small Hungarian family business in 1997, and since then, they have 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 research to understand better what works best for the dogs.
About the Speed Harness
Julius-K9’s Speed harness is the redesigned version of their Hard Dog Race (HDR) harness that we reviewed before. The most significant difference is on the neck section of the harness: they replaced the velcros on the neck-straps with sliders and slightly changed the design and material of the chest pad.
The Speed Harness has a Y-shape design with two plastic buckles and five adjustment points. It has a velcro panel and a handle on the back; and there is also reflective seaming around the edges for visibility in the dark.
The harness is lined with neoprene which is soft but durable. It also doesn’t soak in the water and is easy to clean.
Julius-K9 replaced the ring on this design. It is thicker than the previous D-ring but is a little rough around the edges.
A great feature that they kept is the adjustability of the chest strap’s length. This makes creating the correct armpit clearance a lot easier and was a very popular feature of the HDR harness. This used to be a velcro strap which is now replaced by a slider.
Speed Harness Review
We got the chance to test the Speed harness both on Mia and Zulu, which provided the perfect opportunity to see how the different sizes compare. We really liked using the HDR harness, so we were excited to see how the design changed.
First of all, replacing the chest plate created a lot more sophisticated look compared to the previous “strap sewn over another strap” design of the HDR harness. The neck straps also became thinner, and they avoid the shoulder very nicely.
Unfortunately, my biggest issue with this harness also relates to the new chest plate: it is a lot less rigid and lighter, which is great as long as the dog is on a leash, but it doesn’t keep the harness from rotating when pulled sideways even just by a dragline. When harnesses rotate, they usually get “stuck” on the inside of the opposite leg, which stops them, but in the case of the Speed harness, the chest plate can bunch up and rotate more.
My other problem is the slider on the chest piece that allows you to set the length of the part between the front legs. It has a “stopper” in the middle (see the photo in the previous section) that I assume is there to prevent the strap from loosening over time, but this also limits the adjustment range. Below you see it on the loosest setting on Zu. To loosen it more, I would need to push the slider through that piece of fabric, but it doesn’t fit under it, so I would need to cut it. This could be solved by using an elastic or velcro piece instead of that static loop.
No-pull: It does not have a no-pull front ring.
Running/biking: If correctly adjusted, it can be used for running and biking with the dog. It can work for both dogs who pull into the harness and also for those who just prefer to run by their people.
Hiking: It was great for hiking: it has a handle to help the dog, does not restrict movement, it does well even if it’s muddy or wet, and dries fast.
City walk: works pretty well for city walks, although it could be more visible.
Easy to put on/adjust: All straps are adjustable, but adjustment takes a while. They do stay in place well after that, though. The neck straps do not have buckles, so the harness must go over the head; then, you can use the two buckles on the chest strap to fix the harness.
Visibility: The neck straps and the top part have reflective edges, but I wouldn’t say the harness is highly visible.
With launching the Speed harness, Julius-K9 created a nicely designed, stylish harness that fits most dogs very well! Although I was very excited about the new chest panel, its functionality did not impress me; however, it looks a lot better than the HDR. It rotated less on Mia, so puppy Zu’s lack of coordination and the use of a dragline probably contributed to the problem there. If the harness’s adjustment is symmetrical and no other weight (tag, light, etc.) is attached, it should stay in place better.
The Speed harness is a very functional, low-profile harness that provides plenty of adjustment range to create an ideal fit even for growing puppies. The handle on the back is easy to grab but doesn’t stick out much, which is safer in dense areas. The harness is light, quick to dry, easy to clean, and doesn’t cover much of the dog, which are all great features for adventures over the summer.
As always, be sure the harness is a good fit for YOUR dog. If you need help deciding, read our article on harness fitting.
Where to buy
The Speed Harness is currently only available in a few countries, but you can always reach out to them to see if they can order it for you.
Mia had the medium, Zulu the small size, but be sure to check out their sizing guide and measure your dog before ordering one.
Many of you asked Mia’s measurements to better understand the different products’ fit. Your best chance of finding a good fitting gear is always to measure (and remeasure) your dog. Even we grab the measuring tape before getting a new product - even though we tested a lot of them and have a good feeling of her size by now.
I share her measurements below, but don’t go ahead and order the same size just because your dog is similar to Mia ;)
Shoulder height: 19.5 inches (50 cm)
Weight: 37-44 pounds (17-20 kg)
Widest chest circumference (where the most harness would have the chest strap): 25-26 inches (63-65 cm)
Neck circumference for collars: 15-16 inches (38-40 cm)
Back lengths: 22 inches (56 cm)