Climbing harnesses are a vital piece of equipment for any dog rock climbing or rappelling. There’s a lot to consider when purchasing the perfect harness, including how much your dog weighs and what size they are.
From our experience, if you plan on climbing and rappelling with your dog we recommend looking at only two harnesses: the RUFFWEAR dog climbing harness and Singing Rock Laika Harness.
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Table of Contents
- Top Pick for Rappelling and Climbing
- Best For Emergency Helicopter Air Lift or Building Fire Escape
- How to Fit the Ruffback Dog Climbing Harness
- What Is a Crag Dog?
- Are Dogs Good Climbers?
- How Do You Train a Crag Dog?
- Is Climbing Rope Safe for Dogs?
- What Is the Best Climbing Dog?
- Can Dogs Go Rock Climbing?
- How Do You Rock Climb With a Dog?
- How To Rappel A Dog
Top Pick for Rappelling and Climbing
The best choice for rappelling and climbing is the harness from RUFFWEAR. It uses a durable tie-in at the center of the back where most of the weight is located. The tie-in and harness are strength-tested up to 2,000 pounds. It’s capable of lifting almost any dog.
In order to fit your dog into the harness, there are seven different straps and attachment points that allow you to adjust them accordingly. This removes any worry you might have over your dog slipping out of the harness.
The comfort of your dog is also considered with this harness. It uses a padded stomach to give your dog extra comfort and support while you haul them or lower them.
- Rock climb ready: Designed to safely bring your dog's adventures to great heights; Ideal for difficult to access outdoor areas, rough terrain, scrambles, hikes, and backpacking
- Strength-rated: A tried-and-true piece of adventuring equipment, the Doubleback is designed to lift and lower your canine climbers in exposed areas
- Built for the lift: Primary tie-in point at center-back of harness for easy rope attachment; Additional loops along the length of the harness for increased stability; Carabiner friendly
- Safe and secure: Anodized aluminum buckles for increased durability; 7 points of adjustment for a customizable, secure fit; Reinforced lift-and-assist handle
- Comfortable construction: Padded belly support and leg loops provide equal load distribution and stability; Leg loops are stowable for increased mobility
- Extremely durable
- Fits almost any breed and size of dog
- Can be fitted to your backpack
- May be too bulky for dogs with injuries or mobility problems
Best For Emergency Helicopter Air Lift or Building Fire Escape
The Singing Rock Laika harness is ideal for helicopter lifts or building fire escapes because of its secure design. The entire harness wraps around the dog except for where the legs stick out. This ensures that your dog stays put no matter how much they’re wiggling.
The bright orange color is also ideal for emergency situations. It allows you and the rescuer to clearly see your dog.
This harness is designed and built by a company that regularly rock climbs. They know how durable harnesses need to be in order to be safe.
- Country Of Origin : Czech Republic
- The Package Height Of The Product Is 1 Inches
- The Package Length Of The Product Is 1 Inches
- The Package Width Of The Product Is 1 Inches
- Built by professionals experienced in the industry
- Easy to use
- May not fit smaller dogs
How to Fit the Ruffback Dog Climbing Harness
Here’s how to properly fit the Ruffback dog climbing harness.
Step 1: Open Harness
Once you take the harness from its packaging, you need to undo the straps and open it.
Step 2: Move Stomach Section Under Dog Through Head
The stomach portion of the harness needs to rest under your dog and against its tummy. To get it there, you need to put the harness through your dog’s head. The top part of the harness will go over their head while the stomach part will go under their head to their stomach.
Step 3: Buckle Front Leg Straps
To strap your dog, take the straps that are resting behind its front legs. Take the strap that is free and move it through the bottom slot of the buckle from beneath the buckle.
Then take the strap and put it through the top slot of the buckle until it’s underneath the buckle. To ensure the buckle doesn’t come loose, take the strap and put it back through the bottom slot on the buckle. Then pull the strap tight.
This step will be repeated for the rear strap that’s resting in front of your dog’s rear legs.
Step 4: Check the Chest Plate
The chest plate needs to rest at your dog’s sternum. You can find their sternum by locating the pointed bone in their chest. You can adjust the chest plate with the straps on either side of it by your dog’s shoulders.
Step 5: Adjust Middle Strap for Front Legs
If the straps aren’t aligning directly behind your dog’s front legs, then you need to adjust the middle strap. This strap is located below the chest piece. It runs down to your dog’s stomach.
The buckle is centered close to the chest piece. Adjust it to ensure the straps are right behind your dog’s front legs.
Step 6: Check Stomach Pad’s Location
The stomach pad shouldn’t go past the dog’s ribcage. If it does, then pull up on the pad until it rests only across their ribs and upper torso.
Step 7: Install the Leg Straps
Inside the top portion of the harness is the leg straps. Pull them out and run them down your dog’s backside and pull them up on the inside of your dog’s rear legs.
You’ll lace the strap through the buckles as you did with the other buckles.
Those buckles are located on your dog’s hips.
Step 8: Double Check Fit
The harness should rest comfortably against your dog. Check to ensure the straps are tight to your dog but not so tight that they cut the dog’s circulation off. You should always double-check the straps for wear before repelling or lowering your dog.
What Is a Crag Dog?
Crag dogs are dogs that have been trained to assist and accompany people who climb rocks. They love going for hikes and are calm enough to wear rappelling harnesses and to be repelled and lowered during climbing adventures.
Are Dogs Good Climbers?
Certain breeds of dogs are great climbers. They have the right build, reach, and strength to climb. Some breeds, like the Tree Walker Coonhound, can even climb trees to a degree.
Larger breeds fair better at climbing because they can cross more terrain with less energy.
How Do You Train a Crag Dog?
Basic obedience training is the starting point for training a crag dog. They need to be taught when and where to lay to avoid them laying on ropes. They also need to be taught not to chew or ropes or think that they’re a toy.
Because you may not be the only climbers out there, a crag dog needs to be socialized with others. They need to be used to interacting with other people and dogs.
Finally, you need to make them comfortable with wearing rappelling harnesses. Start small when it comes to lifting them and go slow. They’ll become more confident and comfortable the more that they do it.
Is Climbing Rope Safe for Dogs?
Climbing rope can be dangerous for dogs to chew and swallow. It’s extremely fibrous and can get twisted in their intestines. It’s why training your dog to ignore the rope is so important.
It is safe for them to use in terms of being repelled and lowered. It’s strong enough to hold them and easy to use with the right harness.
What Is the Best Climbing Dog?
Here’s a list of the best climbing dogs.
1. Siberian Husky
The Husky was built for dragging sleds and handling tough jobs. Training them to wear a rock climbing harness isn’t too difficult. They also have a lot of energy which is ideal for long hiking trips.
2. Australian Shepherd
These dogs are built for adventure and hard work. They have a lot of energy which makes them great for hiking and rock climbing. They’re easy to train and eager to please.
3. German Shorthaired Pointer
Bred for hunting, the Pointer is a great choice for climbing because they’re used to being able to trek difficult terrain. They can keep up with your pace, find their footing in rough terrain, and are extremely social. That makes them ideal for hiking with friends.
Can Dogs Go Rock Climbing?
Dogs can go rock climbing if they’re trained for it. They need to be trained with basic obedience first, then socialization. Thanks to certain harnesses, it’s possible to repel and lower your dog when you go rock climbing.
How Do You Rock Climb With a Dog?
Most of the hiking is easy as it only requires you to have a leash and harness for your dog. You just need to keep up with them. In order to rock climb, you need a special rock climbing harness for the dog.
The harness can be attached to a climbing rope which you can use to lift and lower your dog up inclines.