FREE STANDARD SHIPPING FOR ORDERS OVER $165

FAQs

Check here for quick answers to frequently asked questions about our dog harnesses and walking accessories.

ABOUT US AND OUR SERVICES

Hello! My name is Jenny and I am the dog harness specialist at Harbour City Dog Gear. I started this business (as Life on the Hedge) in 2013 to supply a range of high-quality, non-aversive dog harnesses and related accessories, designed for each dog's safety, security and comfort. I am working towards a qualification in canine anatomy and physiology, and also currently undertaking a Fear Free Professional certification. I also have a DipBA and DipArts (Interior Design). You can find out more about Harbour City Dog Gear here.

Starting soon, yes! To book a harness fitting at your home, please visit our booking page here. (When at home fittings are available the service will show up on the bookings landing page. Not yet available as at Dec 2023.)

In-person fittings 'At Your Home' generally take between 45-60 minutes, although 90 minutes is allocated for each appointment, and the prices start at $89.

Please tell us in advance if your dog is excitable, anxious, shy, or touch-sensitive and needs more time, so we can allow for this and not rush things.

We can usually bring 5 to 6 different harness styles for you to try at a fitting. If you would like to try a particular brand/style, please let us know in the comments so we can have it available at your fitting.

Please also make sure you provide your dog's breed/s, age, M/F, girth measurement and note any specific features you are after, so we can make sure we have appropriate choices for you.

Please note we also offer free Zoom sessions, and in April 2023 our new fitting studio opened - weekly sessions open to the public and for private fittings. Please see our Fitting Services page for more information and opening hours.

We aim to respond to every message within 48 hours, if not sooner. Occasionally, it may be 3-5 working days before we can respond to your enquiry. As Harbour City Dog Gear is a small family-run business, there may be times when we are unavailable due to family commitments. So we ask for your patience if we do not respond immediately. We will get back to you as soon as we possibly can :-)

You can get in touch via our Contact Page. Otherwise, you can email us directly at hello@harbourcitydoggear.com.au

Please do not contact us via Facebook/Facebook messenger or Instagram, especially with time-sensitive enquiries, as these messages do not take priority for our team.

Harbour City Dog Gear is located in Lilyfield in Sydney’s inner west.

The Fitting Studio address and opening times are available on the Studio page.

SELECTING AND FITTING A HARNESS

Of course! We have over 7 years experience in fitting harnesses for a range of dog breeds and ages. Choosing a harness for your dog is sometimes a very personal decision - we can help you to identify what style and size may best suit your dog’s unique physical and behavioural needs. Just be aware that harness sizing isn’t an exact science. Without fitting your dog in person, we can’t guarantee a harness will be a perfect fit; but we’ll do our very best! (This is why we occasionally suggest that you purchase multiple harness sizes/components, so you can see which option is best for your dog.)
Before requesting our fitting assistance, we first ask that you to do two things:
1. Look at our range of available harnesses
2. Pick out two to three options that you like the look of and have the features that will best suit your needs. Size charts and specifications are available in each harness description and/or in its picture gallery. If you would like to enquire about specific harness features, please refer to the item description before reaching out (as we strive to include all this information in the item listing itself.)
Please note we also offer free Zoom sessions, and private harness fittings at our Sydney studio.
Harbour City Dog Gear does not accept any liability or financial responsibility for any harnesses purchased that do not fit your dog. Of course, we are more than happy to offer exchanges. Please refer to our policy pages for further information.

The most obvious indicator will be how your dog walks. If they appear restricted or uncomfortable, then the harness is not a good fit.

Things to look out for:

Girth The girth strap sits nice and straight, from the top of the harness, down past the ribs and under the bottom of the chest. If the girth strap angles forward and sits in the elbows when your dog is standing, or 'follows' the front legs when your dog is walking, it may rub at your dog’s elbows. We want the girth strap to be (at least) 1-2cm behind the front legs, but not behind the ribs* You should be able to slide 2-3 flat fingers under the straps. The girth should hold onto the body and not swivel around independently, but not be too tight. The fit of the girth strap needs to be firm enough to anchor the harness
*This may not apply to double, or “houdini”, girth straps.

Front The front should be fairly snug, but not too tight or cut into your dog’s chest. Note that if you use the leash attachment d-ring on the chest, the front will usually move side-to-side somewhat. If it doesn’t move at all, that could be a sign that it’s too tight. But take care that the front isn't too loose - the front d-ring should sit near the prosternum (the top of the sternum bone [or breastbone]) and avoid areas like the trachea and thyroid; it shouldn't end up over the shoulders when walking.

Head HoleWhen fitted on your dog, the head hole will ideally be smaller than your dog’s head (so there’s less chance of the harness slipping off). Although this will depend on your dog's anatomy/breed. If the harness is designed to be put on over the dog’s head, you may need to make the head hole slightly bigger to start, before tightening once in place. If there is a neck buckle, you can adjust to the perfect head hole size permanently. Once this adjustment has been made, you can then open the clip to take the harness on/off around the neck, rather than going over the head.

In General The harness is for both you and your dog. It’s important to not just go for how a harness looks (although we all want our pups to look fab!), but consider which features will best suit you and your dog’s needs.
The straps on each side of the neck and girth should be adjusted equally so the harness is balanced (i.e. it isn’t lopsided). Your harness should sit on the middle of the dog’s back, neck and stomach. Noting our exchange policy, you are welcome to go on a 5 minute test walk to see how the harness performs and to decide whether it’s right for your dog.

PURCHASING A HARNESS

We always try to keep one of each item/colour harness in stock, but our harnesses are very popular and occasionally stock levels and/or manufacturer availability means we can’t guarantee every harness size/colour will be in available. We are happy to accept requests, but due to stock fluctuations and manufacturer availability there may be an extended wait time, which can sometimes be up to or over 3+ months. Special orders may require payment at the time of order. We also reserve the right to refuse an order.
Please note that we may not be able to offer exchanges for items you request that are not one of our standard stocked products.
Please message us via our Contact form if you require further information.

Some of our most popular products are available on backorder. If an item is available on backorder this will be indicated when you attempt to add it to your cart (please note the text on the button will change to BACK ORDER). Some backorders may take weeks or even months to arrive due to postage delays or manufacturing schedules.

Usually, orders are sent on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Most orders are sent within 48 hours of receipt. Occasionally though, it may be 3 or 4 days before we can dispatch your order.
As Harbour City Dog Gear is a small family-run business, there may be times when we are unavailable due to personal commitments. So we ask for your patience if you do not receive a shipment confirmation on the same day or day after you place your order.

All orders are processed in order they are received.

Just a quick note on our personal thoughts on urgency re postage: we all want to receive things as quickly as possible, but Harbour City Dog Gear doesn't generally consider receiving a harness to be an 'urgent' matter. There are some items that really are urgent (eg healthcare related). A harness is usually not in this urgent category. Please consider this before you ask us to prioritise your order or ask for urgent posting. Thank you.

Some of our more popular harnesses and accessories can be purchased on backorder if we are currently out of stock. Currently the brands you can backorder from Harbour City Dog Gear are Perfect Fit, Blue-9 and Dog Copenhagen.

The best and quickest way to secure the item colour/size you want is to place a backorder - backordered items are the first to be included in the next shipment, or may even already be on route from the manufacturer.

If an item is available on back order it will be indicated on the product page when you select the relevant colour/size variant - the 'Add to Cart' will change to 'BACK ORDER'.

Please note backorders can take between 3 weeks to 3 months to be shipped to you.

If you purchase is for multiple items and one or more is on backorder, your entire order will be on hold and only be sent once all items are ready to be shipped to you.

Please note that the 'Back Order' button only appears if there is zero inventory left of the item/variant. If you want to order more than 1 of a particular item/variant it's best to check with us first before placing your order so we can confirm if a back order is required for the number of items you want to order.

Gift cards expire 3 years from date of purchase.

One or more gift cards can be used to pay for your order.

Any balance owing on your order after gift card values have been applied, can be paid for by any other store payment method.

You can redeem the value of a gift card by entering its unique code in the appropriate field at checkout.

The entire gift card value will be used if your order total is more than the gift card amount.

If your order total is less than the gift card amount, any balance remaining will stay on your gift card until it is used or it expires.

Gift cards are applied to the final order total which can include shipping and taxes.

A gift card cannot be used to pay for another gift card, or used to pay for fitting services.

If you are purchasing a gift card for someone else, you will need to forward the email to the final recipient.

Each gift card has a unique code. For security reasons this code is not visible in its entirety to Harbour City Dog Gear. However, if you mistakenly delete your gift card email please click the "Resend gift card" button in your order confirmation email. Or please contact us and we can send the gift card to you again by searching the purchaser's name or by the last 4 digits of the gift card code.

Remember, a gift card is similar to cash - if you print our your gift card and then lose it or leave it somewhere, and someone finds it and uses it, unfortunately we are not able to know what has happened so the purchase will be accepted. It is not possible to cancel the card nor refund the card balance if the card has been used by an unauthorised person. For this reason, if you print out the gift card with the unique code on it, please make sure you don't lose it!

A customer cannot check a gift card balance. If you wish to check a gift card balance please contact us and we can do that for you and send you the information.

GENERAL / OTHER

We offer free delivery to local addresses (see postcodes in our shipping policy).

If the value of your order is over $260 free standard postage is available.

Orders can also be picked up from our fitting studio in Lilyfield for free during our standard opening hours.

We do not generally offer discounts on request.

We try very hard to keep our prices as low as we can to offer you the best value possible.

We also occasionally offer product bundles to give you a better price on multiple items.

We sometimes partner with like-minded organisations but deals may only be open to members of those organisations.

We may occasionally offer free delivery or a % discount as a special limited-time offer, so please make sure to check our home page and social media for any announcements regarding this.

First, please consult your vet if your dog develops a sudden aversion to a harness that they were otherwise previously comfortable with.
Secondly, if your dog is extremely worried or becomes anxious by a harness, consider whether it’s because the harness slips over their head or they have to lift their leg to put it on. These can be contributing factors.
When putting the harness on your dog, try to ensure they can move towards the harness rather than you moving the harness towards them.
Try not to force your dog to put on a harness; move at their pace.

We are more than happy to spend time with your and your dog during a private harness fitting, following our gentle desensitisation techniques.

An information sheet and short course on desensitising your dog to a harness will be available soon.

We believe that a well-fitting, ergonomically-designed and comfy harness can help your dog to feel balanced and secure. This should support your dog to concentrate more on what you are teaching them, and help to reduce any pulling impulse/behaviours.
It’s our opinion that no harness or tool should be relied upon solely to stop your dog from pulling on the leash. The majority of “no-pull” harnesses we’ve investigated have involved causing discomfort to the dog. They have worked by cinching, constricting, putting the dog off balance or even pulling their front legs off their ground. Almost all of them potentially restrict movement through straps across the dog’s chest, shoulders or both. Ultimately, these harnesses do not fit with our ethos and values at Harbour City Dog Gear. Rather, we consider a good walking harness as a support for loose-leash walking training. They are generally not a stand-alone solution to pulling. Having said that, we have received testimonials from community members who have said their dog’s pulling notably reduced as soon as they were wearing a Harbour City Dog Gear harness.
Some of our harnesses have a leash connection point on the front of the chest (a "front clip"). If you have a dog that pulls/lunges on your walks, conecting a leash also to the front clip may help to redirect your dog's attention away from triggers/stimuli in the environment and back to you. It is important to make sure the harness fits your dog well if you are planning to use the front clip so there is minimum movement around the neck and shoulders when using this feature. We also recommend using a double-ended lead so you have two points of contact and you don't need to rely on the front clip as a brake, but to use it as more like a steering wheel.
More importantly, we strongly suggest you engage an experienced force-free trainer to help you identify the reasons your dog is pulling/lunging and to work with you to lessen/solve the behaviour.
One thing to remember is that if your dog pulls on the lead due to enthusiasm or excitement and you continue to move forward with them when they pull, it becomes a self-rewarding behaviour for them.
Please contact us if you need any tips or assistance with loose-leash walking training. Otherwise, please refer to our list of recommendations for qualified, experienced, force-free trainers (coming soon).

Please note that a refund/exchange claim for a harness not stopping a dog from pulling, will not be accepted outside our normal refund/exchange policy parameters. As none of our harnesses are described or considered as "no pull" this cannot be used as a claim for an item not being as described.

Harbour City Dog Gear walking harnesses are not crash-tested or impact-rated, so generally we do not recommend using them as a car harness. However, all of our harnesses comply with Australian legislation for restraining your dog in the car, when used with an appropriate seat belt attachment. Please check guidelines in your state/territory.
If you are looking for a safe and secure car harness, we recommend All Safe, Sleepypod, Ruffwear Loadup and Ezydog Drive. Alternatively, you can consider a crash-tested car crate like the Variocage.

PERFECT FIT FAQs

The Perfect Fit size chart and girth measurement table can be downloaded from the Perfect Fit Collection page.
The chart is a list of breeds with the component sizes recommended for puppies, and small-, average- and large- adults for each breed.
If you have a mixed breed dog, first refer to the dominant breed using the sizing chart and then you can also check against the size for the next most prominent breed in your dog. Using the girth measurement as a baseline, you can work out which size pieces will suit best.

Please also see the other FAQs in this section.

Please reach out to us via the contact form if you are unsure of sizing or if you need further assistance.

This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many component sizes and combinations. It is perhaps better to consider your dog's breed in the sizing chart on the Perfect Fit Collection page (or you can download it here) and you can also refer to the listing for each component for photos.

We will soon be releasing a comprehensive guide on Perfect Fit components.

The Perfect Fit sizing can be somewhat confusing, but the breed chart is the best way to figure out what pieces you need.
The majority of harness combinations are made up of three separate pieces. (The 10mm "TY" size is two separate pieces.)
Each harness is first based on the width of the webbing that is used to make the harness (10mm, 15mm, 20mm, 40mm), then each individual piece that makes up the harness itself (top, front, girth [or top, base in the TY 10mm range]).
To decipher the code for each combination in the breed chart you need to know that the code order is always: width-top-front-girth. So 15-xs-xs-m translates to a 15mm width Perfect Fit harness made up of extra small top piece, extra small front piece, medium girth piece.
So to figure out what size pieces you need, before you even consult the breed chart you will need to have your dog's girth measurement (see separate FAQ on this).
Once you have the girth measurement, have a look at the Perfect Fit breed chart and refer to the yellow table on the first page. Find where your dog's measurement falls in the Girth (cm) column and read across to the last column to see what size this is called. Make a note of this before moving on.
Next, find your dog's breed in the alphabetical list starting on page 3 of the breed chart. Decide if your dog is a puppy, or small/medium/large adult for the breed - not whether your dog is a large breed, but your dog's size relative to their breed. Read across the line until you find the code suggested for your dog. Check the girth size you have already figured out against what is recommended as per the code. If it's the same, then the sizing should be suitable. If the girth size is different you may need to go up or down in the top and front pieces, or contact us for help figuring out what pieces will be best.
Note: the size names of the pieces across all the widths go from XXS to XXL, but note that some sizes are repeated across different widths. For example, the 15mm girths are XS, S, M and the 20mm girths are S, M, L, XL. You can see that there are S and M sized girth pieces in both the 15mm and the 20mm widths. This does not mean these girths are the same size. Please check the yellow table carefully when figuring out what the breed codes are referring to and remember what width your dog needs when checking/ordering pieces.

There are 4 sizing examples in the FAQs. If after reading them all you are thouroughly confused, don't worry - just contact us so we can help you. We do Perfect Fit sizing all the time and chances are that we can sort you out quite quickly. We will need a girth measurement, breed/s, age, M/F, and a recent photo if possible.

EXAMPLE 1: GIRTH SIZE IS THE SAME IN TABLE AND CODE
You have a medium adult border collie. You measure your dog's girth and it is 69cm. Looking down the Girth (cm) column in the yellow table, 69cm falls into 20mm Perfect Fit 62-76cm, which the last column tells you is a girth size L.You then find border collie in the breed list. Read across the line and find the medium (of the breed) column. It says "20-m-s-l". That is 20mm width, medium top, small front, large girth. The girth size large is the same in the yellow table and in the size code for your breed. So the sizes recommended by the code should be suitable for your dog and you are good to go!

EXAMPLE 2: GIRTH SIZE IS DIFFERENT BETWEEN TABLE AND CODE
You have a large adult rottweiler. Your dog's girth measurement is 95cm. Looking down the Girth (cm) column in the yellow table, 95cm falls into 40mm Perfect Fit 85-106cm, which the last column tells you is a girth size XL.You then find rottweiler in the breed list. Read across the line and find the large (of the breed) column. It says "40-xl-m-l". That means 40mm width, extra large top, medium front, large girth. But hang on, the yellow table said the girth size you need is XL ... the table and the breed chart recommendation is different. You need to adjust your code to include the XL girth piece, so you size code is now 40-xl-m-xl (40mm width, extra large top, medium front, extra large girth).(In this case you can assume that the top and front pieces suggested in the breed chart are most likely the best choices because the girth measurement of 85cm isn't at the extreme end of the XL girth size range. So you don't need to go up a size for the top and front pieces, but you are welcome to contact us if you are unsure.)

EXAMPLE 3: GIRTH SIZE IS DIFFERENT BETWEEN TABLE AND CODE AND YOUR DOG IS LEAN AND NARROW
You have a medium adult cattle dog that is narrow and very lean and fit. Your dog's girth measurement is 61cm. Looking down the Girth (cm) column in the yellow table, 61cm falls into 20mm Perfect Fit 53-65cm, which the last column tells you is a girth size M.You then find cattle dog in the breed list. Read across the line and find the medium (of the breed) column. It says "20-m-m-l". That means 20mm width, medium top, medium front, large girth. But wait, the yellow table said the girth size you need is M ... the table and the breed chart recommendation is different. You need to adjust your code to include the M girth piece, so you size code is now 20-m-m-m (20mm width, medium top, medium front, large girth).However, because your dog's girth is below the size range of L that was suggested in the breed chart, and your dog is quite narrow and also lean and fit (even though not necessarily considered small for the breed) you should also look at whether the top and front pieces should be down-sized ... Looking at the small (for the breed) column as another guide point, it says 20-m-s-m. The top piece (medium) is the same size as the suggestion in the medium (for the breed) column, so we can say that the medium top piece is the right choice. The front piece is indicated as small, which differs from the medium front piece suggested for a medium (for the breed) cattle dog. In this case we would suggest you either change to a small front piece (20-m-s-m), or get both the medium and the small to see which one fits better (20-m-s/m-m).
Tip: If you had a particularly deep-chested dog, like a whippet for example, you would most probably have more success if you choose the bigger front piece.

EXAMPLE 4: GIRTH SIZE IS LISTED IN TWO OR MORE DIFFERENT WIDTHS/SIZES
You have a medium adult jack russell. Your dog's girth measurement is 50cm. Looking down the Girth (cm) column in the yellow table, 50cm falls into 15mm Perfect Fit 40-52cm (size S) AND 15mm Perfect Fit 46-59 (size M) AND 20mm Perfect Fit 45-55 (size S)!
You then find jack russell in the breed list. Read across the line and find the medium (for the breed) column. It says either "15-xs-xs-s"OR "20-s-s-s". So many options! Let's rule out the 40mm option as that is not recommended in the breed chart for jack russells.
15mm is recommended for small dogs and dogs that are not strong pullers; 20mm is recommended for small strong dogs and medium to large dogs (usually not strong pullers). If your jack russell pulls or lunges on the lead or is very strong then the 20mm might be better. If your dog doesn't pull or lunge and is relaxed while walking on the lead, then 15mm should be suitable. If you go with 20mm width, then the 20-s-s-s will be the best sizes to try (the girth in the yellow girth size table and the breed chart is the same - winning!).If you go with the 15mm, there is still the choice of either S or M girth piece. Look more closely at the size ranges ...the S girth is 40-52cm; the M girth is 46-59cm. Your dog's 50cm girth is quite close to 52cm (size S maximum girth), whereas it is a little further away from 46cm (size M minimum girth). You could choose either, but as the girth sizes go up, they offer larger fleece coverage so we would recommend the M girth size in this case. The 15mm top (xs) and front (xs) sizes suggested in the breed chart are the largest in the 15mm width so they are appropriate sizes to team with the M girth so you end up with 15-xs-xs-m.