What the Heck is That Rope Doing There?

Many of our customers are confused about what the meaning of the rope attached to the top of any of our short style harnesses is for. Many of our customers mistakenly remove this rope. The name of this rope is a “tug”. All Howling Dog Alaska harnesses feature tugs, as it is a common feature for all sled dog harnesses. Below are the three main reasons for having a tug attached to a short harness:

1. Attaching the line/leash to the tug, rather than the D-ring itself, brings the snap (the hardware) further away from the dog’s body. If the snap is attached directly to the D-ring, it will hit the dog’s back repetitively as the dog runs. This can create quite a bit of discomfort (and a sore spot) for the dog.

2. Attaching the line/leash to the tug prevents an accidental release of the dog. This comes in play when the dog twists or tries to get out of the harness. Clipping the snap directly on the D-ring when a dog is acting up can result in the snap catching on the D-ring, twisting and possibly opening. The snap will never accidentally release if it is attached to the tug.

3. Lastly, all of our tugs are color-coded. Each size harness features a different color tug. For example, a small harness has a red tug, a medium harness has a blue tug, a large harness has a green one and so on. This is very important especially for larger kennels who handle and harness many dogs a day. Simply taking a quick look at the tug tells them what size the harness is.

Now you know!

2 Replies to “What the Heck is That Rope Doing There?”

  1. If the dog backs out of the harness our team’s harnesses have a short line from their collar to the harness secured by a snap so they are still hooked to the harness without such they aren’t secured.

  2. I found that the green tug line was not strong enough to restrain my 50 lb shepherd/husky/malamute. It failed after about 25 training sessions (skijoring and canicross). So, if you have a strong puller it may be wise to replace the tug line with something stronger (ounce of prevention). I’m currently using a 3/8″ abrasion resistant poly line on one harness, and HDA’s Kevlar line designed for bikejoring on the other. Both are holding up very well. It’s a simple upgrade and worth it for the peace of mind.

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