I am a big fan of using a harness with leash when walking my miniature schnauzer, Grizzly. For years, I would just attach his leash to his collar and unfortunately watch him mush forward out in front of me. He may only weigh 18 pounds, but that little dog has some power! Recently, I tried a harness for the first time, and was surprised at how much easier and enjoyable our walks have become. Grizzly and I go for a walk everyday, so I get quite a bit of experience using various dog walking gear. I absolutely love using a front lead style harness with leash! There are several companies that manufacture excellent dog harnesses in the USA. I recently had the opportunity to try out a harness and leash combination from a company that believes in quality, integrity, value, and American manufacturing. From the moment I opened the package to after a week of putting the products to use each day, I have been impressed with the Be Bop Front Lead Harness and Grippa Leash!
Be Bop USA Gresham, Oregon Made in USA
Be Bop USA, located in Gresham, Oregon, designs and manufactures all of its pet products in Oregon. Sue Roake, owner and product designer, comes from a veterinary background and has seen a variety of injuries and problems that were the result of poorly designed and uncomfortable dog collars and harnesses. Sue worked with veterinarians, orthopedic surgeons, and the Oregon Humane Society to develop a full line of pet products for Be Bop USA. All products are designed to be safe for pets, quick and efficient for training, and humane. All products have the seams sewn to the outside so the webbing is smooth and more comfortable for pets. Also, all the metal hardware is made out of welded steel.
On the Be Bop USA website, owner Sue Roake has created some great videos that introduce the company and provide further details about the products. I enjoyed watching the videos and learning more about Be Bop USA. It is great when you can see and hear the owner of a company instead of just reading a bio. You can immediately tell from the videos that Sue is passionate about producing safe and effective pet products in the USA. Sue’s energy is contagious and I couldn’t wait to try out the Be Bop USA Front Lead Harness and Grippa Leash!
Be Bop USA – Front Lead Harness – 3/4″ Small – Red
The Front Lead Harness is available in several solid colors as well as patterns. My harness and leash are in the Red color, which is very vibrant and stands out during twilight hours. I really like how the color contrasts with Grizzly’s gray coat. The harness also comes in 3 sizes: 3/8 inch, 3/4 inch, and 1 inch. There is a helpful sizing guide on Be Bop USA’s website that helps you select the correct size for your particular dog. My harness is the 3/4 inch size, which fits Grizzly’s frame perfectly. Pricing ranges from $17.98 – $29.90. I think this is very affordable, and especially a great value given the high quality and expected longevity of the product.
My first impression of the Front Lead Harness was just how smooth the webbing was to touch. The harness is made of high quality nylon webbing with all the seams sewn on the outside of the harness to provide comfort against a dog’s skin. This is especially a thoughtful design for short-haired dogs that can quickly experience discomfort from too much friction.
The harness has plastic and metal buckles and slides to ensure you get the proper fit on your pet. There is a “D” Ring on the front of the harness that goes on the chest of the dog and is used for clipping on the leash. I like that the “D” Ring is constructed of heavy duty metal. It will handle quite a bit of abuse from clipping the leash on and off. After a week of use, the metal is just as shiny as when I first took it out of the package!
For easy on and off, the Front Lead Harness has a side release plastic buckle. Like the rest of the hardware on the harness, the buckle seems sturdy and should hold up quite well to heavy use. The side release mechanism was easy to push and opened every time without any trouble. When snapping on the harness, the buckle produces an audible “click” noise so you know it is securely attached.
On each side of the harness are nickel plated welded “squares.” These are for safety and are the connecting point for the top, sternum, and girth straps. I like that these pieces are sturdy metal and that there is plenty of room for the webbing to move without rubbing. These areas along with all other stress points have double reinforcements.
I love that the sewn in Made in USA tag is clearly displayed!
Included with the harness was an instructional booklet that explained how to fit the harness and best practices for using the harness when training. The training tips were very helpful! Instruction was given on how to use the harness to train your dog to walk in the direction you want him to, to heel, to come, and to prevent jumping. Some of these tips were new to me and I enjoyed putting them into practice. I found it very useful saying Grizzly before each command. He knows his name and this would get his attention right before I would give him a command. Unfortunately, sometimes he would choose not to obey the command, but that is my fault for treating him like a little person and not being a good pack leader. I’m still a work in progress 🙂
The Easy as a Walk in the Park Instructions for fitting the harness were just that – easy! The five steps were simple to follow and the photos were a nice visual to ensure proper fit.
Be Bop USA – Grippa Leash – 3/4″ x 4′ – Red
The Grippa Leash is made out of the same nylon webbing as the Front Lead Harness. It is also available in several solid colors as well as patterns. The leash comes in 2 widths: 3/4 inch and 1 inch, and in 4 lengths: 1 foot, 2 foot, 4 foot, and 6 foot. Pricing ranges from $15.98 – $23.98. My leash is 3/4 inch width by 4 foot length, which works perfectly with Grizzly’s height and is plenty sturdy for our frequent outings. Cosmetically, the size also looks right for a smaller breed, like a miniature schnauzer. It does not overwhelm his smaller frame. It complements the harness nicely. The Grippa Leash has all metal, heavy duty hardware and double reinforcements on stress points of the webbing.
The leash has a metal swivel bolt snap for attaching to the dog’s collar or harness. The clip was very easy to slide open and quickly springs back into a secure closed position. I like that the clip swivels. This kept the leash from becoming twisted up as Grizzly often enjoys moving from one side to the other with no bother to where his person is walking. Also, like on the harness, a sewn in tag proudly displaying country of origin is on the underside of the webbing.
The Grippa Leash features a unique easy grip handle that will not pinch your hand. It reminds me of the design of a ski rope handle. There is no loop to slip over your wrist. Instead, you grip the handle with your hand and hold it that way.
The contoured rubber handle is non-slip even when wet. I found the grooves in the top of the handle to be comfortable and had no trouble wrapping my hand around the handle.
How did it work?
The Front Lead Harness was a piece of cake to adjust and fit to Grizzly. The detailed instruction booklet that came with the harness and the very informative video of the owner, Sue, demonstrating the proper fit on the Be Bop website, were very helpful in ensuring proper fit. Both Grizzly and I really liked how the soft nylon webbing glided easily over his hair, never pulling, and never causing any irritation to his skin.
Grizzly seemed very comfortable standing, walking, and sitting in the harness. Per the fit instructions, the harness was loose enough on him to fit a couple of fingers under the webbing and it would gape open a bit in the front if I tugged on it from the left or right side. It never pinched him or shifted around on him.
The Grippa Leash worked perfectly with the Front Lead Harness! The handle was comfortable to hold during our one-hour walks and never became slippery even on a day when it hit 90 degrees!
The 4 foot length worked very well for Grizzly and I. It gave him enough room to trot safely out from under my feet, yet kept him close enough so I had complete control over him. I tend to move my arms quite a bit when I am walking, so the length allowed me a good range of motion without jerking him around.
The design of the harness allows it to put gentle pressure to areas of a dog that communicate more effectively. Since the leash is attached to the “D” Ring centered on Grizzly’s chest, I apply gentle pressure to just behind his elbow. This pressure causes him to move in the direction where I guide him. I like that this method of guidance is humane and effective. There is no pulling at his neck and I feel like I have better control of him since the harness fits across a larger area of his body.
Even at almost 8 months pregnant, I had no trouble controlling my rambunctious creature!
The Be Bop USA Front Lead Harness and Grippa Leash have made my walks with Grizzly much more comfortable and enjoyable. Both of these products are high quality and show pride in craftsmanship. I have no doubt that I will be using this harness and leash for many years. Grizzly and I give the Be Bop USA Front Lead Harness and Grippa Leash two paws up!
On Grizzly: Be Bop USA Front Lead Harness, Size 3/4″ Small in Red; Be Bop USA Grippa Leash, Size 3/4″ x 4′ in Red