Truelove TLH5551 Harness

About Truelove

Truelove has good quality products at a reasonable price and also fantastic customer service! They only sell a few types of harnesses, leashes, collars, and shoes but those come in different sizes and colors and they continuously work on adding new products to their portfolio.

Truelove TLH5551 Harness Review

We had a tough time writing this review for multiple reasons. The main reason is that the small and medium-sized TLH5551 harnesses are just so different that they would deserve two separate posts. The other reason is that we used these almost every day for 1.5 years while Mia grows up in the meantime, so we have experience with using both on “different sized” dogs.

In general, the TLH5551 is a durable, sturdy harness with strong buckles, great colors, and reflective parts. We wouldn't say that they still look new after 1.5 years, but they only have a few cosmetic issues despite using it on long hikes, summer swims, snowstorms, etc.

One important thing to start with is that the neck part is NOT adjustable. The neck part only has a buckle, which makes it easy to put on if you have a dog with a big head or one which doesn't like to put their head into a harness.

The chest strap has a wide range for adjustment, but the non-adjustable part between the front legs will determine where the harness will be positioned - see my comments later about the different lengths of this part on the two different sized harnesses.

The harness has a no-pull front ring and also a back-ring, which sits far back on the dog.

About the two sizes

We first bought this harness when Mia was around seven months old. Since she was between sizes and was still growing, we ordered both a small and a medium to check them out in real life.

The size chart only uses the chest measurements to determine your dog's size: the small one is 19-22.5 inches (48-57 cm), while the medium is 23.5-28.5 inches (60-72 cm). On the pictures below, you see the vast differences in width and lengths between the two harnesses. The yellow is the small; the orange is the medium size.

Besides the size, there are other small differences: The small size only has a plastic front clip while the medium has a significantly bigger metal one.

Back then, the medium size was way too big for Mia even though it should have been fine based on the chest measurement. The pictures below show why you should consider the other parameters of a harness, not just the one which the sizing is based on. The fit was even worse when the harness got wet, and the mesh material soaked in the water making it bulky.

Even if the chest is a perfect fit, the harness itself is still too big: the neck part sits too low, which causes it to go over the shoulders and restricts her movement if she would pull on the leash.

Seven months old Mia in the medium harness:

After a swim, you can see how it is sliding around on the dog. It is also easy to see that the not adjustable neck part was way too big for her.

We started using the small harness waiting for her to grow into the medium one, but as she grows, the chest part started to sit too close to her armpits.

The tricky thing is that while the small was too close to her armpits, the width of the part between the legs on the medium size was way too wide for her in this age. This is a great example when the solution is not getting a smaller/bigger size for your dog but choosing another style as we did for this period.

The width of the part between the dog's leg is 2.4 inches (6 cm) for the medium and 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) for the small. Before buying, be sure it will be comfortable for your dog to walk with this between the front legs.

The medium harness sits far behind the front legs, which is comfortable for the dog when walking ahead of you, but it is also causing the harness to slide up to the dog's neck when you pull it forward with the leash.

As Mia grew, the chest part of the small (yellow) harness got closer to her armpits, and the orange left way more room for her movement, so I preferred the orange for hikes or long walks but used the small one if I wanted to use the no-pull ring e.g., for a shorter walk in the city.

The no-pull ring is great but will only work if the harness is a perfect fit because of the mentioned reasons. We weren't able to use it with the orange (medium) harness even when Mia grew up because it just moves the harness to the side, and Mia could even step out from it. We had the same experience with their TLH6071 harness harness later, but it's also a general trade-off with the long harnesses. The no-pull ring worked great with the yellow one since that had not much room behind her front legs to slide up or to the sides.

Review Summary

This is a really great looking harness; we got a lot of compliments from strangers who ask where we got it from. We like the wide, sturdy straps and the heavy-duty design of the medium size.

Before buying it, consider the body type/muscularity of your dog because you have limited options to adjust it. If you want to use the front-clip, be sure it is a perfect fit. The front-clip could work better on a muscular dog with a deep chest rather than on a skinny dog.

The best way to summarize it: this harness is fantastic for some dogs, but there are many dogs who would be uncomfortable in it. Be sure to check the fit behind the front legs for free movement and between legs to prevent rubbing.

Functionality Review

• No-pull: Might work if the dog's body type is a better fit.

• Running/biking (as an occasional hobby, buy specific equipment if you want to get into it seriously): every dog is different, be sure it doesn't interfere with the shoulder movement and that the neck-straps are not sliding down to the shoulders.

• Hiking: Great, we used them all the time. It is smart that the handle on the back is parallel with the dog's movement, which makes it harder to get stuck on something in the forest while it provides an easy way to help up the pup on rocks/out of water etc. Good to know that the part between the legs will collect all the mud, and the mesh material of the harness can take a long time to dry.

• City walk: It's great if it's a perfect fit, otherwise be careful with the harness sliding up when pulling forward. A scared dog might be able to slide out from it, especially if you are using the front clip and if the neck-straps are too loose.

• Easy to put on/adjust: Only the chest straps are adjustable. Easy to put on with the two buckles on the chest straps if your dog's head can go through the neck part. If not, you can still use the buckle on the neck part; it's just more time consuming to use all three fasteners every time.

• Visibility: excellent: bright colors and reflective elements all over. See below how visible it is in a snowstorm.

Where to buy

You can find this product through Amazon, where you can find the size chart as well. It comes in five colors and sizes.

Mia's measurements

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)

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