A Duh Moment: Harnesses and Winter Coats

I almost didn’t post this. It’s not a “real” post, but, something happened this weekend that kind of rocked my world and even though you guys probably already know, I feel like I should tell you. Just in case there are any goofballs out there like me, who are fussing over nothing!

Let me start out by saying that I love our harnesses and I love our coats.

They make our lives so much easier. I have one super pet peeve though: they don’t play nicely together. The leash loop on the harnesses are about an inch lower than the opening on the coats. ARGH. You can kind of Macguyver it up. If I pull on the coat just right over the harness, I can grab the hook with the leash. The only problem is that this means the coats bunch up, the velcro pulls loose and they are a pain in the tail. I just sucked it up and lived with it, since it’s been the same problem with every leash and every harness I’ve tried.

Then, something happened that rocked my  world.

We were out walking and a friend watched me adjust Kolchak coat for the 97 zillionth woofing time. She looks at me and goes “Why don’t you just put the harness on over the coats?”

Um… why didn’t I think of that?

You put the coat on, then you put the harness on. The harness holds the coat in place.

It almost seems too simple…


Duh. It *is* simple. Simple and totally life changing.

Has something like this happened to you? Do you have a simple solution that makes every day life with dogs easier? Spill it!




  1. Roxy says

    I have done that. But when I made Roxy’s coat, i just made sure it all lined up. What bugs me, is coats that have NO opening for the harness d-ring. I never walk these guys on collars, so that is a pain to me.

    • KolchakPuggle says

      We never walk on collars either. I have a lot of concerns about collars, pullers, neck injuries and thyroid issues. I HEAR YOU on the D – Ring. Drives me nuts.

  2. Crystal says

    Weirdly special, apparently the last two-three posts of yours are not showing up properly on my computer (using Google Chrome/Windows 7). I see pictures but no text.

      • Crystal says

        Playing around a little, it appears I can see the text if I click over from your main page, but not if I use the direct link to open it in a browser window. If that helps with the issue. At least it means I figured out how to read it for now!

        • Emily says

          No idea why, but at first the same thing happened to me – I could see the pic but no text. The picture was down so low on the page that I knew there should be text so I refreshed and then it loaded fine.

          • KolchakPuggle says

            Thank You Emily & Crystal! I’ve turned it over to my web guru, since it is 110% beyond my capabilities. You guys are so awesome for telling me instead of just clicking away. I *really* appreciate it!!

            • KolchakPuggle says

              Hi Ladies – Thank you so much! I think we’ve fixed it now, though I would be so grateful if you could hop on over and see if you can see the text now :0)

  3. says

    It’s also a good use for a front-clip harness. With Silas’s gear, the front clip sits in a different place than the chest band of the coat, so it’s pretty easy to clip the leash on.

  4. says

    Clever! I should have done that with Maya’s coat. She doesn’t usually wear a coat, but it was so cold out recently. And I hated how it fit her. If only I had thought of putting her harness on over the coat (forehead slap)!

    • KolchakPuggle says

      I have no idea why I didn’t think of it before, honestly! It makes so much sense!! Coats are such a tough thing to fit on a dog, aren’t they?

  5. Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets says

    We’ve never used coats in the past, but I would like to get one for our puppy Luke. so this is great to know…don’t feel bad, I never would have figured it out on my own either! I can usually barely get the darn harnesses on right!

      • Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets says

        Thank you! I’m definitely going to look at those. Now, where did you get the cute coats, and are they easy to put on? I had some sweaters, etc for Luke that I won but he’s outgrowing them and I can’t get his legs through the armholes anymore. I’m looking for something that maybe just wraps around them?

        • KolchakPuggle says

          I do love our coats. The one you would probably want for Luke is the same one as Koly. Instead of arm holes, it wraps around the belly and up the chest then velcros in place, so it’s totally adjustable and more of a “custom” fit. I’ll take a picture of it layed out on the floor so you can see what I mean! Here is a link: http://canadapooch.com/products/amazon-adventurer-jacket/

            • Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets says

              Oh, excellent, thanks so much! That does look exactly like what I was thinking of. Have you ever tried putting a coat or sweater on over a puppy’s head?? Inevitably some part of it ends up in his mouth….lol….and I just end up getting frustrated!

  6. jana rade says

    We had a challenge with Jasmine’s harness and cooling vest. In her case, though, the harness itself liked to travel, so didn’t really matter how we sliced it.

  7. says

    I’ve never used a coat with Riley, and have only used a harness on a few occasions, so I can’t be all like “Umm, duh, why have you been living under a rock for the last decade??” ;) I had an “Aha” moment yesterday though…now that we don’t need this solution in our house anymore, of course! When Chloe was alive, she used to ALWAYS get into the trash. We tried trash cans with lids, but she was able to knock them over and the lid would pop off. Anyway, we finally resorted to using a much smaller trash can and shutting it in our cabinet, under our sink. Okay, so the “Aha” moment yesterday was this: Why in the heck didn’t we just get a big air-tight dog food container, stick a trash bag down in it, and keep it out in our kitchen so we could put a lot more trash in it, but we could also securely seal the lid (I’m thinking of the dog food containers that the lids are on a built in hinge, unlike those cheapo trash cans that you just place the lid on top)? I’m sure Chloe would’ve still found a way to get into it, but it just seems like a much better idea than using a tiny trash can underneath our sink and having to take it our a bazillion times a week.

    • KolchakPuggle says

      LOL, yes! So I’m not the only one then.

      As an aside, did you know they sell “locking” trash cans that require thumbs to open them? There’s a compression button that has to be pushed while you lift.

      • says

        I haven’t researched trash cans in years, but it figures they’d come up with a locking trash can after we went through like 5 different trash cans! I would love to get a trash can that locks and get rid of the tiny one under the sink. (I’m afraid that Chloe might have taught Riley some of her terrible trash can skills!). :)

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